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.
Best Posts in Thread: Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Missouri
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Freddie didn’t have a serious injury . That’s about the only good news we had for the day. Trask gave us a spark . I’d like to see him get a chance at a full ball game at this point . I highly doubt he is the long term answer here , but obviously Feliepe is not.
It’s really a crying shame we don’t get the ball to Kadarius Toney more . We could motion him into the backfield for a simple handoff. Even work him into the option game too. Most of those things are simple to do . Just takes time to perfect . He’s such a weapon we could use him as a decoy .
Faking a handoff one way then dumping it down to a back or TE on the backside .
As for what lies ahead, we're in that wait and see place. Despite this debacle, I'm not unhappy with the positives that Mullen has brought. I know he's frustrated more than most can imagine after the performance yesterday, but a good cup of STFU is in order lest he blows up the bridge he has been building. It's a tough gig, but what a HBC can't do is let 'em see you sweat when the cameras and recorders are on. Maybe if he ever builds up enough clout, he can let it rip like SOS, but he ain't there yet and may never be. Keep your head while others around you are losing theirs is the script to follow IMO.
Great post @cover2 . QB play was a disaster. It infected the entire team. OL couldn’t run block for **** but they did a really good job pass protecting for Franks. And then when it seemed we had a chance to catch up they just stopped pass protecting for Trask in the 4th. Every time he dropped back there were like six defenders on top of him. Disappointing to say the least.
I’m not even sure what the hell CeCe Jefferson was doing the majority of the game. He was consistently out of position.
I think VJ had one good play all game. Reese was the only LB who came to play.
We knew that the defense was playing above its head all season. MacElstain completely abandoned that side of the team in recruiting. No elite linebackers and just a few good DBs. He got a couple good DTs but we don’t have enough bodies there to drive competition. Safety is a fvking nightmare.
We do have a good amount of Rush Ends. And if we can replace Franks with somebody who can actually throw the ball (and we can actually score points) then that will make Grantham’s scheme better because he can blitz all to hell.
My take. We had allowed ourselves to hope that Mullen was a magician and could take substandard talent and have an above standard year. Well it turns out he's not a magician. There are too many missing pieces. So we are stuck with another mediocre...bad by past Gator standards...season. And we are stuck waiting to see if Mullen can recruit and if and when he succeeds whether he can turn this once proud, listing, beat up, rust bucket around.
Wait till next year or the year after that.
I hate that the many recruits in attendance had to sit through such a chitty game. By far the worst showing under Mullen. Coach needs to get his chit together for the stretch run and save this season. Finish out with with a couple of wins at home and one at Ron Zook field will fix this mess.
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