This piece was originally published on RiseMiamiNews.com on July 27, 2015.
By Jose Lavergne
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!
That popular chant has come to prominence during the United States 2014 World Cup run. But the chant is my response to questions about how the University of Florida football will fare this season.
Simply put, the team is being treated as an underdog because everyone expects it to be a rebuilding season. I’m in complete disagreement.
If you take away special teams, there are only two main sides to a football game, the defense and the offense. Defensively, we have a squad that are in line to continue to be ranked in the top 10 in every category imaginable. That gets rid of half of the concern.
Then we move to the offensive side, where you bring in two offensive coordinators who worked under Nick Saban and are in complete agreement on what style offense they are ready to bring to Gainesville. Sadly, in the past four years we had to deal with three different offensive coordinators who brought their own approaches.
Coach McElwain would be the first to tell you that there is a lot of talent but they are meant for different offensive plays, a land of misfit toys. Now we have the ability to have consistency in the offensive side , which brings me back to being confused on why some Gator fans are already throwing away our hopes for a successful season.
Yes there are obvious concerns over the inexperience on the Offensive Line but If I told you that you would have a 6’6, 350 man playing left tackle, who was the second highest rated player in his position when he came out of high school, and then potentially on the right side you would be playing the highest ranked offensive linemen of 2015 class on your right side, would you consider that a bad thing?
That is actually a reality at Florida with David Sharpe and Martez Ivey. Add a fifth year senior in Trip Thurman playing center, a two time All-American in the FCS by the name of Mason Halter, redshirt sophomore Antonio Riles at guard, as a starting line up, that sounds like a pretty great O-Line to me.
Then you have four quality running backs in Kelvin Taylor, Adam Lane, Jordan Scarlett, and Jordan Cronkite being a part of the rotation, that is depth at this particular position that the team hasn’t seen in the last couple of years.
You add to the passing game two special wide receivers in Demarcus Robinson and Brandon Powell, with tight ends that actually have played tight end (the last couple of years the Gators were transforming defensive ends into tight end), I see a very special team that would just need a quarterback that only needs to be concerned with managing rather than winning the game. It’s actually very similar to the Alabama style of quarterback play.
Let’s be optimistic about this team.
Maybe it’s just me wanting to enjoy my last fall football season as an undergraduate at the University of Florida, but I can see that there is something different about this team. They are following a coach that has a simple and straightforward message and has faced adversity through an arduous road to have the opportunity to coach a nationally recognized program.
I’m excited for this season and expect a resounding shock throughout the country when the Florida Gators go back to its old tradition of success. It couldn’t have arrived any sooner.
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