Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Virginia in the Orange Bowl

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by cover2, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. cover2

    cover2 I've grown old
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    Maybe it wasn't quite the way most of us would have scripted it, but the 2019 Gators defeated the pesky and maybe underestimated Virginia Cavaliers. I mean, this was the same ACC team that got obliterated by Clemson. Certainly it was expected that we'd give them more of the same? Only we aren't Clemson and they came into this game with a lot to prove. They also have a pretty good QB, who didn't hurt us with his legs (Grantham's plan made sure of that) outside of extending some plays, but kept them in it with his arm. He had two receivers that weren't bad. We had several DB's that were. But that's been somewhat of a theme this year, hasn't it?

    I know what many of you are thinking. 11-2 means little when you didn't win your division, losing to the Dawgs along the way, and you weren't in the playoffs. Disappointing? Yeah, I suppose. But regardless of who or what they did or didn't do that left us on the outside looking in, it's clear that Dan Mullen has a plan and some ideas about the direction the program is headed. Loosely quoted, he expressed that from last year to this we went from 10 wins to 11 (or from 9 to 10 if you consider the bowls meaningless ;)) and the next step, which will be harder, is to move from 11 to 12. Got to figure UGA will be pretty critical if that is to happen. If this plan isn't fast enough to suit you, well, tough sh!t. There's still work to be done in several areas. We all should know that. Perine reminded us that we were 4-7 his sophomore year. Yeah, there's a little bit to be proud of.

    *We didn't get the 2 score victory that everyone seemed to be predicting. We made plenty of mistakes. Good grief I haven't seen as many of our kids slip and fall down like they did tonight in a long time. Unfortunately I have seen the blown coverages and an inability to compete with the receivers for some balls that were in abundance. But I did see a team that played hard. That will save you on a night when schematically some things aren't going well and your opponent is believing. This is a good trait to have when you're good, but not great. If you maintain it when you improve, you can be hard to beat. I think that has been a Mullen goal in his idea of progression.

    *Hats off to the OL. We ran the ball better tonight than anytime during the season. Was Virginia a great D? Nope, but we have fared worse against worse. Good note to end on. And hats off to Perine. He looked as complete tonight as he ever has. Speed, some deft cuts, getting some tough yards after contact. Great way to finish your career. Good luck ahead to a great Gator!

    *The 4th down option was a ballsy call. Mullen believed in his guys and they didn't let him down. There's a big difference in thinking you can do something and knowing you can. This is part of the team and individual character development that the really good teams understand and embrace.

    *We will all miss Greenard. He more than earned his keep this year. Only regret was that we didn't have him his entire college career. He's a warrior and a class act. It was also good to see Zuniga out there. He looked a little rusty, but there's nothing wrong with his motor. David Reese is another guy I'll miss. All the departing receivers, Jefferson, Swain, etc. Thanks to these guys and all the seniors.

    *Trask had a few erratic moments, but made enough good throws, play executions, and decisions to get the job done. EJ had some good runs, no pass attempts however. Forgotten, overlooked, still growing? :dunno:

    *MacPherson had a great night to end his season. Townsend not so much. Both are great at what they do. They are a part of what is a strength of the special teams...the coverage teams and FG/PAT. The return teams? Even though KO returns have been pretty much neutered, the best I can say about PR is that Swain is pretty reliable with the fair catches. I'm not sure our return scheme allows for a lot of opportunities. Hopefully that changes in the near future ;).

    *On a sad note, RIP Edward Aschoff. I always enjoyed his take. The announcers described him as "a proud Gator alum." He's what affiliation with our school s all about. A good person gone too soon. Prayers for his family and friends.

    Another season completed and as Mullen said post game, the 2020 Gators will be "born in two weeks!" Can't wait to see them as they coalesce from winter to spring and summer and finally to next fall. Even though I find myself in the all too familiar position of wanting more, I feel like it is getting within reach. I didn't feel like that the last 10 years or so. Happy New Year to you all. Looking forward to many good things in 2020! As always...Go Gators!

    :chomp:
     
    • 5-Star Finger

      5-Star Finger Apex predator of the political forum biome
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      Right on, coach. It's going to be a slog still I think - but at least I feel like we are slogging in the general direction of where we want to go, rather than wandering in the wilderness eating PB&J's like discount manna.
       
      • deuce

        deuce Mentally Challenged
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        Good deal! Happy New Year!
         
        • NVGator

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          Good stuff @cover2 Nail it completely. We were very good, but not great. Loved seeing Perine shine. Wish Zuniga had the same. The Offense has a few questionable calls while the Defense seemed to flip like a dead fish.
           
          • itsgr82bag8r

            itsgr82bag8r Political Forum Fire Starter
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            Well put, as always, Cover. Wholeheartedly agree on the comment regarding the timeline for our return to relevance. It was a serious job and Mullen has obviously got a plan. One that is working. The damage done by the previous 2 coaching regimes was thorough and that takes time to cleanse. Hopefully we’ll close some holes in the next couple of weeks during the final recruiting push. Above all, this team, and Coach Mullen, has earned our support, despite the opinions of a few.
             
            #5 itsgr82bag8r, Dec 31, 2019
            Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
            • maheo30

              maheo30 WiLLLLLLLie! WiLLLLLLLie!
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              My thoughts...

              1. Early in the year sticks into our minds. But, Pitts has been an above average blocker in the last third of the season. Last night, he was really good to the point he was sealing off defensive ends.

              2. This is a guess. But, when I listen to Mullen talk about Trask, I get the feeling that he has given Trask a lot more responsibility than Franks. Mullen didn't talk much about Franks changing plays at the LOS. He mentions it quite often with Trask.

              3. Slaton was flat out dominating at times last night. It may have been his best game as a gator. If his play is carried into next season then watch out. We may finally have some elite d-tackle play.

              4. Another great season. Mullen built upon last year. As he said in his press conference, now it is time to go from 11 to 12 wins.
               
              #6 maheo30, Dec 31, 2019
              Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
              • CaribGator

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                Definitely has the team heading in the right direction. Did well on the early signing day.. Feels good to finally go in to the off season without cursing the coaching staff and worrying what kind of schitshow we’ll have next season.

                Go Gators
                 
                • ChiefGator

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                  Great comments as usual, I thought Trask was somewhat off and we did not seem to be able to get open deep. Some drops as well. I saw the beginning of the ACC championship game, VA offense was pretty good at the beginning. We had several defensive mistakes and of course some very close to sacks that would have made a difference. For those not satisfied, I am never satisfied with the play, but totally good with the results. We could have beaten LSU at their place.
                   
                  • Cozumel Gator

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                    Cover 2 Thank you for all your recaps this season. You are absolutely correct in your assessment the fog of the previous lost decade is lifted.
                     
                    • G8trwood

                      G8trwood Well-Known Member
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                      Thank you C2,

                      The field must have been really slick as a number of big plays for both teams came on a defender slip.

                      It was good to see Perine have a complete game, crisper cuts and acceleration and that blocking on the flicker. He will be missed.

                      David Reese had a solid game too, really stepped up on a number of big stops. I hope we have a replacement for him.

                      CDM 4th down call, wow, But he felt mo slipping and it was needed. Maybe stop running into the wall and exploit the edges a bit more. We were faster than their DL. Saw some WR blocking last night!

                      I think I counted 7 potential int last night, rough start for Trask. Glad he settled down and even had a few big runs. He seems to throw better with less time to think..lol.. number of back foot passes. Pitts and VJ had big nights, Cleve was Cleve.

                      I don’t even know what to say About the defensive backfield

                      It was a roller coaster and not an ass kicking, but the Gators fought tough for the W!

                      Go Gators
                       
                      • GatorJB

                        GatorJB Senior Member
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                        UVA came to play. Fortunately, they were no match for Perine. Glad he ended his career with arguably his best game. Also, we don't win 11 games without Greenard. He'll be missed.

                        Mullen is certainly going for the slow and steady rebuild. Hard to envision us improving to 12 wins next year (really next two years) based on recruiting and the fact that we're losing several good players. I think the easy schedule will prevent us from looking worse. Mullen said that getting to 12 wins is a lot harder. I hope he realizes some assistant coaching changes are necessary to get over that hump. Your comment on special teams was a good example.
                         
                        • TN G8tr

                          TN G8tr The "Original" TN G8tr
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                          Spot on as always Cover. I think we'll know more about the program and how it will deal with UGAly after we see them play tomorrow. I am starting to feel that Kirby may have peaked and UF could be primed to take it to him. I am ok with the slow and steady. But if he's going that route continue measurable progress. I still think that he had lots to clean up with what was left and also some of his staff. 10-3, then 11-2, State Champs, He's narrowing down his list of progress. Next step is win the East. But a happy Gator this morning and lots to build off of.
                           
                          • Gator by the Sea

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                            Great analysis, as alway, @cover2. I agree that the secondary didn’t exactly play great last night, but Virginia had about 4 or 5 “are you freaking kidding me!?!” plays. Take those away and we win comfortably.

                            All in all, a good—and fun—season that has me already excited for next year’s 12 win campaign.

                            Go Gators!
                             
                            • fischerwood

                              fischerwood I believe we are on the way back now

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                              I'd like to add that I thought Elam was a good shutdown corner, grew immensely this year, we need more coaching and execution from our other returning DB's...very toasty at times.
                               
                              • Gatorbait25

                                Gatorbait25 H.E. Pennypacker, wealthy American industrialist

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                                Good stuff as always C2. There is going to be a drop off at receiver next year. At this
                                point we just don't know how much. But losing Van and Freddie will hurt the most. Copeland
                                was out there a lot with Grimes and Pitts in the 2nd half. Those guys have to step up big time.
                                We will see if Zip or Gamble can step up, Perhaps freeing up Pitts to play the X more often
                                if need be. But that's the kind of stuff that will get sorted out in spring. Who steps up
                                at the slot to replace Freddie and Josh? Big question for the spring.

                                It was good to see LP perform the way he's capable of. It's Pierce time next season.
                                With a sprinkling of Davis and Clement. Could be a solid backfield with improvements
                                on the line. As for the D, I thought Elam looked fantastic, and is the clear #1 corner
                                even with a Marco Return. It's safe to say Dean has no business playing corner or nickel.
                                Perhaps he becomes a rotational safety. Something that seems pretty obvious at this point.


                                Miller looked good and continues to improve. I believe it was Houston that got caught napping
                                on the TE PA pop that went for just over 50. Gifts like that just can't happen. I expect our pass
                                rush to be solid next season even without big Jon and Z. Carter, Bogle, and Cox are all capable
                                players. Linebacker is the big question for me. Can we replace Reese with a solid run stopper
                                in the middle? Plenty of young talent to work with on this side of the ball. The coaches just
                                need to fit the right pieces in place on the puzzle.
                                 
                                • maheo30

                                  maheo30 WiLLLLLLLie! WiLLLLLLLie!
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                                  That was Trask. He audibled into the option play. Kid has balls of steel.
                                   
                                  • Frozen Gator

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                                    As always, Nailed it, Nailed it, Nailed it. Certainly will miss the games and great Sunday morning analysis over the off season.
                                     
                                    • Gator By Marriage

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                                      Thank you again @cover2 for writing up your thoughts for us. For someone like me who loves watching football, but has limited insider knowledge, it is always fascinating in instructive to read your thoughts (as well as those of our other resident experts). The previous posters covered all the thoughts and questions I had except one. When I was watching Trask last night I too thought he looked a little off. However even in the games he was sharp this season, I've thought he is often inaccurate on his deep balls. Often he overthrows, but last night he under threw a couple, including one that if on target would have been a TD to Jefferson and off target we were lucky it wasn't intercepted. Am I correct about his deep passes? Is this an indication of something that probably can't be fixed?
                                      The only other observation I had to add was that UVa clearly saw something on film because they seemed to bat down/tip quite a few throws at the LOS - especially early on. In fact, overall I thought they came in with a great game plan and appeared well coached, but just not talented enough.
                                       
                                      • SGG

                                        SGG Fvvvvck UGAY
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                                        Great job with this as usual, @cover2 .

                                        Trask looked a little off most of the night but he made the big plays when they mattered. It was frustrating to see Grantham’s defense let another average qb have his best career game, and I hope Big Head Todd finds him another stop, and soon. Same with English and Knox. Safety play was absolutely pitiful last night.

                                        I said it in the box last night, but I was very glad Perine was able to go out the way he did in a big game. Kid will be a commodity at the next level for his hands out of the backfield if nothing else.
                                         
                                        • Woodstork

                                          Woodstork Well-Known Member

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                                          I’ve noticed the same. Trask throws with great anticipation and touch, much like Wuerffel. But Danny definitely had more zip and accuracy on his outs and long throws. Since DW wasn’t exactly possessing elite arm strength, I think this gives a sense of why Kyle was a 2star. He has a 5* winners disposition, a 4* ability to read defense and deliver quickly, 3* accuracy, 1* arm strength. High school recruit rankings are weighted on the last two variables. Kyle overcomes them with the first two.
                                           
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