Bits & Pieces: Florida vs McNeese St

stephenPE

Senior Member
Lifetime Member
Jul 20, 2014
20,430
15,472
I think Max was arguing about the play calling with the signals going back and forth, It was after the Battle fumble I think,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

jdh5484

Founding Member
Just Beat UGa
Lifetime Member
Jun 30, 2014
9,604
31,890
Founding Member
I think Max was arguing about the play calling with the signals going back and forth, It was after the Battle fumble I think,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I remember Max looking frustrated when he was in ... it looked like he was having trouble getting or seeing the sideline call. But I missed BN and him getting into it.
 

GR8 2B

A Florida Gator
Lifetime Member
Jun 12, 2016
4,075
5,395
The old football cliche, a football team shows its greatest progress from game 1 to game 2, was for the most part well-received. Following an opening loss on the road that was, by many accounts, disorganized and embarrassing and also raised the lingering questions of Billy’s OC and SpT coaches or the lack of, the 49-7 breeze might’ve set some of those concerns to rest, at least for another week. There were still correctable mistakes made, botched snap with the first PAT attempt, fumble in the opponent’s red zone that lead to their only score late in the game, etc. But all in all, it was how you’d expect our Gators to respond, particularly against an overmatched team.

One question I’ve thought about toward the end of the game was how many of our fans and others might be thinking that we were able to keep it fairly simple, score fairly easily and primarily on the ground, and not really open the playbook for others to see? Well, not me. What I’m inclined to believe, at least for right now and likely for the chassis of his program, this is how Billy would prefer most of our games to go. Run the ball successfully (51 carries for 327 yds and 6 of the 7 TDs), cut down on the alignment and procedure mistakes, defense was solid in assignments and tackled well individually and as a team, even scoring a safety, besides the bad PAT snap, special teams play was pretty clean, and the in-game assignments and minutiae you don’t see until it’s an issue was much smoother, save the series that backup Battles fumbled and lost it, though there didn’t seemed to be clear video evidence to overturn the possession call as the play was blown dead. Maybe the officials were from Fulton County and employed its standard vote counting procedure? Anyhow, if Battles doesn’t get hit with the ball up on his shoulder pad instead of tucked, it’s all likely a moot point.

* The running game met the expectations that carried over from last season but were stifled last week. The top three backs ran with authority and a deftness at just the right times. Johnson was tops with 119 yds on 15 Carrie’s and 2 TDs. Etienne and Webb followed with 11/84/1 and 14/71/2 respectively. Credit also goes to the OL who were off the ball quickly and together, providing a dominant push for the most part that allowed the backs an opportunity to read and accelerate. Far better cohesion and what we came to expect from Sale’s group last season, though a couple of key pieces are gone or injured. Good to see after the performance in Salt Lake City last week.

* Mertz, though still in his infancy with the Gators, has so far exceeded the panned reviews Billy got from just about everybody when his signing / transfer was announced. The guy may not have the flash or athleticism of some of the coveted QBs from the portal and there’s still a lot of games to be played, but he’s a pretty good technician with the offense and most of his throws are where they should go. Throwing he was 14/17 for 193 yds and 1 TD, no INT. Also, it’s nice to see a QB that can go through his progression reads and not simply lock and throw. He didn’t get rag-dolled this evening and if that can stand up more often than not, we’ve got a chance maybe in some games that the 3-9 prognosticators had written off.

* Defense was very solid compared to last week, though they were better than the Utah score might have made you believe. The tackling, as previously mentioned, was solid with not the inordinate amount of misses we’d seen through the last couple of coaching regimes. Overall techniques were good with all three groups, holding McNeese to 112 total yds (46 rush, 66 pass). Hard not to give a shout out to the secondary for the fidelity of their play and overall assignments. Covering receivers, breaking up passes, supporting on run plays, very solid execution that hopefully gets better as they continue to gain experience.

* A little more on Billy’s offensive scheme and his being HBC and OC. First, I know that run-heavy offenses aren’t as exciting as what most fans want, but with a good stable of backs (that we have), a QB who can manage and change us out of a bad call (which I believe we have), and a line that can get a push, open holes, hold their blocks, and not step on their peckers (which they did tonight, but I’ll be better convinced if we can perform likewise next week), then Billy can win and / or stay close with a chance to win in most games, providing we don’t turn the ball over frequently or shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties and other miscues. I think as most do that we probably have a great crew of young receivers on the way up and as they become more veteran, Billy will have the chance to be more balanced run / throw and not get penned up against the better defensive teams we face. Maybe he’ll have an OC by then? We’ll see.

* The ESPN Announcers…frankly I’ve heard better from the high school crews at some small schools announcing from glorified deer stands and clearly nipping old John Barley Corn between plays. There was, however, a lot of dead air moments that usually would be annoying as hell, but in this case less Beth was addition by subtraction. I will give her credit for her comment about the student body “doing the Safety Dance” when we tackled their back in his end zone. It made my brain conjure up the old Men Without Hats tune that would be cool if there were more safeties and the fans in the stands actually knew the obscure 80’s music.

* Happy Birthday to Ricky Pearsall and a nice TD reception. Mertz hit him behind the defense for our only receiving TD. @Detroitgator commented in the box that Pearsall needed to concentrate more on his execution and less on style (or words to that effect) and I wholeheartedly agree. Losing the coolots or peddle pushers or whatever the style is is a peeve for an old guy like me, but I’d mainly be satisfied with him securing all the catchable balls and run through his routes instead of jumping unnecessarily on some of them. He’s got good moves and speed and runs good routes, just want him to be better all the time. He’s got some young charges under him that need his best to pattern after.

* Cool to get to see the number of subs get to play, particularly the QB Leon. Had to be a big thrill after being the journeyman for so long and having been a Gator fan in younger days. Hated we gave up a score late with the ERWs in, but a lot of good things happened this evening despite that. We aren’t going undefeated this year, but I’m confident we’re going to be better than 3-9.

Billy’s not going to get cut much if any slack because that’s what college football expectations mandate these days. When we‘re playing 22 Freshmen and others who are just now with the team, logic tells you that it’s going to be a process. But it has to grow quickly if the coach is to ultimately survive. Tonight, though it was a lesser conference opponent, it was a forward step into the process. The trick will be to do so against a much stronger foe next week who also happens to be a big SEC rival. But it’s at home and we’ve handled the immediate warmup game, if not the opener, in an acceptable and maybe encouraging fashion. Beat UT is the next step in the process and it’s doable if we can cause more mistakes than we make and of course, score at least one more point than they do! Hope the Swamp is packed and rocking as is Chatter and it’s diehards! See you next Saturday for sure!

Go Gators!

:chomp:
Thanks for the great write-up, cover!
 

GatorJB

Founding Member
Senior Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 12, 2014
3,462
6,157
Founding Member
It's always good to have your way with a lesser opponent, and dominate the game like you're supposed to. I was thinking going into the game that we needed to score at least 7 TDs and win by more than 40 to get the fan base excited for the UT game next week. Fortunately, we did just that. The crowd Sat. night should be rocking. A win Saturday would certainly change everyone's perception of this team and Napier's future.

On that note, there's one thing that all of our failed coaches post-Meyer have in common, they didn't make obvious coaching/systemic changes to the program for year 3. They doubled-down on their flawed process/vision and couldn't recover. I agree that there are major changes Napier should make to have long-term success here, especially with the offense and special teams. The organizational changes he makes for next year, if any, will determine his long-term success. In the meantime, we'll see how they (all the coaches) adjust and learn from their mistakes as the season progresses.
 

Pablos Tunnel

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2017
2,689
4,130
Lets just cool our britches and
lets keep things in perspective, McNeese had 52 put on them last week by Tarleton State in their loss.
We played a high school team.
 

chferg

#CousinEddieTime
Aug 5, 2014
3,440
4,734
I'm ok with the short routes and an occasional deep one. Take what's there, keep the ball, keep moving the ball, burn clock and let the obviously better D stay fresh. All this, especially early in the season with these newbies and babies. It's not a bad formula and as we improve, do more. Trying to do things we aren't ready for probably risks ball security.

THey played a ton of three high safety last night....

Which is hard to go deep against but intermediate and short passing should be there. We either don't have plays called for that or Mertz goes to his checkdown way to quickly. Too many passes behind the LOS
 

chferg

#CousinEddieTime
Aug 5, 2014
3,440
4,734
Lets just cool our britches and
lets keep things in perspective, McNeese had 52 put on them last week by Tarleton State in their loss.
We played a high school team.
We will find out a lot about the entire team next Saturday night.

AA and his defense was average against Utah. Baylor played just as well or better than us at times against Utah's offense. Our offense ran for 22 yards against Utah while Baylor was able to move the ball fairly easily in the 1st half and finished over 100 some yards rushing.

Obviously using other teams games isn't exactly a science when predicting future success; it is something to consider. Our defense needs to hold them to under 20 to have a chance at a win because Im not sure our offense and how slow we play will be able to get over 25 against them.
 

Daryl

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 11, 2017
1,007
1,294
My thoughts from watching last night:

1. The discipline from the defense is night and day compared to last year. Did Toney take lessons on stealing salary from Mullen and McElwain? What was he doing all last season? Props to the new DC and it is even more impressive considering how many freshman are playing.

2. We need Eguakun back something fierce. Slaughter just doesn't play strong at all. It won't happen this season, but hopefully someone takes his job. We are in trouble when we start playing SEC teams if he is the starter.

3. I have no access to the all 22. I don't know if this is Mertz refusing to throw downfield or that no one is open. To me, he seems to be the perfect captain check down. AR threw downfield. He rarely hit any of them but he attempted it. Mertz seems to not want to even to the point CBN called a downfield play just to force Mertz into an attempt. We will struggle if Mertz insists on always throwing short.

4. Screw Mullen for leaving us so little depth on the o-line.
Ricky addressed this in his post game presser.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Help Users

You haven't joined any rooms.