Holy cow! Can you believe it?! This was certainly one for the books and seemed to have a little bit of everything. More twists and turns and rises and falls than the Pacific Coast Highway. I can't remember alternately cursing and thanking the good Lord as much as I did tonight. I must admit to having a few cold ones at the Mexican joint with my wife and daughter prior to the game, anticipating the need for what I knew would be a tough one in Lexington. Little did I know that tequila would have been a better choice.
There was a point that a second consecutive loss to the Cats looked almost inevitable. We were getting our sh!t pushed in on both lines of scrimmage, we weren't tackling well, the secondary couldn't cover a (prostitute) with a bedsheet, etc. Then Frank's went down on a failed 4th down play and Trask trotted out with the 'ones' on the next series (somewhere, maybe in a cheap motel in Tiajuana, Law was breaking the seal on a jug of the best local hootch; a gallon of Zima would not even start to take the edge off of what he was feeling). In the back of my mind, I could hear Bill Murray saying something about a "Cinderella Story." Could it be? Nah...well, maybe, but...and then I'll be damned if it wasn't!
This is one of those once a generation type games. The Danny to Doering game against these same Kentucky Wildcats comes to mind. Now the question becomes can we use this as a catalyst to shore up our deficiencies, mature and get better faster, and actually be a factor in the top of the conference question? The emotion of the moment answer would be a resounding "hell yeah," but the sober and analytical answer would be to pump the breaks and realize that until our many problems are corrected, we'll have a very difficult time against the better teams and little to no chance against the best. Sorry if it seems like I can't enjoy a win. I'm really happy, ecstatic really, that we pulled it out and one thing we have shown, a "never say die" spirit (which is extremely valuable), emerged. But looking at it from a coaching point of view, we have deficiencies that will eventually get us if we can't grow out of or correct them. The OL problem is most prominent. So let's look at some particulars (and I'm surely going to talk about the good as well):
*It was tough to see Franks go down with the dislocated ankle that has ended his season. As critical as I've been, I have been impressed by the difference in his attitude last game and in this one that was on display. Lots of energy, but under control. He was resembling a leader. Even more impressive is the loyalty his teammates have for him. I think he's always had the "it" that a coach wants from his QB, but just didn't quite know how to use it and I think it affected him physically as well as mentally, the two being tied together. Wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.
*Trask. What a feel good story. Kid showed a lot of moxie that most thought there was no way he had it. Still, there were some that seemed to know he did. Before we get too carried away, it just one game. But he has now taken that step and taken it successfully. Now he's just got to grow with the role from week to week. Proud for him and proud for the Gators. I'm a fan.
*The OL. We could do a whole article on them alone, but I'll restrict it to some things I watched for. The broken record is that we once again couldn't get a push. With only a few late exceptions, the ground game was a failure. We got overpowered, couldn't maintain our assignments, and were slow to the point of attack too often. To the latter point, our RG was a step slow on a G block and log of the play side LB and instead wound up shoving the backer into our back for an easy stop. On another, our LT never got within three yards of the DB on a lateral block for a sweep. Two things keep these assignments from being carried out: being too slow or not putting forth the necessary effort. I think consistency in the latter might be an issue along with an overall lack of strength among the personnel. If lack of quality depth is also a factor, the corrections can fall somewhere between harder than hell and impossible. We've got some pretty stout D fronts still in front of us. We should be seeing some improvement by now, but there's not nearly enough thus far. And by the way, it isn't just a TE problem.
*David Reese had a helluva game. He played with a lot of passion and a lot of grit. I think I heard he was upward of 15 stops. Only problem is that there isn't but one of him. Hope he stays healthy. He's the king bolt.
*The secondary was poor overall, not tackling very well nor covering consistently. Marco Wilson got toasted tonight, but there were others who didn't shine either. The fact that we are small doesn't help against the longer, bigger receivers. The interceptions were good and the last one critical, but this bunch has got to get better and more consistent quickly. When we get neutralized up front, lack of experience and skill gets easily exposed. I think Elam is off to a good start, however. I'm sure there's more, but it's hard to see on a night like tonight when a second string guy lights you up a bit.
*Our receivers are pretty damn good. And there's a bunch of them. Freddy Swain made some great catches to go along with Jefferson, Grimes, Hammond, and others. And how about Pitts? Now if he can just block a little.
*I'd still like to see Perine run behind his pads a little more. He's going to have to until something changes with the OL.
*I thought us failing on the 4th down play (and losing Franks) might have been the game's biggest play, but it turns out that Stoops' decision to try the same took that honor. His D had been killing us, why risk giving us some juice (and throwing their's away)?
*McPherson had a rare miss, but thankfully we were able to overcome it. Not sure if the Kentucky kicker will be able to easily get over his push. One of the game's vagaries.
We were very fortunate tonight and as mentioned before, it ought to give us some fire, especially as we come back home for a date with the Vols. It should also serve as yet another reminder that we are not a whole team, far from it in fact. The "never say die" spirit might win us a couple more down the way, but by itself, LSU, UGA, and AU will beat us. Maybe even UT and Mizzou. We have simply got to have more consistent play top to bottom and find a way to be stronger on the line of scrimmage (we were different on the DL without Zuniga). There's no choice. Mullen's got to find a way.
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What did we actually see on Saturday in the Gator's 45-0 victory over game, but outmanned UT-Martin? A slow start with a relatively solid overall game that featured the shock troops in the 4th quarter. Better play from Franks and slightly better play IMO from the OL which allowed for a better ground game than was witnessed against Miami. But let's face it, UT-Martin's D front wasn't Miami's. There's still work to be done. On the defensive side, tackling overall was much better, but we still have some technical issues with the LBs. DL was very solid once more and looked to feature some depth. DB play was better. Short of FG/KO, Special teams didn't play much of a factor, but they didn't have to. In short, we weren't treated to a 70-something to nothing smear, but we took care of business, made some progress, and should be ready for our first conference test against UK. Let's look a little deeper at what transpired in Hawgtown yesterday:
*I have to start with Franks. I am admittedly very critical of his leadership skills and his overall presence as the Gator's QB, but despite the quality of the opponent, I was pleased with his physical performance and proud of the conduct that I could see on the television. I don't recall a lot of mugging for the cameras or other self-aggrandizement that is often at the forefront. I think he's still a hotdog, but I can take him without the relish and other trimmings. I thought he commanded the pocket and showed a lot of patience (hats off to the OL in pass pro). He scanned the field and seemed to go through his progressions pretty well. He ran well when he had to. He was accurate passing the ball. In all, a very solid performance. He should be set to put back-to-back games together. But he is Franks and I remain cautiously optimistic. **Edit** BTW there is no QB controversy. Trask made one great throw and then backed it up with a terrible one. Jones ran better than he passed. Nothing was on display that would make you think Franks wasn't the clear #1.
*A lot of receivers were involved last evening, confirming them as one of the deepest and talented groups we've had in quite some time. Jefferson, Cleve, and Grimes are weapons and Hammonds is about as solid and consistent as we have on the roster. He might not always look spectacular, but he is always reliable. It was also great to see the debut of Jacob Copeland. The glimpse we had was encouraging and confirms some of the great things his teammates had to say about his talent. The laser he caught from Trask was impressive. When Franks has time, these guys can really turn a secondary inside out.
*As stated, the OL was a little better blocking the run, but they still lack a consistent and dominating push. They'll need to take some forward steps against UK. Pass pro was pretty good. Depth remains a concern. Watching the two's in the 4th quarter didn't seem to reveal many diamonds in the rough. Mostly looked like more "not ready for prime time players." The task remains.
*I think we've got three pretty solid backs. It'll be interesting to see how healthy they remain behind the OL. Perine is the legitimate #1, but I'd like to see him get behind his pads a little more. These guys will have to have the OL get better to give us what we will need against better teams.
*The DL remains a team strength with some depth to boot. They might not have duplicated the 10 sacks they had against Miami, but they stuffed the run and contained the QB. Interior line play remains such an important component for a better D and until our LBs play more consistently, the DL's play will be supremely important. They look up to the mark thus far.
*LB play remains inconsistent. We continue to take poor pursuit angles and get lost in coverages (e.g. open wheel route during a blitz). Reese looked decent on the fill, but overall this group looks young and moderately talented. When we play teams with good OL that can neutralize our DL in spells, this group will have to be better than they have been so far.
*DBs looked pretty good in coverage minus a couple of times we let receivers get behind us (Henderson saved us on one of these). They looked to have tackled much better and a couple of the youngsters got their feet wet (Elam et al). I seem to recall a couple of the kids supporting the run and cleaning up that was encouraging. This group is a beneficiary of our DL play as well.
*Pierce was back home Friday before last and told one of my colleagues that Mullen stayed knee-deep in their @sses after the Miami performance. It showed last evening. I felt like he was embarrassed after Miami (and he should have been) and the play this week looked like all were more focused.
*In other SEC news, Jimbo Fisher barely missed going 0-2 on Saturday when F$U narrowly escaped with a 1 point overtime win against Louisiana-Monroe. Had the Nole$ failed, Fisher would have been tagged with the loss since it is his fault for their struggles after he left them talentless. Taggart saved him with a commanding victory over the powerhouse from the bayou country. Luckily, the 37 fans that stormed field after UL-M's missed PAT caused no damage and security was able to quickly restore order.
*Havent heard Toney's status, but hope it's not serious. He got waylayed when the defender split his two lead blockers and came down hard on his wrist/shoulder. Not aware of any other significant injuries. The team looks to continue to benefit from our S&C and nutrition programs. See Tallahassee for reference.
I'm not sure what to expect from Kentucky as I have yet to watch them. I'm sure they'll bring their best. I'm more worried about what we bring. I guess you can consider us to be on a bit of an uptick, but I'm not wholly convinced of how well we can maintain our consistency. That's the mark of a good team in my mind. Not satisfied with what we've done, but concerned with what we have to do for the next team in front of us. Ideally, we show up tougher and more consistent with our assignments and our toughness. Franks progression will have a large impact. I recall having said this before only to be disappointed. I don't want to be disappointed. Maybe this is the year we grow in a straight line and not a zig zag? We'll know better soon.
- 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.
In a time when 8-2 might be considered disappointing, it was good to see the Gators dismantle Vanderbilt 56-0 at BHG. In times past, the Commodores had been known to play us tough, maybe even catching us looking past them. Not today. Vandy was softer than they have been. And we don't have anything to look past them for. At least in terms of big goals that we can control. So it was good to see us take care of business, even if we did sputter some at the beginning.
Among the stories of this Saturday in Gainesville, the defense pitching a shutout had to be at the top after a couple of stinkers in our two biggest conference games. Even though the competition wasn't comparable, the fact that we played with some purpose and enthusiasm was welcome. "Dr. Pressure" was living up to his nick and guys like Diabate, Greenard, Reese, Davis, et al were turning in stellar performances. At one point, on Vandy's lone scoring threat, they had 60+ yards on that drive and only 12 on their prior possessions combined. We didn't allow them to run it on us and between the pressure and the coverage, they couldn't throw it either. A complete defensive performance. Only problem...it was against Vandy and that a collective loss of give-a-sh!t after conference aspirations was dashed probably dampened the enjoyment for many. Not me, however. Being a firm believer in making sure that you get back up after being knocked down, there's always something to cheer about in every win. There's always something to be gained.
Offensively, the story was one we've enjoyed before...just about every one of our great corps of receivers either was targeted or ran the ball. One of the announcers pointed out how the fact that they all contribute to the offense had to be appealing to the receivers we were recruiting, knowing that they'd see the field and get balls thrown their way. Pitts continues to be a primary threat and it was pointed out that he and Trask worked a lot together leading up to this season. Their chemistry is pretty evident. Grimes' catch and run was a thing of beauty and it was good to see Cleveland make some plays. Kinda seemed like he was a little overshadowed, but maybe it was because of how well we are distributing the ball. No doubt, this group has to be among the deepest we've ever had and ranks right up there with the best in cfb. The running game is still pretty meh, but too many other things went right, so the moaning and wringing of hands maybe got a little break.
Missouri, our next (and last) conference foe, fell to the Dawgs. They looked pretty impotent offensively, though they were without their starting QB, but they had some moments defensively as they held UGA to a bunch of FG attempts before ultimately falling. The fact that they've been a thorn in our flesh of late should be enough to get us up for them even though a win won't put us in the SECCG (there's always something to play for). At this point we're building for the future as best we can and it's still important to enter the regular season finale with the Nole$, who won their first post-Taggart game today, on a bit of a rise.
Here are a couple of more items from today's game:
*Trask looked pretty mortal at times today. His picks didn't resemble the QB he looked to be becoming and a few of his passes, even a couple that were caught, didn't look quite as precise. His first two series were forgettable, but he settled in and played better thereafter. It's good he's created high expectations from us fans. Better still he was able to help lead us to a win when he was not at his best.
*The OL didn't look any worse with a new face at RG. They weren't great by any means, but they had to be doing something right for the offense to have been as productive as it was. We had a little more success on the ground (e.g. EJ rushing for three scores) so maybe it was some better, despite some rushes that got blown up, even if it was against Vandy. Better than getting overwhelmed I guess.
*Watching the game with c2Jr, we both thought that the flanker screens, jet sweeps, etc. were successful. We also wondered why they weren't a bigger part of the offense last week.
*Grantham's plan looked good against the Commodores, better than it did against the Tigers and the Dawgs. Plan, players, or both? I'll pick "C."
*The backs figured into the passing game today. Even though it looked improv-ish, the toss/push to Perine was nice and Pierce had two nice catch and runs for first downs. At this juncture, I'm still looking for Pierce to get more touches.
*I'd like to think we could put 20-25 more pounds on Diabate and retain his speed and quickness. He had a whale of a game and it's always good to see a young guy step up.
*If Stewart was the only significant injury (and I haven't heard for sure), then we should be pretty healthy next week. What about Zuniga?
*It's still a loss, but LSU's big win over Bama makes me feel a little better about our effort against them. Not pandering for a moral victory by any means, but the Tigers look to be the real McCoy. They're where we want to be (and their defense might not be quite as bad as I've heard proclaimed - they've got some guys that can play on that side of the ball and even though they might not be beautiful statistically, they have held all the teams they've played below what their offense has scored).
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime...you just might find...you get what you need!" What we need, at this point, is to win out and maintain both relevance and the impression that we are on the rise, if not sky rocketing. Mick must've had us Gators in mind. Onward to Mizzou and a chance for another forward step. Until then, I'll leave you with this thought about patience...my granddaddy told me that he knew I'd have a lot of patience when I grew up because I didn't use a damn bit of it when I was young. He knew I bled Orange and Blue
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.
Well we've finally moved past the lost decade against FSU. There's no reason it should have been this long between home wins against those assh*les, but after taking a few wrong turns, we're back on the right path.
I was so happy to see us come out and stomp on their throats from the get go. As we all know, we've had far too many games where we kinda piddled around for half the game before pulling away down the stretch. And while the end result is still the same if we're winning, I still like to see us put some points up right off the bat and remove all doubt before halftime. Even after FSU's initial TD drive where they threw the entire Coach Cline green playbook at us, it was obvious they were in WAY over their heads if they wanted to keep the game even remotely close. When you think about where we were as a program just two years ago, right up until the day before Mullen was hired, and we dicked around in this game and got waxed for the umpteenth time in a row, the turn around has been remarkable. We've gone from being barely competitive with a rival that was having a VERY down year, to running them off the field and embarrassing them in back to back years, all in a span of just over two calendar years.
I really can't say enough about Kyle Trask and what he did for us this season. I thought teams were going to adjust to him after a few games and it was going to be rough sledding after that, but he never flinched and continued to improve every single week. A lot of credit needs to go to Mullen, as well, for making sure he was prepared and ready to go when Franks went down. Last night might have been his best game as a Gator so far. He didn't take a sack for the first time this season, he hit a couple checkdowns to keep the chains moving (and for a TD to Swain when FSU didn't bite on the fake screen), and he didn't make a single bad decision that I can recall. This kid was a godsend this year, and I can't wait to see how he performs next year.
It was great to see the senior wide receivers all kinda get their own moments last night, as well. Every one of them has each had their own individual big games and big moments both this season and throughout their careers, and they all contributed in big ways last night. I just wish Cleveland could have scored on that last tunnel screen they called for him, but someone whiffed BADLY on a block. Oh well, he'll always have the 98 yarder and the Heave.
Defensively, what can you say about the way they played at home this year? Even though we had a lot of easier opponents at home, three shutouts and only 33 points given up in six games is NOT easy. FSU kinda got some cheap ones with that busted coverage on the first drive and Akers slipping away on the last TD, but it's hard to complain about 8 sacks and only 13 first downs given up. Here's hoping they continue to get better away from home next year and we can clean up 3rd down in some of the bigger games.
I also can't say enough about Jonathan Greenard and what he did this year. I would think it's unheard of that a guy coming off a serious injury to join an SEC team for one year would become an absolute wrecking ball like he did. Hopefully he gets the All-SEC recognition he deserves, as well as an NFL roster spot, because he's earned it. I wish we could clone him and give the clones four years of eligibility.
So that's that. I said before the season I thought 10-2 was a very realistic goal for this team, and while it's bittersweet knowing a handful of plays were all that stood between us and 12-0, we're getting there. We need to see this on-field success get followed up by recruiting success, but we're on the cusp of something great here again. And again, it can't be stated enough how different things are now compared to the day before Mullen got hired. He deserves every bit of credit thrown his way for grabbing the wheel of the ship and yanking that son of a b*tch around 180 degrees back the other way. It's not easy to do in college football, but he did it. We still have that next step to take, but I couldn't be more confident that we'll take it.
Go Gators, and everyone keep your fingers crossed for an Orange Bowl bid!
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
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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!
Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar, all against Franks, just find a new sport to watch you dumbasses!
I'm a little shocked this morning at the hate for Franks. I don't know what else he could have done last night to impress some of you who already have your minds made up about him. Play defense? Do a backflip? Bang a cheerleader on the field? He had a great game. He wasn't perfect, he certainly missed Pitts a couple times when he was open down the field, but he was extremely accurate and managed the game exactly the way he was supposed to.
Mullen said it after the game, and I definitely noticed it during the game, but UTM is constantly dropping 8 men and rushing 3 on defense. If some of you were concerned with him taking a long time to get the ball out, it's because we had 4-5 guys running routes being defended by 8 guys in zone. It's going to take a while when the defense plays like that. He'll have all day to throw, but the receivers have to get open. If you have an issue with the WR screens being called, then clearly you've never paid attention to a single Dan Mullen football game in your entire life. His offense has a lot of WR screens, even going back to Tebow.
Franks dropped dimes on every downfield throw except one of his two incomplete passes, the jump ball in the endzone (which was his one truly bad play, Swain was WIDE open about three seconds earlier on that play and he missed him). But if you guys are going to take the small handful of times he didn't make the right read out of an entire game's worth of passing plays and judge him on those, once again, find a new sport to watch. Or maybe pick up a copy of "College Football for Idiots" at Barnes and Noble today. Every single QB is going to make the wrong read a few times a game, just get over it. We left after Trask's TD pass because we had to drive home, so I'm not sure how either of them looked throughout the 4th quarter. But I can guarantee all of you the offense is in far better hands with Franks than it is with either of those guys..
The offensive line continues to worry me, they just aren't opening holes up for the run game right now. For those of you pissed about the short passes last night, we're calling them because those short passes are basically our running game for the time being. We can't open up enough space to make headway through the middle of the defense, might as well get the ball out into space quickly and take your chances out there instead of counting on our line to block. That's the one truly troubling thing about our offense moving forward. We've got to find a way to create more space up the middle or it's going to be very difficult to get the running game going no matter who is carrying the ball. And the tight ends certainly aren't pulling their weight blocking, either.
I was happy to see the defense pitch the shutout last night. Even though the opponent was clearly inferior, the tackling was much improved, and there really wasn't much to critique with the way they played. Felt good to have the first shutout in three years. Apparently UK's QB is hurt pretty bad, so our defense has to be letting out a sigh of relief they don't have to face him again this year. Feel terrible for the kid, though, hopefully it's not too serious of an injury.
The one thing that frustrated me the most was UTM taking their sweet ass time the whole game. It almost seemed like their strategy was just to shorten the game so they didn't get blown out by 70. Mullen also mentioned this in the postgame about how few plays we ran on offense in the first half because their offense was in stall mode. Anyway, having said all that, it was a decent enough game, but the Two Bits tribute was awesome and it's always great to walk out of a stadium with a W. Big game next week, it's time for SEC football!
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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.
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