September 23, 2014

Florida Gators
INSIDE SLANT

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  Florida still has plenty of work to do to reach elite status this season.

That was apparent during UF's 42-21 loss at No. 3 Alabama. Yes, the Gators scored three touchdowns off three of Alabama's four turnovers. But Florida also gave up a school-record 645 yards on defense and was outgained 645-200 in yardage during the course of the game.

The Gators (2-1, 1-1 SEC) will try to fix some of its problems in the secondary and in the passing game during a critical bye week before an Oct. 4 matchup at Tennessee. A win at Tennessee could provide much needed momentum during an October stretch that will continue with back-to-back home games against LSU (Oct. 11) and Missouri (Oct. 18).

"The meat of our schedule is coming up," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "Obviously that (Alabama) game we really pointed to and we felt good about it going in. We've got to execute better offensively, play better on defense and coach better as a football team."

It will be an important week for Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel to figure out the cause of his struggles with his downfield throws. Driskel passed for just 93 yards on 9-of-28 completions against Alabama, with his longest pass going for 28 yards.

"Our defense did a good job of giving us the ball back (on turnovers)," Driskel said. "We didn't do a good enough job taking advantage of it."

Muschamp stressed it will be important to "stay the course" during the bye week and not get too disheartened by the first loss of the season.

"Everything is still in front of us as far as the SEC East is concerned," Muschamp said. "We still feel like we're as talented as any football team in the East. It's our job to go out and take care of business.