Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Ole Miss

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by cover2, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. cover2

    cover2 I've grown old
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    It finally got here. Seems like we’ve all been waiting forever, sorta like when you’ve asked Santa for that really neat gift, the one you’ve wanted all your life and will die if the big guy doesn’t come through. But it arrived. As openers go, there were a lot of things to weigh about the upcoming experience, much of it tied to COVID-19. Would we see signs of protest? What would the crowd be like? How prepared or how rusty would the teams look? Thankfully, when all was said and done, the game was played, the Gators won an opener against a conference opponent, we did a lot of really good things (offense / special teams) and some not very good (defense). But for three and a half hours, we were close to normal once more. That was a good thing.

    Any disparagement of Kyle Trask after today needs to be retired. 30 / 42 for 416 yards and 6 TDs is both a statement of what he is capable of as well as a continuation of the progress he has made. Though Pitts was his primary target (8 receptions for 170 yds and 4 TDs), he also connected with 10 other receivers. He was cool in the pocket, showing great awareness of pressure and rarely rushed his progressions. As much as we’ve lamented a sideways offense, he sure made a bunch of nice vertical throws. Bottom line, the kid can play the game and the position at a high level, regardless of whatever pedigree (or lack) that has been assigned.

    On the other hand, the defense was bad. At times they looked confused and slow, the latter being a result quite often of the former. Tackling was awful for the greater part, though Ventrell Miller had a couple of old school stones. I know that the game now is more predicated on speed than strength and technique, but we sure play way too high, which allows way too many ball carriers and receivers to run through the grabbing that results. And our DBs...they stayed lost all afternoon. Grantham and co. have a lot to repair and not much time to do it. I don’t want us to have to rely on the offense to bail us out all the time.

    Now, let’s look at a few specifics:

    *McPherson just confirmed what most knew...he’s a heckuva kicker. No KO returns and 3 / 3 FGs with a long of 55. Mullen was quoted as saying he thought he was the best kicker in America. Hard to disagree. And the punter, though he only punted once, looked up to the task. Still seemed a little strange not seeing a Townsend back there. Having a reliable kicking game may not always have the chance to win for you, but they can usually help keep you from getting beat. Low return yards is a pretty big stat.

    *Not calling the OL completely fixed, but they looked better than we’ve seen. Pass pro was pretty good, as the QBs had time to throw. We’ve still got work to do with the run game, but we rushed for a little less than 200 on 29 attempts. A couple of technical things I noticed were we looked clean and quick on the G schemes and we had guys getting to and staying with their blocks. It’s a better start than we’ve had lately.

    *Third and Grantham was likely screamed a few times today. Part of me gets that we had some youngsters out there, but there were some vets in the secondary who looked clueless for much of the time. Of course, they’ve looked like that before. Where’s the improvement? I also think Dr. Pressure needs to live up to his nick. Specifically, allowing them to convert 3rd and 19 with a 4 rush when your secondary can’t cover a soul is simply asinine.

    *First time I can remember that a team responded to a two play length of the field TD drive with a two play length of the field TD drive. Kudos to the Rebs! And as bad as I hate to say it, Corral wasn’t too bad (against us).

    *Pitts. The guys on one scoreboard show called him the best TE in the country. He certainly made a case for that high praise today. Great routes, concentration, hands and speed. AA potential. Stay healthy, Trask knows how to get it to you.

    *Pierce and Davis looked pretty fair running the ball. They combined for 103. Toney had 55 on 2 carries. Where he’s concerned, we’ve all wanted him to get more touches...and today he got them, adding 5 receptions for 59 yds and a score. Was it Brian Johnson or Mullen? Who cares. Keep feeding him.

    We weren’t perfect today, especially defensively, and that can be worrisome, but we’ll have to rely on the adage that a team shows its greatest improvement between game one and game two. Lord, I hope so. A quick glance makes me believe we’ve got the makings of a championship caliber offense barring significant injuries. The defense has a lot of catching up to do in that regard. It might get a little nerve racking. But at least football’s back and we can cheer and gripe about something other than politics. Stay tuned. It’s just getting started and who knows what’s around the next corner! Go Gators!
     
    • Zambo

      Zambo Poo Flinger
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      First like!
       
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      • Gatormac2112

        Gatormac2112 The Voice of Reason
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        Second.

        Nice write up as always Cover2!
         
        • Swamp Donkey

          Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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          Finally, the appropriate level of disdain for "Dr Pressure".
           
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          • GatorJB

            GatorJB Senior Member
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            I think the defense will significantly improve next week, but that will be more because we are playing Muschamp. It's also possible we just played the best offense on our schedule, but time will tell if that's true or me hoping it's true.

            On a similar but different note, the over/under on the egg bowl may be 90 or higher.
             
            • 88drgator

              88drgator Senior Member
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              Cover: Thank you for being the most balanced and sane (redundant I know) guy on this board You are the true definition of a "gentleman" -- something I wish would inspire our GC Neanderthals a little bit more. Sigh...who am I kidding?
               
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              • Swamp Donkey

                Swamp Donkey Bring Back Mohammed and Assquish
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                perhaps you missed the sports bar sign on the door.
                 
                • Tunaboat

                  Tunaboat 4th & 34
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                  Mullen has done a great job of putting the O together and we now see the fruits of his labors. Trask shows visible improvement in his command of the field he looked cool as a cuke all day long while shredding the Ole Miss D to pieces. That kid has obviously been putting in work during the downtime and his receivers have as well, especially Pitts who was razor-sharp, again. On the downside we have T.G. who I'm becoming more and more convinced has no business being a D coordinator in Div 1 football. Think how good this team could be with an aggressive D that can cover and tackle. That fat bastid is getting paid a ton of money to do those simple things - at least make your kids fly to the ball Todd, and when they get there they'll have a chance to make a play. Something that these bewildered, uncoached-looking troops seemed to have no interest in doing. I get the excuses of lack of practice, COVID, first game, etc but what we saw today was the result of piss-poor D coaching. I'm hoping Third & Grantham lands a sweet high school coaching gig and takes a few of his "star" coaches with him.
                   
                  • Ancient Reptile

                    Ancient Reptile Senior Member
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                    I agree on Grantham, but we could have hired Pellini at $2 million.
                     
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                    • SGG

                      SGG Check the Early Life Section
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                      Great write up, as always, Cover.

                      My hope is that getting Stewart and Campbell(assuming he hasn’t truly opted out) will help on defense the way that getting Reese back at MLB helped in a previous season.

                      I guess time will tell.
                       
                      • G8trwood

                        G8trwood Well-Known Member
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                        We wanted Dr Pressure we got Dr Perrito
                         
                        • TN G8tr

                          TN G8tr The "Original" TN G8tr
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                          Never fail to disappoint Cover, great analysis.

                          Offense, nothing more to say other than as Brian Johnson said yesterday before the game. We're turning Trask loose. And keep it that way the whole season. No complaints from me there from execution to play calling. Hell, Mullen kept his foot on the gas the whole game.

                          Now on D, it almost forced me back to the bottle. But so many variables before I jump off the cliff. First game, missing players, Kiffen Offense, on and on. But, that D that played yesterday will not help us if some things don't get fixed and soon.

                          But overall just good to see football and feel Normal for a few hours.
                           
                          • Sec14Gator

                            Sec14Gator Well-Known Member
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                            Good writeup as usual Cover2. @SGG i can't see how they wouldn't help. Their replacements were awful. The worst part is Stewart's return won't take Stiner off the field completely, as we have seen now for 3 years.

                            Campbell on the other hand does move Dunlap off the field more. Dunlap looked really bad in run D and was non-existent in passing defense. Like so many on our defense, he seems smaller than last year and less effective. The Vid must have really gotten to him preseason. I do hope he returns to form some moving forward, as he was at least functional last year. He's another player who, like Zach Carter, due to the combo of poor recruiting and scheme, is playing out of position and should be a defensive end, instead of forced to play DT.
                             
                            • BMF

                              BMF Bad Mother....
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                              I hope we get Campbell back, but the rumor is it's academics. We should see: Houston, Stewart, Davis, and Moon back next week (or soon, not sure how long they're out). That will help, those are all upperclassman. I know Moon gets a bad rap, but he's supposedly at 250lbs now and was getting a lot of mentions in the preseason. Houston is a liability, but he's probably better than some of the other options. And Stewart & Davis are by far better than Stiner and anyone else playing Safety.
                               
                              • Zambo

                                Zambo Poo Flinger
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                                For the first time in a long time, I don't feel like I know where the ball is going before we even snap it. We threw deep, we threw it over the middle, we threw slants etc, not just bubble screens. Trask 30 of 42, with at least 3 of those incompletes being blatant drops that I recall. 42 attempts.....wow! It wasn't that long ago that we had Treon Harris back there and would throw less than 10 times a game and maybe complete half of them. I don't mind a handful of Trask runs and options just to keep the D honest, but that's all there were. We didn't blow people off the ball in the running game with a dominant offensive line performance, but we got enough push to have a plenty effective running game. BTW, I think anybody who was worried about losing Swain, Hammond, and Jefferson all in the same year can rest easy. Pitts is the bomb, Grimes and Cope are fine on the edge, and 7 touches for Toney was nice to see (2 runs, 5 rec). Pierce just seems to get stronger as the game goes on, and Malik Davis finally looks healthy and speedy.
                                 
                                • RiverRat

                                  RiverRat Well-Known Member
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                                  Good Cover, Cover.
                                  Still a lot of unanswered questions out there like how good is the Ol Miss offense and how bad is their defense?
                                  We really don't know yet the level of our competition from yesterday.
                                  If the defense can show improvement like it did after the Miami game last year and complement the Offense a little bit better this Gator team will be hard to beat this year.
                                   
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                                  • Albert

                                    Albert Enormous Member

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                                    Excellent analysis as always C2. Haven’t seen an offense like that around here in a long time. Went back and rewatched some Oline play. While the front 5 looked better, Heggie and Forsythe were downright violent. I’ve been saying for a while that good center play helps this offense click, and it was evident yesterday.
                                    As for the Defense, if you want to be honest about it, Kiffin would have dialed up a few of those big plays against most teams. The problem is the other half. Safety is downright atrocious and this scheme would make it hard for Lawrence Taylor to succeed. plus the fact that what we have there is nowhere close talent-wise. Miller showed flashes of being a thumper against the run, but can’t go 20 yds downfield with a decent tight end. And as for Fat Todd, please pick a back 6-7 and stick with it.
                                    As for the D positives, Cox is a pleasant surprise that will likely get better. Dexter also has a chance to be a great one. A few others flashed briefly. We’ll see if any adjustments are made, but don’t hold your breath.
                                     
                                    • cover2

                                      cover2 I've grown old
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                                      I remember thinking how small and lean we looked overall defensively. We looked to be in good condition, but it just looked more like basketball condition as opposed to football condition. I believe the foundation strength program was stymied from mid-March until now. It has had a similar effect on our HS team. However, it doesn’t fully explain our defensive foibles and has nothing to do with all the mental mistakes made on that side of the ball.
                                       
                                      • Zambo

                                        Zambo Poo Flinger
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                                        Bottom line is that we have been weak against the pass for quite a while now. Seems like every loss we've had in the last two years was because the other team was able to throw the ball all over the field. Corral is a good qb and Kiffen knows how to dial up those passing plays so its not surprising they they were able to torch our poor defensive backfield, which was made even poorer with the loss of a few players. I think we'll do fine against the dusty muschimps next week, but when we play against some of the better passing teams our offense needs to show up and take some of the pressure off.
                                         
                                        • NVAGATOR86

                                          NVAGATOR86 Well-Known Member
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                                          As usual very good game summary by Cover. The box score says it all about Trask Pitts and our offense. Great start to 2020.
                                          On D losing Davis in an already weakened position group was a serious hit. Especially with as well as Corral was playing, and of course Kiffen working on the weakness. Our defense looks under sized and as posters here have said we need to get some players back. Still saw too many plays where receivers were running open with LB'S chasing them 20 yards or more down the field.
                                          Even though Corral looks like he belongs in MS 13 he also looks like the real deal. Kiffen could do some damage in the West.
                                           

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