Gator fans and Chatter members...first of all, I hope everyone is safe and doing ok after the storm. I really appreciate the concerns and it makes me proud to be associated with such a good bunch. I'm at school today preparing for a softball playoff series, so I thought I'd do some catching up since we are still without power and internet at home. I hope that @LagoonGator68 , @Tunaboat , @Durty South Swamp and any of our other friends at the coast are ok. We've had a time share at Mexico Beach for years and that whole place as most know looks like Hiroshima. Incredible. But perspective comes from these situations, whether we want it or not and in my particular instance, even though we likely will be without power for another 1-3 weeks, we are pretty fortunate. Living off of generators isn't ideal, but we can get by. Told @Detroitgator that we have an assortment of fish cookers and grills to cook on and one generator keeps the pump going to supply the houses with water and keeps the cattle supplied. Makes you appreciate what we normally have and also that we could be a lot worse off than we are. Others were not so fortunate and our prayers go out for them. As for our Gators, I got to watch the game at my mother's house via generator assisted satellite. Like most, I was raising cane after the first half. Looked like as good as our preparations had been prior, we came out pretty unfocused. Franks' turnovers were definite downers, though the interception was as much the palycaller's fault IMO as the execution (more on this later). Thankfully, we were able to square things up in the second half and come away with victory even if it was much harder than it probably should have been. Let's look at a few specifics... *The D was not what we had come to expect from the past two games. No pressure early and giving up a 75 yard screen pass was pretty disheartening. Credit Vandy's OC, as they cleared the left side and when Reese false keyed to the right side, it was smooth sailing for the Vandy RB. That's why it's so important to be fundamentally and technically sound on your assignments. *As good as the LBs and Joseph in particular had been, they look pretty reckless for much of the game. Joseph's ejection might have been questionable, but his suplex of the Vandy back was pretty dumb. Like many of our defenders, he's getting better, but he ain't all that just yet. Playing with a controlled fury is so important for that side of the ball. *Not saying the officials were on the take, but that was a poor crew IMO. I thought that Vandy's OL pretty much did as they pleased, especially in pass pro. but we were able to overcome. Hopefully the message from the game is that we didn't fold (when last year's team would have packed it in at the half) and we persevered. Good football and life lesson, particularly for our players given their experience level and the coaching (or lack thereof) that they have previously been exposed to. *Franks' pick...I wasn't crazy with the call (quick slant from a tight formation), but when looking at the replays and seeing the DL standing tall, it was no wonder the ball was deflected. I know I'm old and things have changed, but at one time that play would have called for a cut block to get the defenders' hands down. *Perine and Scarlett had good games and the OL did enough to help the rushing attack pay dividends. Pierce got the early action we all have clamored for. Unfortunately, he coughed the ball up (he only had one lost fumble in four years of HS ball), but had some good runs. Impressive to me that Mullen didn't do like some coaches and fired him for the rest of the game. Sticking back in there was a confidence builder and showed how much the kid is and will be counted on. *I think we've got something better than we thought in Mullen, even though the jury is still out. A lot of coaches would have lost that one though it can be argued we never should have been in that position. Hey, it's Vandy, the weak sister that we always seem to struggle with and we kept alive the streak of not having lost in their stadium since 1988 (I think). *I was pissed at Mason when he got into the exchange with Mullen when he had the injured player on our side of the field, but emotions run high in football games and it was good to see them with it worked out at the end. I'd rather see that rather than a melee at the 50 post game. As far as the injured player, it's still hard for me to reconcile a targeting call for well executed peel back on a punt return. Crucify me for lack of concern for safety, but that's how we coached punt return when I was still active. Whatever happened to keeping your head on a swivel? *With the Dawgs' loss to Ed O and the Tiggers, we have a hope that no one could have forecast at the beginning of the season. I'm happy, but don't want to get to far ahead of myself. I have to remember that we are rebuilding even if we've had greater success thus far than was imagined. Pups are up next and are beatable. That is the next step and we should bring our best to Jax for that one. How our D handles Fromm, their backs and receivers is important, but how our O does in terms of scoring and controlling the ball might be the big key. I apologize that this edition doesn't have as much as I normally try and discuss, but the timing has me kind of off kilter. Maybe things will be back to normal for the Cocktail Party and we can enjoy our usual dissection. Until then, I wish well for all affected by the storm and a swift return to normal. As always, Go Gators!