Florida Football Three Keys: Eastern Washington

Florida football Three keys

NOTE: This game moved from 10/1/2022 to 10/2/2022 at 9:00 AM. The Florida Gators obviously have a lot of work to do under first-year head coach Billy Napier. That’s not a devastating indictment of Napier or the program.

By Matthew Zemek

In truth, it’s a reflection of the reality that fixing everything Dan Mullen failed to address will take more than one year. It was great to hope, for a very brief while, that the Utah win pointed to a quick restoration of the program in 2022, but the Kentucky and Tennessee losses have stripped the Gators of that notion. That’s not devastating. It’s reality, and Gator fans can live with it … as long as the rest of the 2022 season genuinely confronts all of this team’s limitations. The Gators should not have to worry about beating Eastern Washington on Sunday in a game which has been rescheduled because of Hurricane Ian. Their focus must be on establishing new habits and tendencies which lay the foundation for the 2023 season and a brighter future for the Gators.

1 – Anthony Richardson must clean things up

The overall stat line looked great against Tennessee, but turnovers are killers. Richardson lost the Kentucky game on a pick-six, and he committed a devastating turnover against Tennessee. It’s good that the throwing yips which marked the ugly South Florida game did not resurface against the Vols, but backbreaking turnovers simply can’t be part of the equation. Let’s remember that not all turnovers are created equal. Throwing a pick on 3rd and 25 from midfield is not the same as doing so on a neutral or advantageous down in a winnable game. Some turnovers are basically just arm punts which don’t carry a cost. Richardson made a costly mistake. That simply can’t be allowed to continue. We need to see a sharper, cleaner game from the quarterback in Week 5.

2 – Impact players on defense

The Florida defense looked overmatched against Tennessee’s athletes and Josh Heupel’s offensive scheme. Ventrell Miller can only do so much. He needs help from his teammates. This is a game which needs to establish and unearth new standout performers on defense, players who can be impactful against the tougher teams left on the 2022 SEC schedule (plus Florida State in late November).

3 – Offensive line

A cupcake game such as this one needs to be a showcase for the offensive line. We saw how many yards Tennessee racked up against the Gators last weekend. Florida needs a ball-control offense – akin to what we saw against Utah – to minimize the weakness of its defense and, in particular, its defensive line. Playing a weaker opponent needs to feed the confidence of UF’s offensive front and establish an elevated standard which can be maintained the rest of the year.

About 14Powers.com 2970 Articles
14Powers.com: Serving SEC Football, Basketball and Baseball fans since 2016.