6 lb , 15 oz baby boy
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So I've purposely waited a little while to post my thoughts on the Missouri game, partially so I could rewatch it on DVR, and partially because I wanted to process what I had to say. The game itself at face value was a smashing success. Seeing how Missouri has given us fits whether we've beaten them or not since they joined the East, it was nice to beat them up for once. I'll go around each position group and offer up some points of wisdom for your reading pleasure.
QB - Obviously Del Rio had a rough game. I don't know if it was rust, or if he's still not back to 100%, but he wasn't even close to his best. Underthrows and bad decisions were the story of the game for him. I will say that he did make some absolutely fantastic plays to keep drives alive, the most impressive being his early deep toss to Cleveland under pressure in the pouring rain, and the deep out to Powell in the 2nd half on 3rd and long. The one really big positive about what he did Saturday was he only took one sack despite being under pressure quite a bit. He's very crafty at avoiding the pressure and getting away from the pocket when he needs to instead of panicking and bolting immediately (Driskel and Treon style). And he knows how to throw the ball away. Now we just need him to recognize early that if the primary option on a route tree is double covered, he should maybe go somewhere else with the ball.
RB - The running back by committee didn't bother me until Herndon got in there. Not sure what the hell that was all about. Scarlett and Perine remain our best threats at RB, but Thompson had some very, very good runs himself and seemed to be reading his blocks much better than he was earlier in the season. The three of them combined for 33 carries for 272 yards, a 8.24 ypc average. We can piss and moan about RBBC all we want, but those are GREAT numbers. Some here have said we only had that many yards because we wore them out, but that's sorta the point of RBBC. You've got three fresh RBs going up against a tired defense in the 4th quarter. Look at how Cook and Henry did against us late in those games last year if you want to know how that works out.
WR - Another rough game for this position group outside of Cleveland. Callaway seems to be lost in Neverland somewhere, his head hasn't been in it all year. Two false starts, and he stopped and waited on the ball on Del Rio's pick in the 3rd quarter instead of coming back to the ball. The defender made a nice play to jump the route, but if Callaway had kept coming back, maybe that's just a PBU instead of an INT. Several times during the game, I was watching the route tree and absolutely nobody was getting open. Then when Del Rio scrambled, nobody worked to get open on his side to give him an option for an outlet. Bright side is we have a legit threat in Cleveland, and I hope they can work him into the passing game more as the season rolls on.
TE - Not much to say other than Goolsby and Lewis both remain as good security blankets in the passing game. The throwback to Goolsby was a thing of beauty (my all time favorite offensive play is the rollout throwback to the TE, makes me happier than a fat kid in a candy store).
OL - All in all, they honestly had a pretty good game outside of the penalties. Del Rio only took one sack and they paved the way for almost 300 yards rushing. Most of the times LDR was running for his life was because of the aforementioned lack of ability to get open by the WR. They let in some pressure here and there, but it was a more consistent performance than we're used to seeing from these guys. As far as the false starts are concerned, it looked to me like Dillard was a half count too late snapping the ball. I know people here and Musburger/Palmer (ugh) were blaming the speed rush of Missouri, but it really didn't seem like LDR and Dillard were on the same page with the cadence. If these guys can continue to set the edge on outside runs like they did Saturday, our run game is going to become a real strength for us.
All in all, what I saw from the offense was a "close, but no cigar" kinda day. It was another weird performance like North Texas in which we put up tons of yards, but it didn't show on the scoreboard. I'm hoping that whatever the issue was with the false starts, it gets addressed in practice the next two weeks and they iron it out. Because without those, we're scoring a hell of a lot more points. I'm also continuously baffled at the decision to run on 2nd & long after an incomplete pass on 1st down every single time. I get the strategy, and it makes sense, but you can't do it 100% of the time. I don't see why we can't use the fact that we always run on 2nd & long to our advantage and maybe run some playaction passes to the outside portions of the field. Every DC we face knows what we do on 2nd & long, so we should exploit that. I was also happy to see us take multiple shots down the field. Even if we only hit one of them, you've got to make the defense at least think you're going to throw it deep. That's something Muschamp has still never figured out.
Defensively, there's not much to say other than we completely and utterly shut down a passing offense that was in the top 10 nationally. I know they've played some weak teams and padded their stats, but many people here were wringing their hands over this passing attack all week and thinking we were about to get smoked. What I saw was a cat toying with a mouse and then finally killing it with two pick 6's. Drew Lock had 4 complete passes, one of which was a quick screen, and one of which was one of those quick toss jet sweeps where it counts as a pass because he tosses the ball forward. So Drew Lock, who everyone was so afraid of, had TWO complete passes downfield the whole game. You guys can make all the sarcastic "DBU" comments you want, but that was just about as dominant as it gets.
The rushing yards we gave up were ok in my book. The way Missouri's offense was, and I'm not sure if this was apparent on TV, is they spread you wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out. I'm talking there were times when there wasn't a WR within 20 yards of the tackle box in either direction. By design, they spread as many defenders out as they can and then try to sneak the RB up the middle. If an OL or two can get to the second level and disrupt the LBs long enough for the RB to slip by, you get a gash. Most of their running plays against the first string guys ended up in the negative or 0-3 yard range, but they hit a couple plays here and there. Then they padded their stats with like 160 yards against our scrubs, so whatever. Since they're literally the only team we'll play the rest of the year that runs an offense like that, it doesn't bother me.
What does bother me is Jarrad Davis being hurt. He couldn't put one iota of weight on his left foot coming off the field. That's bad. Really bad. He's lucky it's not broken, but I'm guessing there's going to be some type of tear in his ankle ligaments. I'll be shocked if he comes back at all this year. Nice thing is, Reese filled in admirably, and Anzalone had another solid game. But neither of them can get hurt now, because the drop off after them is drastic.
At the end of the day, winning "ugly" 40-14 is a hell of a lot better than losing "ugly" 42-13 (like the last time Missouri came to Gainesville). Looking forward at the rest of the season, @Arkansas remains our toughest test. UGA is in shambles and has been all year, still very fortunate to not be a 2-win team. USC is an absolute joke. They might score about 6 points at most on us in the Swamp. We'll see with LSU and FSU, as they're both Jekyll & Hyde teams. Being on the road against them sucks, but it is what it is at this point. Arkansas is going to be a tough one, though. They've been really balanced on offense and their defense has shown improvement. They also get a bye week while we play UGA. It's going to take our best game of the year to beat them, so hopefully our boys are healthy and up to the task.
Thanks for reading my novel, I'll be doing a book signing this afternoon at 4 if anyone's interested. Go Gators!
- Thread: Hurricane Michael
Folks, by the grace of God and sweet baby Jesus mine and my parents houses were spared. I had no housing or roof damage and no flooding and im waiting for a check on the parents but initial report is theirs is fine too. My fence is long gone, nowhere to be found, and the roof on my workshop is gone but thats it. Nothing to the house. The beach side was largely spared; we were just west of the western eyewall. Panama City townside, is a different story. The whole town is absolutely demolished. Total devastation - were talking Andrew and Katrina (minus flooding) level catastrophe. Nothing was spared. Will take at least a week for road crews to clear the roads - they are really bad.
I had a buddy who almost died - his dogs did. He barely made it through. Townside of PC got the western edge of the eyewall and had sustained CAT 5 winds. The weather services were under reporting at the end. All the local wind readings in PC to mexico beach were above 160 until they just quit working once the eye was fully on shore.
Thanking the Lord that my family got out and are safe. Praying for literally thousands of people that stayed and hundreds more that are still unnaccounted for and not responding. I have freinds and family of freinds who havent been heard from since the eyewall came ashore. Cell service is actually decent and has been throughout the storm, so many are fearing the worst for these folks. If any of you are religious types, I ask you to take a moment right now and say a prayer for these people.
THANK YOU to all of you Vets for keeping this country safe and secure...
I'll refrain from posting my ROTC picture
But I do have a special thanks to my favorite drill instructor when I was growing up...
Thanks Dad -
RIP "Big Ed" -
USAF SSgt '57 - '65 | GI Bill - UF '69 | USArmy Reserve MSgt '73 - '90.
There's a four- or five-hour documentary on the band and its G'ville roots and its rise that's really worth the sitdown. Saw it a several years ago, then again a few years ago, maybe on Netflix. Really well done. They went through some hell together before they got it together.
It'll be a collector's item now. Sheez, hard to believe he's gone.
All of this on what was a great day for me personally. I've been battling bladder cancer for five months. Got a clean bill just today.
- Thread: Who'd a thunk 5-1?
My experience with Nebraska weather....(skip if you have ADD or just don't care)
So I have to travel with my job and had to go to Omaha in the middle of January.....it was 13 degrees BELOW ZERO. When I parked the car and got out to go into the hotel, there were two squirrels in the brush next to the car. I wondered why they were not running as I was less than 5 feet away from them. THEY WERE FROZEN....FROZEN SOLID. I went into the hotel and the desk clerk asked me if I had plugged my rental car into the outlet in front of the car. I asked why and he told me that at the temperatures they were expecting that night (-25 or colder) that my car battery would most likely be dead and if not, the oil in the car would be so thick it would not pump through the car...potential leaving me stranded somewhere. I was like WTF??? Then, the next morning, I had to borrow a hammer and screw driver to chip off the ice on the car so I could open my door and see out the windshield. I went to my meeting and told the story to the folks I was meeting with and they all just looked at me like, "yeah...so?" I thought to myself, "what the hell is wrong with you people??" and vowed to never go back to the state ever again. That was 17 years ago and I handed that account over to a newbie who later told me he quit the company because he did not ever want to go back to Nebraska.
Please indulge me while I honor my dad, a Marine and a member of the 1st Marines regiment that engaged in hand-to-hand combat against the Japanese on Okinawa. It looked something like this.
He took a Japanese slug to the gut and was destined to bleed to death if not for the efforts of several of his buddies who dragged him to safety. I'm here to tell this story because of their heroism.
My dad was a badass, a great dad and yet kind of screwed up, but he was my dad. I'm proud as hell for his courage and his service. Happy Vet's Day, Dad.
- Thread: Captain's Cogitations - LSU
The Cogitations are back! I had to take a bye week last week because we were moving and I hardly got to watch any of the MSU game, but the show returns!
What a day, what a win! Everything was perfect about that game day yesterday. Between the good people at the tailgate, the flyover, Tebow's ceremony, honoring the '08 team, and a classic UF-LSU game to top it all off, that was one of my favorite games I've ever been to in the Swamp. My ears are still ringing this morning and my voice is hoarse, this is the way it should always be!
Now onto the brass tacks. Franks once again had a vintage performance where we weren't quite sure what he was going to do from play to play. He dropped a couple dimes in there and had a couple head scratchers, but he did what he had to do to win the game. I still think he's doing a great job considering the OL situation, and that throwaway he had when a guy was hanging all over him might have been his most impressive play of the day. I couldn't quite tell what happened on the interception, but it looked like there was some miscommunication between he and Stephens. It was almost like he thought Stephens was going to continue his seam route, but he broke it off. I'd have to see a replay of the play to get a better idea, but it definitely wasn't just a case of an inaccurate throw. His throw of the day was obviously the corner route he hit Hammond on right before half. Stepped up in the pocket, had some pressure on all sides, and dropped a perfect ball right into the recevier's hands. If he can keep building off plays like that, we might have an honest to goodness QB on our hands.
Play calling wise, I was loving the creativity, but I was also scratching my head on a couple of our short yardage plays. There was the one 3rd & 1 where we called a keeper for Franks when Scarlett had been running the ball well, and we got stuffed. There was the 3rd & 2 where we had Jefferson on the short crosser and he didn't run his route across the sticks (although that's not as much of a play call issue than it is an execution issue). And then there was the downfield pass he called on 2nd down when we were trying to run the clock. I don't mind the pass there, but make it something that has a greater probability of success than a throw that has to travel 30 yards across the field for a 10 yard gain. But the throwback from Krull, the rocker step from Franks, the jet sweep to Toney, and that nifty speed option we also ran against MSU were all fantastic calls. We're starting to see Mullen get comfortable calling some of those gadget plays he's famous for, but I'd like to see him call some more reliable plays in short yardage situations.
Defensively, it's clear that whatever was ailing us against UK is gone. LSU came out with the up tempo and caught our guys off guard early, but that sack fumble by Polite got LSU out of their comfort zone and they never really got back in it. I'd obviously like to see them not give up two gashes on a 4th quarter drive when we're protecting a lead, but they made up for that in a big way once they got back on the field after that. Stewart's pick six was one of the loudest moments I've ever experienced in my 9 years going to games in the Swamp, right up there with the opening play TD against Bama in '11 and the miracle plays against UT in '15 and '17. Polite and Zuniga continue to be absolute terrors in the pass rush, and it's clear that opposing offenses sure as hell better do whatever they can to stay out of obvious passing situations. It's been astonishing to see the improvement by this unit over the last few weeks. The UK game was a wakeup call, and they answered the bell. I remember saying in the UK Cogitations that our defense woke up and played lights out after struggling against UT in '15, and it seems as if the same thing happened again this year.
All in all, it's great to see this team buying into Mullen's philosophies so quickly. I, like most of you, was not thrilled with the hire when it was made, but he's won me over in a big way. You don't see a head coach in a close game in the 4th quarter jumping around the field pumping up the crowd during a timeout. The entire crowd was going apesh*t from that moment forward. It's quite obvious that UF was his dream job, and he probably should have been here a long time ago. This is a coach who knows the crowd, knows the town, and even though it didn't feel like it 11 months ago, was the perfect man for the job.
Sleepy noon start at Vandy next week, so if you're able to get to Nashville and turn it into the Swamp North, get your butts in those seats to pump our guys up! Till next week!
Leak passed for 3k in 06, Tebow passed for 3200 and 2700 yards in 07 and 08.
Dak passed for 3500 and 3800 yards his junior and senior years.
Doesn’t pass huh? You don’t have to like him but stop lying.
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