The Florida Gators are the hottest team in college football this season, but they’re not exactly the most athletic.
That’s because they’re dealing with a host of injuries.
Florida is one of just four teams to go 7-6 or better, and its injuries are among the worst in the country.
It’s also the only team to be without a true starting quarterback, a key weakness that forced Florida coach Jim McElwain to move on from Jeff Driskel in the offseason.
But the Gators have a strong defense, too.
The Gators are ranked fifth in the nation in yards per game, and their secondary ranks third nationally.
So why aren’t the Gators in the top 10?
What’s behind their struggles?
And is there any way to fix them?
It’s tough to figure out the answer to that.
Florida has some really talented players on offense.
The Seminoles have four starters who rank in the Top 10 nationally in yards.
Their pass defense ranks first nationally.
They also have some really good athletes on defense, particularly in the secondary.
The defense ranks fourth nationally in interceptions and fourth nationally on kickoffs.
And the offense ranks fourth in points per game and third in total offense.
So there’s a lot to be excited about.
But what are the other teams doing right?
Florida’s defense is a lot better than the Gators offensive line, which has some real concerns.
That should be a good start.
The defensive line had a sack this season.
Florida’s pass defense ranked fifth nationally.
But even though the Gators are playing better defense than in years past, they still aren’t very good.
The pass defense has allowed 17 touchdowns in its past five games.
That includes three interceptions.
It also includes one interception this season and three picks.
And it’s not even the worst pass defense in the SEC.
Florida ranks 29th in the conference in scoring defense.
But they rank 27th in points allowed per game.
Florida isn’t getting great pressure.
Florida allowed just two sacks in 2016, and they allowed a whopping 19 in 2015.
Florida also has some issues on the offensive line.
The offensive line has been solid.
They’re getting pressure and getting to the quarterback a lot more than they were in the past.
And they’ve been more consistent with it.
But there’s also some concerns about the running game.
They rank 29th nationally in rushing attempts per game (24.5).
That’s the lowest rushing rate in the Big 12.
And their offense is still a work in progress.
The offense ranks 23rd nationally in passing yards per attempt (194.6) and 23rd in rushing yards per carry (3.87).
But the running backs aren’t getting the job done.
The Florida running backs rank 31st nationally in all-purpose yards per route run (1.91).
The Gators rank 29st in rushing touchdowns per game of 25 or more yards (2).
They rank 31rd in passing touchdowns per touchdown pass (2.17).
Florida is giving up too many big plays.
Florida ranked last in the ACC in rushing plays (32.6).
And they rank 32nd in passing plays (25.8).
They’re allowing a lot of big plays at the quarterback.
The most important thing to understand is Florida’s offense isn’t the answer.
Florida needs to figure it out.
There are some legitimate concerns with the Florida offense, but there’s still a lot left to work on.
But it looks like they’ll be getting a lot out of this team this season in the coming years.
And that’s a good thing.
You can follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamGrosbard.