The Amway Coaches Poll was released on Thursday, with four SEC teams (No. 1 Alabama, No. 12 LSU, No. 13 Auburn and No. 15 Georgia) making the top 15. Florida just missed that cut, coming in at No. 16. ESPN analyst Trevor Matich says that’s too low.

Matich addressed one of the biggest issues facing the Gators this season, a loss of talent on defense. Eight starters from last year’s team have moved onto the NFL, and Marcell Harris, the starting strong safety coming out of spring practice, has been lost for the due to a torn Achilles’ tendon. Matich thinks that Florida’s pass-rushers will be able to do enough damage upfront to prevent pass coverage from being an issue.

“The defensive line will still be filthy,” Matich said on SportsCenter. “They’ve got some inexperience behind them but they’ve got a lot of guys who can get behind the line and pressure the passer, so (opposing quarterbacks) won’t have much time to exploit the inexperience on the back seven.”

DE Jabari Zuniga led the team in sacks with five as a redshirt freshman last season. Junior DE Cece Jefferson is also poised for a breakout season having slimmed down and added lean muscle in two years at UF. Sophomore Antonneous Clayton, a 5-star prospect in the 2016 class on Rivals, has impressed the coaches this offseason.

The biggest issue for Florida the past two seasons has been a lack of production on offense. As Matich put it, even a slight improvement at the quarterback position could go a long way with a surrounded by a veteran supporting cast.

“Offensively I think the quarterback position will be a lot better whoever starts,” Matich said. “Remember, they won the SEC East without a threat of any kind at quarterback the last two years. If quarterback (play) improves from heinous to decent this year, it’ll look like a completely different team.”

Last year’s starting quarterback, Luke Del Rio, dealt with multiple injuries in 2016 and missed this spring. Following the spring game, Jim McElwain named redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks the leader in the quarterback competition. Former Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire enrolled in June as a graduate transfer.