How do you outgain an opponent by 201 yards, limit your opponent to four yards a play and hold a 17-minute edge in the time of possession and still lose? Turning the ball over five times and making almost too many mental mistakes to count will go a long way toward doing that.
And that's what Florida did on Saturday against Miami in a game that shows just how far their team has to go if they want to continue to contend in the SEC East. If this is really going to be Jeff Driskel's football team, then he's going to have do better than the error-riddled performance he turned in: 22-of-33, 291 yards, one touchdown (looks okay so far) and two interceptions. Driskel also chipped in a fumble and got sacked on Florida's last-gasp drive with 28 seconds starting on the 20.
Driskel was hardly alone in mind-blowing miscues. Florida went for two on its first touchdown, and while that call might have been made on the field as opposed to by the coaches, it was a mistake by someone in orange and blue. The Gators had 10 penalties, often at critical points in the game.
Overall, the defense played well. Miami averaged 1.8 yards per carry for 50 yards rushing. Stephen Morris completed less than 50 percent of his passes (12-of-25). The Hurricanes had one drive of more than 50 yards. But the offense often placed the defense in almost impossible situations, and failed to cash in on a pick that set them up in Miami territory.
The bright side of a loss like this is that it indicates that, if Florida can get its head screwed on straight, it can still make a run at the division. But it also raises very serious questions about whether the Gators can play smarter, and shows that they are almost certainly headed for the middle tier of the SEC East if they can't.