41-15 Peach Bowl victory over favored Michigan! Last year at this time, we were all sitting in the seat occupied by F$U this year, fresh off a 4-8 collapse engineered by famed offensive mind Captain Jim McElwain who staged his own death (so to speak) and left First Mate Randy Shannon to guide the SS Foley to the college football equivalent of Davy Jones' locker. Then came the hire of the less than ballyhooed Dan Mullen to raise the good ship and to meet expectations to not just raise the good ship, but to guide it to the forefront of the conference and perhaps all of college football at a speed likely faster than his inherited crew was capable. Yet here we find our ship closer to the CFB flagship than probably imagined. Instead of the garbage scow we'd become, we at least look like a sturdy destroyer if not a cruiser (not quite a battleship...yet). Pretty good finish after getting torpedoed by three Eastern Division foes and being led into battle by a QB who at one point looked more like Captain Bly than John Paul Jones!
Alright, enough naval references (you've got to forgive me as I watched In Harms Way a few nights back and it was still fresh on my mind - hey, the Duke was in it). But I think most get the picture. We've made a statement this season under Mullen that we're on the rise...not quite "there" just yet, but pointed in the right direction. We made it to a good bowl for the first time in a while, won it and in doing so beat a nemesis of sorts. And I'd be remiss not to remind you that we defeated the Nole$ and broke a five game losing streak (so what if they were coached by Taggert ). The good created, while not yet great, gives hope and high expectations. The offseason has to be better than the last several and it's good to feel some of the confidence that once shown in Gator football make a return. Now, for our date with the Wolverines in ATL...
*A tale of two halves. Though we didn't play terribly early on, we experienced some problems with UM's defense and failed to take advantage of a couple of TD opportunities in the red zone. Franks was looking more like his earlier version that couldn't connect on the long passes and who had no peripheral vision when flushed. We also seemed to be having our problems defensively both containing their ground game and generating consistent pressure on the QB, thanks mostly to the Wolverine OL. And we had a punt blocked! However, things changed in the second half. Michigan fans might tell you that not having their guys that are going pro (antiquated term) was the difference. I believe it was more a matter of Franks settling down and playing like he has lately and our RB's finding their groove (with a little help from the OL). The D got their second wind while UM looked to be spent (or disinterested somewhat) and suddenly our speed and tenacity overcame their strength and reputation. Mullen also deserves some credit for his game plan, adjustments, and setting an example of keeping your cool. All things that have been in short supply for some time.
*If I have a criticism of Coah Mullen, it would be for the double pass called. Certainly it might have been a big play if better executed, but the timing of it made me go
Fortunately it didn't cost us. Otherwise, I thought what he and the staff put together was pretty good.
*Looks like a great swan song for Chauncey, Scarlett, and Perine, should all decide to test the waters of the draft. All have made great strides this year. Especially proud of how far Chauncey has come. When he first got on the field here at UF, he was soft as chewed bubble gum where tackling was concerned. He improved that aspect of his game and added leadership to his resume. Good luck! I'm also sure we'll lose Polite and a couple more on the D side, so the rebuild will continue to a certain degree. I heard Vosean was contemplating entering the draft. He could certainly benefit from another year of coaching.
*Michigan's OL wasn't too bad. Big and with a lot of mobility. Hopefully we'll sort of resemble that prototype in a year or so. I thought our OL guys were obviously better in the second half. Even though our rush total was pretty good, I was looking for more misdirection (counters, etc.) as we seem to be more consistent blocking on the move parallel to the LOS than moving laterally in the zone concept. Evidently, we were good enough along with the RBs and Franks (to a degree) running like champions. Looked like this one meant a lot to the big guys and to all the Gators on this day.
*Tunnel screen and slants were open with UM's coverage schemes. Good to see us take advantage. Also good to see our receivers getting behind their DBs when coverage tightened, even if we didn't do a great job of getting it to them.
*A lot of key moments in the game, but I thought not allowing them to score a TD right before the half preserved a psychological advantage for us.
*Looks like the Gator fans showed up. Thanks to all the Chatter members in attendance. All of you made a difference!
Maybe not among our greatest of seasons, but certainly one to be remembered. As mentioned, anticipation for what's ahead has got to be higher than what we have been expecting. Hearing the fans loudly chant "It's great...to be...a Florida Gator" as the awards were presented post game made me think of where we were and that it might not be only relegated to history any longer. A lot to be done still, but it's good to expect better than dreading the worst! Have a great off season and Go Gators!
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Despite the Vols being impotent, hapless, inept, etc., there was a lot to like about the state of preparedness that our Gators brought to the game. The D had a pretty good night, pretty much dominating the line of scrimmage. Secondary was efficient and the LB's made some plays. Turnovers were great to see. Tackling was decidedly better and the intensity looked to be what is expected in a SEC road matchup with one of your big rivals. The offense took advantage of the turnovers and some good field position opportunities. Franks made some nice throws and with a couple exceptions looked to better handle the pressure of the position. We looked to have gained a little something even though UT isn't very good. But it was a conference win, one you were supposed to even though there were probably some among us that had reservations. Bigger games upcoming, but a little confidence and momentum can't hurt. Time for some quick reviews and comments:
*Scarlett looked a little more like the pre-suspension Scarlett. Ran a little tougher. Good if he can regain earlier form and effectiveness. Wish we hadn't lost Davis, but we are good in the backfield.
*Brad Stewart had a coming out party. Better in coverage with a pick and made some good plays as a run stopper. Maybe a harbinger of good things to come with this young position group? Growing up on the run is a requirement for a lot of our younger players for this season and those ahead.
*Defensive front played both strong and quick. Several tackles for loss and a lot of pressure on the QB. Zuniga, Polite, Slaton all had some good plays. When we can both control the LOS and rush the passer effectively, it makes it easier for the LBs to clean up and the secondary to cover with little reason to peek.
*Even though Coach Mullen said Pierce earned more carries, he didn't get his until the second half. But what a great first run. Nice subtle cut inside off his lead block for a long TD run. Kid's gonna be a good one as long as he stays healthy and straight. But you knew that already, didn't you? More please.
*I was ready to fire Cleveland after his drop, but he made up for it with a nice TD catch. Wasn't the easiest catch to make either. Guy seems to like stickin' it to the Vols. Who among us doesn't?
*OL had to play a little better, didn't they? We got a better push against their DL and were able to generate some yards on the ground. A couple of protection breakdowns, but Franks had time for the most part. Still work to be done and we've got better teams ahead, so I'm not going to jump up and down too much.
*Freddy Swain...my man! I've bragged on him and he keeps delivering. Initially liked the depth that he added to the receiving corps, but he's looking like a budding star. Heard Lee say that he has already equaled his previous career TD total with three receiving this year already. Keep growing young man.
*The early onside kick by UT...you convert and you're fearless. You don't and you're desperate. Desperate it is. Perine did a good job of fielding on that play. Pruitt's got his work cut out for him, but there's a reason he was a late round draft pick. Who am I kidding? More like signing a free agent contract. Still got a SEC gig I guess.
*Anybody send a congratulatory text to Willie T. up in Tally? Finally got a signature victory. My Nole in-laws are already crying about the possibility of ending a 40 streak of winning seasons and likely not making a bowl. Karma is the proverbial female dog.
Of course our enthusiasm has to be tempered somewhat, but there is something to be enthusiastic about as previously mentioned. As bad as we hated to lose to UK, and they are a better team than they have been with a decisive win over MissSt, we have been able to move some beyond it, which must be done. If we can take the positives of this game into the next, we'll have a chance. You have to think that our confidence has to have grown some, important for a young squad who had to have had some doubts after UK and the way the prior season played out. But when you get down to it, that was an expectation that Coach Mullen had placed upon him when hired. F' the psychologists, this is still a man's game even if it doesn't always look like it. I'll take a blow out win over a limping opponent rather than one that was a little too close for comfort against the same. Next game needs to be another step in the right direction. Go Gators!
Since it's a slow period on the board, I thought I'd share this story and apologize in advance for the length:
Last weekend I was at an event where Spurrier was also attending. When he wasn't surrounded by the rest of the crowd, I went to talk to him for a bit and the 4-5 minute conversation was 100% pure Spurrier - almost as if Bates was doing the shtick.
I started by introducing myself and then thanking him for immeasurably improving my college experience. He asked when I was there (1994-2003 in Gainesville). Then, he smirked and said "Yeah, those were some good years to be a Gator." It took a more Spurrier-esque turn from there.
I told him the 1997 FSU game, was both the most exciting and cathartic moment of my life. Spurrier immediately gives me a quick, maybe half second glance of disapproval and says "Weren't you there in 1996". As I try to explain how great the NC was, especially beating FSU, but that while gratifying, it wasn't the same, singular excitement level.
He chimes in immediately with, "yeah, and FSU was number 1 . . . till we beat em", to which I foolishly respond, "plus, our season had been a bit more disappointing that year up to then." While he politely, yet in a wise-ass manner, disapproved of the prior choice of 1997 FSU as my favorite game over the 1996 National Championship, this comment about the season being disappointing prior to FSU got him riled up.
Spurrier was now more lively, almost bouncing on his toes back and forth and says, "welp, we did finish 4th in the Country that year and only lost two games. Ya know, that FSU game, I would have traded that for either of the LSU game or the Georgia Game. Shoot, we win one of those and we play for the SEC title. That was always my number 1 goal." [ You often hear that was his priority during interviews and reading it in type, but it's hard to tell if it is coach speak or not. In person, from a foot away, and in a 1 on 1 conversation, I can tell you he emotes this as his reality. He was passionate about it.]
I had hit a nerve and now his competitive spirit was getting riled up a bit. He continued, "That 1997 team. Ya know, we only lost 1 time in 12 years to either LSU or Georgia and that 1997 team lost em both. We win either and we win the SEC [He just takes it as given we beat Auburn for the second time that year, this time on a neutral field, which is pretty great]. But, we lost em and that FSU game, I'd trade it out."
He was taking what many of us in the favorite thread email suggested was our favorite game and putting it in the afterthought pile. It was funny as he was pissing all over my greatest Gator moment with some flare.
Then, since he's bragging about the records against LSU and UGA, he's on a roll and says:
"Ya know, those were some good years. In Gator history we've only won 9 sec titles. Urban, he got his two, but we got 7 of em [yes, he used 7 & 9 with no need to explain, which he was right about. He delivered this line with the most zing of the conversation]. We had never even won one until I got there. And LSU and Georgia, we did go 11-1 against each of them though, so that wasn't too bad. Yep, pretty good run."
Me - "Agreed Coach. Thanks for the time and the memories."
SOS - "Yep, Enjoy your weekend."
The lasting takeaway was that he is still the most competitive, confident, and cocky guy in the same way we all love. It's also easy to see why our rivals hated him. I could have spent another 15 minutes asking questions about topics from this last regime, the resume request, Free Shoes U, Darnell Dockett, Foley and more, but I let him go back to the crowd after he was so gracious in jumping right into the conversation with me.
The next day, he took a pic with my kids, but first said, "shoot, these kids don't know who I am."
When they said, "yes we do and we have a picture with your statute", he pepped up and said "Aah, you know the statute. Aiiright. Get in here for a picture." Then he later threw a souvenir football right to my youngest son, who was super excited and now has his catch from a Heisman winner displayed.
For the first time in 10 years the Gators defeated F$U in the Swamp. The 40-17 score, with Florida easily covering the 17 point spread, wasn't even that close as the Gators scored early and often and jumped out to a 20-7 lead. The Nole$ scored on their first possession as they took advantage of a couple of coverage lapses that got them into easy scoring position. Afterward, the defense cleaned up their *HUTA coverage and the game was essentially in hand in the third quarter. In the end, the Gators were simply too much for the Odell Haggins-led version of the Nole$ and any idea that he would be their new messiah was laid to rest (but don't underestimate the fiscal acumen of "the school out west").
Of course it will always be a little disappointing to not be in the national championship or even conference championship conversation, but consecutive 10 win seasons in the midst of a rebuild shouldn't be dismissed. For a little while, it should be nice to enjoy the progress made and a second consecutive dominating regular season finale over a fierce rival without the parade of "yeah, buts." There's plenty of time for the continuing thorough dissection after the new year. In the meantime, lets look a some of the stories within the story from Saturday night at BHG:
*Depending on who you ask, we're either in great shape or potential turmoil with our QB situation. Trask has been nothing short of amazing this season and EJ certainly shows promise. The question is whether EJ will stay with Trask set for another season. Few have been pleased with Mullen's random use and if there's fault it might be that he's tried to keep everyone happy while his eye is toward the future. What usually happens is that no one's happy and this is likely true if you were to poll the fans. My opinion is you've got to ride the horse that got you where you're at and let the future take care of itself.
*Seemed like every receiver got to touch the ball. Swain and Jefferson had a great Senior day as each had two scoring grabs. Toney put on quite a show and reminded us of the dimension he adds to the offense. Pitts may have some of the best hands a TE could possess, but he seemed to be periodically hallucinating, thinking he was actually an OL as he essentially blocked no one. This deficiency has to be cleaned up at some point if he's to be the complete player he needs to be. Other than that, little to complain about from this embarrassment of riches.
*With the exception of the poor coverages that led to F$U's first score (and a couple of others that weren't capitalized on) and a long TD run by Akers, the D was pretty much lights out. Greenard and the DL were strong and solid and the LB's led by Reese and Miller had a good performance. In all, a strong performance which is what you expect in this game.
*HUTA = Head Up Their @ss coverage. Henderson didn't help himself in terms of future employment and as referenced, the Nole$ missed Terry behind our coverage several times. This was the only low point and luckily didn't hurt us.
*"Move back, You suck!" I'm not really a fan of this type thing, but given the undisciplined play by F$U, it was certainly warranted and hilarious to boot.
*The quick glimpse of the new facilities gives hope for the future. Looks to be a really nice layout on the horizon. It's about time.
*Santa, if I can't have McElwain as the Nole$ next coach, I'll settle for Odell. The organizational skills and class (or lack thereof) that was on display was encouraging
Really good season. Great is still out there. Now all we need to do is land in a good bowl and put on a good performance. Auburn might have helped us in that regard. Here's looking to a great new year with the rebuild proceeding. Go Gators!
*Apologies for the brevity. My only excuse is that we were late in the night getting home after a really great trip. Crowd was good and the Nole$ failed to show. I like it!
*Adding a little here, but the last time I checked in the 4th quarter, F$U had been flagged 13 times (several PF and unsportsmanlike) to our 5. Remember when we were always among the most-penalized in the nation? Glad to not be in that group.
*The Nole$ rabble was a no-show, as it looked like they had more band members than fans. Front runners for sure and a bunch of hypocrites. The nerve of turning on Taggart and the program after lauding his hiring as ground-breaking in terms of better relating to the players and changing the culture. News flash...their culture still sucks and they still sit on a throne of lies (hey, it's the Christmas season).
- Thread: Anyone else get good news today?
Not really a sports topic, but wanted to share the great news my son was accepted to UF today. (As was our neighbor across the street.). As you might imagine, Momma was stoked. He of course is too “cool” to show any excitement. No idea if he’ll “commit” & being out of state will be a challenge, but wanted to share nonetheless. Anyone else hear good news today?
- Thread: Florida played a good game
Offense was great.
Defense was bad but injured.
Dan had some questionable decisions down the stretch but we aren’t even in the game without his play calling up to that point.
We may play them again in Atlanta.
If you disagree you are uneducated and probably a lib cuck.
- Like x 49
- Drunk x 2
- Facepalm x 1
- Stoned x 1
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!
Capable....but unable. Mick said something along those lines in the wrap-up. I couldn't agree more. We rode into Jax with only one loss, that to SECW heavyweight LSU. We'd found our QB and leader and along with our sterling group of receivers, the passing game was clicking. Bookends Greenard and Zuniga were set to return, rested and healthier. Bring on Fromm! Bring on Swift! This was to be our chance to reclaim the city and turn the series back in our direction. Six point 'dogs? We got this!
But it was not to be. This was not UT or Kentucky or Auburn or South Carolina. This was Georgia, the team that hates us as much as we hate them and they had the tools to get it done. Along with the previously-mentioned positives, there were some negatives that were our undoing:
- UGA owned third down. Seemed like every time we had an opportunity to force a change of possession, they'd convert. We, on the other hand, couldn't buy one when we had to have it.
- We were 2/3 on fourth downs, but the one we didn't get, the first attempt on the first drive of the game, seemed to rob us of our mojo. Mullen said in his post-game talk that after that "we failed to respond." He wasn't kidding.
- We couldn't block. They could. Even though we held their ground game in check for three quarters of the game, we were absolutely unable to run it against them when we had to. Furthermore, we got overpowered and passed by often while pass blocking. Our OL looked like the scout team, but we all knew this was bound to happen. We just hoped it wouldn't.
- Grantham's scheme looked almost identical to the one employed against LSU, generating insufficient pressure on Fromm who carved us up after winding his watch and scratching his @ss after the snap. That extra time also made it hard for our DBs to maintain coverage and Georgia made us pay over and over again. We didn't sack him and it seemed even when we pressured him he was able to escape with the second level defenders stretched away from the LOS. Groundhog Day.
*CBS showed several plays where Fromm had 4+ seconds to scan the field while we were rushing four or five most times. At some point you think Grantham's got to find a way to make him get the ball out quicker, but he never did or at least not effectively. I felt like I was watching my house burn down and all I did was hope the fire truck would eventually get there. I guess I'm now sifting through the ashes.
*The DL and LBs were pretty salty against their run game. I think I heard that Swift was held to 80-something. Unfortunately it didn't seem to matter. They still gained almost 400 total, ran more offensive plays than us, and held the ball longer.
*We aren't DBU. Not anymore, not right now. Lack of pressure on Fromm didn't help us, but we got lost in coverage several times. The most glaring was their last TD, the pass to #15 who was uncovered. As he released and ran the cross, our DB over him (we looked to be in Cover 2) turned to alert the safety. Unfortunately, the safety had bailed, starting to chase a deep receiver (who was covered) already 15-20 past him. A good team will make you pay for these blunders. Also, we had several instances of not finding the ball while in man coverage. Henderson had this happen a couple of times in key situations.
*Their OL was massive (avg. wt. ~320). Although we did well against them against the run, they were pretty solid in pass pro. The difference between their's and ours was frightening.
*Pitts is becoming a great TE. He made some great catch and runs in the first half. But he just vanished in the second. Some credit has to go to UGA for finding him and making sure he was covered.
*I'm not a big fan of the called runs for Trask. If we can't block for our backs who are much faster and more agile than him, we are wasting downs. The element of surprise is gone.
*I was pleased with our sense of urgency later in the game, but it proved to be too little, too late. Per Mullen, we've got to respond early and often. As mentioned, I think we let doubt creep in after turning it over on downs to start the game.
*Effort was not our problem, but execution was. Offensively it pretty much begins and ends with the OL. We're about where we're gonna be until this gets fixed.
Try as I might to cover my ear and think of other things, I can't help but hear the whispers of "wait 'til next year." Our top two goals are gone now. We can play to win out against Vandy and Mizzou and hope that by some miracle we get a little help with UGA. But the odds aren't in our favor. We're better served to play to win out, including F$U and a bowl and turn that into some positives with what'll be left of recruiting. This we can still control. Beside all that, we're Gators. As Freddie Swain said after the game "We got some guys with their heads down right now. The loss stings. But we'll come back Monday and work on getting better!"
That's what we do. Go Gators!
With apologies to Jim McElwain, eponymously named game analysis posts on Gatorchatter have officially "jumped the shark." In that spirit, here is "Pasty's Stool," the first and probably last analysis of a football game you'll ever see from me.
First the good news, and a few things to cheer you up.
1) Jameis Winston turned the ball over six times yesterday. He threw five picks against one TD and fumbled twice, losing one. He's far and away the most turnover-prone player in the NFL since 2015, and to add to the good news cavalcade, he apparently didn't sexually assault a soul during his stay in London. I realize this doesn't have anything to do with the LSU game, but I think you'll all agree that Gator fans everywhere are happier today knowing that the female population in London somehow managed to avert this maniacal, interception-throwing octopus.
2) Kyle Trask is the real deal. He has got the kind of grit, resilience, and character that prove that the summers he spent in conversion therapy camp at the behest of his evangelical preacher father have paid off. This dude is a gamer if there ever was one. We are so much better off with him under center than Feleipe Franks. Every time I thought we were out of it, he stepped up and marched the team down the field. We lost, but it certainly wasn't his fault.
3) This loss doesn't matter. That's right, you heard me correctly. If we want to win the East we still need to beat South Carolina and Georgia, just like we needed to last Friday. If we want to make the playoff we still need to do that, plus *cough* beat Alabama or LSU in a rematch.
Ok, now the bad news:
1) Have you ever fed grease to a goose? I have, (don't ask me the circumstance or why, but trust me, it's a mess), and that's basically what our defense looked like against the LSU offense. I honestly can't remember a worse defensive performance. The only thing that saved us was the fact that we held the ball for so long. They were averaging twelve yards a play in the first half, and that included a kneel. There were parts of the game that made me feel like the defense had given up, not out of lack of desire, but out of complete exasperation and a desperate hope to just stop the play before it got to the goal line. I have very little confidence in that unit at the moment. They got lucky a few times early in the season, and they do need to get credit for their red zone effort going into the LSU game, but this issue is a real wildcard, and it could be our biggest concern going forward. The impact of Greenard not playing was pretty obvious. That guy's a disruptive monster and if he's out of the South Carolina and Georgia games, we have an issue.
2) Dan Mullen is too cute for his own good. There is nothing particularly impressive or intimidating about LSUs defense, they were tiring, we were moving the ball against them, we have a QB who is very good in my opinion. As much as I like Emory Jones, there is no reason to repeatedly bring him in to run the wildcat, which is the most telegraphing formation in football. Everybody knows the QB is going to run the ball more often than not. You may get away with it for a few downs, but by the second half, they are going to stuff it. Trask was having a great night. Why take the ball out of his hands with a halfback pass or by bringing in a new QB? The stupidity in the name of being "clever" here is astounding. This reminds me of that fake punt against Auburn. Mullen thinks he's fooling everyone, no one told him that he's only fooling himself.
3) When you shuffle QBs in and out, you lose rhythm, your clock management suffers, and your starting QB gets out of sync. When Mullen shuffled QBs, we lost valuable time, a timeout, and we gave the LSU defense time to gather themselves. We had them on their heels and, again, Mullen got full of himself and blew it.
4) Someone needs to teach the defense how to get set before a play when the opponent is running the hurry-up. Every single OC worth his salt will want to run the hurry-up against us. We looked embarrassingly unprepared for it, and that's on Grantham. Guys weren't lined up so often that it was like we playing 9 vs. 11 most of the time. Ridiculous and shameful.
5) LSU chicks may be hotter than ours. At the very least, they dress more provocatively at football games and generously bounce around more.
So I post here very rarely but I lurk fairly often on this site and a couple others. I’m generally a bit of a glass half empty type Gator, but I’m literally angered at the negativity by some on this board. I could list names and posts but it would take a long time and it wouldn’t change anyone’s opinion anyway. I do have to almost wonder if there is a backstory behind Swamp Donkey that I don’t know. Some of his posts are just so egregiously wrong and negative it’s sort of beyond the pale.
I guess I’m just confused and frustrated. We all want the recruiting to pick up, but you’d think we are recruiting in the 20s and winning 6 games. We literally were one frustrating game against UGA away from Atlanta with a decent shot at the SEC and the playoffs. Facilities yes we want them yesterday, but they are coming and they will be nice. Recruiting yes it isn’t top 3 but it will be top 10 and I think Dan knows based on past experience what talent is needed to get there. There was literally NO coach available that was going to come that would have done ANY better than Mullen.
I will freely admit I wanted Kelly first and Frost both over Mullen. And I was a bit disappointed when we got Dan. But I was wrong! I mean crap I truly think there are some people on this board and one of the other boards that are happier when we suck so they can be proven right. The reason I’m posting is not to change minds because I doubt I will change anyone’s mind. But my guess is there are others like me who would like to contribute more but are just beat down by the overwhelming negativity.
I’m very happy where we are at. And yes I scratch my head when we don’t have our pick of the crop of FL kids right now , but I also believe that we realistically have the best coach we could have and that it will continue to slowly get better with a staff tweak here and there, facilities, continued high performance, great fan base support etc.
Anyway thanks for listening and 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.
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- Thread: F V C K uga
F V C K them all. F v c k Mark Richt, Herschel, Larry Munson, Deborah Norville, Lindsey Scott (f v c k him twice), Buck Belue, Goldberg, Vince Dooley (and all of his family, friends and neighbors), Quincy Carter, Frank Sinkwich, Lewis Grizzard, R.E.M. and the B-52's, David Pollack, Uga (every last flea bitten one), Wally Butts, Hines Ward, Jake Scott, the ridiculous "Arch", Champ Bailey, Newman ("Hello Newman"), Charley Trippi, the Athens City Council, Garrison Hearst, Bill Stanfill, all Stinchcombs, Ray Goff, Brian Burton (“Danger Mouse”), Will Muschamp, Alton Brown, Pat Dye, John Isner, Zell Miller (and his "legacy"), Fran Tarkenton, anyone who wears red and black, Kim Basinger, Terrell Davis, Kirby Smart, Charles Herty, Jim Donnan, Ryan Seacrest, Matt Stafford, Jarvis Jones, Chip Beck, Knowshon Moreno, Kevin Butler, Bubba Watson, A J Green, Mark Schlabach, Catfish Smith, Dominique Wilkins, and Pop Warner. Yes, f v c k them all.
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