By Cassidy Whitson
Sophomore, Journalism Major
Its September, y’all! While everyone is excited about different things – the return of the pumpkin spice latte, breaking out those boots, the first day with a slight chill in the air – we can agree that Gator football brings us all together. The game day atmosphere is like nothing else.
Ending last year with an upsetting loss to Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the pressure is on the Gators this year to improve. Coach Will Muschamp, our lovable resident crazy in Gainesville, returns, but the relationship between Muschamp and Gator fans is tense after last season’s rough end.
The preseason didn’t pose well for the team. Junior QB Jeff Driskel missed practices for an emergency surgery, and tailback Matt Jones may be out for several games due to a viral infection.
Everyone loves an underdog, and better yet, a Cinderella story. The Gators enter their season ranked #10 with expectations held high by the team.
They hope to reach the SEC Championship in Atlanta this year, which they have not done since 2009. “We were so close last year, we could taste it,” Driskel said to the Associated Press on August 12th.
With holes in their offense after losing Mike Gillislee, will the Gators resort to running Driskel for the majority of their plays? The situation becomes even more pressing with injury complications on the offensive line.
However, their defense remains strong.
With expectations for success, regret from prior performances, and budding superstars like 6-foot-2, 228-pound sophomore running back Matt Jones, the Florida Gators football season has promise after Saturday’s opener against Toledo. Promise mixed with practice, sprinkled with performance, makes the perfect recipe for champions.