If nothing else can be said, it was nice to see the bowl outcome today on the heels of the end to this season (and last). Seemed to be a better attitude and certainly effort this year compared to the last bowl and that was surely heartening given the depleted roster. The biggest question I have now is what type of impact will this game have on the remaining weeks of this recruiting cycle? Most definitely it would have to give a little confidence in the program to some of the remaining targets and perhaps bolster the committed to prevent any last minute flips? I would like to think that a couple of staff changes would also help as well, but that remains to be seen. So for a few moments, maybe it's best to just enjoy a bowl outcome that was once consistently expected and reflect on a game that didn't end as closely as many of us initially thought:
Now comes the key part. Can Mac salvage the recruiting this year or maybe even get a little sugar to close? I'm still not sold on his abilities in this area or his approach (what I know and have seen/read about it), so I'm looking to be pleasantly surprised. If so, maybe we got a chance. If not, I'm afraid this win won't be the turning point we need, but we'll see. At least we don't go back to work tomorrow having to eat a sh!t sandwich served up by rival co-workers. For that we can all be thankful! Go Gators!
- The way Appleby started, I couldn't help but think that we were going to be down a couple of scores and fail to get any closer given our offensive woes and Iowa's defensive rep. But that wasn't the case. He shook off some early gaffs and settled in to do enough good to help us win. I wouldn't say he "carved" the Hawkeyes up by any means, but he made a few nice throws and managed the lead. Again, I think he's a good young man, but not a particularly great QB (better than LDR), so it was good to see him go out on a positive note. That said, I hope we are past the transfer QB's for a while even though the fact that we didn't pull a red shirt off even as bad as we struggled from this position this year doesn't exactly fill me with confidence!
- Marcel Harris continues to improve. Nice to see him becoming a leader of the D by his improved play and aggressiveness. Several other youngsters gave notice...Vosean Joseph and Chauncey Gardner did a lot of good things obviously and maybe even without the recognizable depth, we are developing a nucleus of the next great unit? Time will tell, but the aforementioned depth, especially at LB, has to begin being addressed now. We'll see if any can be added at this late date.
- Stopping the Hawkeyes drive to begin the second half was big. They were running it up our @ss and a score could have given them the momentum and created some doubt on our part. But we avoided it and went on to put some points of our own up on the board. Kudos to our guys in this regard.
- A few things that concern me still are the poor fundamentals that we seem to display every game. Defensively, the two most concerning are the tackling errors (high, poor wrap-up, flying in out of control with no break down) and loss of contain by the DE's, particularly against the boot action where we flatten out and can't redirect once the QB changes direction. This continues to speak to shoddy coaching IMO seeing how it has been continuous. Youth of the players is a contributing factor but shouldn't be an excuse at this point.
- Digging up an old debate, I'll be glad to not have to see Appleby try the little pitch to his left ever again. Sure, it would have had a positive outcome if it could have been executed. Poor guy looked like he was wearing two slick furry mittens. Thank goodness that play wasn't for the win.
- OL was decent in pass pro and erratic with run blocking. I'd still have to say that they ended the season better than they began, but this is a group that will need to be much more consistent next season. We all know this, but can it happen?
- DL, with a few exceptions, was pretty decent most of the game and got some pressure on the Iowa QB. Nice to see Brantley and Ivie make a couple of plays and go out on a high note. Most think we've got a few good youngsters, but we need some more bodies and talent as well. Kid from Leesburg would be a great addition if we could add him. Our high school played him this year and he pretty much wrecked us single-handedly, and we've got a RB committed to Bama who is pretty special but was held to far less than what he usually averages rushing.
- I was glad to see Garcia get to step in and play. Another good kid who is also a great citizen and representative of the Gators. That said, he struggled, but benefitted from our DL play. He didn't hurt us and will take some great memories with him.
- Got tired of hearing the announcers beat the Iowa QB's hamstring injury and him staying in the game to death. It's football. Players are supposed to play through some pain, or at least they used to.
- Hate to see our punter leave. He was a good one. Could flip the field as good as anyone. Hope he has a career at the pro level that equals Ray Guy.
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I'll continue to point out how amazed I am that Applebee is 10x the Gator that any of our post-Tebow QBs have been. It's troubling to say the least. Not a great QB(though who was under our last two staffs?), but a solid Gator that I wish we'd had around for more than one year.
- Thread: Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide
Here's the problem w/ the pumping (and I've mentioned this many times). Message boards have been around through the Zook, Muschamp, and McElwain years and it's the same thing over and over w/ the pumping. I understand being excited and supportive, but there's another side of this. As pumpers think - for some unknown reason - that their positivity is helping w/ recruiting or whatever....but what they are really doing is staying aboard a sinking ship to the detriment of "the program". UF Football is bigger than Jim McElwain, just like UF Football was bigger than Ron Zook and Will Muschamp.
"Pumpers" wear this support for a failing coach as a badge of honor and it's disgusting. Most of us who spend time on message boards follow "the program" more than most casual fans (i.e. the one's who come for a tailgate and cannot tell you the name of the starting Center or MLB, only the star players). Football is not rocket science. It's pretty easy to identify a mediocre coach or a very good coach. Pumpers take it personal that anyone would suggest "their" coach was mediocre! They cling to the failing coach literally until the day he's gone (some, as in Muschamp's case, even suggested "did we make a mistake firing him?"). So, while you're busy beating your chest over your support for the coach....."the program" is sinking (don't believe it? go look at the stands!). This happened for Zook and it happened again for Muschamp. Pumpers start threads about how great the hire was....how this is the "next Spurrier".....how Foley "hit a homerun!".....how this coach is "the best recruiter", "can develop talent", "is the most honest/ethical coach in the country...", etc, etc. When you step back from it, it's pretty stupid. Just like when people say that a recruit committed to "the school" and not to "the coach" (when a coaching change happens). As a fan, you should be committed to "the program", not the coach! Long after Jim McElwain is hanging out on his ranch in Montana counting all that UF cash....."the program" will still be here and you will be rooting for the next coach. You think fans would have learned their lesson w/ Urban Meyer - a pure coaching mercenary. There's no loyalty in coaching. Even Steve Spurrier said "see ya!" (I know....the "dumpers" ran him off").
I will repeat: the UF Football Program is bigger than Jim McElwain!
And Jim McElwain is sinking The Program.....
- Like x 24
- Dislike x 1
- Thread: Cheese thread
Here is a game day ritual that ends today: Today will be the first time I can remember my post game will not include a conversation with a person whose parents were born in the 1800s. If we were not together we would talk during the games but he always wanted my analysis after the football game. Some Saturdays he would make a big pot of oatmeal and stack of buttered toast for me Mike and Kevin. I'm having this breakfast today along with some of the last guava jelly he ever made. My dad loved gator football. My first memory of this was him and mom going to a gator game in 1962 and bringing us home a bobble head gator. I was in 2nd grade.
- Thread: Memorial Day
I am traveling for work this Memorial Day - something I would normally never do, but I am sitting in for one of my employees who was diagnosed with cancer and is recovering from surgery. I saw this story, and it expressed my sentiments about this solemn, somber day. This eventually belongs in the Lounge, but at least through Monday I hope it can stay here in the sports forum.
Thank you to all who are serving, have served, and thank you to all who have perished while serving, so that we can continue to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- Thread: Mr. Two Bits Update
I found this on another site and thought we would like it as well
Mr. Two Bits, George Edmondson, is now 95. Mr. Edmondson, who lives in Tampa with his wife Jane, suffers from Alzheimer's. Some things you may not know about George Edmondson.
- George was a United States Navy fighter pilot during World War II
- He did not attend the University of Florida but was named an honorary alumnus in 2005
- Mr. Edmondson was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as an "honorary letter winner" in 1992
- George and his wife Jane sponsor the Mr. Two Bits Scholarship Fund, which benefits a University of Florida cheerleader every year
- In the early 1980s, Tampa Bay Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse offered to pay Edmondson to lead the Two Bits cheer at his hometown Bucs games. Edmondson declined the offer, saying, "What I do for the Gators is from the heart, not from the pocketbook"
- George Edmondson will be 96 on New Years Day.
He was born January 01, 1922.
He is a great example of a Gator who will always be remembered by me.
Comment or sent cards as you desire.
A couple of disclaimers/apologies before starting. First, sorry I'm late getting this up, but some unexpected company dropped by just as I was starting and stayed a couple of hours. Second, I haven't read any of the other threads, so if I'm redundant, I'm sorry! So with that, let's get started...
If I was a real journalist, I'd have a subtitle for each of these reviews, but I'm not so I don't. However, I was tempted to give this entry one...something along the lines of "Cock-Blocked!" But I thought better of it. There's already enough cheese on here, I guess. Anyway, this game was one where we were just good enough, better than the past two games, to get our hopes up just a bit, but still bad enough to dash those wishful thoughts before all was said and done. We'll get into things a little more in depth in a minute, but at least the effort looked to be much better. That, and maybe that alone, was why we were able to be in it with a chance to tie late? It is a positive step, but that's as much of an accolade as I'm willing to give. My stance on moral victories is a matter of record! Best case scenario at this point is that it can be one positive factor to carry forward. One game, however, doesn't necessarily make a habit broken.
Alright, let's talk some specifics...
*Broken record here, but right now the OL is a hot mess as far as I'm concerned. I feel like I was teased when I'd see us make a little progress early on and how we could put together a good run performance. But lately, we don't do much good. Couldn't run it consistently at all again today (maybe it was Davis overcoming ) and pass pro was bad for the most part as well. Injuries certainly don't help outside of some youngster getting more meaningful reps. Sadly, USCe looked to be able to generate pressure with primarily their front four. You may as well be 3 scores down getting off the bus when you arrive with that disadvantage. On one rush that they did blitz, the LG for us, who had the blitzing LB head up, doubled with the C on their 1-technique and let the LB run through untouched. This just can't happen. Repeating again, but as your OL goes, so goes your O (Nuss doesn't help either BTW).
*Sorry to see Zaire get injured. I like that he wants to play and lead. But I have to say that after watching him these past few games, it is clear to me why he is a grad transfer. He's probably a better passer than I see, but the OL and our RECs don't help much. I've been waiting to see his run threat emerge, and he did have one nice run, but he's closer to a pulling guard's speed when he runs laterally than he is to Lamar Jackson's. Not really displeased with Franks. He made a few nice throws, was victimized by some drops, and suffered as did Zaire from poor pass pro. Interesting note on one of his plays that speaks to our O schemes and planning...on the play he was called for Grounding as he was about to be sacked, the play formation was trips right flex and clearly it was a one-man play to the flex. Trouble was, the Cocks were in 2 deep man under and the go-route was well-covered by the CB and the safety reading and flying off the hash. That play was dead before the snap. An experienced QB would have seen that pre-snap and checked off. The problem I have is that I don't recall Franks ever going to an audible. If he can't do it, that's one thing, but if they don't try it with him, it not only keeps his growth stunted, but winds up in too many wasted plays as well. But I'm not surprised.
*I've harped quite a bit on our DEs getting lost inside on rushes and run plays and losing contain, but the Cocks got good fundamental and technical play from their guys. If you remember the play action boot early on, when Zaire rolled away from the play fake right, the DE to that side was on him and rushed to make sure he wouldn't be outflanked. He kept contain and I believe Zaire wound up running parallel to the LOS out of bounds. That's how it should be played.
*These penalties are driving me insane. Most all are on the offensive side of the ball and are mostly procedures and today included two illegal substitutions. When you're already bad offensively, this issue only compounds things. I hoped it would be a point of emphasis once "Mim Jacelwain" (I like the new guy's utilization!) was gone, since attention to detail wasn't a strong suit. I sit unrequited, unfortunately.
*Coaching point on why we struggle defensively...Not that I'm picking on VoJo (my pet name), who usually has a good motor and isn't afraid to put a lick on you, but here at game 9 in his second year, he still cannot scrape parallel and too often gets shallow in pursuit and winds up never touching his target, much less containing him. To be fair, most of our LBs have this same problem, but this is a fundamental requirement for the position. Why it has not been corrected is beyond me, but we get hurt by it every game, along with several slow reads/reactions. This has got to change in a hurry even though it's gone on for a while.
*Lord knows I'm a fan of Brandon Powell, but he never should have been back there to muff another punt after his last one. This kind of crap coaching is inexcusable and has led to the demise of our once sufficient at worst Special Teams' play. At least Eddy didn't open his own store again today!
*Defensively, we had some good moments. Finally got some more turnovers, though CJ negated his with the fumble. But Chauncey played better. We had some good plays from the front 7. Zuniga did some good things with the rush and there was a Conliffe sighting today. VoJo and Reece made some plays. VoJo got a "Snot Bubble" sticker for his helmet when he rung up the Cock receiver, which is a dying part of the game these days it seems. But the bad outweighed the good, as they gashed us running the ball and their QB, who looked more HS than college today to me, hit some throws that hurt us. Their TE was hard to handle as well. Once again, I stand in the pulpit with my long-running sermon on consistency, or the lack thereof. The non belief is strong.
*It's really a moot point, but Moral Stephens almost f'd up the big completion. Thompson, who was standing alone and waving his arms, was the intended target. Thank goodness he held on. Sadly, my first thought after the play was "I hope we don't have to settle for a FG!" Luckily, we didn't.
*Even though we generated some takeaways, our own giveaways negated the advantage we hoped those would bring. This group just can't put it together. A lot, if not all of this I believe, is a direct manifestation of the past HC's developed culture. Waiting for a positive change where this is concerned.
*How about Randy throwing in some blitzes today? A couple with the safety, no less. I like it, just wish we'd have done more of it earlier!
Maybe next week our chances against UAB will improve? Again, the effort was much better, but that alone, as we saw again today, isn't enough. As long as we have so many plays on either side of the ball where multiple groups have a break down or screw up, we're not going to be successful. On to the next test.
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