Now that the 2019 regular season is now complete, it is time to reflect on the year that was for the Florida Gators.
The team finished with 10 wins for the second consecutive year, as the only two losses came against SEC Championship Game participants LSU and Georgia. Let's take a quick look at the best of the best from their regular season before their Orange Bowl matchup against the Virginia Cavaliers on Dec. 30.
Offensive MVP: Kyle Trask, QB
This one is a no-brainer, as it is hard to image where the Gators would be without Trask being behind center. Since becoming the starting quarterback after Feleipe Franks suffered a season-ending ankle injury, Trask went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC with 2,636 passing yards and 24 touchdowns against just six interceptions, leading Florida to a 7-2 record.
Defensive MVP: Jonathan Greenard, LB
He was only a Gator for one season, but Greenard certainly left his mark on the Florida program. In 10 games, Greenard was one of the dominant players in the SEC this season, as he recorded 52 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, and nine sacks. As important as Trask was for the Gator offense, Greenard was equally essential to the Florida defense.
Best Freshman: Emory Jones, QB
The stats might not say Jones had a huge part in the Gators' 10-win season, but he certainly had his key moments. Florida has had a difficult time running the football this year, but Jones is averaging 5.9 yards per carry as a quarterback with four rushing touchdowns. The quarterback battle between Kyle Trask and Jones will be one to watch during the offseason.
Best Play of the Season: Shawn Davis' one-handed interception vs. Auburn
In a huge game against Auburn, Davis did his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression by intercepting Bo Nix with just one hand.
Best Performance by a Player: Kyle Trask in relief of Feleipe Franks to beat Kentucky
Trask rallied the Gators with three fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including his go-ahead run with 4:11 left to give Florida the 29-21 win. The Gators were down 21-10 entering the fourth quarter before Trask helped the team secure the comeback victory.
Best Game (Team Performance): Florida's 56-0 win over Vanderbilt
Trask threw for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns. Also, the Florida defense put in their best performance of the season by holding the Commodores without a point for their second shutout of the season.
Biggest Surprise: The emergence of Kyle Pitts
Pitts not only leads the Gators in receiving this year, but he was one of the better tight ends in the country. He enters the bowl game with 51 receptions for 610 yards and five touchdowns, as he's become a consistent go-to player in Florida's offense. Not to mention, Pitts is just a sophomore who looked more like a junior or senior at times.
Biggest Disappointment: Florida's running game
The ground game for Florida has just not been able to get on track this season. Some of this is because Lamical Perine and Dameon Pierce haven't been consistent. The Gators' offensive line issues also have played a role. Perine leads Florida in rushing with just 539 rushing yards.
Player to Watch in 2020: Shawn Davis, DB
With CJ Henderson already announcing he's skipping the Orange Bowl to focus on the NFL draft, Davis will be counted on to be the Gators' best cornerback in 2020. Davis has registered 47 tackles, three interceptions, and three pass breakups this season.
Biggest Offseason Question Mark: Does Florida have enough to overtake Georgia in the East?
Winning 10 games is nice, but the Gators and their fans are used to a higher standard, and that's playing in Atlanta for the SEC championship. With the Kyles (Trask and Pitts) back, Florida certainly has the weapons on offense to win the SEC East. However, the Gators will need to replace some key defensive players such as Jonathan Greenard, David Reese, and CJ Henderson.
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.