Florida’s Word of the Day: Larrup
By Jenna Sweeney
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The Gators hope that they can larrup the competition this year.
Larrup \LAR- uhp\ , verb;
To beat or thrash
For many Gator fans, predicting the results of the 2012 football season is not an easy task. Will the Gators larrup any of their opponents this year? Will Florida fail to produce on offense again? Will one of the sophomore quarterbacks make a splash and lead the team to victory?
With so many unknowns, there really is not a safe prediction. Most media outlets are predicting another average year for the Orange and Blue, but is that what Gator Nation should really expect? The only way to come up with a logical prediction is to examine all of the factors.
The first thing that we must consider is that the Gators have brought in a new offensive coordinator (Brent Pease) and a new strength coach (Jeff Dillman). All of the reports coming out of spring football suggest that these were two great hires. Numerous members of the team have added weight, while becoming bigger and stronger. The added size will help Florida at many positions. Thus, suggesting that Dillman’s training techniques are working. In a similar fashion, Brent Pease’s offense made a lot of noise throughout the off-season.
Not only did Florida make positive coaching changes, but they also cut off a lot of the dead weight on the roster. Stories of entitled five-star prospects coming in with attitude problems have been common for the past few years. After multiple transfers, the Florida football program seems to be back on track. Florida head coach Will Muschamp has been working hard to promote a winning atmosphere in Gainesville. If he is successful, the Gators will reap the rewards in the future.
Now that speedster running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey have graduated, the Gators will hit the field with a bigger backfield than normal in 2012. Although Demps and Rainey were huge playmakers for Florida, the Gators were unable to produce on the ground in many short yardage situations last year. Now that they will have the bodies for a more powerful running game, the Gators hope to be more successful on the ground. Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown, Hunter Joyer, Trey Burton, Omarius Hines, and Chris Johnson will all get the chance to contribute this fall. Although some of these individuals have produced in their limited time on the field, the running back position is still a bit of an unknown for Florida. Will the Gator running backs larrup any linebackers this year? We will have to wait and see.
At the moment, the most obvious unknown aspect of the Gators’ offense is the quarterback position. Sophomores Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett battled hard this spring, but neither of them has been given the nod. The puzzle will, most likely, remain unsolved until Florida takes the field on September 1st.
On defense, there have been some key injuries. Despite the injuries, the defensive unit appears to be Florida’s strength. Since many ofthe 2011 defensive starters were young, the Gators will be returning a more experienced version of last year's defense. Now that Muschamp has had time to implement his defensive scheme, the defense should shine on Saturdays. With another year under their belts, the defensive unit may have to lead the Gators to victory a few times this season.
When it comes down to it, Florida still has multiple question marks. The Gators could surprise the experts this year with a strong showing from a sophomore led offense, or they could struggle through more growing pains. Whatever the outcome, the Gator faithful will only be waiting about 80 more days until they find out if this Florida squad is capable of larruping anyone.