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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Auburn loss could turn out to be beneficial

UF couldn't have picked a better week to lose.

After flying high as a top-5 team, the Gators were brought crashing back down to earth by Auburn, a loss that may have been just what the doctor ordered.

Heading into Saturday's trip to No. 1 LSU, UF has a chance to rocket right back up the rankings (maybe even past the mighty South Florida Bulls!)

The Gators have a rare chance at immediate redemption. A victory would vault them right back into the national spotlight.

If they win, credit should go to the loss against Auburn.

Last week highlighted the Gators' problem areas and gave them some extra motivation before their next game.

They learned that Tim Tebow plus Percy Harvin doesn't always equal a win.

Other players must be involved in the offense, and they won't be able to get past the nation's top defense with two players, no matter how good they are.

The Tigers exposed UF's offense as something it should never be - predictable.

With their arsenal of talent, the Gators should be able to react to just about anything a defense throws their way.

Instead it has been the opposite. In the last two games, UF has struggled to move up and down the field freely like it did in a 59-20 win against Tennessee.

The running game is nonexistent aside from Tebow, something that plagued his high school team in big games as well.

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Kestahn Moore had three carries against Auburn, less than the number of punts by Chas Henry.

I'm not second-guessing the playcalling, but it's clear that something must change for Urban Meyer to get the most out of his offense.

As of right now, it looks like a Ferrari with a boot on the tire.

It could be a question of motivation. The Gators were pretty jacked up for their rivalry battle with the Volunteers and suffered a bit of a letdown in an early game at Mississippi.

Last week, both UF and LSU seemed to be looking ahead to their meeting.

The Tigers held a slim 10-9 lead over Tulane at halftime, and the Gators trailed 14-0 to Auburn.

Luckily for LSU, they were playing Tulane and were able to pull off a 34-9 victory.

UF wasn't as fortunate, but the defeat should provide plenty of motivation.

Also, some of the younger players experienced their first pressure-packed environment and know the bitter taste of a loss.

Nobody likes to lose, but the timing of this one was perfect.

A win this week provides a quick fix to the Gators' pain, and it's their only option if they hope to repeat as national champions.

At the beginning of the season it was clear that this week would be the most telling of UF's season.

A loss beforehand was the best thing to get the team focused and to learn from their mistakes, and it also replaced the feeling of invincibility with a dark sentiment they won't want to experience again - especially two weeks in a row.

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