Areas of improvement: Passing game

The biggest area of improvement for the Gators this fall comes in the passing game. It was the first thing Will Muschamp mentioned in his pre-spring press conference, and it was a major focus as the coaches open practices. It remains a top priority this offseason. Florida was last in the Southeastern Conference last season with 146.3 yards per game through the air.

Quarterback: Will Muschamp and Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease spent most of last season talking about the struggles in the passing game not falling solely on the shoulders of quarterback Jeff Driskel. With every question about the struggling passing game, Muschamp and Pease would be quick to reference what was happening around Driskel.

There's no doubt they had a point. The offensive line was much better at run blocking than pass blocking, and that showed as Driskel rarely had time to throw. The wide receivers struggled to get open down field and struggled to make plays after the catch. The only positive in the offense was the running game, which helped to take some pressure off Driskel.

But there's still more he can do.

Driskel did miss open receivers, whether when he was throwing them the ball or just not seeing them. The stats aren't pretty. Driskel was 12th in the SEC in passing yards per game (137.2) and passing efficiency (132.2). He finished the year with 1,646 passing yards for 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. The positive is that he took care of the football.

The junior quarterback also brings another important element to what the Gators want to do. He can run. It isn't a necessity in the scheme that Pease wants to run, but it gives the offense an extra threat and played a part, even if a small one, in the decision to go with Driskel instead of Jacoby Brissett last season.

Driskel gained 716 yards on the ground and scored four touchdowns, with three of them coming in his 177-yard rushing performance at Vanderbilt.

The mobility will continue to be an important part of the offense going forward as 2014 Florida quarterback commitment Will Grier ran for 891 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season.

Wide receiver: With as much improvement as Driskel needs to show this fall, the maturation at the wide receiver position would go a long way in helping that. The Gators ended spring with most of the talk at wide receiver focusing on freshman Demarcus Robinson and Loucheiz Purifoy, who will play on both sides of the ball. That's not a glowing review of the returning receivers on the offensive side of the ball.

The issues with the wide receiver position last season were pretty simple. They couldn't get open. When they did, there was close to zero threat for them to do something after the catch. That's the priority for first-year wide receivers coach Joker Phillips.

The position group also didn't have an experienced coach last year. Aubrey Hill resigned before the start of the season, forcing Bush Hamdan from graduate assistant on offense to wide receivers coach. It was a big jump, but especially at a position that needed some of the most coaching on the team.

They'll now have an experienced receiver coach in Phillips, but they'll also need players to start to emerge this fall. Quinton Dunbar is the leading returner at receiver with 383 yards and a team-high four touchdowns last season, good for 29.5 yards per game. The Gators need a playmaker, and if a veteran will take the next step, it'll likely be Dunbar.

Purifoy and Robinson will factor into the position, too. The issue for Purifoy is number of snaps he's able to play without becoming exhausted. He'll factor into most special teams units, too. Robinson dealt with a sprained ankle during spring practice, but he showed the raw ability the Gators want to put outside on offense.

Robinson will be an immediate help


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