Florida Football: 5 Reasons Why the Gators Desperately Need This Bye Week
The Florida Gators are in a rut.
If losing three straight games for the first time since 1999 and dropping their first homecoming game since 1988 weren't enough, the Gators are also unranked for the first time under head coach Urban Meyer.
"We're not very good," said Meyer, stating the obvious after losing to Mississippi State 10-7.
However, despite Florida's struggles, they still control their own destiny in the SEC East race and going into a bye week, the Gators could very well turn their fortunes around.
Here's why Florida should be grateful that they get to lick their wounds this weekend.
You Can't Lose During a Bye Week
Urban Meyer stated the obvious by saying, "We're not very good."
And I will follow suit--Florida will not lose a game this weekend.
So, the record will remain 4-3 for another week, keeping the Gators' heads above water for that much longer.
As a matter of fact, Florida could actually gain some ground this week in the SEC East race if South Carolina loses to Vanderbilt or if Kentucky upends Georgia.
Granted, both the first-place Gamecocks and the red-hot Bulldogs will likely take care of business Saturday, but with the way this season has gone, would it surprise you if either or both teams lost?
A Bye Week Is a Time to Heal
The last thing that the Gator Nation wants to hear after three consecutive losses are excuses, but in all fairness, Florida has been banged up all season long.
The following players have either missed time or played injured this season: Jeff Demps (foot), John Brantley (ribs, wrist), Deonte Thompson (concussion), Chris Rainey (concussion), Mike Gillislee (ankle), Matt Elam (concussion), Lawrence Marsh (forearm), Andre Debose (ankle), Jaye Howard (ankle), Emmanuel Moody (thigh), Brandon Antwine (shoulder), Jon Halapio (finger), Moses Jenkins (elbow), Dee Finely (collarbone), Caleb Sturgis (back), Chris Dunkley (hamstring), Matt Patchan (wrist), and Jelani Jenkins (concussion).
Football is a rough game and many guys get hurt, but the number of injuries that the Gators have sustained this season are staggering.
This bye week gives the team much-needed physical rest in addition to a mental break.
Urban Meyer Knows How To Use a Bye Week
If facing a well-rested team full of great athletes and playmakers like the Florida Gators isn't enough to scare the opposition, then this stat will.
In his 10-year career as a head coach, Urban Meyer is 31-3 when he has more than one week to prepare for a game.
Granted, Meyer's coaching job has been sub-par so far this season, but you have to believe that the old Urban will reappear eventually and turn this team around.
Additionally, let's not forget that a bye week before Florida's matchup with Georgia in 2005 provided the spark plug for Florida's offense for the rest of that season.
Meyer has one of the sharpest coaching minds in the country and with an extra week to figure out what exactly is wrong with this team, the Gators should rebound nicely against the Bulldogs in Jacksonville.
The Offense Will Receive an Overhaul
After scoring just three offensive touchdowns in the last three games, Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio will likely be working overtime this weekend.
Hopefully, those extra hours of work mean that the offense we've seen thus far from the Orange and Blue will be a thing of the past come the Georgia game.
With the success (or lack thereof) that Florida has had offensively this season, expect Meyer to eliminate trivial plays like the halfback dive from the shotgun and the John Brantley-led option from the offensive game plan.
If this bye week comes and goes and significant changes are not made to the Gator offense, consider 2010 a lost season in Gainesville.
The Gators Need a Mental Break
The Florida Gators are currently under a lot of pressure after losing three straight games and seeing their fan base spiral out of control.
However, despite the chaos, they still control their own destiny and can salvage the season with a trip to the SEC Championship Game in December.
The Gators are reeling and the best thing for this predominantly young team to do is to relax and just get away from football for a couple of days.
Then, after some time off, Florida can come back mentally and physically refreshed and prepare for a tough rivalry game with the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville.
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