Gator Grades

By: Robert Craft news services

The 2020 Florida Gators season has concluded and the team is about to go through some significant changes.

The Gators ended the season with an 8-4 record, which included a very disappointing three game skid (LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma) at the end.

It is hard not to evaluate this season with mixed results.

Going into the season, the final results (ignoring the horrific performance in the bowl game) would most likely be considered a success. Florida beat Tennessee and Georgia and made it to the SEC Championship game.

On the other hand, they had a horrible showing against a terrible LSU team and an embarrassing on and off field showing in the bowl game.

To me this season was another step forward, but not as big of a step as it could have been.

Florida Gators Offense: The Gators ended the season ranked 4th in ESPN SP+ Metric with 509.8 yards per game (ranked 9th in overall yards per game) with 378.6 yards passing per game (ranked #1 in yards per game) and 131.3 yards rushing per game (ranked 97th in yard per game) and scoring an average of 39.8 points per game (ranked 13th in point per game).

It should go without saying, but the accomplishments that Kyle Trask achieved in 2020 is record setting. You see the numbers but what the numbers do not show is that they were achieved without a rushing game and a below average offensive line.

Kyle Trask ended the season with a Passer Rating of 180 and a QBR of 89.1. He threw for 4,283 yards with a completion percentage of 68.8% with 43 touchdowns and 8 picks. Playing 12 games against all Power 5 schools.

Kyle Pitts is a superstar and even with that I think he slightly outperformed expectations.

Pitts played in eight games in 2020. He caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished 10th in the Heisman voting (the first tight end to finish in the top 10 in 43 years), won the Mackey Award and unanimous first team All-American.

Kadarius Toney had a phenomenal year. Toney finished 3rd in the SEC in receiving yards (13th in the nation). He had a career high in catches with 62, receiving yards with 831 and all-purpose yards with 1,228.

With respect to the running backs, it can be hard to fully grade them because the offense remained one dimensional.

Not that is the absolute data points, the offensive line ranked 76th out of 127 (based on multiple metrics).

When you consider the lack of a rushing game and the lack of clean pockets for Trask, this ranking seems painfully accurate. I’ve said it in the past, ‘stars matter’; the 3.76 average for the line produced an average overall performance.

Overall Offensive Grade: A+

Florida Gators Defense: The Gators ended the season ranked 33rd in ESPN SP+ Metric yielding 404.8 total yards per game (ranked 62nd in total yardage per game), with 258.3 passing yards per game (ranked 99th in yardage), and 146.5 rushing yards per game (ranked 48th).

Florida’s defense had three games where they limited the opposing offense to perform less than their season average (Kentucky, Georgia and Missouri).

Overall, Florida defense struggled with sound tackling, communication issues in the secondary and just getting lined up prior to the snap.

Unfortunately, none of these issues were corrected as the season went on.

Historically, this was the worst Florida defense ever! No matter what position group I reviewed, it was all the same: horrible.

Overall Defensive Grade: F

What started off as a promising season with CFP Playoffs aspirations, suffered a speed bump early with a loss to Texas A&M, but recovered with a major beatdown win over Georgia, only to end with a shocking loss to a very poor LSU squad.

Coach Mullen saw his share of hiccups after the Texas A&M game, a brawl on the field with Missouri, the appearance of Coach Vader and the post LSU shoe tossing comments. Mullens stuck his foot in his mouth more than once this season.

Team Grade: C+