Saturday was a good day to be Emory Jones. Fresh off the heels of a near miss against Bama and amid a quarterback controversy between him and phenom Anthony Richardson, Jones turned in a solid performance against Tennessee, leading the Gators to a 38-14 victory. In doing so, Jones was 21/27 passing for 209 yards, 2 TDs, and NO INTs. He also had a team-leading 144 yds rushing on 15 carries. 353 yds of total offense isn’t shabby and it was clear that Jones was feeling more comfortable as “the man,” exploiting the Vols attention to the rest of our backfield and patiently making the throws that UT allowed in the seams and flats. There’s still no vertical stretch and Emory remains too flat-footed in the pocket, but for a Saturday at least, he avoided the “Bama Hangover” (a term stolen from the TV guys) and led the Gators to an always appreciated, if not expected, win against the Volunteers.
Meanwhile, after three fairly solid quarters against Bama last week, the Gators’ secondary reverted to their old ways, allowing open receivers behind them, missing tackles, and giving up two first half passing TDs. Had the Vols a better QB, the penciled in victory might not have been. I can breathe a little easier now, but on the Vols second TD, I couldn’t help but laugh (between cuss words) at how bad our DB looked pursuing the receiver who had run past him…
I’m quite certain that a lot of it had to do with having played some better last week, but the fact remains that we are not “DBU” and the route recognition skills nor the ability to process calls and carry out assignments remains underdeveloped. Thank goodness for the front 6/7.
*We amassed over 500 yds of offense, 283 rushing and 222 passing and there’s some cause to celebrate our potency and consistency. However, we allowed 423 total yds, 275 passing and 148 rushing…against the inferior Vols. Maybe there was a touch of the “Bama Hangover?” Todd, is that you?
*And while I’m on Grantham, I don’t fault him quite as much for some of his blitz calls. I mean, for two weeks now, we’ve faced relatively inexperienced QBs and finding ways to disrupt their timing and put pressure on them is Defensive Football 101. But Great Day, make sure you’ve got people in the secondary that can at least keep the receivers in front of them. It is maddening that this issue prevails year after year. I do fault Todd for allowing this to continue.
*For not having a stable of highly touted LBs and having lost arguably our best guy to a torn bicep, we’re getting some decent play from them. It doesn’t hurt that our front four are pretty solid, even Brenton Cox looked good against the run, but Moon, Diabate, et al are flowing to the ball and cleaning things up. Heaven forbid that these guys don’t stay healthy.
*Hated that Copeland got stripped while fighting for some YAC. Had that turnover not occurred and we go on to punch it in, we might’ve scored 50. As it stands, a three TD margin was not bad, even if we might have been left wanting more. A team that is strong running the ball and average passing usually isn’t big strike.
*How about Mullen with a little trickeration?! That play was almost as if a fan had won some sort of radio station sweepstakes and got to call one play during the game. Or maybe SOS dropped by Mullen’s office for a little chalk talk? Any who, it was kinda fun and didn’t backfire.
*A new kicker after Bama wasn’t surprising and he did make all of his PATs and a FG attempt. Wish we could see some touchbacks on the kickoffs though. There was also a new KO return guy. Expected moves were good to see, however insignificant that may seem
*We’ve got three pretty good backs, four if you count Emory, and I’m pleased that we are able to grind out yardage. It is demoralizing to the opposition and is due in large part to an improved OL. The Vols were pretty good in spots accounting for Davis, Pierce, and Wright, but not so much for Emory. We’re good as long as we don’t lay the ball down and the passing game progresses. We’ll soon face some teams that can take the run away and we’ll have to be able to counter vertically.
*I have to give Rick Wells a shout. I’ve wondered how he has become a starting receiver for us, but he’s progressed and yesterday made a very nice catch going out of bounds, getting a foot down on the dead run. At some point this year, he and the other receivers will have to play a bigger part in the offense. I’m glad he’s moving upward.
I still have feelings that Richardson is the future. He appears, in a short sample size, to have the arm and moxie that we all want in a QB. But despite those feelings, I am also happy that Emory has helped ease my mind some with his ability to run the offense, gain yardage and score points that was an improvement over last week. I am concerned with the passing game, though he did look more comfortable yesterday. He’s just not a pocket passer and though he had a couple of nice look-offs yesterday, it’s doubtful at this point that he’ll ever consistently read progression beyond the first one or two routes. Maybe Dan will have that two-headed QB at some point? At any rate, Emory is in a lot of ways both a feel good story and a throwback. It’s hard not to admire a kid these days, a QB at that, who waits for his turn and when he gets it he does good things, the PAT play against Bama notwithstanding.
Improvement each week will be the name of the game for #5. That he hasn’t turtled up in the face of the calls for Richardson is a positive. A lesser guy would have. I posted this on here before, but an old coaching friend in Heard County told me when we signed Emory that we got not only a great athlete and QB, but a great kid who was a leader and wouldn’t embarrass us. So far he’s been right. The next step, of course, is to see if the improvement continues against Kentucky on the road. Go Gators!
Best Posts in Thread: Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Tennessee
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I was pleased to see Emory Jones running so well, meaning shaking more tacklers than I remember seeing in the past. He only weighs about a buck-fifty, but is running bigger than that.
I like Emory a lot, but the fact is this offense is only at about 70% of what it could be if we had a more decisive passer. I'm telling you, this team could blow teams off the field with AR running the show. It's only a matter of time (this week?) that teams sell out to stop the run and make Emory beat them downfield. I'm not certain he can do it, he just doesn't see the field well enough to make quick decisions.
We are going to HAVE to be able to score a lot of points with this defense. I have zero faith they'll be able to stop teams on a consistent basis, and the secondary has to be one of the worst in the nation. Why did we not put our 400 pound glacier in the middle when UT was gashing us on the ground in second half? Did he play at all?
- Like x 19
- Facepalm x 1
@cover2 what is your take on why we start so slow, on both sides really, but especially on defense. This was true for the last three years also. We always act like we're surprised by what they're doing, even when it is nothing new from the other team.
We tend to give up a few scores often quickly, the settle down after halftime adjustments. obviously adjusting at halftime does suggest good coaching but not being prepared at kickoff suggests poor coaching.
The truth is both these teams run much of the same playbook. I was kind of hoping that we might not start slow this week.
Lack of preparation? Or something else?
- Like x 15
Give credit where it's due. The OL has significantly improved, despite not having big named recruits. This is what Hevesy was brought in to do, mesh an OL to Mullen's QB centric running offense. Also give credit to @Swamp Donkey who said that the OL would play much better in a traditional Mullen offense.
Well that's what I'm gonna do until Mullenz breaks my trust by not fixing recruiting. Or until he breaks my trust by not firing a horrible DC that cost us a SEC Championship. Or breaks my trust by showing a pattern of playing seniority over skill.
So until he does any of those things I'm gonna trust him.
Can't we bring some soccer chick onto the team to kick extra points? They're enough to give you a nervous breakdown at this point. Some club-footed midget would be a better choice than the guy we have now, and given the cryptic death threat I sent him after the Alabama game, his psyche is too damaged now anyway.
Great write up @cover2 I particularly agree with your comments about the defensive backfield. I can’t help but wonder what the effect was of Kaiir Elam’s absence, but he would not have been able to get his teammates to take better angles or tackle better. Mrs G and I happened to be at the game last night and were sitting in the south end zone. They’re great seats in many ways, but I sometimes have trouble seeing some of what’s happening vs TV. (Though often you can see quite a bit that you can’t see on TV!)
Your points about Emory were right on as well. When you look at the stat sheet, you think, wow; great game for EJ. Somehow in person, it just doesn’t “feel” that way. (At one point early in 2nd q, my son who was in the student section, sent me a text stating “I hope u agree that Emory is much more frustrating in person.” I found myself agreeing.) At different times in the game, I heard various folks around me yelling or just grumbling, for AR. And yet, 21 of 27 for 209 and 2 TDs (and, critically, zero picks) along with 15 carries for 144 yds is nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t recall any QB of ours having a stat line like that since Tebow.
One last question about the trick play TD: Is that the same play we ran against Cowbell in CDM’s first season where Kadarius hit Moral Stephens for a TD? From my vantage point it looked pretty similar, but I missed the replay. (I was busy high fiving complete strangers.)
Great job as always, cover!
Overall positive, especially your points about EJ, his progress and character.
There were too many running plays where our d looked softer than pee wee league up the middle. Time for tackling fundamentals and TOUGHNESS… again… Maybe their guy was just a really tough runner, but he shouldn’t be tough enough to carry 2-3 defenders like he’s Derrick Henry. This just in… granthem still sucks.
Still, it’s always good to beat tinerc.
Go Gators!!! [emoji246][emoji246][emoji246]
Burney is not capable of doing anything right . The only reason he plays is because he knows where to
Be most of the time , but doesn’t have the ability to actually make the tackle , deflect the pass or
Make any play whatsoever. It should be Moon, Hopper and Diabate that get the lions share of playing time . Backer play was poor, and must be much much better against a physical bunch next Saturday. For me it’s very frustrating watching our linebackers play . We guess then hesitate and generally play like we don’t know what the assignment is .
McDaniel with a big bust . He’s simply not ready . I can’t recall if it was him or not when they missed the alone tight end down the sideline . Whether we are in year one against Charleston Southern or year four against the vols it seems every game there is a receiver on at least one occasion that is completely uncovered by our defense . Regardless of if we are playing upperclassmen or young guys . It’s on fat Todd . Every game we can get on a bust . Just a matter of of the opponent misses or hits . Todd sucks and it’s hard to believe the son of a ***** is still here .
We don’t play good team defense . Travez consistently lets a receiver or ball carrier outside of
Him . It’s his job to keep contain and not let anything outside him on these bubbles . He can’t get it done and simply should not get snaps over Perkins . Travez effort also sucked on the first screen burney looked like **** on trying to stop . Travez tackle attempt was even worse. Should be an embarrassing film review for him .
Few qualms on the offense . Copeland fumble was a real good play by Taylor . Changed the game a bit for them to keep them around for a few minutes otherwise we are up 10 at half . Still Copeland can’t put it on the ground . We generally did a good
Job moving the ball . Just need to have the same urgency throughout the ball game we did in the second half .
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