Boy, The Gators Needed This One

It would be hard to overstate the significance of the Gators' 34-31 overtime win over Georgia. Instead of looking ahead to a schedule that offered at best the choice of Nashville, Memphis and Birmingham for post-season destinations, the Gators can focus on the fact that they are two wins from a return to the SEC Championship Game.

That said, Saturday's contest in Jacksonville was incredibly entertaining. The Gators led for most of the contest and never trailed and yet the Gators were never comfortably out front either. Once Florida blew a scoring opportunity in the early minutes of the second half they spent most of the second half on their heels. I know it's cheesy to put the outcome of a game on a coin toss, but is there any doubt that going on defense first was a HUGE plus for the Gators?

I've never been a fan of college football's playoff system with the inane idea of placing the ball at the 25-yard line. Florida was on its heels when regulation play ended and there's little doubt that starting out on defense was a major plus. Additionally, my complaint with the SEC system was magnified by Will Hill's interception return, which came up inches short of a game-ending play. Instead of that play setting the Gators up for an easy win, it was basically tossed out the window. There is no logic that can explain the idea that something of such magnitude can just be tossed aside.

The best thing about Saturday, other than the win is that the Gators showed a little creativity in its offensive approach. I'll never be a fan of a scheme that takes your quarterback out of the play when it matters most, but the Gators certainly had a better approach to this game than it has in recent ones.

Gators Going Forward

While Florida has earned the opportunity to celebrate this win, defeating Georgia just changed the biggest concerns surrounding this team. While the Gator offense made positive strides this week, the Florida defense was anything but impressive.

The Gators did not stop the Bulldogs once in the second half as it continued the struggles which were a big part of the three game losing streak. Florida did manage to upgrade in terms of turnovers, but Georgia still piled up more than 400 yards of total offense. Florida inability to get the ball back in regulation play was a big part of why this game ended up in overtime anyway.


The bottom line is 5-3 in a helluva lot better than 4-4 and the Gators having control of its fate in the SEC is a big deal. A 10-win season is still within range for this football team. It's obvious the Gators are not a great team, but that doesn't mean they can't have a great finish to this season.

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