Game Thread ***OFFICIAL GAME THREAD: UF vs FSU***

LoyalGatorFan

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If only we had just an average defense....Vandy, LSU, Tenn, and FSU are all wins.....10-2 season....but alas, our defense is atrocious
 

soflagator

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Maybe Napier isn’t the country bumpkin cretin he appears to be. By shlting the bed his first year he should be able to show improvement for at least the next two years, which probably means a raise and extension knowing Scotty Lightloafers. Napier, sly as a slightly retarded fox.

This is where I find a measure of hope. His first year at UL was 7-7 after the bowl. The very next season he went 11-3, then 10-1 then 12-1. So it didn’t take a long time for his stamp to be put on the team. I think that’s both promising, and comforting, because it means he’s done a major turnaround before, and it doesn’t require some 3-4 year rebuild. I do t know how exactly it comes about, but I see major improvement next year. And again, if not, then it may mean the success simply isn’t translating.
 

Sec14Gator

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I don’t think you can expect a defense to play as much as we did in the 3rd. We were held all night, and spent way too much time out there because of offensive inconsistency to start the second half. We went from a score advantage and up a possession to being a hole we couldn’t get out of. But again, few defenses can hold up in 1 of 13 passing stretch.
We started with something like 20 runs to 5 passes. But we forced cover 0 and after the three deep passes over the middle, They had to adjust and the running opened up even more as they kept 1-2 safeties deep.

We had 8 and 9 men boxes all first half until our last drive in the first half where we should have take over. We come out in the second half and get 6 man boxes (which is astounding against this rushing attack) and we threw 6 times with one run. We ran a fuchsing WR pointless screen against a 6 man box on first down to start the half. Holy fugh. That says there is not a guy in the box telling us what is aligned.

We had all the momentum and stole it from ourselves via coaching. When we had run-susceptible defenses (though we proved in the first half we didn’t need that) we chose to pass 5 of 6 plays. AR wasn’t crisp there but he shouldn’t have needed to have been crisp. We over thought what was working. The nulls guessed we’d do exactly that and we did not adjust.

I’m sorry for those that didn’t see what we were facing when we chose to run those first 6 plays of the second half.
 
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danicus007

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I’m surprised no one mentioned the ill timed random kick off out of bounds when we had all the momentum!? Every kick off the entire game was perfect until we needed a normal kick off, and then true to the 2022 Gators, he kicks it out of bounds. I figured we would score a TD there at the end just to lose on a missed PAT.
 

lagator

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This is where I find a measure of hope. His first year at UL was 7-7 after the bowl. The very next season he went 11-3, then 10-1 then 12-1. So it didn’t take a long time for his stamp to be put on the team. I think that’s both promising, and comforting, because it means he’s done a major turnaround before, and it doesn’t require some 3-4 year rebuild. I do t know how exactly it comes about, but I see major improvement next year. And again, if not, then it may mean the success simply isn’t translating.
You’re feeling awfully optimistic tonight. I’m guessing Bourbon and doing whippets with the leftover whipped cream from yesterday’s pie?

But seriously, I hope you’re right but I find it hard to see anything in his process that gives me confidence. As you have accurately pointed out, it seems highly unlikely he makes any changes in coaching staff or delegates any duties.
 

Sec14Gator

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This is where I find a measure of hope. His first year at UL was 7-7 after the bowl. The very next season he went 11-3, then 10-1 then 12-1. So it didn’t take a long time for his stamp to be put on the team. I think that’s both promising, and comforting, because it means he’s done a major turnaround before, and it doesn’t require some 3-4 year rebuild. I do t know how exactly it comes about, but I see major improvement next year. And again, if not, then it may mean the success simply isn’t translating.
I hope you’re right. But the sign posts of game management; Reading defensive opportunities; time management; coaching adjustments to correct for an outmatched DC, etc, do not show these signs.

Some people, though, can’t adjust in real time, but can given reflection. That is my sole limited hope. While I think coaches at this level need to be of the quick adjusting, highly successful people group, Napier may just be less bright on the fly but much more self reflective in the off season.
 

soflagator

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You’re feeling awfully optimistic tonight. I’m guessing Bourbon and doing whippets with the leftover whipped cream from yesterday’s pie?

But seriously, I hope you’re right but I find it hard to see anything in his process that gives me confidence. As you have accurately pointed out, it seems highly unlikely he makes any changes in coaching staff or delegates any duties.

I’m trying to not get angry. The season’s over and I don’t want to relive last Saturday’s frustration. I’m my mind, it’s already Spring.

And yeah, I doubt he makes any major changes. Nor do I think 1 better class changes the talent level completely. But again, just using the data we have to go off of, I highly doubt UL was sitting on a ton of unknown talent or that he made some staff changes from year 1 to 2. But the product was night and day different and that’s the one recurring mantra from anyone when he was first hired—that if you give him some time, he’ll do great things. I really wanted to finish in a high note and am so down about these last two weeks. But think there are signs that we could be laying a foundation that looks much better next year and beyond.
 

Sec14Gator

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I highly doubt UL was sitting on a ton of unknown talent or that he made some staff changes from year 1 to 2. But the product was night and day different and that’s the one recurring mantra from anyone when he was first hired—that if you give him some time, he’ll do great things.
Sure hope you’re right, but in a pre-NIL era Napier quickly turned UL into the Bama of recruiting in that conference. His wins improved with his recruiting classes sticking over time. The same level talent (relative to peer group) didn’t just start improving their performance. If anything, it’s more concerning as he continued fo have 1 score games despite substantially higher rated talent.
 

Tunaboat

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I hope you’re right. But the sign posts of game management; Reading defensive opportunities; time management; coaching adjustments to correct for an outmatched DC, etc, do not show these signs.

Some people, though, can’t adjust in real time, but can given reflection. That is my sole limited hope. While I think coaches at this level need to be of the quick adjusting, highly successful people group, Napier may just be less bright on the fly but much more self reflective in the off season.
Well, that's a comforting thought. Napier cannot think his way thru a common-sense decision on the sidelines but is pretty good at it over the following week. He can't do it. Get a real OC and a QB coach too or this quagmire will continue next year
 

Zambo

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We started with something like 20 runs to 5 passes. But we forced cover 0 and after the three deep passes over the middle, They had to adjust and the running opened up even more as they kept 1-2 safeties deep.

We had 8 and 9 men boxes all first half until our last drive in the first half where we should have take over. We come out in the second half and get 6 man boxes (which is astounding against this rushing attack) and we threw 6 times with one run. We ran a fuchsing WR pointless screen against a 6 man box on first down to start the half. Holy fugh. That says there is not a guy in the box telling us what is aligned.

We had all the momentum and stole it from ourselves via coaching. When we had run-susceptible defenses (though we proved in the first half we didn’t need that) we chose to pass 5 of 6 plays. AR wasn’t crisp there but he shouldn’t have needed to have been crisp. We over thought what was working. The nulls guessed we’d do exactly that and we did not adjust.

I’m sorry for those that didn’t see what we were facing when we chose to run those first 6 plays of the second half.
The only thing I’ll say in disagreement is that it was really our first 9 plays of the second half that killed us, not the first six. 3 three and outs trying to throw the ball when we were gashing them all over the place on the ground. What in the name of Zeus’s butthole were they thinking? This could have been one of those games where the rushing attack is so good that the other defense basically dies on the field, but NO! we completely let them off the hook with this unimaginable stupidity.

And man do I wish AR would scramble instead of waiting so long to take off. Travis absolutely murdered our defense scrambling away from pressure and turning would-be sacks into huge game changing plays. God dang!
 

Yankeetown

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This is where I find a measure of hope. His first year at UL was 7-7 after the bowl. The very next season he went 11-3, then 10-1 then 12-1. So it didn’t take a long time for his stamp to be put on the team. I think that’s both promising, and comforting, because it means he’s done a major turnaround before, and it doesn’t require some 3-4 year rebuild. I do t know how exactly it comes about, but I see major improvement next year. And again, if not, then it may mean the success simply isn’t translating.
A frustrating loss to end a frustrating regular season. I am back to where I was before the season, unsure what to make of the Gators and their (our) future prospects.

Today, we lost.

OTOH, FSU was a decent, ranked team with some offensive weapons, playing at home. We had some personnel shortages, with Miller and so many WRs out.

And we did put ourselves in position where we could have tied or won in the final minute.

But ... we, the players on the field, and the coaches ... did not execute the plays necessary to seize that win.

We lost. I think I mentioned that already. We did not make enough plays to win, and that's a fact for the history books.

I thought the Defense played hard, and didn't make many blatent errors. Did get worn-down some in the 3rd, I was frankly surprised they responded in the 4th. Made some great goal line stops.

But ... we couldn't string together enough stops, couldn't corral their QB, couldn't get them off the field, and utlimately couldn't keep them out of the end-zone.

Offensively, we ran well between the tackles, even when everybody knew that was what we were going to do. OL played pretty well in pass protection too. Etienne and Johnson ran well, both are quality backs. Our legacy receivers mostly lack suddenness and separation, so Pearsall was an excellent add.

AR remains an enigma wrapped in a burrito. He so often lacks touch and accuracy, which is most noticeble on short, outlet & swing passes. Functionally, those kinds of plays don't play much part in our offense, because AR can't execute them reliably. (And my impression is those kind of throws have accounted for a disproportionate share of our INTs.) Which mean we have limited counter-measures when opponents put on heavy pressure. We can't force the opponent's defense to cover the whole field, from sideline-to-sideline, from the line of scrimmage to 50 yards downfield.

My belief (as a amatuer random keyboardist from the interwebs) is that AR has been trying very hard to avoid running from the pocket, as an effort to improve his "NFL game." And perhaps some injury aversion. Despite all the prognasticating that he's a top talent for the NFL, I'm sad to say, I don't really see it. The Number One Job of an NFL QB is to execute the role of a QB at a very high level, and AR shows flashes but does not do that consistently. A lot of the WOW moments are in the QB Bonus Zone, not in the fundamentals. OTOH, does he have more upside and probability of growing into an NFL starter, compared to say Driskell or Brisett? I'd guess so, but cetainly not a sure thing.

IMO, he's not NFL-ready, and would benefit from another year of being coached and playing at the college level. Have no idea if he, and his advisors, can accept that. If he is willing to come back, I assume we'd want him. There have to be frustrations on both sides, but I don't recall any public indications of significant friction.

We can only hope that BCN's larger recruiting infrastructure and greater effort are in fact going to being more high-level talent into the pipeline. At UL, IMO in my amateur/uniformed opinion, if the school was willing to make the resource commitments, it was relatively easy to get recruiting up on a higher plane than their peers, and thereby gain a sustainable competitive advantage. In the SEC, we're not going to get ahead of Bama & Georgia etc. ... we're looking to get up to a level of parity. And that is a huge challenge. I *think* we're making progress, but we're early on that journey.

Once we fix the worst of the talent & depth deficits, coaching is going to make a difference, game-day, and all-week, all-year. CBN makes some on the field calls many here have criticized. Especially time mgmt and offensive play calling in the last 3-4 minutes of a half. How much of that has been due to a lack of confidence in AR is unknowable. I concur with the GatorChatter consensus on CBN that he needs to take OC/offensive play caller responsibilites out of his personal portfolio, but that requires freeing up a coaching slot somehow. Two OL coaches seems to paying off, so would hate to give that up.

If coaching FBS-level football was easy, all the cavemen would be doing it, and 75% of them would win the national championship every year. It is not easy. but we're Gators, and our expectations are high. We saw Spurrier do it, we saw Meyer do it, and we want more.

I am glad we qualified for a bowl game. The players and coaches need as much time together as is allowable.


TL;DR: We lost. We may or may not be moving surely in the right direction.
 

jdh5484

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I hope you’re right. But the sign posts of game management; Reading defensive opportunities; time management; coaching adjustments to correct for an outmatched DC, etc, do not show these signs.

Some people, though, can’t adjust in real time, but can given reflection. That is my sole limited hope. While I think coaches at this level need to be of the quick adjusting, highly successful people group, Napier may just be less bright on the fly but much more self reflective in the off season.
I'm thinking the same thing. He's a strategy guy, not a tactical guy.

If that's the case, he absolutely needs to get an on the field passing coord/QB coach.

He's making too many unforced game day errors.

Recruiting class and portal swaps THIS YEAR will tell the tale for me.

And off season adjustments.

I hope he and his staff are successful.

His first year was far worse than any first year coach in my gator fanhood (wasn't there for the 0-10-1l).

I want to have hope that it's a stratgey/tactical thing, which can be addressed.

But I also find myself asking:

Muschamp got fired, how did McElwain do his first year taking over from a failed regime?

McElwain got fired, how did Mullen do his first year taking over from a failed regime?

Mullen got fired, how did BN do his first year taking over from a failed regime?

:dunno:

All eyes on recruiting and the portal.
 

Theologator

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A couple of observations to add to those above…

Our DL has dominated f$u’s woeful OLs the last few years. Not last night. It has been an issue all year. It’s not that we don’t have numbers, but they just aren’t good enough as a group. Always a step late getting to the QB. Tend to lose contain on the edges. This puts the DBs in

I do see some good, but it’s not nearly enough. Watson is developing nicely. McClellan shows great promise. Dexter has played too many snaps and draws double teams, but hasn’t been the monster he’s built to be. Maybe some promise in Princely and Powell-Ryland, and? And? There are a batch of DTs and DEs that need to go if they cannot excel.

Same at LB. Over and over they miss gaps or run to engage a blocker while the running back runs right past them. Maybe someone else missed an assignment. Burney got better over the course of the season, but still not great. Miller is the most consistent but woeful in pass coverage. Again, there is promise in James and hopefully Wingo and some others will develop.

WR was weak all year and a mess last night. Missing 5 plus Whittemore’s disappearance then departure really hurt. We’ve got some promising young guys. But if we hadn’t gotten Pearsall?

There’s hope in that the guys BN brought in show his evaluation process is sound. Where would we be without Johnson, Etienne & Pearsall? O’Cyrus anchored our OL. On D it’s a few freshman led by James & McClellan.

And AR needs another year. He admires Cam? He isn’t Cam yet. Cam wasn’t either at this stage.
 

SGG

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A couple of observations to add to those above…

Our DL has dominated f$u’s woeful OLs the last few years. Not last night. It has been an issue all year. It’s not that we don’t have numbers, but they just aren’t good enough as a group. Always a step late getting to the QB. Tend to lose contain on the edges. This puts the DBs in

I do see some good, but it’s not nearly enough. Watson is developing nicely. McClellan shows great promise. Dexter has played too many snaps and draws double teams, but hasn’t been the monster he’s built to be. Maybe some promise in Princely and Powell-Ryland, and? And? There are a batch of DTs and DEs that need to go if they cannot excel.

Same at LB. Over and over they miss gaps or run to engage a blocker while the running back runs right past them. Maybe someone else missed an assignment. Burney got better over the course of the season, but still not great. Miller is the most consistent but woeful in pass coverage. Again, there is promise in James and hopefully Wingo and some others will develop.

WR was weak all year and a mess last night. Missing 5 plus Whittemore’s disappearance then departure really hurt. We’ve got some promising young guys. But if we hadn’t gotten Pearsall?

There’s hope in that the guys BN brought in show his evaluation process is sound. Where would we be without Johnson, Etienne & Pearsall? O’Cyrus anchored our OL. On D it’s a few freshman led by James & McClellan.

And AR needs another year. He admires Cam? He isn’t Cam yet. Cam wasn’t either at this stage.
If he decides to play another year, I hope it’s elsewhere. He’s mentally fragile and seems to completely melt down in nearly every game at some point. To his credit, here lately he does seem to have the knack to get himself together and play better after his missteps.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
 

78

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"Part of Billy Napier’s self-evaluation after the season is going to be why the Gators lost so many close games, every one of them still winnable in the fourth quarter. That’s not his reputation."

Dooley
 

FireFoley

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"Part of Billy Napier’s self-evaluation after the season is going to be why the Gators lost so many close games, every one of them still winnable in the fourth quarter. That’s not his reputation."

Dooley
I think this statement needs more context beyond looking at the scoreboard in the 4th Q or late in games or just the final scores. Really only 2 of those games were close throughout, Utah and USF and won both. Granted one should not have been close, but it was. The others like UK, LSU, UGA, UT, Vandy, FSU, might all have been "winnable" in the 4th quarter, but would have taken a little more than just making a play. In those games, UF was playing from a 2 score deficit or more most of the 2nd half only to close the deficit, so it has to be looked at as a lot more than why could we not make a play or two at the end? The crux of these games were the litany of mistakes that were made during the game, thus forcing you to try and rally late. That is exactly where the evaluation has to start and end.
 

Spurdog98

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BN just completely shat the bed in the 3rd quarter with his play calling. I guess he felt he needed go away from the run to counter the adjustments he anticipated from FSU but he should have seen if those adjustments were going to work. He didn't, he took the bait knowing we had one serviceable WR. I also would have like to have seen Lindgard in the 2nd half to go with ETN and Johnson. We lost the game in the 3rd quarter because of that.
 

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