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The Florida Gators saw an overall successful season come to an unfortunate end in 2020. Three straight losses, one of which came from a LSU squad with a losing record, is not how they wanted to finish the season.
If there’s one thing we can say about the Gators in 2020, the offense was fun to watch. Or at least it was when they had all of their firepower available.
Kyle Pitts was one of college football’s most dynamic playmakers. Kadarius Toney was electric. Trevor Grimes played the perfectly complementary role, and Kyle Trask took advantage of all of the weapons at his disposal.
As a result, Florida fielded the second-best scoring offense in the SEC (39.8 points per game), trailing only Alabama. While the rushing offense was subpar, the passing game was dynamic. The Gators led the country with 378.6 passing yards a game.
Unfortunately, all of those players listed above are gone, and so are a few of the offensive linemen. Does that mean the offense will take a step back in 2021? Well, head coach Dan Mullen hopes not.
When asked about the offense staying productive, Mullen replied, via the Orlando Sentinel, “Let’s hope so. Let’s hope so. You need to have explosive plays to be successful.”
It’s not a revolutionary comment, but Mullen also understands that those explosive plays will have to come in new ways without those familiar playmakers.
“Every year, it’s been a little bit different. So this year it’ll be a little different again,” Mullen said. “I’m sure there’d be a lot of things that you recognize, a lot of things, and then some things that are going to be a little bit different for us. But there’ll be a lot of similarities to what we’ve done.
“We’re not changing a whole lot.”
There are going to have to be at least a few changes though. Emory Jones, the projected QB replacement for Trask, brings a much different style than his predecessor. He’s not as accurate, but he is mobile, which will be useful.
If LSU transfer Arik Gilbert would’ve joined the team down in Gainesville, the Gators could’ve run the offense through him like they did with Pitts, but Gilbert will be continuing his career elsewhere.
It will be interesting to see what adjustments Mullens and company make, but expect a step back for the Gators — at least for the time being.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.