The return to Gator glory: Week 4


This is the fourth 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.

Last week the defense caused Tyler Bray to throw two interceptions and helped keep him and the Tennessee offense in check as the Florida offense rolled to season highs in both points (37) and yards (555).  The win also vaulted the Gators to the top of the SEC East standings.

So my work here is done, right?

Not even close.

Much like the Gators, I can’t lose my focus only three games into the season. Especially this week, the week when both Florida and I need to come out and crush it.

Week four’s matchup against Kentucky has got me thinking outside of the box.

Instead of focusing on individual matchups or strategy I’m focusing on tradition.  Except for 2007 and 2008, this is a tradition that all successful Florida head coaches have taken part in every year since 1996: dismantling the Wildcats.

Annihilating Kentucky in the fourth game of the season is a ritual that has been passed down from Steve Spurrier to Urban Meyer and is now in the hands of Will Muschamp.

Notice I left someone out? I’m only talking about successful Gator head coaches.

From 1996 to 2001, Steve Spurrier’s offenses scored an average of 52 points against the Wildcats, beating them by an average margin of 33 points.

Urban Meyer’s teams followed suit by hanging an average of 41 points on Kentucky defenses; their average margin of victory was 27 points.

In that same timespan, Florida won the SEC East five times, and those five teams all beat the Wildcats by an average score of 41.3-11.

So what about that guy who coached from 2002-2004?

In three games against Kentucky his teams only scored an average of 28.3 points and won by an average margin of nine points.

Will the 2012 Gators follow in the footsteps of Florida’s former championship teams? We can only hope so and they can begin building their case this Saturday by embarrassing Kentucky in the Swamp.



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