Dominance, an important characteristic of what makes a good team great.
So far in the 2020 season, the Florida Gators have been on the cusp of immortality given their offensive firepower and continuously improving defensive unit from an abysmal start to the season.
However, their inability to dominate their evidently weaker opposition this season has raised questions regarding the legitimacy of the Gators squad.
Whether it has consisted of sloppiness defensively, slow starts, or conservatism when ahead, Florida has failed to prove they can handle the lesser opponents throughout the entire 60 minutes of the contests.
Given these question marks, the major concern for the squad remains: Is Florida in a position to stand tall against an elite team like Alabama?
As a result, with the Florida Gators closing their 2020 regular season at home against the LSU Tigers on Senior Night, the X-Factor series will come to a regular-season finale highlighting all-around dominance as the imperative aspect of Florida’s game on Saturday night.
If you take a look back at every game Florida has played this season, crucial flaws can be found in all of them.
With a lack of consistency and slow starts on either side of the football being the overwhelming majority of these issues, Florida has failed to put together a complete performance at any point this season.
Seeing spurts of stellar offense and lackluster defense early in the season, the Kyle Trask-led attack was the lone force keeping them afloat in the SEC East.
However, as the defense has begun to find its stride, the offense has seemingly regressed in the past few weeks. Having scored their lowest point total of the year in three straight games, Florida has endured some of its worst production on the season. A concerning sight when they are set to take on the powerhouse of Alabama in just over a week.
That inefficiency has resulted in the bottom of the barrel squads like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Tennessee seeing first-half leads and heading into the locker room with the hope that they can steal one against the sixth-ranked Gators.
Against a suspect LSU defense, Trask and the offense that is fully capable of elevating the Gators team to the next level have an opportunity to put together one of the prolific performances that wreaked havoc on any and all opponents they faced in the first six weeks of the year.
To do so, Florida will look to establish their run game that has been virtually nonexistent dating back to 2018 and utilizing the weapons of Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, and Trevon Grimes in what could be all three players' final game in the Swamp.
Defensively, Florida will be faced with a freshman quarterback and a multitude of receiving weapons missing for LSU, making it vital to control the trenches, limit missed tackles, and halt the Tigers run game consisting of John Emery Jr. and Tyrion Davis-Price.
Simply imposing their will on the same team Alabama steamrolled over last week en route to a 55-17 win plays a role in changing the narrative regarding the Gators' ability to compete at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While it’s foolish to look ahead to the SEC Championship—even against an uncharacteristically poor Tigers squad—it’s important to understand the obstacles that have been laid in front of the Gators' goals.
As a result, taking care of an LSU program that limps into the final week of SEC action would be a great way to silence the questions and uncertainty surrounding the current state of Florida’s program.
Ultimately, Alabama won’t hang around long enough for the Gators to find their groove like the less talented teams of the past weeks has. Instead, Florida will have to compete at the top of their game from start to finish if they want to keep the matchup relatively close, given the multi-faceted Crimson Tide squad.
This week's mission against LSU? Replicate Alabama's dominance against the Bayou Bengals to the extent that it sends a resounding message to the college football world.