This. Is. Fantastic.
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Have you ever watched Will Muschamp go apoplectic with uncontrollable rage on the sideline, and secretly wished an aneurysm would explode in his head? Me too. That's not to say I hate Will Muschamp, but like many of you, I do have a macabre fascination with his eventual stress-related death. Will it happen on the football field, in a mental institution, or when some structure falls on him after he punches it?
He was right to be angry to some extent. The officiating was terrible. I speak of that not as a Gator fan, but as a fan of quality work ethic. With the possible exception of the registered democrats on this board, most of us take pride in our work and our work ethic. So regardless of to whom the outcome of the bad call/non-call effects, we're genuinely appalled by it. And this officiating wasn't just bad, it was ACC bad. I kept thinking they'd brought in Jack Childress and his crew of incompetents from the 2003 FSU game. Both teams were hurt by these stooges, we were brutalized by their ineptitude in the first half. I hope we don't see that crew again for the rest of the season.
In any case, with regard to Muschamp, their last scoring drive, which ended with a TD pass with 1:53 left on the board, illustrates why he'll always be a bad coach. I mentioned last week that good coaches would see how poorly we reacted to the hurry-up offense and deploy it in their next game plan. Ever obsessed with time-of-possession victories, Muschamp failed to run a hurry-up until his last scoring drive. Just like in the LSU game, our guys couldn't get lined up and weren't ready for the snap. The Gamecocks moved the ball downfield on us easily then. South Carolina could've put at least two more touchdowns up, maybe had 500 yards of offense on us if they'd come to the line after every play.
South Carolina was able to move the ball against us quite a bit during the game, which is concerning. I'd say the play of Henderson, who in my opinion is one of the better DBs I've seen in a Gator uniform, and Wilson, who made some great tackles, was the highlight of the defense. But man, we missed a lot of tackles, which was frustrating to watch. The energy level may have been a little low after two emotional games and playing in a sloggy stadium. The impact of not having Zuniga and Greenard is really being felt right now. I hope those guys can come back for Georgia. We will need them.
Trask was having trouble throwing in the rain, and he made a few mistakes, but in all, his play has been a miracle sent straight from heaven. I can't believe how lucky we are to have this guy, he's a legitimate pro prospect. His pocket awareness has improved a lot. He just seems like a guy who can learn from his mistakes. He did get bailed out a few times by luck and flags, though. I don't know what happened on the interception he threw to start the second half. Maybe the ball slipped in his hands. But he did throw into a bunch of defenders, the pass was ill-advised, regardless. I will say that it made me cringe watching the lack of tackling effort by Pitts on the interception return. He was acting like the ball carrier was a homeless dude with a tuberculosis cough.
The way the offense responded to it on the next drive was great though with that 75-yarder by Pierce. I loved watching Cleveland sustaining a 60-yard block on his defender. That was awesome. Pierce is a wrecking ball. It seemed like it would be the kind of game where he'd get a lot of carries, I was disappointed that he saw so few. I will say that our offensive line seemed to improve a bit, but then again, everyone looks good against Muschamp's overrated defenses. I'd still rate LSUs defense better, and they are giving up a lot of points this season.
When do we generally start getting annoyed with the ego-driven calls of our head coach? I'm not there yet. He's made some brilliant calls, and he's generally called good games, but his penchant for trying to be cute has the potential for getting costly. He made some unnecessarily risky pass play calls when we were up by 11 and needed to milk the clock. It turned out ok, but it seemed like we lucked out with penalties, missed calls and a missed INT.
Swain's catch was beautiful - an absolutely gorgeous route with a fully extended lay-out on the catch.
Speaking of gorgeous, how awesome is it that this chick managed to look so good and keep her makeup and youthful glow intact in the face having just watched Pierce's punch-to-the gut run in a rain-soaked stadium? All those years of taking 'Presentation and Etiquette' classes in Mrs. Windhaven's School for Proper Girls turned her into the coquettish little Southern Belle that has made her mom and her uncle proud. Well done.
- Thread: Mind-blowing stat of the week
I know some of you seemed to not be impressed with yesterday’s haul, so I decided to dive a little deeper into the overall roster talent and the 180 flip since Mullen arrived in Gainesville. This is original content, and I typed this on my lagging iPhone so bare with me if there’s grammatical errors (it’s all Siri’s fault)
Let’s first take a look at Bamas 2019 recruiting class
12 top 100 recruits
12 recruits in the top 100-300 range
3 outside the top 300, only one unranked and that’s a kicker (their kickers always suck so I’m going to say this kid also sucks so suck it Saban)
This is the gold standard in recruiting. We all know this. Nobody has truly been able to 1. Recruit at this level while also 2. Evaluate and take kids that fit your brand/scheme/culture the way they do. Hardly ever do they have a high end bust which means they aren’t just star gazing. In reality, this isn’t a level we will be able to hit or at least consistently hit.
Let’s take a look at Clemson’s class:
Clemson signed 29 players, and still ended up two spots behind Florida’s class of 25 players.
3 top 100 recruits
9 players in the 100-300 range
17 kids in the 300-1000 range. Quite a lot actually are below the top 500.
This is kind of an outlier class for Clemon. Clearly not their best. Let’s look at the class that’s going to lead them to another title, the ‘18 class:
5 5 stars
7 top 100 recruits (this includes the 5 stars)
5 in the 100-300 range
5 in the 300-900 range
This is the group that success for Clemson will be based on over the next 2-3 years. This class already won a national title led by Ross and Lawrence. Sandwiching an amazing class like this with classes like 2019 will be what Florida needs to do to contend for national titles on a yearly basis.
I’m not even going to get into Georgias recruiting because it’s evident to me Kirby star gazes with little evaluation, hoping to override his mediocre coaching with an abundance of high level talent. He’s recruited quite a few guys that don’t fit their style offensively, a mish mash of players that realize this once they get to campus hence the high level of transfers. And on top of that they haven’t won anything.
Butters destroyed Florida’s talent and depth by at one point having 20 more 3 stars than we did 4 and 5 stars combined. With Mullen having 1 1/2 classes, we are officially over the 50% blue chip ratio for our roster at a healthy 54%.
Now, let’s take a look at Florida’s 2019 class
9th overall (8th on rivals)
5 top 100 recruits (I count Diwun Black because he’s still 45th overall on 247, was a borderline 5 star who would be a consensus five star if he didn’t quit for a year. Not going to punish us for something that doesn’t include suspension or injury.)
8 players in the 100-300 range
12 players from 300-800
blue chip ratio is the key here and a solid mix of top 100 and guys in the 100-300 range.
Florida’s 2019 class finished with a blue chip ratio of 68% on the composite. Pushing the programs blue chip percentage above .500 for the first time since at least 2015 (probably even earlier than that. The team composite doesn’t go further back).
When Mullen first arrived, Florida had 51 3 star recruits and only 28 blue chippers. I can’t stress how impressive this recruiting turn around has been, because I know some see the lack of 5 stars and immediately rage quit on caring about the depth of the overall turn around
Mullens two year haul has produced 9 top 100 players, 15 players in the 100-300 range, and only 15 3 stars. Compared to Clemson’s 10 top 100 recruits, 14 in the 100-300 range, and 20 3 stars.
A two year average and we have signed the exact same amount of top 300 players as Clemson, and 1 less top 100 player. They’ve signed 6 5 stars though. And that’ll be key to pay attention to down the line.
I think in 2020 we have a real shot to sign 3-4 five stars and even a high blue chip percentage than we did in 2019. Overall, recruiting has transformed the talent level of Florida ten fold since Mullens arrival and its only going to get better from here.
Add on: developing and coaching is obviously incredibly important as well, and I believe we have one of the best coaches in college football. The continued roster flip and a coach who develops his offensive talent with the best of them, constantly challenging the brightest defensive minds in football, will yield us multiple titles in the short future.
36-17. To quote Ralphie..."Oh Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-dge (only he didn't say "Fudge")! I didn't say "Fudge" either, but used the alternative quite often this afternoon. The things we needed to control in order to win, the LOS, their run game, their QB and pass game, we were inconsistent at best and poor at critical junctures. Turnovers didn't help matters, though we somewhat overcame them I thought. Still, Franks' two would be indicative of his inconsistent if not erratic play. Missing a wide open Jefferson was an indicator, perhaps, of how his day would go. Take away a TD throw to Swain and the bad outweighed the good. We had opportunities to seize momentum and possibly alter the outcome, but failed to do so. Scoring easily on the first possession of the second half and then allowing them to match on their first possession was one of those moments. What a difference a stop might have made. Georgia isn't as good as they were last year, but they're still pretty decent. We won't beat them or similar teams with the play we brought today. East is now out of the question, but corrections and a more consistent and efficient effort next game is to be expected. The rebuild continues.
*Franks was behind the receivers on several throws that were part of his inconsistency. On his pick, how in hell could he not see the DB squatting in front of the receiver, in his line of sight no less? For as good as a lot of his play has been this year, he can find ways to step backwards, often when the pressure is high. Makes me think that Jones' package may be a little more than just that going forward?
*I mentioned that we didn't control the LOS well enough to better contain their run game when it counted or to put more pressure on Fromm, but we had some good moments. The goal line stand (may as well have been two of them) that held the Dawgs to a FG and the three and outs in the first half were notable, but we couldn't sustain any momentum that might have come from them. We wound up giving up more than a hundred to Swift (his first time ever eclipsing that mark) and Holyfield punished us on most of his runs getting a lot of YAC. That said, UGA was not dynamic in this area, but again, good when it counted. Both OLs were ok in pass pro.
*Zuniga played a helluva game. The stuff he ran down and stopped from the backside was pretty special. Joseph and Moon had some good reps as well. Secondary, however, got abused for much of the game and I think Reese blew a couple of coverage assignments.
*Losing Henderson early on was pretty big. Young McWilliams was obviously identified by their O staff and got toasted. Our safety, Stiner I think, on their last TD toss was slow to recognize the route and gave up about five yards of separation on the break.
*Did we ever cover the TE today? Allowing Nauta to make four receptions in a row on their drive before the half was inexcusable.
*Special Teams was not a big factor though we seemed to give up some return yards greater than usual. First time I think I've ever seen a ball hit the camera cable!
Again, the rebuild continues. The process so far is working and it is clear we are better, but today pointed out that we aren't yet elite. Stinks losing to the Dawgs and especially with the number of inconsistent moments and also giving them a cheap one at the end, but only time, hard work, and recruiting will be the cure. I'm bummed, but still very optimistic about our direction. Most thought this would be one to drop at the first of the season even though our hopes and expectations have been elevated. On to the next game. Go Gators!
***Adding a few more thoughts (was in a rush to go to the Mexican joint to drown my sorrows and break bread)...
*I mentioned momentum several times and it was disappointing that we didn't seem to take advantage of moments that should have led to us gaining the juice. Maybe we were a little overconfident; maybe we were playing a better team that was an invested rival? Whichever, it was obvious that they weren't Vandy.
*McPherson's FG was great and he is certainly a good young kicker, but this was a game that we needed a TD. I guess the thinking was that we were close enough that points however they came were important and the D had made some good stops. Alas, the D got too much of the load thrown on them to answer the bell when we had to have it in the second half. The O, particularly the QB play, has to be able to rise against all quality opponents. Part of learning curve we currently find ourselves in I suppose.
*Scarlett had some good carries, but your first line back simply can't cough it up like he did, Perrine had some good carries, but the Dawgs and the scoreboard put the clamps on the running game as the game progressed. It is tough to win when you've got to have that component when the throw game isn't producing and it gets cut off.
*Our little option package wasn't as productive as it has been (shocker). We had to know that UGA would be prepared. Jones was late getting into the pitch on one that resulted in a fumble and loss of yards. Probably not the best call for the freshman at that time.
*Seems like a lot of our sideline horizontal stuff and a couple of throws to the flats were into a numbers disadvantage. Stands to reason as we have relied on this stuff to bolster our passing. They had us scouted pretty well, but that is Kirby's forte.
- Thread: The Savage Treatment
Having watched this team develop for a little over half a season, I think it is clear that perhaps the most important part of this resurgence is the arrival of Nick Savage (who has one of the best names for a strength and conditioning coach ever)! The reasons I think this are as follows:
1) Team Identity - He has helped fuel the team's unification by making them understand the importance of a truly team first attitude. Things like the rope drill and having individual and/or team related versions of the constant competitions in all aspects of training has helped to both build individual grit while also helping gel the team across and within position groups.
2) Constitution - Part of the reason the team has been so successful turning things around this season is that they clearly still have juice in the 4th quarter. Part of that is some wise rotation patterns but part of it is also having so much more in the gas tank when it gets late in games especially in position groups that are somewhat short handed like LBs. It was especially gratifying to see the LB corps step up after the defensive player of the week from the week before (Joseph) and one of the top LB backups were both ejected before the 2nd half.
3) Recovery - It has been very interesting to watch how the players have responded to the inevitable dings that come with this game. The last 2 coaches seemed to have had a rash of injuries at times which would remove players from the lineup for considerable periods. Though admittedly some of that is attributable to the luck of the game, it has been really amazing how many times guys are knocked out of the game, go to the locker room for evaluation and treatment, and then show up again later on the field. Again, I recognize some of this is just good fortune (which we are kind of due after last year and Muschamp's 2nd to last year!) but I think the level of strength and fitness these guys have achieved is also a big contributor because they are able to both absorb and dish out a great deal more punishment than in years past. Mullen clearly adopted the Urban Meyer approach to this area and I can see why.
4) Spirit - This is the area that is most pleasantly unexpected for a strength coach especially one who has a reputation of being so savage . When the fracas occurred last week it was Savage and his team who was attributed with using that as a means of firing them up. It was also Savage that escorted off Joseph when he was ejected and he seemed to be also using that incident as a means to inspire other team members while he was doing it. Most everyone on the team has also been quoted numerous times praising Savage for being instrumental in bringing everyone together.
Overall, I think one of Mullen's most important contributions to this turn around has been bringing in Savage and empowering him to not only clean up the conditioning train wreck left behind by the last staff, but also to use Savage's position as the one coach with the most time and influence on every player as a basis for installing his new team culture in every facet of what they've done in that area. That is one big reason that I think getting a 9 year SEC veteran coach was an underrated factor in most of our evaluations of the various 'shiny thing' coaching candidates considered for taking over this team. I for one am happily willing to admit that I am glad he is proving us all wrong.
I want to watch the game on DVR, but I'll just go off what I can remember.
First of all, I'm sure it was obvious on TV, but Pineiro missed that kick due to a low snap and horsesh*t hold. It's amazing he even got the ball off the ground. From where I was sitting it looked like the ball was falling sideways when he kicked it. I'm sure he feels terrible about it, but that wasn't on him at all.
Second of all, that happy high school horsesh*t offense LSU was running was the most bush league bullsh*t I've ever seen on a football field. AND IT WORKED. It has to be the first time in history a team has had 100+ yards collectively on f*cking jet sweeps. Are you kidding me?? Have guys play contain and nip that sh*t in the bud in the 1st quarter! My God!
Third of all, I'd like to see the replay on the pass interference at the end of the 1st half, but it looked like a horsesh*t call to me. If that's pass interference, we might as well outlaw bump and run coverage.
Fourth of all, Duke Dawson's interception that wasn't due to another horsesh*t call was inexcuseable. He had the ball cradled in his gut and the receiver had a hand on top of it. Was it that obvious on TV?
Fifth of all, Franks did what he could yesterday. It's clear he doesn't have a 100% grasp of the offense, but he's got the skills to make the plays, and he rarely panics and screws up royally the way guys like Driskel used to do. The 3rd & goal play where he took the sack out of bounds instead of forcing the ball into coverage was actually a thing of beauty. Still an easy kick for Eddy and no turnover, I'll take that every time if the defense has the play blanketed (which they did). HOWEVER, it's really hard for Franks to get into ANY kind of rhythm when we're running that wildcat horsesh*t with Toney every other godd*mn play. I mean WTF? Which leads me to..........
Sixth of all, I understand getting Toney the ball. He's our most electric playmaker. But GET HIM THE BALL IN SPACE. It reminded me of running Jeff Demps up the middle 100 times a season and hoping he could break tackles on 300 pound linemen. Have him run the option, have him run some LSU horsesh*t jet sweeps, have him catch quick screens, or hell, have him run the old self-play action from the Tebow years and throw a pass. The world is Nuss' oyster with Toney, and he's running him like he's Trent Richardson or Derrick Henry.
Seventh of all, our route trees might as well be a godd*mn pile of brush on the side of the road after a hurricane. I've never seen receivers running routes stacked on top of each other the way I did last night. It's REALLY hard to hit an open receiver when one guy can cover two of them. It's horsesh*t. Having said that, they did great on some scramble drills and got open for Franks to hit them for some first downs.
Eighth of all, has this team EVER practiced a two minute drill? Like ever? I've seen some of the most horsesh*t time management in my life this season, it's inexplicable. Only time we managed the clock properly was the end of the UK game, and that's only because we HAD to take our time scoring, which seems to be our forte.
Ninth of all, I still love Malik Davis. He's awesome. Truly a special player just waiting to bust out. Hopefully he'll have a chance to really grow as a player once this horsesh*t excuse of an offense gets someone else running it.
Tenth of all, f*ck LSU's band. Straight in the assh*le. That horsesh*t they pulled during We Are The Boys and the beginning of Petty should get their invitation for next year revoked. You pull a stunt like that, you aren't welcome back.
Eleventh of all, I about pulled every last lock of hair out on the sack on 3rd down in the middle of the 4th quarter. It was PAINFULLY obvious our guys didn't know where to line up and Franks was lost before the play started. I honestly don't think anyone knew what the play was. So, as a coach, when you see your offense is clearly up horsesh*t creek without a paddle during the presnap, call a timeout!!!
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for. Yes, I'm done with this staff. Much like Missouri in '14 was my last straw for Muschamp, last night was it for Mac. That's not a game you lose. LSU was running some JV high school sh*t all night, we somehow thought pulling our starting QB every other play to run the wildcat was a winning strategy, we had two fantastic TD drives followed by horsesh*t play calls in the 4th quarter. And on top of all that, we were playing a program coming off their worst week in YEARS. I mean come on! At least the Petty tribute was incredible. Can't wait for that every game.
You still won't catch me being a miserable assh*le the rest of the season. I'll continue to give my honest and unbiased opinion on every game. I'll give credit where credit is due and criticism where criticism is due. But as far as I'm concerned, it's time to move in a different direction. Horse. Sh*t.
There are many things that can be said about yesterdays noon kickoff game, but the fact is this, we had an 18 point lead before Carolina scored their final score while we were playing prevent defense. We did piddle around in the puddles for 3 quarters before once again we owned the fourth quarter. I was unfortunate not to make the trip as I was planning on making it since early August. Sometimes changing jobs leads to a change of plans. In games that I have watched since 1992, UF has never lost a game I've watched where it has rained. In that time, there are two games we lost in the rain, '01 Auburn and '04 Tennessee. For the first one, I had my school's homecoming dance and for the second, I was working my first job at Publix. Funny enough, both of those games required last minute field goals (and long ones at that) to beat us. There's some good juju for us when it rains since Spurrier began the modern era of Florida football.
I'll get this part out of the way, the officiating was bad both ways. Kyle Pitts was interferred with, there were multiple no called holdings, a facemask on Trask's keep on the read option, and a few more missed calls for Carolina including a ridiculous spot for a first down on Carolina's second drive. Cleveland and DeDeDelance got away with things on Pierce's TD run.Hammond's "pick" play. I'll say he got away with it, but offer these few things:
- Trask was on the run in the RPO.
- Hammond is NOT touching a guy with the ball in the air.
- Contact is within a yard of the line (or within 3).
The commentary says early that it took Mullen said it took weeks to realize we are a passing team. With the line in the shape it is and the tremendous depth at WR and TE, how does it take that long? That's neither here nor there, but come on, man.
Well, the rain dampened the offense for the first bit of the game. Trask usual release looked slower and his accuracy was lower. I'm honestly not sure how much rain practice he has ever had. In this age of indoor practice facilities, it's not like the kids practice outdoors in the rain if they can help it. Heck, I made fun of Shane Matthews in the past for bashing UF facilities (they do need upgrades) because of his complaints that players have to walk through the rain on rainy days to get to practice. Yes, he said this on Steve Russell's show a few years back while they were seeing what major school his son would walk in and be starter on day one of. Point is, We need to stop babying players and practice in the rain more. Part of football is doing well even when you're uncomfortable, whether it's rain, snow, hot, cold, etc.
With Trask's issues early, I did like seeing players, like Copeland step up and make plays. Trask also wasn't helped by a few drops...like the one on the first play of the game. I am also happy we didn't see Jones. I think overplaying Jones was a factor at LSU and I think that keeping Trask in the whole game (except when his helmet came off) helps build confidence that it is his team no matter the situation. We're not going to let him get us to the red zone and then put in Jones to get points.
The running game also had some good runs outside of Pierce's TD run. We even saw Trask with a few runs that weren't the longest, but do help contribute to a long term help. One time he ran after escaping the pocket and another he kept on the read option. A keep on the read every so often does help slow a defense and gives them one guy to cover. He did get a few yards on the run. On this note, Trask also had a few good throws where he escaped the pocket, kept his eyes downfield and delivered a good pass.
Why is Stiner still getting so much playing time? If you think this question isn't valid, let me present Exhibit A from this week, and by all means this is not exclusive, the first long run by Carolina at the end of the first quarter. Stiner is out of position, doesn't even read the run until the running back is in the second level and then whiffs hard on a tackle and Wilson has to run the guy down for the tackle. There were other similar plays by Stiner throughout the game.
The defense was decent. On the opening drive, Carolina hits a trick play that needed a one handed grab in good coverage to work. Ancrum had two big offsides penalties (from the DE spot he doesn't usually play) and Carolina scores.Things we need to clean up for sure, but the rest of the game went pretty well (ignoring that joke of a last TD drive). It was also nice to see plenty of young guys getting reps. Hopefullly, we get Zuniga and Greenard back and won't need the young guys as much the rest of the year, but this is experience in a big SEC East match up that will be big further down. Did the true freshmen play like true freshmen at times? Yes, but again, consider that these guys will only get better with more experience and time in the system along with more Savage. With the admirable job they did, makes me feel good about what is coming from them in the future.
Linebackers need better gap discipline going into UGA. I did like seeing Burney with tremendous downfield coverage on that one play. I would even consider putting him at safety over most of the ones we have.
- For the first time this season we did not throw for at least 250 yards, remember when we would get this far into the season and maybe not have one? Feels like forever ago.
- Our running game is bad, but we do have three 75+ yard TD runs this season. That is 1/8 of all 75+ yard TD runs in UF's history (24 total) according to Nick De La Torre.
- Dan Mullen in his first 21 games has won 17, the same as Urban Meyer and one win off of Galen Hall and Spurrier (18 wins). What do those 3 other coaches have in common? Hint: We don't recognize Hall for this NY Post achievement. Now, does Mullen live up to this? Idk, but I'm much happier at this point than I thought I'd be.
- Punt Return game still awful.
- Running game may be picking up in time for the final four games. Seriously, I'll take all the 3-7 yard runs that we were only getting -1 to 2 yards on at the beginning of the season.
- We are finally bowl eligible. Only took 9 weeks of play.
Around the Nation
- UGA fans trolling twitter about shutting UK out when UK didn't have a QB. You went to halftime 0-0 and needed help from UK to get going.
- Wisconsin fans walking to a bridge and beginning to jump around, jump up, jump up, and jump down.
- If most Miami fans aren't the way they are, I'd feel bad about where they are after where they thought they'd be.
- As a 90's kid, I will never feel bad for FSU being where they are. (Joke about firing Taggart this season would be racist proactively removed)
- I do feel bad that UT lost their QB could have been a game. I mean playing 11 on 18 sucks, but they were hanging a lot longer than I thought. In the game, we watched officials in a span of two minutes stop the game so Bama could adjust to a wildcat look after UT motioned the QB out wide and throw a flag on a Bama three and out because the Tennessee player steadied himself on Tua as he got up. It was a poor flag that you never see thrown. Seriously, Guano at QB probably kept UT from possibly pulling it off considering what happened the rest of the game. Ok, maybe no upset, but could've been closer.
- How many losses does Michigan end with? 2 or 4? Do you want them taking out the Golden Domers next week?
- Derek Mason is awesome, losing to him is not. As I tweeted, it's current M-I-L-L-O-U (with more L's to come).
- #FailState was looking too good. Had to show why they lost to UT.
- Pac 12 very happy with Washington today. Throwing that game away to keep one team with playoff hopes alive.
Next week is a bye coming at the usual time, and yet, it is the perfect time for everyone to get healthy. Stop and think about this, we still haven't really seen our top defense yet and haven't seen our offense running at all cylinders with Toney available. Buckle up, the last 4 games are going to be exciting. Take the time this bye week to enjoy what we've seen and to spend time with the family. Decent slate of games as well.
After reading a couple of threads, I think we'll start out with a joke to lighten the mood a little. Here goes...What did Bennie Snell say to the Florida defense when he ran into them at the bar in Club Park Avenue? "Excuse me guys, but may I push your stool in?"
Bad joke, but you get the point. Snell ran for 175. He's a good back, but I couldn't believe just how many missed tackles we had. I was hoping we had that leftover habit repaired, but apparently not. I was not quite as surprised that the OL stunk, unfortunately. You won't win many when the opponent dominates both lines of scrimmage. Big story of the game as far as I'm concerned, but let's talk about some of the moving parts:
*Franks was not consistent tonight and it would be easy to say he either regressed from the first game or he just fooled us against an over matched opponent. Maybe a little of both. Though he wasn't real sharp, he was better when the game was close and made some good decisions and good reads and throws in the first half. I didn't think he handled the pressure when behind with the clock ticking. To be fair, the OL didn't make his job any easier. The missed opportunity on the two point conversion attempt was a text book case of Franks making his mind up to throw back across the formation, which we scored against CSU with, and completely missing a wide open Davis...on the side he rolled to! He may be better, but there's still work to be done, especially with composure.
*Poster boy for our OL woes is Martez Ivey. Tackle body; Guard feet. Poor Fred Johnson is a close second. But really they all seem to play with cement shoes and look confused on their assignments frequently. The SEC Network commentator made a good point on the step-gap responsibility that remains backside that wasn't fulfilled. Got to at least be able to get a punch and slow the guy up a step. Ground Hog Day.
*The entire D was not good. It starts with the DL, who simply got manhandled the majority of the game (when they weren't being held; a lot of no calls IMO). Our LBs aren't good, but they're really not good when the DL can't protect them. Henderson looked like our best cover guy in the secondary and I can't say much bad about Chauncey, but we gave up two TD's that certainly should have been better covered IMO. First one was a young guy that got caught peeking at the QB when he should have been in the receiver's jersey with him. The second I thought the safety had plenty of time to read the route and adjust, but it never happened. Losing Wilson will definitely hurt. Even though they did have a couple of good stops, the entire D better grow up in a hurry.
*I've alluded to what I believe were several missed holding calls by the officials, so you can read that as I'm not impressed with their performance. I won't say "we was robbed," but they didn't help matters. The homer in me also says as close as the field goal attempt was, it was hard for me to see justification in the no good call. I guess I understand the rule change that the ball must be inside the upright when it crosses, but I'm not agreeing with it tonight. Could have made a difference, particularly if Franks would have seen Davis! Moot point I guess.
*High point in the game was the 99 yard drive. It wasn't smooth, but the ending was beautiful.
*Freddy Swain was announced as the player of the game. Toney looked good. Franks, again, wasn't consistent with all his throws, but we had some drops. Cleveland had some stone hands tonight.
*I'm sure Mullen (and the staff) will be raked over the coals and surely they deserve some criticism. Personally, I felt like we didn't rush the ball to set up the pass nearly enough at the outset, but maybe what they knew about the OL influenced that decision? Poor tackling has to fall in the coach's lap. Illegal substitution penalty after the time out was inexcusable. I'm sure there are more. But if you didn't think that there was going to be some of what was on display tonight from this roster, you were kidding yourself. The fact that we saw it this early was a kindling point. The fact that UK was better than they have been, got pretty good play from their QB, Snell, and didn't shoot themselves in the foot like last year had a bearing on the outcome.
Back to the drawing board and another week of *****in' in store. Got to find away to get more wins on the LOS. For as much as the average fans these days want to focus on the skill positions and the need for entertainment, the game is still usually won or lost at the line. I believe tonight helped remind us of that. Still a lot of football to be played, but it's got to get better in all phases as we move forward. Go Gators!
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