You only need five offensive linemen.

At 25-1, Bruce Feldman thinks Florida’s chances to win the national title are undervalued.  The Gators just have to nip and tuck a few places, and voilà!

… Yes, the Gators are coming off a clunker of a showing in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville, but they have a budding star in dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel, a good O-line and lots of speed on defense. They do need to have a go-to guy emerge at receiver and having some key guys to replace up the middle of their defense, but by all accounts Will Muschamp has recruited very well.

Um… that offensive line?  It’s in such bad shape right now that Florida may not be able to put on a traditional spring game.

Guard Jon Halapio underwent a scope on his knee in January. Tackle Chaz Green underwent a scope on his ankle around the same time. Tackles Trip Thurman and Ian Silberman are both battling shoulder injuries, and Muschamp said on Tuesday that Thurman’s “does not look good right now.” Guard Jessamen Dunker is indefinitely suspended as he faces charges of felony grand theft auto and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license.

Guard Max Garcia, now healthy, has battled back issues during the spring, and tackle Quinteze Williams was listed at defensive tackle last season.

Counting on fashioning a solid two deep out of that bunch and six recruits seems a tad optimistic to me.  But what do I know?  A lot of people seem to be much higher than I am on a Gator offense that, besides the offensive line flux, has real issues in the receiving corps, no depth at quarterback and must replace its workhorse tailback.

Maybe the Gators are destined to go +20 in turnover margin this season.

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “You only need five offensive linemen.

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    2013 Gators….8-5.

  2. Potential for the spring game to ever utilize the “Five Mississippi” Rule?

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    LODOOL Virus (Lack Of Depth On Offensive Line) has run rampant at UGa for the past decade. Fortunately, it looks as if the Dawgs may have built up some immunity going into this season. Florida on the other hand has been struck by LODOOL and is struggling. I see a Floriduh team that cannot consistently protect their qb. Driskel likes to scamper and scamper he must. And not unlike Conner Shaw, he will have scampered once too often prior to the WLOCP. There will be blood in the water on that day. Dawgs will smell and taste it. Muschomp may very well have to be sedated! Works for me.

  4. Rebar

    I never understood the media’s love of Florida last year. True, before the bowl season we were their only loss, but bejeebus they almost lost several games last year to sub par opponents. They are living on their past reputation, but if that offense is no better than last year’s, we’ll make it 3 in a row this year.

  5. Cojones

    Rebar, you can make book on that. It’s creepy how the writers can just look past what has been on the field for two years and promises to repeat with a worse team this year. They don’t stay on any writeup of Driskel beyond that he can run if his plays get busted. He hasn’t improved for three years yet those yahoos tout him like a new pony. Feldman has nothing to base an improvement on. Their RB could be better or at least he’s supposed to be, but he is a Freshman with a shitty line in front of him so there’s that.

    FU’s D hasn’t impressed me or lived up to undeserved hoopla based on a stat I’m going to investigate. What was their D rank? Whatever the number, it doesn’t fit that bunch; something like Neb’s pass D( how anyone with a straight face can brag on that stat after Aaron wiped the 5 passing TDs on their face is beyond me) , but definitely worse.

    It’s as if Feldman wrote about UGA’s predicament over two years ago and is republishing with FU’s name on it. And giving them an undeserved rep like the one before they played Louisville. When will the dipshits see that the average fan like me can see the distortion torque (A Fr Can gave me a great def of that word) they apply when they write about FU? It’s amazing!

    • Florida was fifth nationally last year in total defense.

      Based on what I saw of them, that stat doesn’t seem fluky at all.

      • I thought they looked impressive last year especially against FSU. I am still waiting for that breakout game from Murray against the Gators. Let’s hope his senior year is the year. Two out of three years he’s been adequate, but I would really love to see him break loose.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      You’re getting schooled here a little too often homeboy. Tighten up. Go big or go home. ;-)

      • ScoutDawg

        Me either, our defense was thumpin’ that game but so was theirs’.

      • Dog in Fla

        “Tighten up. Go big or go home. ” :)

        Not only that, Balls needs to stop clowning around and watch the defense of someone else besides Todd

        • Cojones

          That’s it. Just pile on. DIF, you and AHB (see, two can play that “Homeboy” routine :) ) should review our game with FU to point out how great their D was. Murray gave’em three (not due to FU’s skill on D) in the breadbasket before canning their ass. Please point out that skilled D for the Louisville game as well.

          I wasn’t being ignorant of their high-flung status nor being a fan of Grantham, but was drawing a parallel with the Neb pass-rated D. So do your comments mean that you think Aaron’s dethrownment ( :) ) of Neb’s stat was all just a slipup by Neb in one game or may have been due to the competition they played against making them better stat-wise than they are on the field? Same reasoning for FU.

          That’s it. You guys keep brownnosing the Senator’s innocuous comments into a brawl. You…you…you buncha Gatorlovers.( :) )

          • Dog in Fla

            “Homeboy” routine

            I learned that from “Spring Breakers”. Some say the crows make me look younger

  6. I like Feldman a lot, and he’s not the only media guy I’ve seen writing similar things about Driskel, but I just don’t see where the “budding star” love is coming from.

    He threw for less than 150 yards in SIX games last year, and in FOUR of those he actually threw for less than 100 yards. And it’s not like he offset those games with some other big performances……..he only broke the 200 yard mark twice………and barely broke it both times…….and both of those were early in the season. After the 3rd game of the year, he never saw the 200 yd passing mark again.

    Some may argue that was partially a result of the conservative offense that they ran……….but I would argue they ran that conservative offense because of a lack of confidence in Driskel. I guess we’ll see this year though.

    • I’d argue a bigger factor was how awful Florida’s receiving corps was last season. That’s not to say that Driskel was all that great, but he really had very little to throw to.

      The thing is, I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect much improvement out of that bunch in 2013. There’s a reason they’re running Purifoy at WR this spring, and it’s not because he needs the extra practice.

      • Cojones

        The Purifoy comment hit me the same way. And his going both ways will hurt their D as well.

        Do you think that the passes Driskel threw were mostly in the close-chunk range dinky-dunks just over the line of scrimmage? While he has aired a few out, his total yardage is reflected in more plays than, let’s say, most QB’s? Driskel has a good ways to go on improvement before the claims for FU as a team are substantiated and he isn’t going to suddenly find that talent this year. Purifoy as a favored target would be great since we probably will have some fast LBs and Ss who could give him favored attention. I have a better opinion of Purifoy on D than Mitchell made him look last year when splitting their defenders for a TD.

  7. Rebar

    No, they have a damn fine defense. They caused us some heartburn for sure and kept them in many games they would have lost except for that defense, but their offense is vertically challenged. I just can’t get over the 4th and 1 they tried with the little scatback that Williams broke. But you can’t win consistenly without a dominating offense in the SEC. I also think what is overlooked in last year’s game is the turnovers. When we turned the ball over, it was because of their hard hitting defense. When they turned the ball over, it was just bad luck. I’m thinking we make it 3 in a row this year.

    • Cojones

      And how many players did they lose to the NFL from that “fine” D ? There is no reason to accredit them with a perceived good D this year based on last year’s perception and their newbies suddenly playing lights out.

  8. AthensHomerDawg

    Dawgs are gonna be fine….. It’s Alrite.

    • Macallanlover

      I needed another cup of coffee this morning when I clicked on that thinking the picture was Waylon. But I endorse the idea of the Dawgs being “Alrite” this fall, think the defense is going to carry their share of the load.

  9. PTC DAWG

    I hope theygo 0-12.

  10. Some of the love Florida is getting boggles the mind. They’re replacing the best skill guys they had, bringing back a very average OL and they lost the best players from the defense. Of course they have recruited well, so talent is there, but talent without experience doesn’t bode well (same can be said for UGAs safeties this year). I think 9-3 is a helluva lot more likely than 11-1, that’s for sure.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I think you are being too generous.The Gators in the regular season are going to lose to UGA, USCe and LSU plus 1 game from that group of Miami, FSU and Missouri (a good program that is ready to upset someone and gets the Gators in Columbia). Given the reptiles’ performance last winter they also likely will lose the bowl game. 2013 Gators…8-5. I didn’t just pull it out of a hat. Look at their schedule. They lost most of their D and that’s what carried them. If they play offense like they did last season they may not win 8.

  11. Media can’t wait for Driskel to live up to his 5 star rating. Murray is mad as hell and beats them down this year. Almost did it as a redshirt freshmen, then, two in a row. We HAVE TO WAX THEM again this year.

  12. NC Dawg

    Driskel sure looked like crap against Louisville (and a number of other teams during the regular season).

    • Macallanlover

      Agree with the Senator, Driskel didn’t have the greatest surrounding cast last year. Fortunately, I don’t see it being much better this year. I wouldn’t bet FU at 50-1, they just aren’t a contender. Noit saying they aren’t capable of beating a contender on a given day but they are probably 3rd best in the East, and 7th best in the SEC. Just see no chance for them to be considered that high. If the media continues to droll over them annually, Boom may become the guy who never plays up to expectations.

    • Cojones

      That 5th-ranked D didn’t look so hot in that game either, NCDawg.