Florida has hopes of surpassing its 11-victory total from a year ago. It will have to rely on its depth to earn its first win this season.
The 10th-ranked Gators will be missing at least five starters for Saturday's opener against Toledo.
Florida's 2012 win total was its highest in three years, and the Gators earned four victories by eight or fewer points. They won't have a couple of key players for any more tight games this season.
Right tackle Chaz Green is out for the year with a torn labrum and record-setting kick returner Andre Debose is also gone. Debose, who has four career kickoff returns for touchdowns, tore his left ACL in the preseason.
The Gators will also play without right guard Jon Halapio for at least two games as he recovers from a torn left pectoral, and starting running back Matt Jones and linebacker Antonio Morrison will miss this game as well.
Jones has been dealing with an illness since July and Morrison is suspended after a pair of arrests in the offseason. Mack Brown, who has totaled 167 yards in three seasons, is expected to take Jones' place in the starting lineup.
"It's unfortunate that injuries are part of the game, but one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity. So we'll have some guys step up and play well," coach Will Muschamp said.
The Gators, who had 10 returning starters before those injuries, do have dual-threat quarterback Jeff Driskel back as well as second-leading receiver Quinton Dunbar. They'll try to extend their 23-game win streak in season openers, the longest in the SEC and second to Nebraska's 27-game run.
Driskel, who had an appendectomy in the offseason, is the Gators' top returning rusher (408 yards) after Mike Gillislee graduated following a 1,152-yard year. Florida is also trying to replace three of its top four receivers.
Florida finished fifth in the nation last season with 287.5 yards and 14.5 points allowed per game, but managed just 30 sacks.
"I think those guys have been productive in camp," Muschamp said. "We need to continue to rush well inside, which I think we've done."
Toledo has won 26 games over the past three seasons, reaching a bowl game each time. The Rockets (9-4) return three of their best playmakers from last year.
The top one is arguably senior running back David Fluellen, who rushed for 1,498 yards last season. Receiver Bernard Reedy is back after a 1,113-yard effort and will have Terrance Owens throwing to him once again.
Owens had 2,707 passing yards and 14 TDs in his second full season as a starter, rushing for another 395.
"What I love about these guys is that they are great competitors. They love football and they love to win," coach Matt Campbell said. "They are all about winning. When your best players have that mentality, especially at those key positions, you have a great chance to be successful."
Toledo is seeking its second upset of a Top 25 team in as many seasons. It knocked off then-No. 21 Cincinnati 29-23 on Oct. 20 as part of an eight-game win streak.
The Rockets, though, are 1-8 in their last nine matchups with ranked teams, including a 41-15 loss to then-No. 18 Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last year.
Toledo is facing an SEC opponent for the first time.
Top 25 Overview
Florida enters the 2013 season with a lot of unknowns on offense and a few injuries. The big loss is not having running back Matt Jones for Week 1 after a viral infection caused him to lose a lot of weight. While the Gators ranked last in the SEC in passing in 2012, quarterback Jeff Driskel has taken command of the huddle and finally seems more comfortable with his receivers. The Gators are equipped with an elite defense and a bit of a chip on their shoulders.
Jeff Driskel completed 10 of his 11 passes in the first half Saturday (90.9 percent), the highest completion percentage in the first half for any Florida quarterback in the last 10 seasons (minimum 10 att).
Who is the only Florida quarterback in the last 10 seasons to complete a higher percentage of passes in any half than Driskel Saturday (minimum 10 att)?
Tim Tebow, when he completed 11 of 12 passes (91.7 percent) in the second half of the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2010.