Before the SEC slate begins in the 2023 football season, CBS Sports released a list of things that teams need to fix before the schedule gets to the nitty gritty.
“Say what you will about Graham Mertz, who was an uninspiring quarterback pickup for the Gators from Wisconsin, but he’s been fine through two games,” wrote Cobb. “The bigger concern is the absence of a playmaking wide receiver outside of Ricky Pearsall. With 14 receptions for 215 yards, Pearsall is the Gators’ top receiver and it’s not even close.”
“You have to combine the team’s next four pass-catchers to equal Pearsall’s yardage total. Speedy freshman Eugene Wilson III has shown some flashes with six grabs, but five of them have come at or behind the line of scrimmage. To succeed in the SEC, the Gators must facilitate more perimeter playmaking for players other than Pearsall.”
Cobb raises a great point.
The Gators were able to create space against the No. 12 Utah Utes, but not until it was too late.
In the contest against McNeese State, Mertz found Pearsall down the field for a 50-yard touchdown and connected with Wilson for a few screen plays.
Without a doubt, the passing game is dull, to say the least. The Gators need to spread the ball and find additional plays beyond the first down marker if the team wants to be a threat to teams like No. 1 Georgia and No. 14 LSU, who both have lockdown defenses.
The LSU Tigers showed flaws in its week one tilt with the Florida State Seminoles, but the FSU passing game spreads the ball to every corner of the field to take apart their opponents.
Whether the Gators fix the perimeter passing or not will be answered on Saturday when Florida hosts the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The primetime matchup is set for 7 p.m. EDT and will air on ESPN.