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Florida's offense is inconsistent, but the upside is undeniable

Let's peruse Florida's offensive depth chart.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Will Grier (6'2, 203, RSFr.) -- 86-for-128, 996 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT, 9 sacks (6.9 yards/att); 22 carries, 147 yards (6.7), 2 TD
Treon Harris (5'11, 198, So.) -- 19-for-27, 269 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack (9.5 yards/att); 7 carries, 59 yards (8.4)

Your growth isn't linear. Against New Mexico State, Will Grier, a four-star signee in the 2014 class, completed 16 of 18 passes for 166 yards and two scores, a stat line not at all unlike Drew Lock's against South Carolina. (He threw for more yards than Lock, obviously, but it was against NMSU, which evens out a little.) Then, against East Carolina, he was less efficient (59 percent completion rate) but more explosive (15.1 yards per completion).

For the next seven quarters (four against Kentucky, three against Tennessee), he proceeded to kind of stink. He wasn't awful, but 25-for-46 for 267 yards and two interceptions isn't progress.

Last five quarters: 35-for-47, 412 yards, six touchdowns, no picks. The switch got flipped. While Ole Miss' defense is missing a couple of key guys, it had been a while since a quarterback did to the Rebels what Grier did. He completed 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards and four scores. He was in complete control. He spread the ball around to eight different targets, and he established a rapport with No. 1 receiver Demarcus Robinson (8 catches, 98 yards). He looked the part of a four-star prospect.

Grier will likely have to fight through another couple of funks this year -- it's how your growth typically goes. And Missouri fans have to hope he falls out of rhythm a bit on Saturday. But we've gotten a glimpse of Grier's ceiling, and it's pretty impressive, especially considering that he can also run a bit.

Kelvin Taylor (5'10, 206, Jr.) -- 86 rushes, 339 yards (3.9), 5 TD; 9 targets, 7 catches, 65 yards (7.2)
Jordan Cronkrite (5'11, 205, Fr.) -- 24 carries, 95 yards (4.0), 2 TD; 1 target, 1 catch, 4 yards
Jordan Scarlett (5'10, 212, Fr.) -- 12 carries, 58 yards (4.8), 1 TD

The Florida passing game is coming along quickly -- now up to 13th in Passing S&P+ -- but the Gators are still hit-or-miss on the ground (63rd in Rushing S&P+). Kelvin Taylor is maddeningly inconsistent and has been for two years now. He had a lovely game at Missouri (12 carries, 74 yards) in 2013, then failed to average even five yards per carry in any of his final five games. In 2014, he oscillated between dynamic (25 carries for 197 yards against Georgia) and dog house. This year, he's rushed 19 times for 102 yards against Tennessee (good!) and 16 times for 45 yards against Kentucky (not good!).

Of course, his current inconsistency could have a lot to do with the line in front of him. It's young. Regardless, Florida's shown a commitment to the ground game, and Taylor's been just successful enough in his career that you have to mind the threat.

Demarcus Robinson (6'1, 208, Jr.) -- 40 targets, 28 catches, 251 yards (6.3), 2 TD
Ahmad Fulwood (6'4, 210, Jr.) -- 7 targets, 5 catches, 40 yards (5.7)
Chris Thompson (6'0, 171, Jr.)

Antonio Callaway (5'11, 206, Fr.) -- 23 targets, 12 catches, 202 yards (8.8), 2 TD
Valdez Showers (6'0, 193, Sr.) -- 6 targets, 3 catches, 27 yards (4.5)
C.J. Worton (6'0, 198, So.) -- 6 targets, 3 catches, 23 yards (3.8)

Brandon Powell (5'9, 185, So.) -- 18 targets, 13 catches, 239 yards (13.3), 3 TD
Alvin Bailey (5'11, 189, So.) -- 2 targets, 2 catches, 43 yards (21.5)

Jake McGee (6'6, 244, Sr.) -- 22 targets, 16 catches, 134 yards (6.1), 1 TD
C'yontai Lewis (6'4, 233, RSFr.) -- 4 targets, 3 catches, 50 yards (12.5), 2 TD
DeAndre Goolsby (6'4, 243, So.) -- 10 targets, 9 catches, 147 yards (14.7), 1 TD

Like Taylor, Robinson has had just enough good games in his career for you to remember his name. He caught eight passes for 98 yards last week against Ole Miss, and he caught a combined 19 for 353 and four touchdowns against Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky in 2014. But while he's the steadiest option Florida has, his biggest strength is simply that he's just good enough to distract you. If you have to mind Robinson, that will open up opportunities for the slot receivers (20 targets for a whopping 282 yards this year) and tight ends (36 targets for 331 yards). Robinson's easily the go-to guy, but the change-of-pace guys make Florida awfully dangerous.

Powell's lightning in the slot, someone Donavin Newsom isn't going to be able to handle, and I'm curious how Barry Odom chooses to try to corral him. One assumes it will be Aarion Penton vs. Robinson, one-on-one, but does Odom use more nickel against the Gators?

David Sharpe (6'6, 359, So.) -- 5 career starts
Martez Ivey (6'5, 311, Fr.)

Trip Thurman (6'5, 307, Sr.) -- 15 career starts
Travaris Dorsey (6'2, 321, RSFr.)

Cam Dillard (6'4, 311, So.) -- 5 career starts
Tyler Jordan (6'4, 294, Fr.)

Antonio Riles (6'4, 312, So.) -- 5 career starts
Andrew Mike (6'6, 302, RSFr.)

Mason Halter (6'6, 295, Sr.) -- 5 career FBS starts, 33 career FCS starts
Fred Johnson (6'6, 312, Fr.)

The line was the biggest perceived weakness heading into this season, and you can see why -- Trip Thurman was the only returnee with starting experience, and he and Fordham transfer Mason Halter are really the only players with any significant experience at all. Florida starts three sophomores and could rotate in up to four freshmen.

To be sure, this has been the weakest unit on the offense, but it hasn't been too weak. Florida very much struggled to move the ball against Kentucky and (not including fourth downs) Tennessee, then played wonderfully against the best defense on the schedule so far. Hard to say what the Gators might be capable of here, but if Missouri wins this game, it will probably be because the Tigers' defensive line very much won its battle against the UF offensive line.