The Florida Gators suffered their first loss of the season as the LSU Tigers beat the Gators 42-28. This was one of most anticipated college football matchups from this past week, with two top ten teams going up against each other. Many people were surprised that this matchup ended up being a shootout, as the Gators had been one of the best defenses in the country. While Florida didn’t get the win, their exceeded expectation, especially with the play from Kyle Trask, in first road game at Death Valley. Here are the five takeaways from the Florida Gators Week 7 loss versus the LSU Tigers.
Kyle Trask was much better than expected
Going into the game, a lot of people did not know how well Kyle Trask was going to play. It was his first true road game and it was also in one of the toughest environments in college football. Trask not only played his best game but he also didn’t seem fazed by Death Valley. Trask completed 23 out of 39 passes for 310 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. His interception in the fourth quarter was probably the only mistake Trask made all game against LSU’s defense. The redshirt-junior did a great job of finding the open man quickly and improves his pocket awareness big time. It looked Trask actually had an internal clock going in his head and was able to get the ball out quickly.
Florida’s defense was exposed
For the first time this season, the Florida defense looked completely overmatched. The LSU Tigers have the #1 ranked offense in the country and wasn’t slowed down by the Gators defense. Florida did lose Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga very early in the game. The Gators didn’t have an answer for what Joe Burrow and the LSU offense was doing. Florida’s defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, was outcoached for the first time this season. The Gators have another tough road game coming up next Saturday. Florida’s defense will need to turn the page on the LSU game and focus at the task at hand.
Kyle Pitts might be the best tight end in the SEC
Sophomore tight end Kyle Pitts had another monster game against the LSU Tigers. Pitts had five receptions for 108 yards. Going into the season, expectations were that Pitts was going to play a bigger role but not many expected for him to be this productive. Pitts leads all tight ends in receptions with 30 receptions on the year. He is sixth in receiving yards with 362 and has three touchdowns. The 6’6” 250 pound tight end has become Florida’s go-to receiving especially when he’s flexed out wide.
Richard Gouraige needs to start at left guard
The Florida offensive line has been the Gators’ biggest weakness on offense. The right side of the offensive line has been horrendous with too many missed blocks and not getting enough push to create running lanes. One adjustment Florida has made to the offensive line that has helped is starting Richard Gouraige. As a recruit, Gouraige was a top 100 recruit and top ten offensive tackle. He redshirted his true freshman season and is now getting a lot of quality minutes as a redshirt-freshman. Gouraige is better suited to play left tackle but with his inexperience, Florida has worked him out at left guard and it’s been working. With Gouraige on the field, the offensive line plays better. They moved Brett Heggie to right guard and bench another redshirt-freshman in Chris Bleich. Gouraige should be the new starting left guard with Bleich coming in relief every now and then.
The Florida Gators aren’t too far away from getting back on top
Since the Urban Meyer Era, the Florida Gators haven’t been the world beaters they used to be. They’ve had some good seasons but have never sustained any type of dominance. Will Muschamp wasn’t has great of a hire and many hoped he would be. Jim McElwain let Will Grier walk which ended up costing him his job. In November 2017, Florida’s athletic director, Scott Stricklin, hired Dan Mullen to be next Florida Gators head coach. Mullen was an offensive coordinator at UF when Meyer was head coach and built Mississippi State into a respectable program. Mullen has turn the Florida Gators football program into winners in a short period of time. As Florida’s head coach, Mullen is 16-4 with a Peach Bowl victory in his first season. Florida might get back to being a championship contender sooner rather than later thanks to Dan Mullen.