Ten years ago or longer, the title might have read "Gators Easily Dispose of the Bucaneers; Tune Up for SEC Opponent a Success." And maybe it still could, but this one was a little different coming off of a decade of misery. So many unknowns to be found out about (as much as you can in a game against Charleston) and maybe even the specter of Georgia Southern looming for a few! Really, one of the biggest things everyone wanted to see, myself included, was what the QB picture looked like, at least as much as we could in a warm up, and what would we look like with Mullen's offense, termed "middle school" and other such descriptors? I don't know that we have complete answers, but the results were maybe better than many expected, but what was hoped for. The key will be if they carry over against UK and progress each game thereafter (injuries, suspensions, etc. notwithstanding). So, let's talk about last night...
*I'd have to say I was pleased with Mullen's plan and execution for the opener. We threw the ball much more with the ones than I expected, special teams were solid and featured some of the established players (very Meyer-like), and the D, while pretty vanilla with the exception of a couple of blitzes, flew around and made plays and looked to tackle much better than with the previous staff. Mullen clearly wants to be here and be successful and that came through to me in his words, demeanor, and what we saw on the field. A welcome change.
*What has been gained in the S&C program with Savage was very evident to me. We not only looked leaner and more fit as well as stronger in most positions, but I don't recall seeing the multitude of cramping nor injuries that a first game can bring. So we must have shelved the Pilates, PB&J's, and the optional workouts!
*We looked to have some playmakers that want to step forward on D. Polite gave us a glimpse last year and he looks like he's ready to be the next big DE. Great first step on the rush and a motor that doesn't quit. But maybe his most impressive play was the feather technique on the option when he forced the bad pitch and turnover. You don't see that everyday. Secondary was solid in coverage, even if it was against a team not noted for a vaunted passing attack, the LB's had some good plays, and the front was pretty good as well. All in all what you want to see in the warm up.
*McPherson looks like he will be a solid kicker. Maybe not quite as much fanfare as Edie, but we should have him longer and with just as much if not more effectiveness. I looked around, but couldn't find any shots of him and Mullen riding around campus taking selfies in an Escalade. Kinda warmed my old heart!
*OL was good in pass pro, a little less blocking the run IMO. Not ready to run for the hills just yet because we all know just how poorly or erratic this group has been for so long, but we need to see improvement each week and the building of depth. Hevesy should be an upgrade to what we've had, but he's still got his work cut out for him.
*Got to give a shout out to my man from Bainbridge Dee Pierce. Even though his carries were in the second half with the two's against Charleston, he ran like he did in HS. His lower body strength, which has grown even more under Savage, was impressive and even on the shorter runs he can move the pile. The RB position really looks to be as strong and deep as reported. Dee also made the highlight reel on a kick cover. Great way to start for a young guy with a lot of promise.
*Last but not least, it was clear why Frank's was named the starter. I have some crow to eat because I didn't think he would be able to show the development that he displayed. He was very efficient and showed some touch on many of his passes that most expected would be the missiles he would previously have thrown. There were even a few check downs that were here to fore unseen and not the typical forced throws that we had come to expect. In short, it looked as if he'd actually been coached and put more time into his own preparations than was expected. Mick and Lee made a good point post game when they pointed out that of his five TD passes, four were under ten yards and could have been run in for scores, so clearly Mullen was trying to build confidence with his plan for Franks and his continuing development. He also looked very comfortable in the pocket and his decision making was much better than expected, particularly when he ran. Looking for carry over and the next step up from him against UK and something tells me he won't get the uncovered receivers this time around! As for Trask and Jones, they'll remain the back up and work in progress respectively, so we all should root for Felipe's continued development and good health.
A lot to like for the beginning of the Dan Mullen era. Not quite ready to crown him king just yet, but the throne may be out there somewhere, at least comparing him with the last two HC's. I'm excited enough that I'm planning to try and get down for the Colorado State game and the tail gate. Got to cover a cross country event first thing that morning, but hopefully can get there in time to meet you guys in real life. Should be a blast. It's early, but the vibe is that Gator football might just be fun again. Go Gators!
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I don't know if we'll ever compete for any championships under Mullen, but I do know that he's going to actually run a competitive program.
Team looked outstanding. Prepared and disciplined - barely any penalties. Special teams was unreal - kicking and punting as well as the coverage play - night and day from the Nord era. Hell, TWO blocked kicks!
The players were fired up and actually looked like they were having fun out there, and the crowd responded in turn. Fun football.
I'll tell you this: if Franks can play anywhere near that level against real competition, this team could be tough to beat.
Let's beat Kentucky by 50.
- Like x 60
- Thread: Welcome the newest Gator!
- Thread: Conversation with Spurrier
Since it's a slow period on the board, I thought I'd share this story and apologize in advance for the length:
Last weekend I was at an event where Spurrier was also attending. When he wasn't surrounded by the rest of the crowd, I went to talk to him for a bit and the 4-5 minute conversation was 100% pure Spurrier - almost as if Bates was doing the shtick.
I started by introducing myself and then thanking him for immeasurably improving my college experience. He asked when I was there (1994-2003 in Gainesville). Then, he smirked and said "Yeah, those were some good years to be a Gator." It took a more Spurrier-esque turn from there.
I told him the 1997 FSU game, was both the most exciting and cathartic moment of my life. Spurrier immediately gives me a quick, maybe half second glance of disapproval and says "Weren't you there in 1996". As I try to explain how great the NC was, especially beating FSU, but that while gratifying, it wasn't the same, singular excitement level.
He chimes in immediately with, "yeah, and FSU was number 1 . . . till we beat em", to which I foolishly respond, "plus, our season had been a bit more disappointing that year up to then." While he politely, yet in a wise-ass manner, disapproved of the prior choice of 1997 FSU as my favorite game over the 1996 National Championship, this comment about the season being disappointing prior to FSU got him riled up.
Spurrier was now more lively, almost bouncing on his toes back and forth and says, "welp, we did finish 4th in the Country that year and only lost two games. Ya know, that FSU game, I would have traded that for either of the LSU game or the Georgia Game. Shoot, we win one of those and we play for the SEC title. That was always my number 1 goal." [ You often hear that was his priority during interviews and reading it in type, but it's hard to tell if it is coach speak or not. In person, from a foot away, and in a 1 on 1 conversation, I can tell you he emotes this as his reality. He was passionate about it.]
I had hit a nerve and now his competitive spirit was getting riled up a bit. He continued, "That 1997 team. Ya know, we only lost 1 time in 12 years to either LSU or Georgia and that 1997 team lost em both. We win either and we win the SEC [He just takes it as given we beat Auburn for the second time that year, this time on a neutral field, which is pretty great]. But, we lost em and that FSU game, I'd trade it out."
He was taking what many of us in the favorite thread email suggested was our favorite game and putting it in the afterthought pile. It was funny as he was pissing all over my greatest Gator moment with some flare.
Then, since he's bragging about the records against LSU and UGA, he's on a roll and says:
"Ya know, those were some good years. In Gator history we've only won 9 sec titles. Urban, he got his two, but we got 7 of em [yes, he used 7 & 9 with no need to explain, which he was right about. He delivered this line with the most zing of the conversation]. We had never even won one until I got there. And LSU and Georgia, we did go 11-1 against each of them though, so that wasn't too bad. Yep, pretty good run."
Me - "Agreed Coach. Thanks for the time and the memories."
SOS - "Yep, Enjoy your weekend."
The lasting takeaway was that he is still the most competitive, confident, and cocky guy in the same way we all love. It's also easy to see why our rivals hated him. I could have spent another 15 minutes asking questions about topics from this last regime, the resume request, Free Shoes U, Darnell Dockett, Foley and more, but I let him go back to the crowd after he was so gracious in jumping right into the conversation with me.
The next day, he took a pic with my kids, but first said, "shoot, these kids don't know who I am."
When they said, "yes we do and we have a picture with your statute", he pepped up and said "Aah, you know the statute. Aiiright. Get in here for a picture." Then he later threw a souvenir football right to my youngest son, who was super excited and now has his catch from a Heisman winner displayed.
- Like x 48
So my 12-year-old has been working on this drawing for the last 7 to 10 days. He finally finished it. He wanted to get it done before today's game. He's super excited about it and wanted me to share with you guys.
It's based off a poster we have.
I'll frame it and put it up tomorrow.
- Thread: Why I'm losing sleep
- Thread: Batting 1.000 or 3 for 3
Well I know the anticipation was killing many of you so without further delay....she was delayed arriving 8 days after her medical due date...those due dates are way off
Aubrey Nicole was born Tuesday morning. Yes that is correct, bunny #3 is a girl. So I continue to be in the exclusive Dads with just girls club. Although Ox said men with all girls have girly swimmers, as posters like No Friends, Brad, CGgator can vouch it takes a real man to raise all girls
Here's a picture. Aren't her ears cute? Mom and bunny are doing great.
I'm a lifetime lurker since this forum opened (thanks Ox for the forum). I feel the need to post since this topic has not come up (that I can tell), despite all the other coaching analysis/criticism posts.
I attend nearly every home game and went to Dallas this year as well. We sit on the Gator's side, alumni section and are able to watch the team interactions with coaches.
Here's the issue: during games, and at the most critical times, Mac doesn't actually coach the team. When the offense or defense huddle during timeouts, changes of possession, or quarters, he walks away. The assistants coach the players. I've attended games in the Swamp for 23 years and never seen a Gator coach do this so routinely.
This has become very frustrating to watch, especially as the QB guru has a lost freshman, an OC in the box, and no one on the field to coach that freshman in-game.
As a new poster, I figured I'd add video proof to avoid all "fake news" claims. Note these all come from the fourth quarter vs LSU, when the score was 16-17. In two we are on offense, one defense, but Mac is never near any players. I would have more but kept forgetting to video in time.
The gif/vid quality is low due to my inability to convert them well (or figure out how to post videos).
Second - there was an extensive thread about Davis not going down and how Mac wanted him to take a knee on the last Vandy TD. Well, it would have been nice if Mac was in the huddle to tell him. Vandy called a timeout prior to that 4th down and per usual Mac was not around the offensive players huddle during the TO to tell them his important plan. Instead, he later bytched to the assistant coaches.
Last - also back to Vandy: for the first time in those 23 years, the announcer yelled "heeeere come the Gators" and the band kicked in. Except the Gators didn't come. They weren't ready to take the field. About 20 seconds later they jogged on. No excitement. I've never seen that. He talks of limited home opportunities for players in their career to experience the Swamp, and yet, he stole that one from them by not having them ready to go.
- Like x 44
- Thread: I love this place
So I have a really long and sh*tty day at work and then an even worse commute that took me over an hour and 15 minutes to go the 34 miles home. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a particularly good mood when I finally arrived home.
Well, after spending about 15 minutes checking in here, I must have laughed out loud about 5 times and kept a smile on my face the entire time. Now, I can play with my son in a good mood.
Thanks for all you do, folks...you’re the best!
- Like x 43
- Dislike x 1
This has been a hell of a weekend and this message board has not disappointed in keeping up w/ the news!
If you visit other sites their "free" sites are inactive, slow, or have links to "paid" articles. It sucks!
So, let's jerk off our founder: Mr. Ox!! For starting the best "free" Gator message board on the web! It's taken a few years, but this site has arrived!
I've been a "VIP" member (i.e. I paid membership fees) on several other Gator message boards. As most of you know, I try to post up topics here as much as I can to keep the board active - to give us something to talk about during the long off-season. I tend to slow that down during the season, as it's pretty easy to have things to talk about. I visit the other boards for many reasons: articles, see what other boards are talking about, to see if there's any news we've missed, etc.
This board has blown up!! I checked Gatorcountry's "Swamp Gas", which I consider the most "active" message board out there and the Corral topic/commit wasn't even posted until - at least - 30 minutes after this board had posted it. True story!
Most of the other boards require you to be a 100% Homer or they will blow you out and - more or less - kick you off the board. The opinions on Gatorchatter are heard; pumper, realist, or negative. I love it! You should too!
This is the best overall, top-to-bottom, active "free" message board for Gator football that I've been a part of. I love you guys! I love CGGator - he's a F'ing Coast Guard Master Chief in real life!! He's an E9! The highest Enlisted rank in the military!! I love ThreatMatrix! He posts a bunch of knowledge! I love Cover2 (who doesn't?)!! I love LawDonkey!! He's an arrogant, know it all MFer!! But he's OUR know it all MFer!! I love gatormandan, gatorbrad, gatorJ, MJM, Nav, Marianna (I don't care that his "source" f'd up), aka, even 222222222 (tell Jeremy to step aside, please!), williston is my man!, chief & Lake - i get these guys confused....but they contribute!, who doesn't love crosscreek?, ATX, UR, OkeeJoe, t-gator, Alagator, CH, Navet, heversle, TheQueen (one of my fav's!)....TheDude, MidWest, T-Rex.....who hasn't argued w/ this guy????, theBigClaw (needs to post more!), same w/ NoFriends (WTF dude?!), Lee43 - can anyone say "Basketball"???, (I'm sneaking EuroGator in here)....Douglas....oh, Douglas!! I've butted heads w/ this dude before!, chferg!!! Anyone know this "jboss" guy? He's occasionally posted about "owned" and "destroyed"....can someone explain this to me? , How about NoTrain??? If you don't like him...well, you're an assh0le!!, alcoholica....his avatar freaks me out...but I like the dude!, NVgator - I'm surprised he's not a Mod by now!, Even gatorKev!! GatorinKnox - hey dude, post more!!!, soflagator - he's a great drive-by poster!! , Gatoraid81 - glad you joined up here! Oklahoma, SundaySunday, GatorSkin, blacklab, GR8 2B - you guys need to post more!!! Carib...TAG.....TN....GW....98MD...BNA....PE.....and how could anyone miss Zambo....and maheo, dammit!??? Sorry if I missed any of the regulars!
Bottom line: this board is the best!!!
If you haven't donated or become a lifetime or supporting member, please do so! The season is about to start and I imagine we'll see a boost in members. Some may be great....some might be trolls. But if you contribute to this site it's appreciated and we will know you're not some fly by night troll trying to ride the coattails of the best "free" Gator message board on the web!
- Like x 43
In a stunningly poor performance the message board lost in spectacular fashion to a Gator squad loaded with players nobody could identify without a program. The board refused to concede and trash talked to the bitter end......vowing to come back even stronger next year.
"Bounce Back" was a term usee to describe our 48-10 victory over Colorado State. Bounce, yeah maybe. Back, not yet. The Rams initially might have been thought to pose a worthy next step test based on their win against Arkansas. But the Hogs are looking more like the Armadillos after getting run over by a foe from a lesser conference. So we had the luxury of yet another warm up type game. The good thing I suppose is that we've won a couple we were supposed to win. The bad is that we lost one we thought we were supposed to. At 2-1 with our first conference road game coming up in Knoxville, i think we still have more questions than answers. Let's look at a few as we review:
Q1-QB. Franks is Franks. Down and up, up and down. Will he ever become a leader that can consistently keep his composure, especially in the face of situational pressure? He looked like a new man against lowly Charleston, but has been erratic since. He looks to lack poise when it is needed, making poor decisions, reads and throws. Starting 0 for 6 with an unsportsmanlike like penalty is not poise. Mullen's got his work cut out for him and it remains to be seen if Franks can be salvagable much less a consistent and effective leader. I'm not on the play Trask/Jones bandwagon yet and I'm afraid if we get there it' might be cancel Christmas. Last week I thought this game would tell us more, but UT will probably be that game. They don't look like world beaters (and neither do we), but they are a conference road game and an important test.
A1-Special Teams. Save a couple of long-ish KO returns allowed, this group was the star. Two punts defended/blocked with a TD, Swain with a huge return for a score and another that gave good field position gives us a good feeling about Mullen's promise to get this group back in order. Him playing more better players in these groups instead of the cub scouts lets us know the importance attached. Smart move to return these teams to a higher status. And BTW, MacPherson says "Edie who?"
Q2-OL/Run Game. It got more attention and was more of a factor. Scarlett had a couple of good runs and Perine looked pretty fair. Davis sprains an ankle on I think his first carry, which opened up some second half carries for Pierce, who delivered. His long scoring run was what he did effectively in HS, so it's good to see him do it collegiately. Hoping his load will increase and il be interested to see him get some against the SEC defenses. OL was probably a little better, but the Rams were not a vaunted group by any means. I like that we scored on a counter and I noticed some good effort and technique on a couple of pulls, progress still needs to be made on consistency. Again we should know more after next week. As we all know, the offense goes as this group goes.
A2-Defense. Better against the run yielding 71 yards on the ground. Zuniga looked good and had a couple of sacks and pressures. LBs seemed to play some better as well and Joseph had his name called a few times. Maybe he's learning the position and playing with more disciplined speed. Poor pursuit angles have been his big nemesis, so maybe he's finally getting it terms of what the position should be coached to do. Maybe. Secondary is just going to have to grow up and get resupplied through recruiting. It's evident we are having to rely on several in this group who aren't ready and may never be. Tackling was some better, but still some misses. This unit can be hard to watch considering the defenses of the past. Only growth and the recruiting will get us back.
Q3-Strength and Conditioning. I have to chuckle when I read in some threads about how Savage really hasn't got us where we need to be after all the early hype. I know a lot of that is the emotion of the moment, but you have to understand that inheriting a team that basically had no S&C for three years, it is going to be a longer process than you might think. I don't know that some of our freshmen might not have come in better prepared than many of our veterans. One guy that should give us an idea of what to look for, and I've mentioned him before, is Freddy Swain. He's a new guy this year. Better strength and agility and obviously supremely confident. He should be the prototype of what that part of the program is seeking to build.
A3-UT. First SEC road game and a time to really mark progress despite how good or not the Vols really are. What do we take from Colorado State? What did we learn from the UK game. How will Franks react? Can we get more out of the run game? Can the defense hold their own? The answers...maybe. We still have a lot of unknowns that are driven by our consistency and mindset. Team confidence IMHO took a deeper dive than we imagined last season. Many are not overjoyed with Mullen and staff, but there has been some growth in this part, it's just not the quantum leap we hunger for and it likely want be this season. Our gains will more likely be measured in inches than miles. We have been down that low and quite frankly we don't have a quantum leap roster (broken record, I know).
So the words for next week should be patience and passion, neither of which are or have been in bountiful supply. That's what it's going to take if it's really not over (sorry @soflagator ). One thing to consider and I know you have is that at least we aren't the Noles shackled to Taggart. Poor guy looks like he got off the Greyhound in the middle of nowhere without a map.
So here's to a good outing at Neyland and a chance to see our baby more stable as it learns to walk. Perhaps a better comparison may be to an accident victim learning move all over again! Anyhow, "C'mon Gators let's get up and go!" Pride will be back when we say so.
- Like x 41
- Thread: Mullen’s 1st Week Video to Fans
This is good stuff. I was accepting but not enthusiastic when the hire was announced. He has quickly won me over. He seems to understand that this job requires more than a knowledge of football strategy. Coaching at an elite level is, imo, primarily a leadership challenge.
I met DM briefly on Thursday when he visited a recruit at the school where I work. He was personable and enthusiastic with everyone. I told him I'm a third generation Gator, class of '89, who lives and dies with the team. He looked me right in the eye and said, "Let me tell something, and I want you to hear me. We're going to fix this for you. You have my word."
By contrast, Mac visited the same recruit last year and he had his people arrange with us to set up barricades, security, and a secret entrance/exit so he wouldn't have to see anyone. He seemed put off by the burden of having to be an ambassador for the program.
None of this has to translate into wins, but it's a good sign. He gets it, and he wants it.
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