Here are some quick thoughts regarding Florida’s 42-21 loss in Tuscaloosa against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

What it means: Florida isn’t ready to compete with the big boys of the SEC. This loss also proved that Jeff Driskel has done everything but make the coaching staff feel comfortable about him as the starter. The redshirt junior struggled all game and failed to make any sort of positive impact for his team with the exception of a 14-yard run up the middle to tie the game at 21. He missed open receivers and made several terrible throws, including two interceptions on some errant attempts. Alabama’s defense is one of the best in the conference, but this was a secondary that was hobbled by injuries and even had a first-half suspension for a starting safety – and Driskel didn’t take advantage all game. Among the many questions that still remain, it’ll be the quarterback position and secondary issues that are the most prevalent for Will Muschamp’s football team heading into the bye week.

What I liked: Despite the yardage given up by the defense, the turnovers they forced had to be especially encouraging for Florida fans. Coming into the game, Florida had forced eight turnovers in just two games, good for second in the SEC. The Gators continue to be aggressive and opportunistic against a normally turnover-free, disciplined football team in Alabama. Several hard hits by Florida’s defenders and some perfect hand placement on the tackles led to three big fumbles and one interception as all three scores for Florida were off of the turnovers. As long as the defense can continue to force turnovers and keep the field short for their offense, the Gators should stay competitive in every game.

What I didn’t like: Driskel’s performance was obviously abysmal, but the continued communication breakdowns by the Florida defense were also concerning. On the first play of the game, linebacker Antonio Morrison ended up in a mismatch on the outside against Alabama’s Kenyan Drake, who burned him for an 87-yard touchdown pitch and catch. Later in the game, the secondary experienced another breakdown on Amari Cooper’s 79-yard touchdown in which the star Alabama receiver had virtually no Florida defender within 15 yards of him. Breakdowns like that, especially on a player as prolific as Cooper, are completely unacceptable in big games like this.

Key play: on 3rd and 23, Alabama was forced back to Florida’s 32-yard line thanks to an offensive pass interference call on Cooper. The Gators were in prime position to force Alabama to punt and have the ball with a chance to get a lead in the second half. Instead of playing it safe, Florida sends the blitz and Alabama snuck it out perfectly, calling a slip screen to Derrick Henry that went all the way down to the Gators’ 3-yard line. The Crimson Tide punched it in for seven points and never looked back.

What’s next: Florida has a bye week to recuperate before traveling to Knoxville for a key SEC East matchup to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.