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  1. daytonacane

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    Congrats on your win. My mojo & juju nearly worked but the Gators were the better team. Geez, had Baxa made that field goal there would have been only 1 point difference. I thought Miami looked better than I had anticipated. Hopefully our OL will improve as I don't think they can get too much worse. ***special note to Swamp Donkey......I think we picked the right guy for HC and at least your team didn't put 50 on us and we scored 20 points. Pretty fair for a RS freshman QB and first year coaches, etc.

    As expected with the first game of the season, lots of fumbling, bumbling and sloppy performance by both teams. Sorry, but I don't think Franks is Heisman quality, but he does seem to love the cameras.

    I feel both of our teams will greatly improve by the 2nd game of the year. Good luck the rest of the season from an old Cane lady.
     
    #1 daytonacane, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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    • gatorjohn

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      11111.jpg I don't think I've seen this anywhere on here. I love it!
       
      • UFHealthGator

        UFHealthGator Well-Known Member
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        Interesting piece demonstrating what a $h1t show sharkhumper recruiting was. After reading this it is actually amazing we are able to recruit at the current level after all that bad blood with 2019 parents.

        At Florida, recruiting is a family affair
         
        #1 UFHealthGator, Jan 24, 2019
        Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
        • NavetG8r

          NavetG8r Stupid
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          USN March 30 1986 - Mar 30 2006
           
          • MJMGator

            MJMGator Slightly amused
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            I shoulda went full Crete and attempted to argue my way out of my dumbassery.
             
            • 78

              78 Dazed and Confused
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              Figures. It’s his dream job.
               
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              • Big Wave

                Big Wave Well-Known Member

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                This is good stuff. I was accepting but not enthusiastic when the hire was announced. He has quickly won me over. He seems to understand that this job requires more than a knowledge of football strategy. Coaching at an elite level is, imo, primarily a leadership challenge.

                I met DM briefly on Thursday when he visited a recruit at the school where I work. He was personable and enthusiastic with everyone. I told him I'm a third generation Gator, class of '89, who lives and dies with the team. He looked me right in the eye and said, "Let me tell something, and I want you to hear me. We're going to fix this for you. You have my word."

                By contrast, Mac visited the same recruit last year and he had his people arrange with us to set up barricades, security, and a secret entrance/exit so he wouldn't have to see anyone. He seemed put off by the burden of having to be an ambassador for the program.

                None of this has to translate into wins, but it's a good sign. He gets it, and he wants it.
                 
                • soflagator

                  soflagator Senior Member
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                  The whole thing was mostly peaceful.
                   
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                  • Slevin

                    Slevin Law’s Alter-Ego

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                    CHOO CHOO MOTHER FVKKER
                    [​IMG]
                     
                    • oxrageous

                      oxrageous It's Good to be King
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                      Why play LSU? Because we aren't the Noles.
                       
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                      • BadowGator

                        BadowGator The Chuckler

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                        • cover2

                          cover2 I've grown old
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                          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? :dunno: 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!

                          :chomp:
                           
                          #1 cover2, Nov 18, 2018
                          Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
                          • GatorTruth133

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                            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. :dunno: Ok, that is me just making a joke about being close on a score for once.

                            Predictions Right:
                            250ish passing yards (241)
                            No missed kicks

                            Predictions Wrong:
                            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.

                            The Game
                            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:

                            Franks Incompletions:
                            1. 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.
                            2. 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.
                            3. 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.
                            4. 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.
                            5. 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.
                            6. 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.
                            7. A great back-shoulder throw that the announcers raved about. Better play by the DB by swatting it out of Jefferson's hands.
                            8. 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.
                            There are two throws in particular I want to say Franks showed a much nicer touch than we were used to last year:
                            1. The first was perfectly hitting Swain on a corner route for a first down.
                            2. 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.
                            One last thing about Franks last night. As displayed above, there were a few under-throws. Why is this significant? Last year he was over-throwing a lot on deep throws. The under-throws show some adjustment and attempt to get more air under the ball for the receiver to run under. It's something not everyone will notice until its pointed out, but it shows signs of development from Johnson and Mullen.

                            Trask. I have heard and seen some people say, "I don't know how there even was a competition." :facepalm: 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.

                            Quick Hits
                            • 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.

                            Go Gators!
                             
                            • Durty South Swamp

                              Durty South Swamp doodley doodley doo!
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                              You know, this post got me thinking, and I'm inclined to believe that it is much more apropos and pure genius than you intended it to be.

                              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.
                               
                              • Slevin

                                Slevin Law’s Alter-Ego

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                                Gray coached Flowers. Flowers hangs out with Elams Dad on the regular andnhas been spotted with him watching Kaiirs games this year. If Kirby thought he made a chess move, Mullen flipped the board over and shot him in the face
                                 
                                #13024 Slevin, Jan 21, 2019
                                Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
                                • CGgater

                                  CGgater Gainesville Native
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                                  USCG '92-present.

                                  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!

                                  'Merica! [emoji631]
                                   
                                  • Tunaboat

                                    Tunaboat 4th & 34
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                                    USN 73-99 Great time flying those beautiful P-3Cs
                                     
                                    • gatormandan

                                      gatormandan Donk Killa
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                                      US Army 76-79 2nd Btn 33rd Armored Div Kirch Goens (The Rock) Germany.
                                       
                                      • Captain Sasquatch

                                        Captain Sasquatch Mr. SQ, the Sashole
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                                        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!

                                        :chomp:
                                         
                                        • BNAG8R

                                          BNAG8R Pronouns: them, they, their
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                                          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.

                                           

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