Published September 7, 2012 - 8:25am
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This is the second edition of our new series called Return to Gator Glory. Each week we will be highlighting a different key area the Gators will need to focus on as they try to make their way back up to the top of the SEC East.
By naming a starting quarterback this week, the Gators passed their first challenge in their quest of getting back to the mountaintop.
Will they be so lucky in Week 2? Today we focus on turnovers.
One thing that stood out to me about Florida’s game against Bowling Green was the lack of turnovers; and it wasn’t that there was an absence of turnovers that was alarming.
It was the number of missed opportunities for turnovers that really caught my attention.
Sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson alone had three dropped interceptions, he did make up for it with a pick late in the game but imagine what the game could have been like if he had made those catches.
You can get away with that against a team like Bowling Green, but you won’t survive mistakes like that in the SEC.
If Florida wants to contend for an SEC crown, heck, if Florida wants to even be 1-0 in the SEC after this weekend, its defense must capitalize on every turnover opportunity.
This weekend the Gators face a team with a new coach that is bringing in a new offense, with a new quarterback (who is a redshirt freshman) and that is playing its season and SEC opener.
If this was a slot machine you would have just hit Triple 7’s Gator defense.
From 2005-2010 the Gators contended for the SEC East title late into each season; over those years they averaged 25.85 turnovers with a turnover margin of +9.83.
This wasn’t the case in 2011, when the Gators had 14 turnovers with a turnover margin of -12.
This season head coach Will Muschamp’s motto for the team has been “Start Fast”; nothing would get Florida on the right path to glory faster than going back to being the ball hawking defense we all think they can be.