Florida Gators 2021 College Football Preview
Created August 1, 2021
Record – 8-4
The Gators bounced back nicely after an early road loss to Texas A&M (L41-38) and rattled off six consecutive wins which included a spanking of the hated Georgia Bulldogs (W 44-28). Then came one of the craziest finishes you’ll ever see as the LSU Tigers SHOCKED THE WORLD and took down the Gators as yuuuge underdogs. Florida lost a firefight with ROLL TIDE in the SEC title game and then got smoked by the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl. Ending the year on a three-game losing streak is never ideal but it was still an entertaining season for Gators fans.
Florida Gators 2021 Outlook
QB Kyle Trask ripped through opposing defenses with comical efficiency LY (69%, 43-8 TD to INT) and led the #1 passing offense in the FBS (379 YPG). Highly-touted prospect Emory Jones takes over the controls and provides a devastating running dimension that’ll be quite different than what we saw from Trask a season ago. Jones loses a ton of firepower in the THROW GAME with the departure of three players that combined for over 2,300 receiving yards and 31 (!) TDs. TE Kyle Pitts was a BEEEEST and will be impossible to replace. WR Jacob Copeland averaged 19 YPC LY (3 TD) but it’ll be up to some unproven young guys to step up and replace some of that lost production. The 1-2 RB combo of Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis will be looked upon to shoulder more of the workload in 2021, and don’t sleep on Clemson transfer RB Demarkus Bowman. The OL returns three starters but will be working with a new LT and C.
The Gators had a good pass rush LY (#2 SEC sacks per game, 35 total) but didn’t do much of anything else. They allowed 31 PPG and had trouble stopping the run (#10 SEC) and the pass (#9 pass efficiency D). Only five starters are back but there are plenty of talented pieces to build around including their top-two tacklers LB Ventrell Miller (7.5 TFL) and LB Mohamoud Diabate (7 TFL). DE Zachary Carter is one of the best pass rushers in the SEC (5 sacks, 12 QBH LY) and LB Brenton Cox booked an impossible 18 QBH in 2020. Only one starter returns on the back end but he’s a good one. CB Kaiir Elam was a 1st Team SEC honoree LY (11 PBU, 2 INT). They can get after the QB but we still worry about the pass defense.
The losses are heavy in this unit but at least they bagged Miss St PK Jace Christmann to replace the reliable Evan McPherson. Losing star punter Jacob Finn was a kick in the JACOBS. Hopefully they can find some spice at PR and KR given the departure of elusive Kadarius Toney.
Overall – The out-of-conference slate shouldn’t be a problem but they play ROLL TIDE (H) and LSU (A) out of the SEC West. The game with Alabama on September 18th is an early measuring stick, yo.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at South Carolina (November 6th)
This game comes after a pair of tough games (LSU, Georgia) and could be a letdown spot.
Season Win Total
Per 5Dimes August 1
Over 9 -105
Under 9 -115
If they lose to ROLL TIDE and Georgia that doesn’t leave any wiggle room to hit the ‘over’.
HC Dan Mullen has a 15-3 record at home with the Gators. True road games? 10-2. Not bad.
This is going to be a much different team than what we witnessed a season ago. The rushing attack will be more of a focus and expect a lot more out of the defense. It’s almost unfair to give Dan Mullen that much raw talent at QB but Jones still has to prove himself over a full season as starter. Definite threat to win the SEC East as it’ll almost certainly come down to the yuuuge game with the Dawgs. They’ll be the underdog, but stranger things have happened.
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