Florida Gators fans like me were looking for more hope for the 2012 football season at the team's spring game. We wanted more answers.
We all want to know who the quarterback is going to be next season. How is the offense going to be different? Will the running game be better? Will the defense be strong? Will next season's team justify the extension head coach Will Muschamp received?
Unfortunately, the game on Saturday, April 7, 2012, did not provide a lot of answers.
Florida did not come out of the Orange and Blue game with a definitive starting quarterback for next season. However, Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel did play better on Saturday than they did during the 2011 football season. I'm hoping the strong competition will make both quarterbacks better for the 2012 campaign. Hopefully, Brent Pease's offense is a step up from the one Charlie Weiss used last season. I hope the quarterbacks grasp it and are able to have success with it.
It looks like Mike Gillislee will be the team's starting tailback, as the Gators will go for a more physical running game to replace the big play speedsters from last season. Mack Brown and Omarius Brown have been pushing Gillislee, which only makes the team better. Trey Burton will play fullback next season. He could be a dangerous weapon in the backfield as he has played multiple positions and can throw the football. The way I see it, he could be a threat to run, pass, or catch the ball out of the backfield next season. Burton had a couple of big catches during Saturday's game.
Andre DeBose, who might be the team's biggest deep threat, caught a 44-yard pass from Driskel. Latroy Pittman and Michael McNeely also caught deep passes, providing hope that the offense might be a bit more exciting next season. The Gators will need big plays, and it is promising to see young receivers stepping up.
Florida's defense was missing some key players due to injuries. However, the game was not a high scoring event. The final score was 21-14 and most of the scoring occurred late in the game. The team should have better stamina and conditioning when the new season kicks off. I think it is critical for the defense to be strong next season with the young quarterbacks and the changing offense. The Gators need a defense that can keep them in the game.
The Gators had a lot of questions coming into their spring game. The team did not find a lot of answers. The team did show it is moving in the right direction. The Gators had one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Fans will need to be patient as these young players develop. It will take time for the Gators to become dominating, but fans will want to see improvement in 2012.
I am a Florida Gators fan who lived outside of Jacksonville, Florida, growing up. My brother went to the University of Florida.