What a win, Sports Fans! Lot of eyes on this game. Lot of early speculation and questions as well. After playing better against a lowly Vol team, would we have enough momentum and confidence to go on the road and win in a place that has been difficult to say the least for our Gators to find a victory? How would we fare on the line of scrimmage, particularly against a team that has one of the best DLs in college football? What would we get from the offense to help us to a win (might read that as could Franks do what it takes to at least keep the D off the field)? Well I think we saw the answers unfold in a tough, old fashioned 13-6 SEC road victory where the D, who played some bend but don't break early on, but hit the switch and just took over in the second half. Even 25 yards in penalties that got them out of a hole on MissState's final possession couldn't derail the D, particularly the front four and notably Jachai Polite.
I also think an acknowledgment of the improvements and positive steps we are taking is due Dan Mullen. You haven't got to like him or even think that he was the best guy we could have hired at the time. We aren't where we want to be yet and it will take time to get there, but we should all appreciate the direction that we are moving. Hell, I'd almost be willing to give him an extension for what he's done with the Special Teams (OK maybe not an extension, but a beer and several "atta boys" at least). The only criticism I can give him is not using a time out earlier at the end of the first half (those time outs don't do you any good in your pocket going into the locker room), but at the conclusion I guess it's a moot point. Otherwise I think he had a pretty good game plan and the D obviously came to play. Team was very well prepared. Something we couldn't say very often the last few years.
So let's look at some specifics of the big win in Stark Vegas:
*One big sequence in the game that could have turned it in two different directions was Franks' long ball that was negated by Taylor's holding call and MissSt's drop on the deep pass. Either that would have been complete likely would have resulted in points and could have impacted the momentum and in the Bulldog's case might have impacted the outcome. But it didn't and the good guys sealed the deal on the backs of a dominant defensive performance. We held them to about 200 yards of offense and no TDs. How about that?!
*Franks threw well enough to go over 200 passing. He made some really nice throws and a couple of bone headed ones that resulted in a pick and a couple more that probably should have been. He ran the offense pretty well and played with what looked to me as more confidence in a game that obviously had a lot of pressure attached. He might not have necessarily won the game, but he sure didn't lose it! Seems to be growing and this is something I wasn't sure he could do at the pace I think we've seen this season.
*We didn't rush for a ton, but we got some gains when we needed them. I was surprised at the stat line that Scarlett only had 21 yards. Seemed like he should have had a few more, but Perine had a nice game as did Pierce, who looks to be our "closer" if you will, bringing fresh legs and power into the game when the opposing D may be a little gassed. He'll eventually get some touches earlier, but he's playing his role nicely at this point. Did I mention Toney had a couple of good runs? Nice QB counter on one.
*The OL had some good moments, obviously, as we had somewhere around 350 yards of offense. Couldn't pull that off against there D if they weren't doing some good things. But we had some of the usual blunders as well, such as Fred's two false starts, Taylor's aforementioned hold, and a whiff by Ivey. Still, there are some improvements, effort and knowing their assignments perhaps, even if consistently executing them continues to be a work in progress.
*Lot of names in the secondary that I am not familiar with. Made some mistakes (like letting the guy get behind them on the drop), but overall they held the Bullogs to around 100 yards passing. Henderson and Chauncey are really dependable, if not pretty good, and are leaders of that unit. Little #21, whose name escapes me, made some good plays. Best thing is that this group actually looks like they are being coached.
*The front seven, especially the DEs, played well. As mentioned earlier, they bent but didn't break early when MissSt was fresh, attacking, and having success moving the ball. But they answered the bell in the second half and put the hat on the QB, rendering him virtually ineffective when the Bulldogs had to have his best to have a chance to tie or win late. Polite, Zuniga, and CeCe were big with the rush and the whole unit kept the ground game from hurting us. Something for the DEs to work on however is that we don't always read run very well and the success MissSt had off tackle was a result of us getting upfield. Gotta love what this group is doing and the steps they've made under Grantham.
*Listened to the ESPN broadcast after the game and I think they mentioned that 11 Gators caught balls today. Pretty good job of spreading it around. And who would have thought one of if not the biggest catches came on a flanker pass to the TE? Timing on when to call those plays is everything.
*Another SEC road game and another home fan base that cleared out so fast you'd think they were handing out commodity cheese Chek soft drinks in the parking lot.
*In other football news, Taggart gets an unlikely win when Petrino steps on his d!ck and calls a pass play after getting a first down deep in Nole territory with about a minute and a half remaining. The pass, of course, was intercepted and the Noles went on to score the winning TD. SMH.
So LSU is up next at our place. Suddenly it looks like we may have a shot. Who'd a thunk it post-UK? Again, gotta give this group and the staff some credit. They are starting to meet, maybe exceed, many of our expectations. But one game at a time and the Bayou Bengals are it. If we get the same defensive effort against them as we gave today, I like our chances. Unless I missed something, we seem to be staying pretty healthy and we are building depth. Lot of football left, but we are doing good things and maybe the belief of the fan base is growing? I know that the belief of the team certainly is. Like one of the radio guys said after the game, finally after the last three unfulfilled years, the players' work is now paying off. It may be more appropriate to say that this year's work is paying off and the veterans are finally overcoming the lack of decent coaching they were previously exposed to, which is a testament to the fortitude of these kids. Lesser ones would have cashed it in by now and some did. Keep on rockin' Gators. Liking what we are doing and look forward to continued growth and development. Go Gators!
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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.
- Like x 47
- 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.
We killed Michigan.
UGA choked against Texas.
Miami was clobbered by Wisconsin and went through a coaching change.
FSU and Tennessee were sitting on their asses all month, and FSU hired an OC who managed 14 points against Army.
UCF got their comeuppance so now they might STFU.
Great time to be a Gator.
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.
Getting this up a little late after seeing it live at BHG. First one I've made in a few years since giving up my season tickets. The fact that it was a nooner worked in my favor and I enjoyed the trip down with c2 Jr. and two of my best friends. I'll have to admit that things didn't look too cheerful in the first half as the Cocks looked very efficient against us offensively on their first two scoring drives. They seemed to convert every third down, which were usually short yardage, and we were missing tackles to help them out. We couldn't cover the TE once again and just like that we were in a big hole to begin the game. Franks was still Franks and the O was sputtering in rhythm with the D. Started to look like the funk we have been under hadn't been washed off. Then lo and behold, we found the switch in the second half and were somehow able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and though it wasn't perfect, we got off the schnide (for the time being at least).
The crowd, which was sparse to start the game, provided some much needed noise as they filtered in and I heard Mullen compliment their energy on the SEC network. Let's be clear, we didn't just upend a top 10 team and we didn't look real good in the first half on the way to stopping our recent streak, but we showed some good things on both sides of the ball that should help as we prepare for Idaho and the Nole$ moving forward. 9-3 and a decent bowl are still out there and that is as good or even better than most expected at the start of the season. Here are some other thoughts and specifics:
*Got to start with Franks. First half he was what has become his usual self. Passes off target for the most part, either behind or beyond the receivers, laid one on the ground (luckily recovered it) while pulling the ball from the back on what was likely an RPO. Short hopped a bubble screen on a third and very long which led to some boos, probably more so for the call, but here was your sign that Mullen bound and determined that Franks wasn't going to F it up for us. Not much rhythm to that point. Passing was better in the second half and we were effective with play action after going under center and gashing the Cocks straight ahead between the tackles on the ground. His scores on the ground were marred by his immature shushing motion to our fans and the alleged mouthing of STFU as he did so. I believe one of our receivers came and interrupted this childish display. Feleipe, if you're listening, you need to understand that you aren't at WHS anymore and not the darling of Gainesville like you were in Crawfordville. You don't like the fans getting on your @ss when you play like crap and don't improve? Then find a way to up your game or accept that the stage is too big and move on. We are passionate and deprived. We want and expect better.
*Toney got some more touches and certainly made the most of them. He's a water bug if if ever there's been one. He has a knack of finding his way into space out of a crowd and making something good happen. Liked him in the Widcat. His muffed punt notwithstanding (which was our lone turnover I believe), the youngster had a big day and his TD reception which showed a big burst to split the secondary defenders was big. This is what we want and need for him and kudos to the offensive staff for upping his touches.
*The ground game was an obvious salvation yesterday. 367 on the day with Scarlett and Perine both rushing for over a hundred. Pierce had a couple of nice carries as well even though his last one was an option that got blown up. We looked real good running straight ahead or with a counter with the QB under center and the OL base blocking. G scheming the guards is something we seem to do well as opposed to the lateral steps required in the zone scheme out of the shotgun, but even that was ok today against USCe's front. Mullen seemed determined to minimize Franks' impact or at least lighten his responsibilities in the air and threw it on the backs and OL. They responded in a huge way and I hope we see more under the center runs and play actions.
*The front seven got pushed around early as the Cocks were effective against us with the run and the pass. We struggled early to get pressure on their QB and our coverage theme was keep the ball in front of you, which they exploited to keep the sticks moving. As mentioned earlier, we couldn't cover the TE. On one of their TD passes, Joseph reduced as if to take the TE, then let him run by for an easy reception while staying put to watch the RB. I believe he should have had first threat (TE) at that point when he bumped, so something is not clicking with him. This can't continue to be a liability in our man coverage schemes, especially when we face the Noles.
*I mentioned us finding the switch in the second half on O, but our D picked up as well. Tackling and coverage got better and we found some pressure for their QB. One big play late was a hurry that led to a short hopped pass on third down, forcing a punt when they needed to convert to try and drive. Big time when we needed it. Henderson's late pick to kill their last opportunity was also a big moment. We seemed to regain the "want to" and it couldn't have come at a better time.
*Special teams were a little sub par with McPherson missing a FG and coverage giving up a return by Debo (who is a great player and deserving of his accolades). Get better Freddie, we need you back on the return team! Townsend was pretty good on the punts and uncorked one almost to Alachua. He also remained free of the personal fouls this week. Probably a wash, but the missed FG looked for a while like it might be a factor in the outcome.
*Many are probably not pleased with the soft coverage and lack of pressure Grantham seems to be stuck on. I think it is in most part to try and protect our secondary, which is very shakey at times. We find ourselves playing guys who are either struggling with technique or requirements of the coverage calls. We have a mixture of youth and some who just aren't ready for SEC prime time, and may never be. Getting Henderson back was big, but the fact remains that this is a weak spot and the conundrum is do you keep them soft so we minimize the chances of getting burned over the top or do we sell out and expect them to lock up downfield? Grantham is clearly in the nutcracker where this is concerned and the LB's inabilities in coverage are a mitigating factor. Growth and better talent will be the eventual cure I believe. Until the, it will be a guessing game.
*Mullen's compliment of the crowd might look like crawfishing from his comments last week, but he was right that they brought some juice and helped energize the team in the second half. This was also the first time I heard Tom Petty after "We are the boys" live and despite mixed reviews I enjoyed it, especially when the Cock's band started playing and the crowd sang louder and drowned them out! Even though the stadium wasn't full (and maybe never will be again save a few games here and there), the crowd did their part. A good show for the recruits who visited as well.
Next step...Idaho. Just how respectable they are remains to be seen. A win and stay healthy should be the minimum order of the day, though a blow out with time to rest the starters and get the reserves some time on the field (maybe an Emery Jones sighting) would be great. But just get it done and then on to the Nole$ in the regular season finale. One last jab...it was great to send Muschamp home with the L, wasn't it? Onward and upward. Go Gators!
***A nice conclusion to the trip was a stop at Texas Roadhouse in Lake City for a nice steak and a Blue Moon and good conversational recap of the game. The way they all ought to end!
****Forgot to mention initially, but the 90 yard drive and score late was BIG. We haven't had a response like that in a while. I'm taking it as a good sign until proven otherwise. A winner grinds production like that out when it has to, not just when it wants to. Consistency in determination is as important as consistency in effort and execution.
*****Im not a big band guy, but the halftime show was fantastic with the patriotic theme (and a rendition of Amazing Grace as part). Hats off to the Pride of the Sunsine, they made me proud to be an American as well as a Gator!
******Nice tribute to Mick for his career as the voice of the Gators. One of the best in the business.
- 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!
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.
- Thread: Gatorchatter cruise in 2020?
I can see it now. A relaxing seven days of...
‘78 in the gym, striking up a random “what if” conversation about UF football, with someone who unbeknownst to him, doesn’t speak English.
NV living in the casino, frustrated at going all in on an ill advised bet
Law baking in the sun, smoking a Virginia Slim, angry, in part because he can’t stop thinking about our facilities being worse than the 3rd world country we just stopped at, and in part because he requested “Dancing Queen” to be played hours ago, but nothing still.
Stephenpe waking everyone up at 4am for breakfast, and showing up on formal night in those polyester gym teacher shorts.
Sitting at dinner with Sas and Queen while they have one of those awkward, “we’ll maybe if someone hadn’t...” couple conversations.
Bart not being allowed back on ship and being detained by local authorities because of the “figurine” he purchased.
Fever finally discovering his element because they just keep playing the same “Red Red Wine” song over and over and over and over...
Alcoholica hammered—I mean hammered—and threatened with being kicked off at every port.
Williston, BMF and GB25 keeping us informed of the news, day’s itinerary and best beer at the next stop.
And of course, Ox leaving a note for the maid that if she turns one more of his towels into a flamingo at turn-down, she’s staring at a 3-day vacation.
Yeah, should be fun.
"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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