Florida plays Kentucky tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPNU and WatchESPN. I think Florida will win, and am hoping for that above all else — but I'd really like for this game to be fun.
When I sent out this tweet in the moments after last week's win over Tennessee, I got some flak for it.
And if Jeff Driskel's out for the season, the most we can expect from this team is fun. Have some.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) September 21, 2013
And, sure, I may have deserved some of it. But I stand by the sentiment: The most we can expect from Florida for the rest of the year, with an unproven quarterback under center replacing the injured Jeff Driskel, is fun. That was only made clearer by the season-ending injury suffered this week by Dominique Easley, one of the Gators best-equipped to make fun happen.
We don't really know what to expect from Tyler Murphy; how he played against a very bad Tennessee team last Saturday is likely atypical. We don't really know how Florida's defense is going to play without its spiritual leader and best player. And we don't really know if Florida's offense has parts, because turnovers and carelessness have masked a lot of the good things done on a play-by-play basis thus far this year.
So it's a good thing this game, the first one on the other side of what felt like an ending of one version of Florida's season, is against Kentucky, the opponent Gators chalk up as a sacrificial lamb before kickoff every year. Florida might make some fun happen, with electric freshman receiver Demarcus Robinson eligible again and most of its dinged-up players available for action. But Florida's likely to get a win, fun or not, and that staves off the panic and pain that would come with a loss.
Enjoy it, whatever it is, today. If it's a lopsided win, savor it; few other games are likely to yield them this year. If it's a close win, enjoy the fact that it's not a loss. I think we can expect fun for the rest of this season, but we can also expect a lot of growing pains from a team that is starting over sooner than it thought it might have to.
In all kinds of weather: Go Gators.