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4 posts from September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013

Poll Position: One spot drop

The Gators fell one spot in both national polls after this weekend's 31-17 victory over Tennessee. 

Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC) dropped to No. 20 in the Associated Press top 25 rankings. The Gators now sit at No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll

Riding Solo

GAINESVILLE -- Solomon Patton is no longer a jet-sweep specialist.

Florida’s senior wideout has quickly (and quietly) emerged as Florida’s explosive receiving threat, again showcasing his speed on a 52-yard touchdown scamper on a short screen pass in UF's 31-17 win over Tennessee on Saturday. 

"We challenged him [this offseason]: 'Do you want to continue to just be a set-sweep guy or do you want to be a major contributor to our football team?'" coach Will Muschamp said. "He saw an opportunity in his senior year in his last go-round at Florida and he decided to take advantage of his opportunity."

Patton finished the afternoon with three catches for 73 yards.  He leads the Gators with 212 yards receiving (21.2 y/c) and two touchdowns.

Here’s what Patton said about Muschamp’s comments…

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Fat Man TD? Almost

GAINESVILLE -- Gators nose tackle Darius ‘Bear’ Cummings fantasized of a day when CBS announcer  -- and resident chortle expert -- Verne Lundquist would call his name in a primetime game.

On Saturday, Cummings’ dream came true, and afterwards he couldn't stop smiling.

In the second quarter of UF's 31-17 win over Tennessee, the redshirt junior picked of a Nathan Peterman whiff pass and rumbled 30 yards until either A) tripping himself and running out of gas or B) teammate Dominique Easley accidentally tackling him.

During the postgame celebration, coach Will Muschamp said, “I just told them in the locker room after the game I don’t know who looks worse: me jogging on campus or Darius returning that pick. I was a lot happier to watch him than watch me run.”

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton 

Gators Grades: Substitute shines

GAINESVILLE -- Before I re-watch the tape (probably tomorrow or Monday) of No. 19 Florida’s ugly win (31-17) over an undermanned Tennessee team, here are some rapid reaction grades.

ICYMI: My notebook discussing the Gators’ defensive performance, Brian Poole’s ejection and more.

OFFENSE B

Tyler Murphy impressed, filling in admirably for the injured Jeff Driskel. The Gators again dominated the stat sheet -- but this time they didn’t self-destruct in the red zone. UF went 4-of-5 inside Tennessee’s 20-yard line -- with three touchdowns. Florida amassed 256 rushing yards on 56 attempts, but again averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry (3.7). It was a crazy game. The Gators fumbled the ball six times but managed to recover the ball four times. It wasn’t an extraordinary performance, but one worthy of a victory -- especially after losing a starting quarterback.

DEFENSE A-

Tennessee’s halftime line: 5 passing yards, 4 turnovers, 3 first downs. Sheesh. The Vols started a redshirt freshman quarterback -- Nathan Peterman -- in his first-career start in The Swamp, and it predictably did not go well. The Gators forced turnovers on Tennessee’s first three possessions and until injuries finally caught up with the secondary, shut down any semblance of a Vols attack. Dante Fowler Jr. was a monster against two really good tackles. Overall, UF had six takeaways and held UT to 5-of-13 on third down.

SPECIAL TEAMS B

The coverage units were again solid, but UF still hasn’t had a complete special teams performance this season. Austin Hardin was 1-of-2 on field goals, missing a 41-yarder with a chance to ice the game late in the fourth quarter. Kyle Christy whiffed on catching a punt and gift-wrapped the Volunteers with excellent field position (subsequently squandered). Solomon Patton had another nice kickoff return (38-yarder).

Thoughts? Comments?

Have at it.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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