- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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A sluggish first half doomed Florida in its third-straight loss to Georgia:
1. Florida's SEC championship hopes are all but gone: With the loss to Georgia, the Gators are going to need a real miracle to make it to Atlanta. Sitting at 4-4 on the year and with three SEC losses, the Gators can win the SEC Eastern Division if they win out in conference play by beating Vanderbilt next week and South Carolina the week after. The Gators then need Georgia and Missouri to lose out. That would give both of them four SEC losses, and Florida would own the tiebreaker against South Carolina. If there is a four-way tie, the Gators likely won't have the credentials to make it out as the top team. Basically, Florida needs a ton of help and has to actually take care of its own business to have any sort of shot at Atlanta.
2. Coach Will Muschamp's seat is warming up: If basically being out of the SEC race wasn't bad enough, Muschamp has now dropped to 0-3 against Georgia. Muschamp now has two three-game losing streaks during his three years with the Gators. Before Muschamp arrived in 2011, the Gators had just one three-game losing streak since the 1988 season. Muschamp also dropped to 4-5 against traditional rivals Florida State, Georgia, Miami and Tennessee. To put that into perspective, Ron Zook went 4-7, but was 2-1 against Georgia. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley gave Muschamp a vote of confidence after the loss to Missouri two weeks ago, but there's a lot of chirping coming from Gainesville and there's a real chance the Gators could finish the season 6-6 with South Carolina and Florida State still remaining. But it isn't a given because Vanderbilt is next, and the Gators are in a terrible slump.
3. The offense isn't going to change for the good: One major reason for the Gators' slump is the poor play of the offense. Florida entered the weekend with 391 total yards in the previous two losses, and left with 319 yards of offense against a Georgia defense that was allowing nearly 400 yards a game. Florida has the SEC's worst offense and is scoring just 21 points per game. The Gators showed some signs of life here and there, but it's obvious that the passing game is restricted with Tyler Murphy's ability. The downfield passing game was still nonexistent, even when the offensive line gave Murphy time to throw. The running game reached 145 yards, but averaged just 3.5 yards per rush. With two weeks to prepare, that's all Florida's offense could muster against a young, struggling Georgia defense. Florida has no more bye weeks, and it's obvious that nothing is going to drastically change with this stale, sputtering offense.
2dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough