This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
The San Antonio Spurs suffered an absolutely devastating loss in the 2013 NBA Finals. After taking a 3-2 series lead, the Spurs were up five points and were just 28 seconds away from winning it all in Game 6. Improbably, the Heat came back to win in overtime, forcing Game 7. The Spurs struggled to rebound from the crushing Game 6 defeat, and the Heat prevailed in Game 7 behind 37 points from LeBron James.
It was a different story this year.
In a Final rematch, it took just five games for the Spurs to dominate the Heat and win the franchise’s fifth title in 15 years on Sunday night.
The Spurs’ impressive rebound got us thinking for this week’s Doc Five. What players who suffered considerable setbacks in 2013 could be prime candidates to come back strong in 2014?
We'll start with the offensive side of the ball.
TOP FIVE PLAYERS POISED FOR A COMEBACK IN 2014
No. 4: Jeff Driskel, QB, Florida
Jeff Driskel is Florida's most important player heading into the 2014 season.
In 2012, the Gators went to the Sugar Bowl with Driskel at the helm. His stats weren't impressive by any means (156-245 for 1,646 yards passing with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions and 408 yards on the ground) but he kept Florida's offensive functional and an exceptional defense led the way.
Last year the formula was supposed to be the same. If Driskel improved, the Gator offense had a chance to be better, but the strength of the team was going to be the defense. However, the injury bug hit Florida on both sides of the ball, and Driskel was caught up in it.
He broke his right tibia while he was taken down throwing a pass against Tennessee. It cost him the rest of the season.
Without Driskel, Florida's offense was worse than functional. It was downright brutal. Tyler Murphy and Skyler Mornhinweg combined to go 156-248 passing for 1,550 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions in Driskel's absence. And not only was Florida's passing attack (some may laugh at the term "attack"), the run game suffered as well. The Gators ran for nearly 700 fewer yards in 2013 than in 2012.
We all know what the utlimate result was; a bowl-less season that included a loss to Georgia Southern.
If Florida is going to return to relevancy in the SEC East, and even creep back into national relevancy, Driskel, a senior in 2014, will have to be better than he was in 2012. That doesn't mean he has to be a superstar, but even competence will be a simple breath of fresh air for Gator fans. And if Driskel's above average? Well, there won't be any Danny Wuerffel comparisons, but Florida won't be nearly as not fun to watch this season.
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