MIAMI GARDENS -- Before I re-watch the tape (probably tomorrow or Monday) of No. 12 Florida’s upset loss to Miami, here are some rapid reaction grades.
The Gators dominated the stat sheet, but it didn’t matter. Florida self destructed in the red zone -- scoring just twice in seven chances inside Miami’s 28-yard line. The Gators’ ballyhooed ground-n-pound attack was invisible, as the Canes dominated the line of scrimmage. Florida averaged just 2.9 yards per carry 44 attempts. Jeff Driskel made plenty of plays Saturday -- for both teams.
Will Muschamp was quite critical of his defense’s performance in Miami’s first two drives, but Florida allowed just 59 yards after the first quarter. UF’s defensive line --UM quarterback Stephen Morris called it the best he’s ever played -- single handily kept the Gators in the game despite the offense coughing up the ball with regularity. Duke Johnson was quiet (2.8 y/c) following UM’s first drive, while Morris never found a rhythm after his long touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett. Miami was just 1-of-11 on third down.
SPECIAL TEAMS B+
Punt blocker extraordinaire Loucheiz Purifoy gift-wrapped the Gators an easy touchdown in the first quarter. Austin Hardin was perfect on his only attempt (33-yarder) -- the same distance Florida passed up on the failed fourth-and-one in the first half. Marcus Roberson was just OK returning punts, but Solomon Patton did chip in a 41-yard kick return. The failed two-point conversion was poorly blocked, but the bigger question is why it was called in the first place.
Have at it.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton