"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.
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- 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.
First, I want to say Cover2 and the Captain have written great things on this game, so if you have time, I hope to give some of the same, and yet some different commentary after last nights season opening game. Check out their musings of the game. For comparison, this is how I felt last year after game one, thank you BMF for preserving this for me (one of my best in my opinion).
Second, I want to apologize to GatorChatter, although I correctly predicted 59 points would be scored, I was wrong, it wasn't 56-3, but 53-6. Ok, that is me just making a joke about being close on a score for once.
250ish passing yards (241)
No missed kicks
Defense Under 200 yards (although, there is some reason for this that I actually like and some I don't)
250+ Rushing (205)
500+ Yards (Not mad about this for same reasons I'll state below)
Anyways, something I haven't seen here, but I could have missed in the typical beginning of season rush of posts is about the Gator Walk. I maybe average one per year at the Swamp and the one at WLOCP (because I tailgate 50 feet away). In the past few years, the team has been very stoic and serious walking in with arbitrary arms out to brush people seeking high fives. However, yesterday the team seemed more upbeat, loose, smiling, most high fives seemed to have effort, including several players stopping to take a second or two with a fan in a wheelchair in front of me. Scarlett was carrying the Chucky doll. Mullen looked happy to be here. What I saw was everything that the Gator Walk should be.
The atmosphere was great despite the non-sellout. I think the recruits could be impressed knowing the circumstances around the low attendance like quality of opponent and the last few seasons. Minor gripe, but the fireworks being where recruits can't see them. Really minor.
I thought that Mullen would try and force the pass more as Gators fans have seen anemic passing attacks for 8 seasons. I wasn't disappointed. I think our running game was beyond vanilla for what Mullen does. The combination of these two factors (along with some line struggles) lead to a lower number of rushing yards than I would have thought. Another factor in a lower yardage output? We started the majority of our drives at our 35 or closer. Shorter field equals less yards. I'm not going to try and find our average starting position, but I wouldn't be shocked if it wasn't at least the UF 40.
Consensus seems to be it looks like Franks having a QB coach for the first time in his life actually does make a difference. Franks completed a 66% rate. I re-watched the first half and Trask's first two series on offense (then had to go to the in-law's). There are some things that I noticed in the stadium that I think the broadcast did a poor job of. This included a few replays on some Franks incompletions where they instead did a "hero shot" on Mullen (my HS tv teacher did Bucs game as a producer so I know this is the actual term, not something I'm making up). I like to look at incompletions as not all are the same, some are drops or poor throws or throwaways or great defensive plays, etc. So, let's take a look:
- First incompletion was a batted ball. Franks telegraphed a throw the rusher was able to bat. If he takes a step forward in the pocket, it's a completion.
- This was one I was disappointed with the broadcast. Franks threw a decent, not perfect ball to Lewis who dropped it. Rule I live by, if you touch a ball, you catch it (within reason). The replay in the stadium showed Lewis was open, and dropped it shortly before being hit. (I think this lead to him not being targeted again). This route was what Franks hit Gamble on later.
- Decent coverage on this one, but if you are a scholarship TE at UF, I expected you to come down with the ball in a jump ball situation. Raymond failed here. (He wasn't targeted again either). Franks could have thrown a better ball, but again, Raymond should beat the CSU DB in a jump ball situation.
- Deep ball to Jefferson, if Franks throws this with a little less air (for a little more distance) than this may be 6. With that said, the DB makes a decent play, but had his right arm around Jefferson's waist shortly before the ball arrives. Again, a slightly better throw and the DB is beat.
- Franks, who showed some good touch at times, did not show touch on an end zone throw that went over the head and out of reach of Jefferson.
- This incompletion did not have a broadcast replay. I only know how close the pass was to being caught by the stadium replay. The ball hits a diving Grimes in the hands, but he didn't haul it in. It would have been a difficult catch, but it was possible. A slightly more inside pass and this is a first down catch. The catch would have looked like the pick at the end of the game.
- A great back-shoulder throw that the announcers raved about. Better play by the DB by swatting it out of Jefferson's hands.
- This one annoyed me watching it back earlier. I thought at first it was a great throw, just mistimed because of a press at the line of Dre Massey. My buddy said Massey slowed, but I thought it was the press. Watching it today, Massey breaks the press, slows down and then tries to speed up, but the ball lands a yard or two away. If he doesn't slow, its a perfect pass and he has plenty of room to run. He made up for it later with a nice catch in traffic.
- The first was perfectly hitting Swain on a corner route for a first down.
- The second was the TD pass to Hammond. My uncle, who I was with and can be a major negaGator, said that was a Wuerfful-esque throw to the back corner. I'm not sure I go that high with the praise, but amazing touch pass.
Trask. I have heard and seen some people say, "I don't know how there even was a competition." Is it the 100% completion rate in his first in game action in at least 3 years (granted only 3 passes)? Is it that TJ McCoy screwed a drive by snapping a ball that Shaq may have had an issue fielding? Is it a 12-yard QB power TD run? Is it 10 points in the first two drives just like Franks lead? Help me understand what people saw from Trask that shows he is so far behind Franks that even the thought of competition is a joke. I didn't see the massive separation that makes one ask why there was even a competition. So if someone wants to point out the exact play comparisons, while talking about playing with the 1s vs. the 2s, I'll be glad to listen. I thought both played well for what they had.
10 receivers, 10 rushers, that's a big day. I've heard Mullen used everyone available, that's incredible. When you are playing a ton of players, defense will give up some yards, offense won't be as good as the game goes on.
One critique I have is that long run at the end of the first half. You couldn't tell as much on the broadcast, but we were definitely confused on the left side personnel. The sideline wasn't shown on the broadcast, but several players were on the field just off of the sideline trying to figure out if they were subbing in. Mullen should have taken a TO here (I don't think he used a single one on the night). The critique is not as much about giving up a big play, but because it was so obvious to me in the stands that we were not ready for whatever play was coming that we should've have taken a timeout just to be safe. If that is my biggest complaint I will take it.
McPherson and Townsend looked good. As a true freshman kicker, I said and stand by it, that I hope he breaks Jeff Chandler's 368 point record for most points scored by a Gator. Yes, this is different than points responsible for. If you were in Section 13 and you heard a guy say this to another guy 2-5 times, hello.
- Zach Carter is one big SOB. I thought Sherit was big.
- Can't wait to see this D with CeCe, Reese, Ancrum and Kyree and not facing a triple option.
- Miller made some nice special teams plays. Another big dude.
- Enjoyed a no huddle and the play clock not needing to be inside 5 seconds before each snap
- Pierce making an argument for more touches, but I don't think Scarlett and Davis hurt themselves. Davis did have a nice run or too
- "I Won't Back Down" is great, especially after dark. Can't wait to experience it with a full stadium. Speaking of 3rd Quarter, makes me sad when people leave at any point before "We Are the Boys". I was happy there weren't any FSU/LSU/UGA/UT/Bama/etc. fans clad in the O&B around me holding up 4 fingers. Most the country does that, UF is NOT those schools. We have our own end of the 3rd quarter traditions.
- I did see some guy at the Gator Walk in UT orange...it's a very distinctive shade. Took a pic for fun (not posted).
- On the sideline, we had a group of walk-ons and others swaying side to side before the first kickoff and they continued the energy on the sideline all night. Never saw that in the Mac years. Feeds off of the loose feeling I saw at the Gator Walk.
- Oh, and if you were in the stands whining that the 3rd string/walk-on D was giving up yards (after the TD drive), stop watching. The main defense will give up yards this year, you will have a stroke. So for your health, if you really need to complain about a 3rd string/walk-on D giving up yards, after the shut out has been lost, stop watching.
I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out (I realize how much I've written). It was a fun game. I hope to make a post midweek about the state of Out of Conference scheduling both at UF and across the country.
*I've not read anything by any beat writer or site outside of this forum. So if some of this is in every article you read, I apologize.
Can't believe I'm at 24 years and counting. It's an honor to serve. My wife and 3 daughters deserve a lot of credit for putting up with the sea time and PCS moves (last summer was #10).
Lastly, I've been very fortunate in my CG career. I cannot fathom the difficulties experienced by my DOD counterparts with boots on the ground in hostile territory. IMHO, you guys deserve highest honors!
Today is a day when all Americans should stop and realize that the freedom we have was fought for and paid for with blood and sacrifice. To all my GCMB brothers and sisters that have worn the uniform, and for the families who sacrificed while their loved ones were away defending our freedom, thank you for your service to our great nation! Please, stand and be recognized on this virtual sounding board with your branch of service and the years you served so your fellow posters can see who you are! Thanks again!
I want to watch the game on DVR, but I'll just go off what I can remember.
First of all, I'm sure it was obvious on TV, but Pineiro missed that kick due to a low snap and horsesh*t hold. It's amazing he even got the ball off the ground. From where I was sitting it looked like the ball was falling sideways when he kicked it. I'm sure he feels terrible about it, but that wasn't on him at all.
Second of all, that happy high school horsesh*t offense LSU was running was the most bush league bullsh*t I've ever seen on a football field. AND IT WORKED. It has to be the first time in history a team has had 100+ yards collectively on f*cking jet sweeps. Are you kidding me?? Have guys play contain and nip that sh*t in the bud in the 1st quarter! My God!
Third of all, I'd like to see the replay on the pass interference at the end of the 1st half, but it looked like a horsesh*t call to me. If that's pass interference, we might as well outlaw bump and run coverage.
Fourth of all, Duke Dawson's interception that wasn't due to another horsesh*t call was inexcuseable. He had the ball cradled in his gut and the receiver had a hand on top of it. Was it that obvious on TV?
Fifth of all, Franks did what he could yesterday. It's clear he doesn't have a 100% grasp of the offense, but he's got the skills to make the plays, and he rarely panics and screws up royally the way guys like Driskel used to do. The 3rd & goal play where he took the sack out of bounds instead of forcing the ball into coverage was actually a thing of beauty. Still an easy kick for Eddy and no turnover, I'll take that every time if the defense has the play blanketed (which they did). HOWEVER, it's really hard for Franks to get into ANY kind of rhythm when we're running that wildcat horsesh*t with Toney every other godd*mn play. I mean WTF? Which leads me to..........
Sixth of all, I understand getting Toney the ball. He's our most electric playmaker. But GET HIM THE BALL IN SPACE. It reminded me of running Jeff Demps up the middle 100 times a season and hoping he could break tackles on 300 pound linemen. Have him run the option, have him run some LSU horsesh*t jet sweeps, have him catch quick screens, or hell, have him run the old self-play action from the Tebow years and throw a pass. The world is Nuss' oyster with Toney, and he's running him like he's Trent Richardson or Derrick Henry.
Seventh of all, our route trees might as well be a godd*mn pile of brush on the side of the road after a hurricane. I've never seen receivers running routes stacked on top of each other the way I did last night. It's REALLY hard to hit an open receiver when one guy can cover two of them. It's horsesh*t. Having said that, they did great on some scramble drills and got open for Franks to hit them for some first downs.
Eighth of all, has this team EVER practiced a two minute drill? Like ever? I've seen some of the most horsesh*t time management in my life this season, it's inexplicable. Only time we managed the clock properly was the end of the UK game, and that's only because we HAD to take our time scoring, which seems to be our forte.
Ninth of all, I still love Malik Davis. He's awesome. Truly a special player just waiting to bust out. Hopefully he'll have a chance to really grow as a player once this horsesh*t excuse of an offense gets someone else running it.
Tenth of all, f*ck LSU's band. Straight in the assh*le. That horsesh*t they pulled during We Are The Boys and the beginning of Petty should get their invitation for next year revoked. You pull a stunt like that, you aren't welcome back.
Eleventh of all, I about pulled every last lock of hair out on the sack on 3rd down in the middle of the 4th quarter. It was PAINFULLY obvious our guys didn't know where to line up and Franks was lost before the play started. I honestly don't think anyone knew what the play was. So, as a coach, when you see your offense is clearly up horsesh*t creek without a paddle during the presnap, call a timeout!!!
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for. Yes, I'm done with this staff. Much like Missouri in '14 was my last straw for Muschamp, last night was it for Mac. That's not a game you lose. LSU was running some JV high school sh*t all night, we somehow thought pulling our starting QB every other play to run the wildcat was a winning strategy, we had two fantastic TD drives followed by horsesh*t play calls in the 4th quarter. And on top of all that, we were playing a program coming off their worst week in YEARS. I mean come on! At least the Petty tribute was incredible. Can't wait for that every game.
You still won't catch me being a miserable assh*le the rest of the season. I'll continue to give my honest and unbiased opinion on every game. I'll give credit where credit is due and criticism where criticism is due. But as far as I'm concerned, it's time to move in a different direction. Horse. Sh*t.
After reading a couple of threads, I think we'll start out with a joke to lighten the mood a little. Here goes...What did Bennie Snell say to the Florida defense when he ran into them at the bar in Club Park Avenue? "Excuse me guys, but may I push your stool in?"
Bad joke, but you get the point. Snell ran for 175. He's a good back, but I couldn't believe just how many missed tackles we had. I was hoping we had that leftover habit repaired, but apparently not. I was not quite as surprised that the OL stunk, unfortunately. You won't win many when the opponent dominates both lines of scrimmage. Big story of the game as far as I'm concerned, but let's talk about some of the moving parts:
*Franks was not consistent tonight and it would be easy to say he either regressed from the first game or he just fooled us against an over matched opponent. Maybe a little of both. Though he wasn't real sharp, he was better when the game was close and made some good decisions and good reads and throws in the first half. I didn't think he handled the pressure when behind with the clock ticking. To be fair, the OL didn't make his job any easier. The missed opportunity on the two point conversion attempt was a text book case of Franks making his mind up to throw back across the formation, which we scored against CSU with, and completely missing a wide open Davis...on the side he rolled to! He may be better, but there's still work to be done, especially with composure.
*Poster boy for our OL woes is Martez Ivey. Tackle body; Guard feet. Poor Fred Johnson is a close second. But really they all seem to play with cement shoes and look confused on their assignments frequently. The SEC Network commentator made a good point on the step-gap responsibility that remains backside that wasn't fulfilled. Got to at least be able to get a punch and slow the guy up a step. Ground Hog Day.
*The entire D was not good. It starts with the DL, who simply got manhandled the majority of the game (when they weren't being held; a lot of no calls IMO). Our LBs aren't good, but they're really not good when the DL can't protect them. Henderson looked like our best cover guy in the secondary and I can't say much bad about Chauncey, but we gave up two TD's that certainly should have been better covered IMO. First one was a young guy that got caught peeking at the QB when he should have been in the receiver's jersey with him. The second I thought the safety had plenty of time to read the route and adjust, but it never happened. Losing Wilson will definitely hurt. Even though they did have a couple of good stops, the entire D better grow up in a hurry.
*I've alluded to what I believe were several missed holding calls by the officials, so you can read that as I'm not impressed with their performance. I won't say "we was robbed," but they didn't help matters. The homer in me also says as close as the field goal attempt was, it was hard for me to see justification in the no good call. I guess I understand the rule change that the ball must be inside the upright when it crosses, but I'm not agreeing with it tonight. Could have made a difference, particularly if Franks would have seen Davis! Moot point I guess.
*High point in the game was the 99 yard drive. It wasn't smooth, but the ending was beautiful.
*Freddy Swain was announced as the player of the game. Toney looked good. Franks, again, wasn't consistent with all his throws, but we had some drops. Cleveland had some stone hands tonight.
*I'm sure Mullen (and the staff) will be raked over the coals and surely they deserve some criticism. Personally, I felt like we didn't rush the ball to set up the pass nearly enough at the outset, but maybe what they knew about the OL influenced that decision? Poor tackling has to fall in the coach's lap. Illegal substitution penalty after the time out was inexcusable. I'm sure there are more. But if you didn't think that there was going to be some of what was on display tonight from this roster, you were kidding yourself. The fact that we saw it this early was a kindling point. The fact that UK was better than they have been, got pretty good play from their QB, Snell, and didn't shoot themselves in the foot like last year had a bearing on the outcome.
Back to the drawing board and another week of *****in' in store. Got to find away to get more wins on the LOS. For as much as the average fans these days want to focus on the skill positions and the need for entertainment, the game is still usually won or lost at the line. I believe tonight helped remind us of that. Still a lot of football to be played, but it's got to get better in all phases as we move forward. Go Gators!
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