In a burst of cathartic release delayed a week by weather, Florida obliterated Eastern Michigan 65-0 and exorcized years of demons.
The Gators came right out of the gate and scored 17 points in the first quarter. UF failed to score more than 17 in six games last season, and they failed to score more than that in five games in 2011. Jeff Driskel passed for 248 yards, more than he had in any single game in 2012. The team's top three running backs averaged more than eight yards per carry.
As for Will Muschamp's defense, it was as smothering as it comes. The Gators allowed just 2.3 yards per play and forced four turnovers. Able to play loosely and quickly thanks to actually having a lead, the defense just destroyed the Eagles' offense on most drives. It was a genuine surprise any time it wasn't a three-and-out when the visitors had the ball.
Of course, there are a million caveats to throw in here. EMU would struggle to hit .500 if it was in I-AA. Driskel had only 5.5 yards per pass attempt in part thanks to some accuracy problems and in part due to a few drops. The Gators got away with plenty of things on both sides of the ball that would not work against a better opponent. The team also lost starting LT D.J. Humphries for a few weeks to an ankle injury and TE Jake McGee for the season to a worse ankle injury.
But still. Florida hasn't passed the 60-point mark since 2009. It hasn't scored at least 65 since 2008. After the abomination of an offense the team had in 2013 and the "make chicken salad out of chicken scratch" schemes of 2011-12, it was big to see a Gator offense actually look like it was trying—and succeed. It's too early to say whether Kurt Roper's guys will save Will Muschamp's job, but at least they've got a chance.