Welcome to another year of Gator football! Expectations are high after a good (not great, mind you) start of the Mullen era that featured a strong finish after a couple of disappointing conference losses. My own expectations are high, but tempered considering positional question marks (OL, LB, Secondary, etc.). While I'm glad we are playing an old rival in the season's first real game, I'm not real wild about playing so early, yet it should be an opportunity to be embraced. The audition for deserving top ten and conference contender...do we nail it, or forget our lines?
The answer in the first half was that we weren't ready for Broadway. Hell, we weren't ready for summer stock in the Pocanos! The only consistency was our inconsistency. OL got no push. Ground gains were mostly due to athleticism, speed (Toney), and second effort. Ball security cost us a couple of scores. Defensively, we tackled like dog sh!t, couldn't get off of blocks, and gave up several big plays that gave the Hurricanes life when they were seemingly ready to croak. We lacked a lot of things, but poise was not to be found when needed.
Second half has featured more of the same and looked more like an AAU basketball game...or an adolescent male trying to "score" for the first time. Holy Sh!t and praise the DL! We dodged a bullet but got our pants pulled down in the proces. Let's look at a few specifics:
*Tommy Townsend stood out. Converting the fake punt early was a gutsy call, but the kid obviously has the stones that make it an easy decision for the coaches. Like his brother before him, he can boom it with hang time.
*Zuniga and Greenard stood out on the DL. Campbell made some plays, too. They made good plays against the run and applied pressure (with sacks) in passing situations. Zuniga, if he can stay healthy, can have a special year and maybe as important, draw enough attention that it will take some of the pressure off of the developing defenders. This whole group saved our @ss.
*Despite a couple of security issues (fumble, pitch in a bad relationship), he didn't hurt us with his decision-making early on. I think he still has problems making his mind up before the snap despite what a proper read would suggest. He did have a couple of good check downs, but I also think he gave up in the pocket prematurely on several plays.
*We cannot continue to give up big plays to opposing offenses on third down. Leadership can be overused to explain these type of gaffs, but I think it's clear that we are looking for some players to provide that component and it needs to be from the back seven. My kingdom for a Peterson, Spikes, etc.
*We look like we're back to square one with the OL. As stated earlier, we got little to no push for most of the running plays. Pass Pro was 50/50 at best. Hevesy will have to do his best work...and quickly. This unit resembled a scout team for much of the game.
*We break coverage almost every time a play is extended. Occasionally you can understand, but as often as seen tonight speaks toward a lack of experience and communication/cohesion among the coverage players. Hard, thorough coaching provided rapidly and consistently can help. Keeping contain up front is a factor as well.
*Im going to share a pet peave. In my opinion, a lot of football nowadays on the defensive side relies way too much on speed and not enough on proper technique (esp. tackling, pursuit, and body position/control). I know the rules (penalties and coach/player contact time) makes it difficult, but a lot of what I see today is just hot garbage, especially our tackling. Though all position groups were guilty, our secondary looked a lot more like Matador U than DBU tonight. Combined with a distinct lack of "want to," you get what we all saw. We played like the Fightin' Camel C0cks in terms of pad level when tackling.
*To quote Lombardi on the pass play/INT late..."What the hell's going on out here?!" That call was beyond dumb. Same could be said for the late interference penalties. I thought we upgraded the coaching position with this group?
*Can't say the officiating crew was at peak form, but we were the beneficiary of a couple of their goofs. Unsportsmanlike call hurt, however. Our lack of disciple was a contributing factor to the quality of the officiating.
We've got problems' but at least they weren't compounded by a loss. The adage that a team improves the most between the first and second games could be severely tested. I hate sloppy, inconsistent play punctuated with moments of poor effort. Show us some players that want to be the guy who makes the plays and I'll be happy. Until then, I'll just have to be content that the Hurricanes are 0-1! **wink**
Best Posts in Thread: Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Miami
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1. Ventrel Miller took the starting spot from Burney. He looked really good at times tonight.
2. For the love of god, can we please move Burney to safety? Please? If I have to watch any more of Stiner or Taylor I'll off myself.
3. Franks is Franks. He just isn't any good. I see people blaming playcalling. I think the playcalling was a result of not trusting Franks. He was clearly shellshocked after that second turnover.
4. Greenard was a beast tonight.
5. I thought out tackles played well considering how good their DEs are.
6. I'd rip Krull a new one for his shyte blocking. That was an abomination.
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I guess I just hate the fact that our fortunes right now pretty much rise and fall on the performance of a kid whose brain seems to be all over the map. I feel like we are a QB away from having a great team. We are loaded at playmaker...imagine if we could consistently get them the ball? Heck, just imagine if we didn't GIVE the other team the ball on a routine basis?
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Franks makes me want to take the season off. I can’t watch that freaking idiot. He’s bad enough on the field, but the mugging and talking to the crowd behind the bench is ridiculous. The stuff he said to the camera was just embarrassing. Any new posts about the Heisman or him leaving early for the NFL?
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I agree with a lot of what you say and here are some of my thoughts after this game:
1. That is why you schedule a cupcake the first (suspension) game and schedule a game like this the second game.
2. Miami has a tough front so I thought the OL acquitted itself quite well. The pass protection was ok and the run plays did not get blown up in the backfield. I think the staff felt as described on this site that the Miami weakness was their safeties and tried to attack that rather than run.
3. Also as described here often in the off season UF is not exactly strong at the safeties either and that showed in some of the tackling.
4. Still as Herbstreit described UF's tackling left a lot to be desired tonight though UF was good at getting their QB to the ground.
5. As I feared after 3 years, Franks is what he is. UF will need to coach around him but he does have skills.
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Cover, as usual excellent synopsis . For me it was pretty much what I expected. First game against a good opponent with a lot of bad blood between us. Turnovers cost us 10-14 points and almost the game. The last 4 minutes seemed like 4 hours with penalties and Miami doing it's best to give us the ball back. Did they set a single game record for recovering their own fumbles? Not sure if our pass rush is as dominant as it looked or did we take advantage of Miami's weakness? In either case we will know soon and my opinion is that we won't have this type of success against the SEC big boys. But give the coaches credit for attacking the weakness. Some times that doesn't happen. Tackling was terrible especially on the long TD run.
That is coachable and can be corrected. The offense has a lot of work to do. Our play calling again looks predictable, and we don't seem to use our weapons. What happened to Toney?
Bottom line for me. Playing Miami in "week zero" was a big risk but it will benefit us more than some FCS opponent in week 1. Unlike the NFL we don't get a pre season , so the ugliness gets exposed in the first game. We saw it last night and now the coaches get to earn their paychecks for the rest of the season. Against Miami style points are not important. Just beating their ass is the goal. Playing them it is never easy, and being 1-0 is mission accomplished.
Nice points in this thread. I’ll add a few.
Franks is still going to have bad moments, but he’s obviously the guy we’re going with so I’ll try to be positive. Bad game last night. Hopefully it was the defense, the stage and opening game jitters. He still has his moments.
OL will improve. Thought they handled their front 7 fairly well given their circumstances.
I’m really souring on Davis. This is twice now that he has had a game changing turnover. The bomb to Cleveland in ‘17 isn’t even needed if he doesn’t fumble at the goal line against ut. Twice he has killed momentum and helped a team almost beat us. And I have no idea why he was trying to get up with the football. Doubled down on a bad play.
On that note Buchanon has the ball. When a player is seen with hands on the ball and visible stops fighting, it should be pretty clear that even if only for a few seconds, he has it. Mullen should’ve challenged that.
Safety play is atrocious again. I know we bag on Taylor and Stiner, and rightly so. But they shouldn’t be playing. They’re backups/STs guys at best. We should have fixed this via recruiting and we haven’t. And if we’re honest, the person we should be pissed at is Stewart. The other two are playing to their best and trying to help the team. He’s being a clown and hurting it.
No idea how we can force 12 fumbles and recover none.
We should never schedule a big game to open again. We aren’t a week 1 team. Professional players who do nothing but play football are given joint practices and 4 exhibitions before wins and losses start counting. Why would we expect amateurs with limited practice time to be flawless right out of the gate?
Refs were putrid. I was drinking. Still think we need to either make this an annual game, which we won’t, or kill the series. It makes no sense to do these random years, and too often benefits them. Glad we won and it’s over.
It was a game everyone said Florida had to win, we won. Now its a matter of cleaning things up and using this next few weeks to get ready for SEC play.
Mullen and Co. have their work cut out but I still think were going to have a pretty good football team and Im sober.
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IMHO, Nick Savage should get a bonus raise. The defense played with determination and energy 'til the final play; standing tall at critical moments despite boneheaded penalties, turnovers and missed tackles that gave Miami ample opportunities to win and kept the Gator defense on the field.
It's a W.
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There is a sliver lining here.
The coaches have a lot of actually game film against a quality opponent to show flaws to players. This gives a ton of coaching opportunity. Thanks to this game being moved a week early, we have an extra week to really focus on all the problems... this is a benefit other teams don't have.
Time for Mullen and company to go to work and get this fixed. I expect we will hear "attention to detail" a ton in the next couple weeks, but I think that is accurate in a lot of ways.
No ones saying it was a beautifully called game or anyone should be happy but you’re next level stupid right now. Take a deep breath dude. All things considered (Franks, suspensions, lack of recruiting/depth, improved but not great roster talent from a 4-8 team, 4-1 turnover ratio, 3rd and Grantham, too many boneheaded penalties to count, etc.), we still won.
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Franks is like a latter day Doug Johnson with a bigger mouth and a smaller brain. His antics on the sideline and with the cameras were a joke.
Seems we didn’t go downfield much because Mullen was worried Franks would get pressure and throw up lame duck interceptions, which is exactly what happened in the fourth quarter - so why make that call?
52 yds rushing. Woof. I do think OL will gel though. They could have looked a lot worse for their first game.
Front seven looks pretty good on D apart from a couple breakdowns but I see little to no improvement from the safeties. Atrocious back there.
Townsend and Mullen have balls of brass to run that fake. Mullen wasn’t anywhere close to perfect, but was willing to take enough risks to win.
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