Sometimes, starting 4-0 is just like it used to be.

Over at the DawgPost, Ryan Jordan takes a look at this year’s Florida team and makes an excellent point.

2011:
41-3 over FAU
39-0 over UAB
33-23 over Tennessee
48-10 over Kentucky

2012:
27-14 over Bowling Green
20-17 over Texas A&M
37-20 over Tennessee
38-0 over Kentucky

Driskel is getting a lot of hype for putting up fewer points than Brantley did against very similar porous defenses.  They haven’t played a good defensive team yet and they are still like 65th in total offense.  He hasn’t thrown for more than 219yds in any game this year, and has been below 200 twice.

Against their best opponent (Tennessee), Driskel put up 219yds and 2 TD’s this year.  Brantley put up 213yds and 2 TD’s on them last year.

Florida went winless in their next 4 games of 2011 against Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia.  They’re about to play UGA, SCAR, and LSU in 3 of their next 4 and could be looking at similar results.

I honestly think a lot of people have forgotten they were in this exact same situation a year ago and that’s why I bring it up.  This is the same Driskel who couldn’t beat out a very poor John Brantley, and hasn’t shown any improvement on the scoreboard this year either.  They’re getting a ton of traction in the polls for 2 wins over what should be teams who finish in the bottom half of the SEC.

I’m not sold they’re any better… YET

I do think Driskel has shown improvement and he’s much more of a running threat than Brantley ever dreamed of being, but I admit my jaw dropped a bit when I heard Andre Ware describe him during the Kentucky game broadcast as playing as well as any quarterback in the SEC.  He’s not. The biggest improvement on UF’s offense from last year is the development of a legitimate running back in Gillislee.

Florida is better, but I’m not sure by as much as some of the swooning in the punditry class would indicate.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Sometimes, starting 4-0 is just like it used to be.

  1. Juan

    Texas A&M will finish 3rd in the West.

    Driskel has improved IMMENSELY. Not sure how y’all dont see that.

    They have a legitimate shot at LSU and I fear the gators more at this point than South Carolina. But that is just me.

  2. rugbydawg79

    with you Juan–and I know it sounds corny but we really need to do the one game at a time thing-it is the most important game to me–I have a feeling they will be unbeaten heading to Jacksonville–hope we are as well! TCB today–Go Dogs

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    today, I fear the Vols….40% chance of thunderstorms…what if lightning strikes Derek in the pants? Oh the horror.

  4. Uglydawg

    Ware actually harped on Driskell’s supremacy several times, with each evolution getting higher and higher. At the end of the Ky game, Ward described Driskell at performing at a HIGHER level than any other SEC QB including Murray (yes, he called Murray by name)..All this because he had a good game against……………Kentucky. Ware’s stupid.

  5. simpl_matter

    UK had a very credible chance, their QB just sucked rotten eggs. Anybody besides the most blind homer (and Andre Ware) comes away from that game thinking they’re an 8-4 team, at best.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Florida still has to play LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Georgia and Mizzouri (a better team than what has been shown so far IMHO) in that order and FSU at the end of the season. I see at least 4 losses for the Gators. The Gators better hope they can get past Vandy and Mizzou or the “fans” will be screaming for Mus-chump’s head. 2012 Florida: 8-4 in all games, 5-3 in the SEC.

      • Mike

        I am pretty confident Florida will “get by” Mizzou and Vandy. In fact, I am starting to believe that of Florida’s 4 games against top ten teams, the Mighty Gators will win two.

  6. FrankDawg

    Florida is better but they are better because of a strong defense and a pretty good RB, NOT because of Driskell. I agree Juan that Florida has a shot against LSU but that is primarily because LSU’s offense is still rather pedestrian.

    Clearly every Saturday will not be like the Vandy game and we still have a lot to improve on but all things considered, I have ZERO fear of this UF team.

    • Juan

      Let me clear up my comment of fear – I do not fear the Gators bc of Driskell. I fear them bc of that defense and the potential Murray meltdown.

      But, to say Dridkell hasn’t improved tremendously is silly. He has made some throws against A&M and Tennessee that a UF QB hasn’t been able to make in….years. Hell, it’s been a decade or longer.

  7. UFTimmy

    I too am surprised at the hype on UF’s offense.

    Our defense is supposed to be pretty good. So far it’s played out that way, but we will know more in the coming month.

    All I wanted from our offense was not shooting itself in the foot. So far, they’ve done that. Hopefully they’ll do it against a real defense. The hype surrounding our offense after just playing average is kind of surprising.

    But, even as an admitted homer, I’m not sure how you can look at this team and not see that it’s a lot better than last year’s. That’s not saying a lot, and we can still get stomped by a lot of teams on our schedule (IF UF won out, they’d play the current Top 6 teams in America right now), but to my eyes, they’re clearly better than last year.

  8. Mike

    The fact that two of the wins this year came on the road in stadiums packed with enthusiastic opposing fans has something to do with the hype, as misdirected as it might be.

    The hype should be about the improvement of the team this year compared to the team last year. The games against TAM and UT are games Florida lost last year. That they won both is the story line of the improvement of the Gator squad compared to last year.

    And by last year, I mean after Brantley got hurt. Brantley never completely healed mentally or physically after he got hurt. But before that, the offense was credible.

    Anyone willing to do an honest eye test of this year’s Mighty Gator Team compared the the one last year will conclude it is better.

    • simpl_matter

      That eye test would have to exclude the UT & UK games; the Gators easily defeated both in 2011, not so easy for them this year (UK’s Newton gave that game away in the 3rd). The offense lost it’s two burners in Rainey & Demps and will have to lean on an injury-prone Gillislee heavily from here on out & the D is looking a lot more banged-up than it was at this point last year. I think the honest eye test starts next Saturday.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I think Peace is a better OC than the overhyped and overweight Weis. I agree with others fu is a better team. But they will still lose 3 or more games this year.

  10. Keese

    Thought you were convinced the gators were a different team…..?

    http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/gator-bait-looking-for-the-mojo/

  11. Always Someone Else's Fault

    One of these things is not like the others:

    1) Injured, self-doubting senior QB
    2) Shell-shocked true freshman QB
    3) Overconfident, overrated OC
    4) Gaining confidence sophomore QB

    Florida’s a totally different team this year. That Bama-LSU 1-2 punch knocked them out last year. I’m not saying that makes the Florida of old, but they’re not Florida 2011, either.