We're doing a preseason countdown a little differently this year, with Florida's 48 for 2014. Yes, the numbering is a nod to 2013, but the entries in the countdown will mostly be reasons to be excited about the 2014 season, or ways to look at it, or ... well, whatever I want. And I'm going to have a lot more fun with it than anyone did with Florida's 2013 season — trust me.
And, yes, I'm aware we're behind. Two entries a day 'til we're up to speed.
As mentioned yesterday, Florida needs a better offense in 2014, or it will have a new one in 2015.
Good news: Florida's going to have a better offense in 2014, and will almost certainly score more than 40 points — something the Gators haven't done since mopping up South Carolina by a 44-11 count in 2012 — more than once this season.
Every team Florida plays in 2014, with the exception of Florida State, gave up 40 points at least once in 2013, so they were all susceptible to big days, and, other than Alabama's, it's hard to find a defense among them that should clearly be improved. (LSU's should be better, and FSU's could be, but I'll reserve judgment on both.)
But Florida's first two foes are exceptionally likely to yield pinball scores: Idaho yielded 40 points in nine of its 12 games last year, as did Eastern Michigan. The Vandals finished dead last in scoring defense in 2013, giving up 46.8 points per game, and Eastern Michigan was 123rd, two spots ahead of Idaho, at 45.2 points allowed per game.
Duke hasn't played teams from the Sun Belt and MAC that often of late, thanks partly to home-and-home series with Stanford and Memphis over the last three years, but the Blue Devils put up 38 on Troy in 2013, 46 on Florida International in 2012, and 31 on FIU in a 3-9 campaign in 2011.
Roper's acumen plus Florida's talent differential should almost certainly produce 40-point outings in those first two games — and, really, I'd lean closer to expecting half a hundred from the Gators.