2020 Staff Predictions
Buddy Martin: I see Florida as an 8-2 team in the regular season, with losses to Texas A&M on the road and either Georgia or LSU – but not both. That will be good enough to get the Gators to Atlanta, where they will lose to Alabama in a close one, 35-32, which will not be good enough to challenge for a playoff spot because of three losses, despite strength of schedule.
Kyle Trask will throw for almost 3,000 yards – 25 percent of it to tight end Kyle Pitts, who will win the John Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end. Justin Shorter will be a new star at wide receiver. On defense, expect an All-American season for Marco Wilson and an All-SEC performance for Brenton Cox.
Franz Beard: The road to a Florida championship once again runs through Jacksonville. As Rick Flair used to say, “To be the man, you have to beat the man” and in this case the man for the last three years has been Georgia. This Florida team is the one Dan Mullen has spent the previous two seasons building. He finally has an SEC roster top to bottom and a talented, experienced two-deep on both sides of the ball that can compete with and beat any team in the league. The schedule works well. The Gators get the Aggies week three, one week after they play at Alabama. LSU is a home game and the Tigers aren’t the same team they were last year. That points everything to Georgia on November 7. Win that one and the Gators win the SEC East. Florida will make the College Football Playoff either as SEC champs or as a wild card. On offense, Kyle Trask will build on last year and Stewart Reese will have an All-America season on the O-line. On defense, the two names to watch are James Houston and Brenton Cox Jr.
Ainslie Lee: Florida’s roster is undoubtedly as well rounded as any in the country in 2020. The number of returning faces to Dan Mullen’s roster is sure to soften the blow of an unorthodox offseason. Shaking the term “backup”, Kyle Trask will finish as the best quarterback in the SEC after posting passing numbers greater than 3,000 yards. Meanwhile, Trevon Grimes and Jacob Copeland will lead the way in receiving numbers. Defensively, Brenton Cox Jr. and Ventrell Miller will have breakout years as leaders of the defense. We will also see Marco Wilson’s decision to stay for his senior year pay off. Florida’s roster on both sides of the ball will help lead them to a 8-1 regular season record after dropping its game against Texas A&M on the road in week three. A win over Georgia will send the Gators to the SEC Championship where, frankly, anything can happen against the Crimson Tide.
Kassidy Hill: Lane Kiffin has enough tricks up his sleeve to make this interesting...for the first two drives anyways. Kiffin prides himself on unpredictable offense but once his 15 scripted plays run out, I anticipate Todd Grantham dialing up the pressure and going after this young offense. Marco Wilson also told reporters he is bringing a little extra juice to go after former Florida commit and current Ole Miss QB, Matt Corral. There is no one on the Rebels defense (now led by former Florida DC DJ Durkin) that can cover Kyle Pitts. Final prediction? Gators, 31-20.