With around half the season behind us I thought it'd be fun to hear the coaches perspectives on their teams at the midway point of what may be our final season in `11. #1 Florida Gators (7-0) So far the 8th season of Coach GoGators' tenure in Gainesville has been a productive one. The Gators continue to cling to the #1 ranking and have remained dominant continuing their non-simmed games winning streak from the past 4+ seasons. With big wins already over Ohio St and at LSU as well as rivals Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia the Gators are looking very strong this season. However, two big games remain as the Gators travel to Tallahassee to renew their rivalry with the Noles in week 13 before getting the Michigan St Spartans in Gainesville to end the regular season. Offense With the loss of all the offensive firepower in the passing game last year the big question surrounding the Gators coming into this season was who would put the points on the board? That question has been answered this season but in a fashion divergent from prior Gator teams. Through Coach GoGators' first 7 seasons the Gators became known for a dynamic passing attack that was loaded with playmakers at the WR positions and balanced QBs that took advantage of all their weapons in Richardson and Dickens. This year however the Gators have gone to the ground for more of their scoring. First year starter QB James Pearson has played very effeciently completing 94/135 (70%) passes for 1,324 yds and 11 TDs while only tossing 2 to the defense. He's also added just under 300 yards rushing and 4 TDs on the ground. The two guys providing lots of the offensive firepower are HB Steven Gallagher and Hybrid Cole Williams. These two have combined for 887 yds rushing with 15 TDs while adding 249 yds and a TD through the air on 20 receptions. This is a dramatic change and will likely be the first 1000 rushing season at the HB position since HB Lionel Fields did it a few seasons ago. Making the plays through the air for the Gators has been star WR James Washington (99 ovr) and Sidney Williams. These two flankers have combined for nearly half of Pearsons completions and caused opposing DBs plenty of problems. The Gators have also had a breakout performance from FS converted to WR Cole Newell. Newell is most remembered for his tip toe down the sidelines highlight against Ohio St early in the season. Newell has racked up yards and TD receptions so far this season as other teams struggle to match the strong and fast WR. Defense This may be the surprise of the season 8 team. While the offense has garnered most of the attention in seasons past, this years team may just be all about the defense. Led by MLB's Roy Mack and Jason Porter the UF defense has been extremely strong this year holding opposing user teams to an average of 17 points per game. In addition to the quality play at LB, the defensive front has been extremely productive, DE Brandon Brunner who's been a nightmare for opposing QBs racking up 7 sacks at the midpoint of the season. A lot of Brunner's success can seemingly be attributed to the play of DT Clayton Hillis. This monster of a sophomore has commanded double teams all season long and allowed Brunner to work one on one against typically outmatched RTs. Also worth noting is the development of UF's secondary. One of the most highly touted secondary recruiting classes signed a few seasons ago is finally growing up. CBs Pat Louis and Steve Armstrong have been ball hawks and played very well on the outside flankers while the emergence of NB Bill Clarke has been a significant key to the UF defense. These three have a combined 7 INTs on the season and will look to continue their strong performances over the remainder of the season. Second Half Projections With our only SEC user game and the Georgia game concluded the Gators have pretty much wrapped up the SEC East again this season. However the two out of conference games to end the season and a potential rematch with hasty LSU in the SEC CG are HUGE games that UF will need to get through to try to land a 4th BCS national championship trophy this year.