Hoo boy that was a good time! The Swamp was happy, the players were fired up, nobody was miserable except the opposing fans. Hasn't been that way in a little while, has it? Now before I go any further, it was just Charleston Southern. But in a game like this, you can still see some trends, even with the absurd talent gap.
The biggest and most obvious trend from last night was the resurgence of Feleipe Franks as a viable quarterback. He looked more comfortable and confident last night than any of us have ever seen. Maybe part of that was the opponent, but I think Mullen deserves a lot of credit for getting this kid to pull his head out of his ass and snap out of whatever funk he was in last year. You can blame it on Mac, laziness, arrogance, or whatever you want, but the Feleipe Franks we saw last night is a new player.
He made a couple of ridiculously nice throws into tight windows, especially the last touchdown to Jefferson and the preceding throw to Massey. Regardless of who the opponent is, a throw into a tight window is a throw into a tight window. And the moment I truly knew Franks had changed was early in the 2nd quarter. It's not a play that will show up on highlight reels, but it looked like they were trying to run a fake quick screen to the outside, then hit someone streaking up the sideline. CSU had it covered, so instead of panicking, throwing it away, or scrambling, he stayed in the pocket, worked through his progression, and hit the TE wide open across the middle of the field for a first down. To me, that was his best play of the night and a true harbinger for things to come. I really liked what Jefferson and Grimes brought to the table, too. We've got a scary bunch of receivers this year, might be fun.
The running game wasn't quite what I was hoping last night. It didn't seem to me like Scarlett or Davis were reading their blocks well, and we weren't exerting our physical dominance over them as much as I was hoping. It could be something as simple as CSU's defensive gameplan was to limit the run game and force us to pass (like literally every other team has done for years), so it was nice to see us exploit the edge with the passing game and get chunks of yards that way. We'll see what happens from here on out now that we seem to have a competent passing attack.
Defensively, we'll know more after next week. The aforementioned talent gap was almost embarrassing at times. The long run they got towards the end of the first half seemed to be the result of our defense not being lined up/still coming on the field after a substitution. Would have liked to see us call a timeout to get everything in order.
Special teams haven't looked the way they looked last night in a long time, either. Blocked kicks, great kick coverage, emotion, all things we haven't seen since the pre-Mac days.
All in all, it was an extraordinarily satisfying and fun night, even if we knew going in the result was going to be lopsided. What I really wanted to see was the team having fun, playing with heart, and not making egregious mental mistakes. Can't say I didn't get what I wanted. Go Gators, best thing about being 1-0 is the chance to go 2-0!
Oh, and Kyle Trask now has one more college football touchdown than Law. So suck it, asswipe.
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The message board, stocked with 1 and 2 star prognosticators, again fell short of expectations as UF put together a fine class in the 11th hour. Outranked by the crop of 4 star athletes.....many have just doubled down and continue to insist that it was a mediocre NSD and a top ten finish was unacceptable.
With the board's disappointing start in 2017, especially given its spectacularly high regard for its own predictions, much speculation has surfaced whether administrators will attempt to upgrade its base by pursuing 3 and 4 star ranters for the duration of the year.
Rumors are that several posters are planning protests for the Orange and Blue game where opportunities exist to proclaim there are no qualified QB's on the roster and the new freshmen "simply are not ready to contribute" while waving signs declaring a possible 4-8 season on the horizon.
- Like x 36
- Dislike x 3
- Thread: A new Gator is born!
I guess the most appropriate way to begin this inaugural post-game synopsis of the 2017 season is with this...Same song, third verse. Where the offense is concerned especially. I saw nothing much to make me feel like we are going to move up the offensive rankings this season. Sure it was a higher-ranked Michigan and we don't normally start with an opponent this strong or on the road, and there were all those suspensions. As the late Dennis Hopper's character in the cult classic Blue Velvet might say..."F**k that s**t!" I've about had enough excuses at this point. It was pretty clear who the best-prepared team was, if not the strongest and most disciplined. The year is still very young, however, and there is the possibility (couldn't bring myself to type "likelihood") that we will improve greatly. We'll get better, but the question in a lot of minds has to be "how much" and "will it be enough?" Time will tell.
Anyhow, here's some thoughts with this disclaimer: it's going to be brutally honest on my part, but after this showing to start year three of Mac's tenure, I think that's only fair. Here goes...
*I was led to believe that the offensive line was greatly improved and even described as a "strength of the team." Holy crap! If this is true, we're doomed! Seriously, they looked to be overpowered by the Michigan front and should be graded "F" on both run blocking and pass pro. Certainly, some of the play calls on some particular down and distances didn't help, but they were simply awful in a game of this magnitude, even if it's early. Just showing up won't get it done. You've got to compete. Not 100% certain about the position coach, but he's starting out with a deficit. A lot to work on and correct. Not the start we expected from this previously much maligned group.
*Franks won't make Freshman All-America, but I can't say he was terrible considering the play in front of him. Made a nice long throw (actually had a little time) and a couple of nice scrambles. Threw the ball away to prevent a loss. Some mistakes, like the fumble on a third and four scramble. Tried to bounce it, when staying vertical would most likely gotten the first down, and fumbled trying to stretch for the sticks. Rookie trying to do too much. Tough position given that it was obvious we weren't going to muster much of a running threat. Zaire, in my view, wasn't much better. Led us to a couple of first downs and completed two or three nice passes. The question I'm left with is was it worth the risk of killing your young, first time starting QB's confidence by yanking him while the game was still in reach for a guy who arguably did no more? I'm not a Zaire hater, but I don't know that the move was fair to either, nor did it give us a better chance to win.
*Defense was pretty good in spots. I have greater confidence in the ground they can gain moving forward. They are ok now, but there are some glaring issues that can be seen. First, we might have missed more tackles than we made. Second, our DEs immediately fall inside when the QB opens away, making us susceptible to the counter and cut-backs. Third, we are under-sized across the front. Speed is not an advantage if you can't get off of blocks. Fourth, LBs seemed to get cut off or false key and step up on runs and get lost in the wad. They've got to be free to pursue laterally. Fifth, DBs probably need to play more man under and either ditch or be coached-up better on other coverages like the quarters that resulted in a long TD over the top. They can also be better in run support. In fact, I'd say they'll have to be. Shannon, I believe, is going to have to figure both some run and pass blitzes to help his unit out, especially when we get into the conference schedule. We got very little pressure on the QB rushing four and put the secondary/LBs in a bind. On the few occasions we looped the DE inside, we had some success in getting a little pressure. I also think he needs to stress being fundamentally sound and disciplined, especially where tackling and assignments are concerned. This is on the coaches and what they are expecting and demanding from the players. We won't be as good with this group without greater attention to this detail, in my opinion. Pick six's were a bright spot and our best offense, however.
*Special Teams were ok. Punter was our game MVP. Lot of missed tackles by coverage and the fumble can't be tolerated. Eddy, you can't miss like you did and when you did.
Based on what we've been told, along with what we've seen previously, I'm inclined to call Mr. Hand, the teacher from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to talk to the coaching staff. His only question should be "What's wrong with you people? Are you all on dope?! I don't think what they are seeing at practice is objectively translating to what they are expecting in performance against a good team, especially where the offense is concerned.
No, I'm not ready to cancel Christmas, but we've got a ways to go. All I can say is get it done. I'm getting impatient !
I've been too busy with the relocation to come out and play for the last several days, but the new house is up and running and I'm an actual, by-God Floridian again! We're sleeping in the new abode for the first time tonight and I couldn't be more psyched. Scraping TN off my shoes, after almost a quarter century, is a joy no one who hasn't lived among those half-wit, in-bread, sheet wearing, sister marrying, peckerwood *******s will ever fully appreciate. The young gentleman who installed my TV/internet package this am wasn't wearing a bilious orange cap or T-shirt - or puke orange checker board overalls. I liked him immediately. I liked him even more when I mentioned the Gators and he responded with a heart-felt Go Gators!
Back in the Holy Land! Free at last, free at last!
Great win...but WHEW! We looked poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory only to snatch victory from jaws of...overtime? Seriously, I was fearful that as gassed as the D was, overtime would have been tough to pull off. But that's irrelevant for now. Mac thankfully was able to keep the home streak against the Vols alive. But it might be as appropriate to give Butch some credit, too. He had a few head-scratchers where decisions were concerned ( more on that later). Very glad, again, for the victory and some improvements, but still much, much to work on. Let's talk specifics, shall we...
*I'll start with the OL. Some better and the stat line (which I've not looked at) might make them look a little improved, as well. But there are still some negatives to critique. One thing that jumps out is that any running play that calls for a G Scheme, a log, or a cut-off involving lateral movement by the OL usually results in an unblocked man or two blowing the play up or stretching it to the sidelines for little to no gain. Our guys are S-L-O-W! They just can't get there. Run blocking may have been a hair better, but if you take away Malik Davis' long run and a couple of decent carries by Perrine and Thompson, we still didn't get a great push. The backs, Thompson in particular, got some good YAC to probably help inflate the rushing totals. Pass pro was ok I guess, though Ivey had a couple of noticeable struggles. Tough to see a guy so heralded out of HS struggle as he has. Don't know if it's because he came from a run heavy Single Wing offense, poor collegiate coaching, or just slow to develop, but I hope he can become more consistent soon.
*Take away Townsend and Eddy and Special teams aren't real special. We don't block or cover very well at all. Somebody *ahem* must not stress the hustle, pride, and want to that is required for these units to be a force and team strength. Or if they stress it, they don't reinforce it consistently. I'm afraid we'll get hurt buy these units at some point. Eddy saves the Kick Cover bunch, so really don't know how well they complete their tasks.
*Defense started out very well. The DL stood their ground some better and they were able to null the rush a bit in the first half. Secondary had some shakey moments early on, but as a whole, the entire group looked good, bent but didn't break, and looked poised to dominate the entirety of the game. I will say CJ Henderson scares me most out of the young DBs, despite his pick six. He is terrible in run support and that must be corrected. Once again, the ghost of offensive futility and a string of short rests in the second half caught up with the D. We started missing a ton of tackles (again) and we screwed up some coverages. LBs, who were adequate with a few pretty good plays in the first half, were exposed in the second with cut offs, bad angles, and slow pursuit. The back-ups tried, but really aren't SEC-caliber players. Still, Reese has a promising look and Joseph will be solid as he accumulates reps. Still this group showed improvement.
*Franks was certainly better. Showed some poise, threw some good balls, and managed the offense. His TD pass on the final play required him to scramble, find the receiver, set his feet, and execute a 65 yard throw. He did all pretty well! Very pleased to see the strides he made physically and mentally. Leadership is coming on. I think he'll be a keeper based on what he showed us today.
*Kadarius Toney...keep finding ways to get him the ball. As was noted in the Spring game, the kid is electric. If he'd have hung on to the pass in the end zone, he'd have had a really spectacular night. The best is in front of him. Would hope we'll also see him return kicks at some point.
*Play calls remain enigmatic for the most part. When we play not to lose, it seems to backfire quite a bit. Our best offense, or the best flow, seems to always be early. Scripts ? But at least we finally put a couple of offensive scores on the board, even if the last one screwed up the plan to go to overtime! I think Law termed this "Butterluck" in another thread!
*Duke Dawson had a great two-play sequence! I believe he played pretty well overall and seems to be developing into a good leader. Gardner, on the other hand, didn't look very consistent and made some noticeable mistakes, particularly missed tackles. You aren't there yet, kid. Need to forget the HS hype and step it up a notch. You've got the tools.
*c2 Jr. read me a Twitter exchange that started with a Vol fan saying just after Cleveland's TD grab that "There's not a God!" A Gator fan replied "Yes there is, but one of you guys pissed on him!" Classic.
*Butch...first and goal from the nine very late in the game. A TD gives you a four point lead. Your RB was gashing us. But you chose to throw it three times? But at least, as one of our players tweeted, Townsend I think, "You're still Champions of Life!" I hope you soon get a lifetime contract.
*Davis and Perine just can't fumble like they did. Thompson, on the other hand, has looked ok and has held on to the ball so far. Still not as good a group without Scarlett.
*One thing that strikes me about this team is that we really don't do many of the technique and fundamental things correctly on a consistent basis (e.g. refer to the OL critique earlier). Poor angles defensively and offensively stand out. Youth and inexperience are culprits, but it is the responsibility of the coaches to affect a change.
*Shannon still remains a little to conservative on pass D where blitzing is concerned. Third and long you can about guarantee we will rush four and get little to no pressure with a soft man on the corners or quarters coverage, which we f**k up about every time. Come on, man. Be a little creative. Of course you've got to demand more from your kids, but if you do it right, they'll play up to them.
So Gators, we live to fight another day. Played some better, but we've still got a lot of work in front of us. The O can't continue to put as many reps on the D as they do. This is probably job one, but it has been a constant under Mac and is a killer against the better teams, which I don't believe UT is one of. Big job up next against UK. Can we keep that streak alive? Depends on how well we correct the mistakes that still linger. Again, glad to have a W and offensive TDs. Let's hear what you think.
- Thread: Gatornation's Newest Addition
- Thread: Finally retired...sorta
When the Army blocked your site at work, I didn’t get to check in as much. However after 25 plus years in the Army, I am now retired and will be able to check in a little more regularly. Although I’m retired from the Army, I am not retired. I went to work for a great Oil Company here in South Texas as their “Safety Man”. I will promise to make a better effort to check in with y’all and I look forward to the Mullen Gators taking the field, kicking ass, and taking names! #GoGators #ItsGreatToBeAFloridaGator
Just want to wish all the father's on this board a Happy Father's Day. It's a very hard day this year for me. Being only 32 years of age and not having my father around anymore is tough on this day. This will be my 5th one without my dad but the real bummer is knowing I should be a father myself right now. My wife and i were supposed to give birth to twins in May but lost both during the 1st trimester. Then lost another a few months ago in the 1st trimester so it's a bad day for me but I wish all the dads a great day.
Cherish the moments you have with you're kids and don't take it for granted because their are people out there who would love to be in youre position tomorrow and can't be. All I've ever wanted was to be able to be a dad and raise my kids the way I was... As a Gator! I'm most likely never gonna get that chance because of my situation so just be thankful to be a dad and to have a day just for you.
A gator win tomorrow would be a nice pick me up for such a gloomy day. Go Gators!!!
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