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Saturday, December 03, 2022
<p>Jeff Driskel (6) passes to Matt Jones (24) during Florida's 65-0 win against Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.</p>

Jeff Driskel (6) passes to Matt Jones (24) during Florida's 65-0 win against Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Florida got exactly what it needed Saturday when it clobbered Eastern Michigan 65-0.

But offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is done hearing about how great the offense was. Now, he’s concerned with how the offense will be in three days against Kentucky.

And he wants his players to have the same mindset.

"You truly try to make it a day-to-day process," Roper said Tuesday. "You truly just want to go compete each day to get better. And if you look at it that way, if you just take it one day at a time — and yes in a lot of ways that is coach speak — but the reason we hammer that in is if we can get those guys to buy into it and believe in it, then there is no roller-coaster ride."

The roller-coaster ride Roper mentioned is the one the Gators rode in 2012 when they defeated No. 9 South Carolina and No. 4 LSU but struggled against Louisiana and Louisville.

So despite a dominating victory, Roper doesn’t mind cracking down on his team on the little things in order to keep Florida hungry for its Southeastern Conference opener against Kentucky.

"We’re all pretty hard on them on the practice field," Roper said. "Sometimes that’s where you go out there and try to coach them back into reality. There is enough on the film to show them, ‘Hey, there were a lot of things that could have been better or really cost us.’"

Coach Will Muschamp said one area that concerned him was ball security. Although the Gators did not give up the ball at all Saturday, Muschamp said he saw instances on film that worried him and should worry the players.

"Offensively, I think we were pretty fortunate, to be honest with you, that we didn’t have more turnovers," the fourth-year head coach said. "We had some ball security issues that we’ve got to get cleaned up and that was evident on the tape."

The Wildcats are tied for second in the country in turnover margin per game.

And although Jeff Driskel did not throw an interception in his return from a broken leg, he nearly gave the Eagles the ball on an errant screen pass in the red zone.

The redshirt junior did not throw a pick throughout the entirety of fall camp, but he knows without critiquing his game on film, he can easily end that streak Saturday against Kentucky.

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"It’s easy to go in on Sunday after a good game and watch the film, but you still have to realize there are mistakes made and you have to build on those mistakes and take the coaching," Driskel said.

If the Gators do in fact take their coaching "one day at a time," Roper believes his offense has the chance to reload each week and possibly become even faster. Florida ran 86 plays Saturday, which was the highest number of plays in a single game during the Muschamp era.

However, Roper — searching to find each and every way to perfect his spread offense — said the Gators can go faster.

"We had 21 snaps on Saturday that were outside of 18 seconds on the play clock," Roper said.

"Our average was 14 seconds on the play clock, we would like our average to be 18 seconds on the play clock. So we would like to be faster just in our normal function of how we do it, we would like to obviously have more than 21 plays outside of 18 seconds and I think it gets down to our guys understanding giving the ball back to the official getting lined up in a hurry.

"Too many times we left the ball on the ground at the end of a play where an official has to go get it to spot it and those type things. So I think we can play obviously faster just looking at those numbers but again it’s all about making plays."

Follow Jonathan Czupryn on Twitter @Jczupryn 

Jeff Driskel (6) passes to Matt Jones (24) during Florida's 65-0 win against Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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