Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Mississippi State

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by cover2, Sep 29, 2018.

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How would you grade the Gators performance?

  1. A

    21.8%
  2. B

    78.2%
  3. C

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  1. cover2

    cover2 I've grown old
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    What a win, Sports Fans! Lot of eyes on this game. Lot of early speculation and questions as well. After playing better against a lowly Vol team, would we have enough momentum and confidence to go on the road and win in a place that has been difficult to say the least for our Gators to find a victory? How would we fare on the line of scrimmage, particularly against a team that has one of the best DLs in college football? What would we get from the offense to help us to a win (might read that as could Franks do what it takes to at least keep the D off the field)? Well I think we saw the answers unfold in a tough, old fashioned 13-6 SEC road victory where the D, who played some bend but don't break early on, but hit the switch and just took over in the second half. Even 25 yards in penalties that got them out of a hole on MissState's final possession couldn't derail the D, particularly the front four and notably Jachai Polite.

    I also think an acknowledgment of the improvements and positive steps we are taking is due Dan Mullen. You haven't got to like him or even think that he was the best guy we could have hired at the time. We aren't where we want to be yet and it will take time to get there, but we should all appreciate the direction that we are moving. Hell, I'd almost be willing to give him an extension for what he's done with the Special Teams (OK maybe not an extension, but a beer and several "atta boys" at least). The only criticism I can give him is not using a time out earlier at the end of the first half (those time outs don't do you any good in your pocket going into the locker room), but at the conclusion I guess it's a moot point. Otherwise I think he had a pretty good game plan and the D obviously came to play. Team was very well prepared. Something we couldn't say very often the last few years.

    So let's look at some specifics of the big win in Stark Vegas:

    *One big sequence in the game that could have turned it in two different directions was Franks' long ball that was negated by Taylor's holding call and MissSt's drop on the deep pass. Either that would have been complete likely would have resulted in points and could have impacted the momentum and in the Bulldog's case might have impacted the outcome. But it didn't and the good guys sealed the deal on the backs of a dominant defensive performance. We held them to about 200 yards of offense and no TDs. How about that?!

    *Franks threw well enough to go over 200 passing. He made some really nice throws and a couple of bone headed ones that resulted in a pick and a couple more that probably should have been. He ran the offense pretty well and played with what looked to me as more confidence in a game that obviously had a lot of pressure attached. He might not have necessarily won the game, but he sure didn't lose it! Seems to be growing and this is something I wasn't sure he could do at the pace I think we've seen this season.

    *We didn't rush for a ton, but we got some gains when we needed them. I was surprised at the stat line that Scarlett only had 21 yards. Seemed like he should have had a few more, but Perine had a nice game as did Pierce, who looks to be our "closer" if you will, bringing fresh legs and power into the game when the opposing D may be a little gassed. He'll eventually get some touches earlier, but he's playing his role nicely at this point. Did I mention Toney had a couple of good runs? Nice QB counter on one.

    *The OL had some good moments, obviously, as we had somewhere around 350 yards of offense. Couldn't pull that off against there D if they weren't doing some good things. But we had some of the usual blunders as well, such as Fred's two false starts, Taylor's aforementioned hold, and a whiff by Ivey. Still, there are some improvements, effort and knowing their assignments perhaps, even if consistently executing them continues to be a work in progress.

    *Lot of names in the secondary that I am not familiar with. Made some mistakes (like letting the guy get behind them on the drop), but overall they held the Bullogs to around 100 yards passing. Henderson and Chauncey are really dependable, if not pretty good, and are leaders of that unit. Little #21, whose name escapes me, made some good plays. Best thing is that this group actually looks like they are being coached.

    *The front seven, especially the DEs, played well. As mentioned earlier, they bent but didn't break early when MissSt was fresh, attacking, and having success moving the ball. But they answered the bell in the second half and put the hat on the QB, rendering him virtually ineffective when the Bulldogs had to have his best to have a chance to tie or win late. Polite, Zuniga, and CeCe were big with the rush and the whole unit kept the ground game from hurting us. Something for the DEs to work on however is that we don't always read run very well and the success MissSt had off tackle was a result of us getting upfield. Gotta love what this group is doing and the steps they've made under Grantham.

    *Listened to the ESPN broadcast after the game and I think they mentioned that 11 Gators caught balls today. Pretty good job of spreading it around. And who would have thought one of if not the biggest catches came on a flanker pass to the TE? Timing on when to call those plays is everything.

    *Another SEC road game and another home fan base that cleared out so fast you'd think they were handing out commodity cheese Chek soft drinks in the parking lot.

    *In other football news, Taggart gets an unlikely win when Petrino steps on his d!ck and calls a pass play after getting a first down deep in Nole territory with about a minute and a half remaining. The pass, of course, was intercepted and the Noles went on to score the winning TD. SMH.

    So LSU is up next at our place. Suddenly it looks like we may have a shot. Who'd a thunk it post-UK? Again, gotta give this group and the staff some credit. They are starting to meet, maybe exceed, many of our expectations. But one game at a time and the Bayou Bengals are it. If we get the same defensive effort against them as we gave today, I like our chances. Unless I missed something, we seem to be staying pretty healthy and we are building depth. Lot of football left, but we are doing good things and maybe the belief of the fan base is growing? I know that the belief of the team certainly is. Like one of the radio guys said after the game, finally after the last three unfulfilled years, the players' work is now paying off. It may be more appropriate to say that this year's work is paying off and the veterans are finally overcoming the lack of decent coaching they were previously exposed to, which is a testament to the fortitude of these kids. Lesser ones would have cashed it in by now and some did. Keep on rockin' Gators. Liking what we are doing and look forward to continued growth and development. Go Gators!

    :chomp:
     
    #1 cover2, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
    • ThreatMatrix

      ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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      My evening is complete.
       
      • LongTooth

        LongTooth Senior Member

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        Nice read. One player who deserves mention is Moral Stephens. Catching TDs, laying key blocks, the kid is having a great year.

        Dan is proving he can get kids to play above their heads.
         
        • Keene-Flint

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          In before pin
           
          • Homer J

            Homer J Senior Member
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            I loved seeing Pitts and Krull get some time at TE and both catching passes.
             
            • g8r.tom

              g8r.tom Well-Known Member
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              Great win.
               
              • bayou gator

                bayou gator Ancient GSMB Veteran
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                Good review, Cover. I agree with your synopsis. A few things that stand out to me are that the players are looking prepared to play, and when things aren't working, the coaches are starting to look prepared to adjust. Those are two qualities that we really haven't been able to recognize over the past decade. I'm not so sure that we have a "great" coach, but I do believe we have a good coach. I think we've got quite a few good players and a couple of great players. I am hopeful that he is able to recruit more great players to Gainesville (please, dear God), and then I will be very curious to see how far we can go. I'm not giddy with optimism yet, because I think we have a very long way to go, and LSU is a legit football team that will be fighting like hell to bust our bubble next week... but, I am beginning to believe that we are finally climbing out of the hole we have been in, and the next decade should look significantly better than the past.
                 
                • AlexDaGator

                  AlexDaGator The Hammer of Thor
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                  Polite was our player of the game but Townsend wasn’t far behind.

                  Great job of pinning them deep with high, accurate kicks.


                  Alex.
                   
                  • lagator

                    lagator Senior Member
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                    Great write up as usual cover2. I think the improvement the O-line has made over the last couple games, even with the penalties tonight, is nothing short of miraculous.

                    And what else can be said for the defense. We thought this was a deep group of lineman and the first couple games were head-scratchers, but the whole defense is really rounding into form and played a helluva game. We're watching a lot of guys who are going to play on Sundays.

                    Franks has definitely come a long way and played a nice game overall, but he still has a ways to go. Someone actually said he played "flawless" in the game thread and I think they were serious. But I saw the same thing that you did, that is one INT could easily have been 3, and that probably would have been too much to overcome with points so hard to come by, so hopefully limiting those "bone headed" plays you mentioned is something they can continue to work on.

                    What I really liked from Franks tonight is the timing and accuracy he showed in all those swing passes. Those were working like a charm, especially in the second half, and that only works when the QB gets the ball out quickly and accurately, and Franks was on point tonight.

                    And that brings up another groups performance I think you may have overlooked with your accolades in this weeks B&P. That was the WR blocking. It was seriously masterful and time and time again made those lateral passes turn into nice gains and critical first downs. I know Donkey likes to make fun of WR being recruited here to block, but those guys were on fire tonight. I saw forward blocks sideways blocks, hell, even picks and backwards blocks that may be just this side of legal. All I know is that group deserves a big congrats because they were making tonight's sideways offense work. and when you miss those blocks all those sideways passes get frustrating in a hurry.

                    Overall a damn good win and another piece of the foundation to build on.
                     
                    • Zambo

                      Zambo Poo Flinger
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                      We didn’t score a lot of points but the improvement is obvious. That was a loud, tough environment and after some early problems with the noise we settled down nicely. Stat you might not see posted elsewhere: We forced four 3-and-outs on defense and we didn’t have a single 3-and-out on offense.
                       
                      • oxking

                        oxking Pops
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                        Scarlett certainly had an off night. He missed the hole a couple of times. Perine and Pierce were clearly better last night.
                         
                        • oxking

                          oxking Pops
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                          That's right. Especially for the offense, it allowed us to flip the field on them and Townson was terrific punting. Frankly, our defense just completely kicked their tails in the 2nd half. And I loved that blitz on 4th and the ball game. Why give them time to think on 4th and long.
                           
                          • oxking

                            oxking Pops
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                            :yes:That win made me happy as a clam.
                             
                            • Frozen Gator

                              Frozen Gator Well-Known Member
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                              Shuler seems to be more and more visible in good way, Have those damn cowbells ever been louder? Toughness and few mistakes, what a great game! MSU is just not ready for prime time, last year Bama and this year us.
                               
                              • TN G8tr

                                TN G8tr The "Original" TN G8tr
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                                Nothing to contradict that analysis Cover. It was the right game plan Mullen had to bring with the team he has. I have said this for years that Mullen know how to coach with the talent he has. That goes back to Leak and Billy Latsko. The discipline, coaching, and improvement really is all that we've been asking for. If you have those three all aspects of your team will improve i.e FF. Props have to go out to Hevsey. What he is doing with the OL is incredible. Now they are not world beaters by any stretch, but at least they have lost a good bit of the Matador ole' blocking that was taught under the old regimes. Mullen just seems to know, hey if we stink at this....lets go with something else. A key thing that MacNussChump could never grasp.

                                The accolades you handed out were well deserved. I knew as I stated in the game thread earlier last week that I had a weird feeling about this game. I am starting to feel that way about the whole season. Don't count them out of anything this year. We have as Orgeron would say the Tigas coming to town next week. Coach "O"geramous has the knack of losing game he shouldn't. UF is primed to take one from the Tigas. But in all, you gotta love what Mullen is doing with this team. The rebuild will take time, but he is doing what we need him to do.
                                 
                                • FireFoley

                                  FireFoley Senior Member
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                                  Good read C2. Although Fred Johnson had 3 false start penalties, but the line still needs a lot of work. The only thing I would say is that the way Cousin Eddie managed the end of the first half, does matter, regardless of the result of a game. It shows me an innate ability to manage a game, no matter the situation. If he thought he had outsmarted MSU by taking a timeout late, then why not take it with 10 seconds, and actually force the punt and try for a block, not 4 seconds. Given the field position I say TO immediately and try and get a FG. As you mentioned UL-FSU, 2 minutes to play, UL up 3 and FSU has 2 TO's remaining. Run it 3 times and punt let's say and FSU has 60 seconds left and zero TO's. Let's say that the QB called the wrong play as has been mentioned. If your QB is not a mental midget, does he not ask himself why are we passing here? All from the top C2, attention to detail.

                                  Good ball possession in 2nd half really limited MSU possessions, but C2 why do you think MSU abandoned the running game in the 2nd half? Did HC become impatient b/c they did not have a lot of plays or do you think he got antsy after his WR dropped an almost sure TD pass?
                                   
                                  #16 FireFoley, Sep 30, 2018
                                  Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
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                                  • AugustaGator

                                    AugustaGator Junior Member
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                                    But he picked up some blitzes and linemen coming thru?
                                     
                                    • oxking

                                      oxking Pops
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                                      yeah, that's the main reason he starts. Did you notice when Pierce was in you knew it was going to be a run. That young man needs to learn to pass block obviously.
                                       
                                      • oxking

                                        oxking Pops
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                                        I thought Mullen did well enough overall but I grant that timeout before the half was just silly and I thought his play calling after we made the 1st down on 4th at the goal was definitely Muschumpesque.
                                         
                                        • Homer J

                                          Homer J Senior Member
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                                          I think his blitz pickup is the only reason he is starting because Perine sees the field better and catches the ball better.
                                           

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