Dear Gators | By Joe Haden
Excellent read. Joe is a class act and one of our all time greats.
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- Thread: Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Idaho
Im late again. My excuse was recovering from a high school playoff trip that started at 7:00am and ended at 4:00am the next morning. Great trip though as the Bainbridge Bearcats beat the undefeated Wayne County Yellow Jackets to advance to the third round of the 5A playoffs to take on Buford the Friday after Thanksgiving. The trip, however, left me watching our game in a semi-comatose state. Better Idaho than F$U. the 63-10 outcome was better than we have seen lately against the cupcakes on the schedule, what is always expected but not always produced. The starters did what was needed in a half and should be well-rested for the Nole$ next week who are coming off a win in a physical game against Boston College that went down to the wire. We got to play a lot of the youngsters that included 15 true freshmen, a big benefit of the new redshirt rule.
So, what's the take away? Maybe as mentioned we are rested and will be better focused for the first time in a few years for our regular season finale against the rivals from Tallahassee? Maybe the vibe for the players is we have a chance to end the season on several high notes like beating the Nole$ (in their stadium no less), turning the record around from last year, and getting a decent bowl bid? We take care of these items and we've started turning a corner with the program where rebuilding is concerned. Can't help but think that it would have a huge impact on recruiting moving forward and we all know how much headway in that department is required. For many of us, it will or at least should, wash out the awful taste we've been spitting out for a decade. While this year wasn't a championship season that we've yearned for, it has been fun again for me to watch a team that is growing and being better coached than of late and shows some needed potential compared to what we have been fed despite a couple of disappointments along the way. There's still more left to this season, but our expectations should be higher than in several seasons.
*We took care of business against an undermanned opponent. It seems like more often than not we would sleep walk our way through these games, looking ahead maybe to the next opponent. Yesterday didn't seem to be the case and we finally blew out a weak sister, rested the real players, and got the youngsters a chance to play and feel what it was like competing in the Swamp. A win in a lot of areas.
*Franks had a good day going 19/27 for 274 yards passing with 3 TDs. He also rushed for a TD on a nice read option, even if it was against Idaho. And there was no shushing! If I have a criticism it was that he was still inaccurate on some throws, the biggest being overthrowing a wide open Jefferson with a deep ball. This just seems to be a throw he can't make since the "Heave to Cleve" with any reliability. There were a couple of the usual behind the receiver tosses and some completions even that weren't in stride. But enough rain, he was not intercepted and did what was needed. A step beyond next week would be great.
*Jones showed promise. His passing was pretty good, maybe a little better than expected. One such that stood out to me was the roll left where he stopped and set his feet before throwing a nice strike to the sideline. He's a work in progress, but showed some good signs (nice accuracy on the long one that was dropped for example). Mullen said in the post game that he knew he was an athlete. Now to see how far you can take him at the position.
*600 yards of offense with the kids playing the second half was respectable. 399 passing and 201 rushing with one lost fumble was what should happen in these games (save the turnover of course). Pierce led us in rushing with 77 yards on 13 carries. More experience for him, but a lot of rest for Scarlett and Perine. Hammond had a big day with two TDs. Lewis led in receiving yards with 57 on three catches. Toney had six receptions and a couple of runs in a half or so. Whatwe want from him.
*Chauncey's interception on the game's first play was a tone setter and a great individual play, covering seven yards of separation to pick the pass that was a little behind the receiver. Ventrell Miller's 82 yard interception return was an obvious big play. Joseph had a big hit and Polite and Moon had sacks, pressures, and hurrys that were notable. Again, a lot of youngsters got to get on the field in the Swamp. Not much to complain about.
*Crowd listed was 81,000+ which was pretty good for the opponent that Pat tried to convince everyone that they were worth coming to see, ceremonial sacrifice or other. The big thing was a grand send off for the seniors. Even though some might say they were part of a group that were under coached and under performed, they are Gators and I hope it means a lot to them as they move forward in life, particularly for those who graduate with a degree from our beloved university.
Next up...the accursed Seminole$ from that bastion of lawlessness and political malfeasance. They're high after a win; we're high after two in a row. We cruised yesterday and they struggled until Daz decided not to go for the throat late (4th and short which they had been doing previously) and then promptly gave up a big play to lose ingloriously. We shall see which trumps which. I'm thinking that as Feleipe goes, maybe so go we? Of course there are other intangibles, but if he can somehow keep his head for once against them and we are able to run it, and the D comes to play and keeps Frenchy on the run, the good guys will come out on top. Franks just can't lose it. Play with composure and keep the mistakes to a minimum. That's all I ask. No doubt, F$U will bring their best for us, whatever that may be, but if we bring ours we will prevail. Any year, any record, this is always a game worth watching. Go Gators!
First, I want to say Cover2 and the Captain have written great things on this game, so if you have time, I hope to give some of the same, and yet some different commentary after last nights season opening game. Check out their musings of the game. For comparison, this is how I felt last year after game one, thank you BMF for preserving this for me (one of my best in my opinion).
Second, I want to apologize to GatorChatter, although I correctly predicted 59 points would be scored, I was wrong, it wasn't 56-3, but 53-6. Ok, that is me just making a joke about being close on a score for once.
250ish passing yards (241)
No missed kicks
Defense Under 200 yards (although, there is some reason for this that I actually like and some I don't)
250+ Rushing (205)
500+ Yards (Not mad about this for same reasons I'll state below)
Anyways, something I haven't seen here, but I could have missed in the typical beginning of season rush of posts is about the Gator Walk. I maybe average one per year at the Swamp and the one at WLOCP (because I tailgate 50 feet away). In the past few years, the team has been very stoic and serious walking in with arbitrary arms out to brush people seeking high fives. However, yesterday the team seemed more upbeat, loose, smiling, most high fives seemed to have effort, including several players stopping to take a second or two with a fan in a wheelchair in front of me. Scarlett was carrying the Chucky doll. Mullen looked happy to be here. What I saw was everything that the Gator Walk should be.
The atmosphere was great despite the non-sellout. I think the recruits could be impressed knowing the circumstances around the low attendance like quality of opponent and the last few seasons. Minor gripe, but the fireworks being where recruits can't see them. Really minor.
I thought that Mullen would try and force the pass more as Gators fans have seen anemic passing attacks for 8 seasons. I wasn't disappointed. I think our running game was beyond vanilla for what Mullen does. The combination of these two factors (along with some line struggles) lead to a lower number of rushing yards than I would have thought. Another factor in a lower yardage output? We started the majority of our drives at our 35 or closer. Shorter field equals less yards. I'm not going to try and find our average starting position, but I wouldn't be shocked if it wasn't at least the UF 40.
Consensus seems to be it looks like Franks having a QB coach for the first time in his life actually does make a difference. Franks completed a 66% rate. I re-watched the first half and Trask's first two series on offense (then had to go to the in-law's). There are some things that I noticed in the stadium that I think the broadcast did a poor job of. This included a few replays on some Franks incompletions where they instead did a "hero shot" on Mullen (my HS tv teacher did Bucs game as a producer so I know this is the actual term, not something I'm making up). I like to look at incompletions as not all are the same, some are drops or poor throws or throwaways or great defensive plays, etc. So, let's take a look:
- First incompletion was a batted ball. Franks telegraphed a throw the rusher was able to bat. If he takes a step forward in the pocket, it's a completion.
- This was one I was disappointed with the broadcast. Franks threw a decent, not perfect ball to Lewis who dropped it. Rule I live by, if you touch a ball, you catch it (within reason). The replay in the stadium showed Lewis was open, and dropped it shortly before being hit. (I think this lead to him not being targeted again). This route was what Franks hit Gamble on later.
- Decent coverage on this one, but if you are a scholarship TE at UF, I expected you to come down with the ball in a jump ball situation. Raymond failed here. (He wasn't targeted again either). Franks could have thrown a better ball, but again, Raymond should beat the CSU DB in a jump ball situation.
- Deep ball to Jefferson, if Franks throws this with a little less air (for a little more distance) than this may be 6. With that said, the DB makes a decent play, but had his right arm around Jefferson's waist shortly before the ball arrives. Again, a slightly better throw and the DB is beat.
- Franks, who showed some good touch at times, did not show touch on an end zone throw that went over the head and out of reach of Jefferson.
- This incompletion did not have a broadcast replay. I only know how close the pass was to being caught by the stadium replay. The ball hits a diving Grimes in the hands, but he didn't haul it in. It would have been a difficult catch, but it was possible. A slightly more inside pass and this is a first down catch. The catch would have looked like the pick at the end of the game.
- A great back-shoulder throw that the announcers raved about. Better play by the DB by swatting it out of Jefferson's hands.
- This one annoyed me watching it back earlier. I thought at first it was a great throw, just mistimed because of a press at the line of Dre Massey. My buddy said Massey slowed, but I thought it was the press. Watching it today, Massey breaks the press, slows down and then tries to speed up, but the ball lands a yard or two away. If he doesn't slow, its a perfect pass and he has plenty of room to run. He made up for it later with a nice catch in traffic.
- The first was perfectly hitting Swain on a corner route for a first down.
- The second was the TD pass to Hammond. My uncle, who I was with and can be a major negaGator, said that was a Wuerfful-esque throw to the back corner. I'm not sure I go that high with the praise, but amazing touch pass.
Trask. I have heard and seen some people say, "I don't know how there even was a competition." Is it the 100% completion rate in his first in game action in at least 3 years (granted only 3 passes)? Is it that TJ McCoy screwed a drive by snapping a ball that Shaq may have had an issue fielding? Is it a 12-yard QB power TD run? Is it 10 points in the first two drives just like Franks lead? Help me understand what people saw from Trask that shows he is so far behind Franks that even the thought of competition is a joke. I didn't see the massive separation that makes one ask why there was even a competition. So if someone wants to point out the exact play comparisons, while talking about playing with the 1s vs. the 2s, I'll be glad to listen. I thought both played well for what they had.
10 receivers, 10 rushers, that's a big day. I've heard Mullen used everyone available, that's incredible. When you are playing a ton of players, defense will give up some yards, offense won't be as good as the game goes on.
One critique I have is that long run at the end of the first half. You couldn't tell as much on the broadcast, but we were definitely confused on the left side personnel. The sideline wasn't shown on the broadcast, but several players were on the field just off of the sideline trying to figure out if they were subbing in. Mullen should have taken a TO here (I don't think he used a single one on the night). The critique is not as much about giving up a big play, but because it was so obvious to me in the stands that we were not ready for whatever play was coming that we should've have taken a timeout just to be safe. If that is my biggest complaint I will take it.
McPherson and Townsend looked good. As a true freshman kicker, I said and stand by it, that I hope he breaks Jeff Chandler's 368 point record for most points scored by a Gator. Yes, this is different than points responsible for. If you were in Section 13 and you heard a guy say this to another guy 2-5 times, hello.
- Zach Carter is one big SOB. I thought Sherit was big.
- Can't wait to see this D with CeCe, Reese, Ancrum and Kyree and not facing a triple option.
- Miller made some nice special teams plays. Another big dude.
- Enjoyed a no huddle and the play clock not needing to be inside 5 seconds before each snap
- Pierce making an argument for more touches, but I don't think Scarlett and Davis hurt themselves. Davis did have a nice run or too
- "I Won't Back Down" is great, especially after dark. Can't wait to experience it with a full stadium. Speaking of 3rd Quarter, makes me sad when people leave at any point before "We Are the Boys". I was happy there weren't any FSU/LSU/UGA/UT/Bama/etc. fans clad in the O&B around me holding up 4 fingers. Most the country does that, UF is NOT those schools. We have our own end of the 3rd quarter traditions.
- I did see some guy at the Gator Walk in UT orange...it's a very distinctive shade. Took a pic for fun (not posted).
- On the sideline, we had a group of walk-ons and others swaying side to side before the first kickoff and they continued the energy on the sideline all night. Never saw that in the Mac years. Feeds off of the loose feeling I saw at the Gator Walk.
- Oh, and if you were in the stands whining that the 3rd string/walk-on D was giving up yards (after the TD drive), stop watching. The main defense will give up yards this year, you will have a stroke. So for your health, if you really need to complain about a 3rd string/walk-on D giving up yards, after the shut out has been lost, stop watching.
I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out (I realize how much I've written). It was a fun game. I hope to make a post midweek about the state of Out of Conference scheduling both at UF and across the country.
*I've not read anything by any beat writer or site outside of this forum. So if some of this is in every article you read, I apologize.
Let me explain:
We all know mullen has struggled in crootin kids out of high school. He has improved no doubt but still struggles to land the big fish that the top tier crooters are after. We always seem to finish a close 2nd or distant 3rd. Now, the issue behind our 2nd place luck has been discussed a little bit here and focuses on the narrative that mullen doesn't do the kiss ass, tell the kid everything they want to hear, make empty promises, and blow sunshine up their ass approach that guys like kirby are known for. The rub is he's pretty honest and frank with them, tells them the truth about their abilities, what UF has to offer from an athletic as well as academic standpoint, and let's them know how much they play and their level of success is largely based on them and how willing they are to put in the work. He tells them the truth in a nice but matter of fact way.
Contrast this to guys with the snake oil salesman approach like kirby who seem to hemorrhage top talent yearly with the consistent narrative being that they weren't told the truth, were jerked around, sold a bill of goods, etc. After having smoke blown up your butt, reading your own preseason press clippings coming out of HS, then not getting the attention and playing time you were led to believe would happen, along with a heavy dose of brutal reality from the same pricks that were blowing you 6 months prior, it stands to reason that if you then decide to look for a new spot, you probably want to go play for someone that is, and in many cases, was honest and frank with you about things. Enter Mullen.
His approach may not be the best to snag the top tier talent high schoolers desperate to have their egos stroked and all, but after a hefty dose of adult reality, his approach may be what a lot of the kids look back on and say, "man, i should have listened to that guy." Now with the portal there is the opportunity for a do over and some talented kids have taken advantage of it, to ours and Dan's favor.
I could be completely wrong, but it makes sense to me.
Can't believe I'm at 24 years and counting. It's an honor to serve. My wife and 3 daughters deserve a lot of credit for putting up with the sea time and PCS moves (last summer was #10).
Lastly, I've been very fortunate in my CG career. I cannot fathom the difficulties experienced by my DOD counterparts with boots on the ground in hostile territory. IMHO, you guys deserve highest honors!
- Thread: Captain's Cogitations - LSU
Well we finally made it home from the Big Easy this morning and I had a chance to watch the replay of the game on DVR after taking a nap. What a fun trip, though. Tiger Stadium at night lived up to the hype, that's as much fun as I've had going to any road game, even with the loss. LSU fans treated us as well as we could have asked for, and the tailgate scene was insane, almost as good as the WLOCP. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.
My initial reaction after the game was over Saturday was that the entire game hinged on two plays: the holding call on Perine's long reception and the interception in the end zone. After watching the replay, that opinion hasn't changed. It's amazing to me that so many times throughout the last two decades, LSU almost always has the pivotal plays of a game swing in their favor. Whether it's a bouncing ball on a fake FG, the defense having 14 men on the field, a TE dropping a wide open TD in the back of the end zone, the Bluegrass Miracle, or completing a pass in the end zone with 1 second left when all they need is a TD, it almost always bounces their way. It's infuriating. The lone difference this time is the two plays were our own damn fault. The holding call was definitely holding, and the interception was an absolutely baffling decision by Trask (that should have been negated by defensive holding, but without the bad throw, it doesn't matter).
Other than that one bad throw, Trask once again played a hell of a game. He remained poised in what was a ridiculously electric atmosphere in the stadium, made tons of clutch throws, even a few clutch runs, and never got rattled. Up until the back shoulder fade that Pitts caught against Auburn, I was struggling to remember the last time we even successfully completed one. Trask threw a couple more dimes to Jefferson on the back shoulder, which is going to open our offense even more moving forward if we can keep hitting them. He continues to do a great job putting touch on the passes that need it, and it looks like he was making sure to keep both hands on the football right up until he had to throw it to prevent more sack fumbles. Showing that type of improvement in a week just shows how coachable he is. As far as the pick goes, it looked like Swain was running an option route where he could have either run a seam or corner. Trask must have thought he was hitting the seam, because that's where he threw it, and Swain had already started to break towards the corner. It's also entirely possible it was just a bad throw because of the pressure, which we can't know for certain because we don't have the playbook.
I didn't have a problem with most of the playcalling until the late 3rd quarter and the final goal line push. The TD drive to start the 3rd quarter was probably Mullen's finest drive on a playcalling front that he's had at Florida. He mixed up a few back shoulder fades with some runs and quick hitters over the middle, and it was a beautiful drive. Then we had the holding penalty and he turtled up until we were already down 7 again in the 4th quarter. He just needs to stick with what's working instead of always trying to outsmart the defense. As a play caller, I've always felt that was his greatest weakness: trying too hard to make the perfect call for every situation instead of just going with what you know will work for the given situation. The throwback pass to Trask on 3rd & 1 against Auburn is a perfect example. Sure, it worked, but how dumb do you look if you waste a 3rd & 1 with the lead on a gadget play that turns into 4th down, or worse yet, a turnover?
The final 4th down call is another example. Sure, that delayed option usually works for us, but when the defense is pushing forward to protect the goal line and you have no space to run the play, it's not going to work with Trask. At all. I'm not a fan of running the option on the goal line in general for that very reason. All of the defenders are going to be within a few yards of the line of scrimmage, and it's a play that requires spacing to work. Ask UNC about running the option on the goal line and getting stuffed (against Clemson).
I haven't minded Mullen's use of Emory Jones as much as some of you have. However, I did think that giving him the entire "drive" late in the 3rd quarter was a mistake in that situation. At the very least, bring Trask back in on 3rd down to try to pick up the 1st down through the air. But it is painfully obvious that EJ absolutely has to be out there at some points in the game. The way our running game struggles to gain yards in traditional sets with traditional plays, we have to have him in there for misdirection. Because our line isn't going to open up holes with any kind of consistency. One could argue that we should just keep throwing the ball, but that's just silly. You have to be able to run the ball if you want to keep winning games, especially close ones. And I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that our offense moves the ball better on the ground with Trask out there.
One other thing I'd like to see Mullen change is the number of times he leaves Trask out there in an empty set. The defense knows there's a minuscule chance he's going to take off on a designed run, so they're automatically pinning their ears back and coming after him when they see empty sets. I mean we can't even run the rocker step playaction with Trask because the defense just isn't going to respect it. So leave an extra blocker in there more often for him. Our receivers and Pitts are good enough to get open with a 4 man route tree.
I don't know what to say about the defense that probably hasn't already been said since Saturday night. They had a pretty horrible night to say the least. But give LSU credit, that offense lived up to the hype. They had an answer for everything we did, whether it was rushing 3-4, bringing pressure, spying Burrow, man coverage, zone coverage, whatever. It's going to take an extraordinary effort from any defense this year to stop them, or an off day from Burrow. Other than that, the best thing for them to do is leave it in the past and move on. That's the best offense we'll face all year by a long shot unless we somehow end up in Atlanta against Bama.
Moving forward, we have to circle the wagons quickly. We're going into a building where we've only won once in the last four trips against a team that's flying high after their upset win over UGA. It sounds like Hilinski will be playing this week, so just get back on track on defense and we'll be fine. I think the offense is just going to keep getting better. Trask is really starting to form a lot of chemistry with the entire receiving corps, and I'm loving the way he's spreading it around.
We've still got all of our season's goals in our grasp, just need to keep grinding and pulling that rope. Step 1 is beating some Cock and going into the off week on a high note. Until next week, go Gators!
The text in the title is from the Gettysburg Address.
My father-in-law was a 20 year old marine in 1944, and fought in the South Pacific theatre. Until her mid-20s, that’s about all my wife Kelly knew about her father’s service. He joked about the check he received each month as his “shot in the butt money”, but never spoke otherwise about his service. He was a good man, drank a little too much, and was known to be moody sometimes, but he was patriotic, funny, and loved his family. He came back from the war, was the first of his rural family to get a college degree, and went on to be a successful pillar of the community.
When he was 62, he had a stroke, and he was affected by losing some inhibitions - he cursed (which he never did before the stroke), and he lost track of where, and when, he was sometimes. He also told stories. Stories he had never told before. They were confusing, kind of “half dream” stories. He talked about military training, learning to drive a tank, and about his best friend. He was funny, obscene, and clearly had some fond memories. But one day, he was somber. He described a big firefight, being in the water, dragging his best friend to the beach, and swimming back out multiple times. His story was confusing, but clearly emotional.
At 63, he had another stroke, and passed away. It was then, going through his belongings, that we found his medals, his commendations, and the story of the battle in the Mariana Islands (Guam) when he was injured. He was an amphibious tank driver in the middle of a beach landing when his tank took a shell and sank. Whether shrapnel from the explosion or subsequent gunfire, he was wounded in the hip, but swam his more-wounded tankmates to the beach, multiple times. Most survived, but there were two KIA - a gunner, and his best friend.
His best friend, Kelly.
To all the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion, I spend the day in remembrance for these husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and best friends. I’ll never forget.
No joy in Mudville for the second consecutive week. Sadly, I'm beginning this piece with the game still running, 3rd quarter and us down 35-10. I'd hoped not to have to do that after the last three seasons. I'm going to try and keep my emotions in check, but my first failure is to call it like it is...a complete sh!t show to this point. Can't hang it on one position group, one unit, one phase, or the coaching. It has all been bad. If this was high school I'd blame it on the festivities and not focusing on the most important part...the game against an opponent with a good QB. But this is college so I'll just blame it on not focusing enough on the game against an opponent with a good QB...and getting our sh!t pushed in for the first three quarters!
***As I write this we have inserted Trask who led us on a TD drive!***
Let's take some looks into why we've gotten our @sses kicked so thoroughly to this point:
*You've got to start with a huge factor...QB play. No kind way to put it, but Franks was just awful. Again. For as good as some of his outings have been, he has been a big flat tire on the carriage that @Captain Sasquatch described last week that has turned into a pumpkin. Other than a short TD plunge, his highlight was probably the back shoulder throw to Toney. Other than that it has been a cavalcade of inaccurate throws. Yet again, he has shown the inability to give the receivers a chance on the stretch throws down the field. Conversely, Lock demonstrated remarkable touch on the great majority of his passes from long to intermediate to short, along with the ability to change arm angles to avoid batted passes and turn them into completions. I know he is an NFL prospect and Franks is a third year Sophmore with inconsistencies (to put it lightly), but the contrast is both clear and striking. It has been in the back of my mind, concealed mostly by hope inspired by earlier improvements and successes, but fears of him having reached his ceiling and being unable to push higher look to be real. The fact that Mullen yanked him in favor of Trask may be that realization or it could just be resignation that it wasn't Feleipe's day. I guess we'll know which next week, but it hasn't been Feleipe's week for two in a row during the stretch run and a winner would find a way to perform better if he had it in him.
*The D was pretty abysmal today, so it wasn't all Franks if that was interpreted. Somewhere in the third quarter, we had given up 180+ on the ground to Mizzou. There's a big part of the outcome right there. Their OL pushed us around all game. The edge rush was negated and when we brought pressure, it was effectively picked up save a safety blitz that blew up a sweep. The LBs were just bad. Their day can be summed up with three plays: 1) Joseph fails to read and react swiftly on his scrape, gets blocked, and the Tigers run for the game's first TD; 2) Reese moves laterally three strides into the middle of the line on a play fake as the QB throws to the flank where he should have been in coverage for a nice gain; 3) Joseph blows the coverage on the TE allowing him to split the two high safeties for an easy score. Not SEC level play when we needed SEC level play. The secondary, outside of Henderson's two early breakups, got pretty well toasted. A lot of missed tackles reminiscent of the last three seasons and early on this year made a reappearance. I couldn't see some of the leadership from this unit that had been building.
*The OL was pretty much dominated where the run game was concerned. Giant step backward in this area at this point in the season. Their positive was that they gave Franks some time to throw, but we know how that turned out. One play that kind of pointed out how bad our run blocking was occurred on Scarlett's 16 yard run where RT Taylor completely failed to engage his block off tackle, but the back had a gain IN SPITE of the poor effort. A highlight among lowlights. When we can't run the ball and our passing attack is iffy at best, our chance to win falls squarely on the shoulders of the defense to pitch a shut out. Unfortunately, the D's ERA was through the roof. Against the run, the OL left me feeling that they just rolled over and took it. We can't beat mediocre teams much less good ones with this kind of effort. But should we be shocked?
*Mullen and staff have to wear this one. So much for the intense practice and the anticipated refocus. Ironically, I don't know that I can fault the play calling or defensive scheme as much as perhaps the mental preparation that was sought. Clearly there was a miscalculation by the staff from my view. I also think the leadership that Mullen has been trying to cultivate took a step backward. As previously noted, I just couldn't see it or at least enough of it to be inspiring. Still, players have to execute, but maybe there wasn't enough boot in the @ss? So Mullen's progress this year, which really shouldn't be overlooked, will be. He's under the microscope, again, with a tight focus and how he and the staff responds next week will be very important, ramped up even more with Muschamp coming in.
38-17 kick in the groin. Huge disappointment. I expected us to respond from the loss to UGA with a much better game and a much better effort. It didn't happen and there are once more questions that eclipse discernible answers. QB will be a big piece. Trask wasn't awful, but is he the answer? Is it Emery Jones time? One more shot for Franks? We'll have an anxious week to see what Mullen dials up and if he can bail enough water out our listing ship. Go Gators!
P/S - The Nole$ got beat, so at least we get to go home with the drunk ugly fat chick tonight instead of rubbing one out to the Farrah Fawcett poster.
Today is a day when all Americans should stop and realize that the freedom we have was fought for and paid for with blood and sacrifice. To all my GCMB brothers and sisters that have worn the uniform, and for the families who sacrificed while their loved ones were away defending our freedom, thank you for your service to our great nation! Please, stand and be recognized on this virtual sounding board with your branch of service and the years you served so your fellow posters can see who you are! Thanks again!
Well, Week 0 is something. This is being written as I re-watch the on the SEC Now broadcast featuring Dari, the SEC's all-time leading TD receiver without Bowl stats included (seriously, how hard would it be to add these back, but he's tied anyways), arguably the greatest UF QB ever (I'd say yes, others would take the kid he inspired), and a former Gator player who coached a National Title team wearing orange and blue, of course I'm talking about Gene Chizik.
There are plenty of highlights and lowlights to take from this game. There's some controversy and some undisputed matters. However, there is one thing beyond everything else...WE BEAT MIAMI. For all I'm about to say, this is the main point. And with it being close, Gators got to walk by all the disappointed Miami fans, a majority of whom talked A LOT of trash on the walk to the game. My normally doesn't say anything controversial wife even asked me as we reached our section about if it seems like most Miami fans are trashy. Before I continue, DaytonaCane, you dropped a congratulations, I know you do not fit that bill. One of my Miami buddies who I have rarely seen or spoken to since 2013 (more because of moves, law school, new jobs, etc.) even sent me a congrats text. Although you know what wasn't classy, the majority of Miami's team leaving the field without shaking hands. A member of my group said "maybe they were directed to do that." My response is the same as it was 9 or so hours ago as of the time I type this, if Manny Diaz directed his players to just leave the field without shaking hands he has no business near a football field again. I don't think he did.
Let's start with playcalling. I said in my preview that we should follow our #failstate and Michigan gameplans and spread out the defense with receiver screens to open up the run. Well, first receiver screen went for 66 yards and a TD. Then we called exactly 2 wide receiver screens after. That already blows my mind. Also, the run game could have been much better with smart playcalling. Not just working outside in, but with formation. We ran a ton with very tight, bunched up formations bringing all eleven defenders within just a few yards of the tackle box causing massive congestion.
I heard lots of whining about Franks throwing a lot of short throws. That's what we should do, give him plenty of short throws to get him in a rhythm and giving our receivers room to work. These short slants, crosses, receiver screens, etc. back linebackers of the line and help the running game as well. If Franks puts a total of 10 yards through the air in a game and a whole lot of YAC I don't care if he's giving guys a chance to make plays. Our scheme was not conducive to much of that last night. Also, lots of the short/intermediate routes brings the safeties up to help and opens up a deep ball. I am being more brief on this subject than I could be.
Don't get me wrong, Miami's front seven did a lot better than I thought they would, but we also helped them a bunch. If we had spread them out, I think we see a different game. I could probably do my entire preview based on the poor play-calling. Possibly, worst called game since Mullen got here, definitely in the top 2. But in the end, we won. No way we win a game with 4 turnovers and this officiating under the previous two staffs.
- Shot down the field that was in stride, but about 2 yards out of bounds.
- Toney 66-yd TD immediately after the fake punt call.
- Swing pass to Perine for 2 yards. Grimes didn't do too well with his assignment to get his corner out of the play whether running or blocking as his player was able to get momentum and stop Perine to cause a 4th down.
- Deep outside to Swain...PI call. Possibly could have been a big play for Swain without the PI. ***Not included in stats
- 5 yard slant to Pitts for a 4th and 1. Watching it on the replay, I'm thinking it may have been a bad spot, maybe not.
- Out route by Perine for a first down and 7 yards.
- Under pressure hits Perine in the flat for 5 yards.
- Incomplete high pass wheel route to Perine.
- Completion to Hammond on a stop route and run for 11 yards.
- Poor throw to the outside by Franks...holding penalty. ***Not included in stats
- Underneath throw to Hammond for 8 yards and a first down. HALF 7 of 9.
- Good throw 15 yards down the field and got hit to Jefferson.
- Good throw for Grimes down the field, Pass Interference. Doering did argue that this one may have been an incomplete if corner didn't get handsy due to Grimes' poor release. ***Not included in stats
- Poor pass to Franks on a stop route to Jefferson. Looks like Franks may have thought out route based on reaction. Either way well covered by Miami and poor play call on 3rd and long. Doering says it was a throwaway.
- Good throw on a slant on 3rd and 5 with an even better diving deflection by Miami's defense.
- 4th and 5, 10 yard completion to Grimes as Franks directs traffic to get Grimes open.
- Dart from Franks to Pitts for 18 and getting us into the red zone.
- Throwaway, guy in Franks' face.
- Another swing to Perine for a loss of a yard.
- Great strike to Cleve for 12 yards on first down.
- Throwing on the run (to his left which is hard for a right hander) with pressure and the ball sails out of bounds.
- High ball to Perine incomplete. Danny argues that Perine should have kept running, but stopped. Doering argues bad pass. I'll go with bad pass.
- FINALLY, on 3rd and 10 we see another WR screen and it goes 9 yards. We are averaging 37.5 yards per screen at this point. Chizik says that the screen game needs to happen more.
- Throwaway, Franks eyes downfield, no one open rolling right with guys in his face. Live, Perine was open behind the play, but tough task to look away from the direction your running and main receivers with guys in your face.
- Angle route to Perine for a TD. Defenders were expecting the flat/swing route and Perine hits the middle and Franks finds him.
- PICK. The great debate is whether it was to Swain or Cleve streaking down the seam. I'm guessing it was for Cleve. Why?
- Here's Why! FIRST PLAY OF THE NEXT DRIVE THE STREAKING SEAM FOR 65 YARDS TO HAMMOND. They went back to the same exact route. If it hasn't been said, I would be shocked if Franks and Mullen didn't say that they had it and wanted to go right back to it without another receiver in the area. Shouldn't be drawn up that way anyways.
- A screen to Pitts for 10 yards. We are at over 20 yards per screen and no less than 9 yards on each. Why wasn't this run more, it would open up so much else in the game.
- PICK. WTF was that call. AWFUL pass by Franks. Why aren't you trying to bleed the clock at that point? So much wrong here. 17-27 254 yards with 2 TD's and 2 INT's.
10 sacks is impressive. Should have been more. Tackling was not, but I expect that to get better. Can't believe we blew a 3rd and 15 and we only rushed 3. Isn't 3rd and Grantham supposed to be when we gamble on a blitz and lose? Miami scored a TD drive that time. Also, 2nd and 19 on the same drive, Campbell, Hendo, and Houston blow tackles giving Miami a big play to set up the TD. Burney was held on the play. Seriously though, If we don't blow tackles and the safeties play average, I'm not sure they find the endzone.
The names Ventrell Miller, Jeremiah and Greenard will be names we learn this season. You already know Zuniga. Tackles and fumble recovery will be a big point of emphasis this week.
Brilliant call to fake the first punt. No one was expecting that and let's be honest, barely worked, but it worked. Also, smart run by Townsend to not give it a chance of a bad spot and running right to, and passed the down marker. McPherson was solid except for not knocking the last kickoff out of the endzone and allowing a return to the 35.
Punt return game is still bad. The amount of times, and you can see it on replay as well, we allowed gunners to run undeterred down the middle of the field is ridiculous. I would rather leave the outside guys unblocked. The coverage distance is a lot further from the outside rather than a guy who can beeline straight at the returner from the interior of the line. A few times if these guys were deterred, Swain had oom up the middle.
- No less than 5 15 yard penalties in the 4th quarter.
- Have you ever seen so many balls on the ground and one team never recover one? (Muffed Punt aside, regular offense/defense)
- If we go up 14-3, and this is speculation, but I think it never gets within 2 scores again.
- Who the hell was doing the radio call? Wasn't Mick, that guy sucks.
- Stewart and Slaton may have been a big help in not allowing some of Miami's big plays, how about not doing dumb stuff to get suspended?
- Speaking of suspensions, just saw the Malik Davis fumble...HOW IS THAT A MIAMI RECOVERY? Davis is getting up and it appears Buchanan is on it after that. That crew should be suspended.
- If you can find the SEC Now replay of the game. Very informative, pretty fun with all sorts of Gator greats. It's like the old Breakfast with the Gators with the homer nature, but better, so much better.
- Though almost interview they do from the sideline with a Gator great (or Marcus Spears) keys something big for Miami lol.
- Crowd was 60/40 UF by my guess, hard to tell with all the Gators fans dressed as Miami fans in Orange.
- People talk about how bad 2nd half was, and it wasn't great, but we outscored Miami 17-7
- To the 20-something I yelled at and said put the 4 fingers down because we aren't UGA (or FSU, Tennessee, or any other school), you deserve it. The four fingers at the end of the third is for other schools, we don't do that, you're old enough to know better.
- My cousin drafted one fantasy QB...Andrew Luck.
- oh, and MOVE BACK YOU SUCK IS BACK!
Spoiler Alert: I hate FSU. If you have never read this before, In my fandom FSU is the ONLY annual rivalry we have a losing record against. My mom had crap poured onto her at a game in Joke Shambles from the top party decks or whatever they call them. I remember the "it's great to be a 4 and 8'r" chants. I vividly remember being 6 years old and seeing Ward to Dunn, I remember the Choke at Doak, I remember the "echo of the whistle" (more on that later), I remember sending scrubs to fight Tony George, I remember the Swindle, I remember a lot of other bs, and that is why last night was about no prisoners and enjoying every second of it.
To start the game we move the ball down the field at will. Then FSU used almost every trick play in their book (and our safety quality) to move down the field and score. Then, the game was over. We could find frustrating things at times, but seriously, did anyone think FSU would have a shot once we marched the ball back down the field a second straight time. Heck, I might have mocked plenty of FSU things last night, but seriously, the one that pissed off a Seminole in my general direction...saying at 5:00 to go in the 4th quarter we still had more people in the stands than they did at any home game this season. The funny thing is, it's true. Heck, UCF would have a higher season average than FSU, but their stadium's capacity wouldn't allow it. I will be discussing the game, but this is also my hit piece on a program that if they had a freshman QB with allegations like Jalon Jones had they would start a Heisman campaign, see 2013.
I regret that we slowed it down in the second half I wanted 50-70 points and know we could have hit it if we weren't getting cute because we could. The goal being to show any new coach the true scope of the dumpster fire that they would have to inherit, while losing talented players like Akers from the program. That, along with what has to be low ball in pay after the struggle to buyout Taggart would be enough to dissuade any coach worthy of football recognition from taking it on. Seriously, who after watching that train wreck wants that challenge knowing there are financial issues within the athletic department with annual games against programs like Clemson and Florida?
What can you say? This offensive line has been below even some of the lowest of expectations in the run game this year. The passing game has been off the charts. 4 TD passes on the night, Trask throws for 343 and Emory throws for 47. I only hate we didn't get to 400 passing. But we did get 467 yards, without really trying to do anything in the 4th quarter.
Trask had some amazing throws into some tight windows. The TD to Jefferson was a good example of that. Good pocket presence, movement, keeping eyes downfield and delivering the TD. I also think the throwaway on the previous play was much better than the forcing the issue we've seen over the years from QB's. I know I've said this plenty, but imagine this guy if there was a running game around him or an average offensive line. You know, like last year when Franks barely contributed to the running game for most of the season, but we still ran the ball pretty well. Trask will need to work on his long ball accuracy. Had a few last night he let get away from him.
Dante Lang owes Toney and apology. Toney showed why he's one of the most electrifying players you've ever seen on the rare occasion he gets the ball.
I was very happy to see the senior receivers go out the way that they did. On the drive we couldn't punch it in from the one (O-line not getting a push) it seemed like throughout the drive we were trying to force the ball to get him a TD on senior night. I think that partially, if not totally, accounts for that third down call. Swain did great with the catch and runs...Have I mentioned this season that the quick passes into space and letting our guys make plays could work? Both TD's Swain had an impressive run. It is unfortunate he got injured, but at least we got to see what a punt return looks like again.
Van Jefferson has improved since transferring over and I think could be the poster child for us potentially picking up a grad transfer receiver this off-season. Pitts had some big catches. Cleveland was impressive.
I like to talk about schemes and everything, but last night, we knew we could go out there and do what we wanted and for the most part we did. We even tried to have some fun just because and force plays to players because we knew we were winning. If the offensive line can get it together before next season, this may be a force to reckon with.
I want to start by offering the only real negative thing I can say. Our safeties are bad. I know, I've said it a lot on plenty of threads, but they were well beat on several plays, but luckily FSU could not make the throws. Oh, and the big play on the first drive. Partially on Hendo, but I'm pretty sure he was expecting a safety for inside help.
With that said, Defense overall did their thing and played well. 8 sacks, that is amazing. My favorite part, when we sacked Blackman and I might have yelled that he was some type of feline...then 30 seconds later he's crying on TV. Can't make it up. I'm sure he was crying to beg not to be put back in the game. He was and then got beat the F up and took 3 sacks on the next drive.
We did let Akers get to 102 yards. If we didn't let the 50 yard TD happen, it's 16 carries for 52 yards, under 4 ypc. That is a good stat. Oh and we had former 2 star extraordinaire Brunson in on that play.
This unit wasn't perfect last night, but it didn't need to be. Would have liked a 4th shut out at home this season, but it's fine. Heck we allowed 33 points in 6 games, that's 5.5 points a game at home. Granted 5 of 6 were cupcakes, but that is still an insane average.
McPherson missed his first XP ever and Swain muffed one (though a penalty negated), but overall not a bad night. We got to see some semblance of a punt return unit. We got to see a big kick return that almost broke for a TD. And we even got to see a fake punt. I liked the call. I know some people have been grumbling, but look, it was senior day, we were up big, FSU wasn't coming back and we tried getting Townsend one more moment. Also this:
- There was a different feeling in the air last night and the Swamp was rocking. Any recruits should have been impressed. Although rocking, the intensity didn't feel there because of how inept FSU is.
- Kyle Pitts got a flag for blocking to the echo of the whistle.
- To replace Taggart with a white coach would expose FSU's racism...Odell must be hired today.
- Odell was part of the program under Jimbo when it slid and under Taggert as it continued to slide...Odell must be hired today.
- Ventrell Miller needs to practice the scoop and score. But first, he needs to take a lap.
- I can't take a Gators dad seriously if he leaves before the end of the third quarter because he has his FSU daughter/son with them.
- Why were there people deciding to leave after a second down? Happened quite a bit...I don't understand why you don't finish the drive or at least after the 3rd won.
- VERY disappointed no receiver did the senior thing and chuck the ball into the stands after scoring.
- New facilities video looks nice, can't wait to see donations given and then funneled to other sports again
- My brother was at K-State/Iowa State, left a good game early because his father-in-law was too cold. Also, potential FSU hire Matt Campbell lost.
- Clemson beat down Muschamp, shouldn't have done it so bad because Muschamp might be forced out.
- Miami, remember Gameday discussing a possible 12-0/11-1 season? LOL.
- Jennings at UT is Kash Daniels level garbage as a human being
- Bama may still make the playoff. I mean no quality wins, but Finebaum will campaign.
- Auburn helping our strength of schedule.
- Seriously, SEC won three against the ACC by at least 23 points.
- Geaux Tigers
- Is Ohio State-Michigan a rivalry? Many people are saying our match up with UT no longer is and both series have the same records over the last 15 games.
- Thread: Thank you, Kyle Trask
Trask came in as a borderline 2 star recruit that nobody wanted and Mullen turned him into an ALL SEC caliber type star at UF. He finishes the regular season with 2293 yards passing in 9 starts to go along with 21 TDs and only 6 INTs. Trask completed over 66 % of his passes with a passer rating of 158 and a QBR of 78.8. He also ran for 3 TDs. He had 3 games of over 300 yards passing and had at least 2 TD passes in all 9 games that he started. Not bad for a supposed 2* QB that Mullen helped turn into a 5* QB at UF. Bravo Kyle, Bravo! Go Gators and can't wait to see Kyle Trask add to his folk hero status at UF next year!
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