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Gators Grades: Oops

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.

ICYMI: As a bonus, here’s my piece on UF’s House of Horrors -- most call it the red zone. Also, my notebook discussing the Gators’ defensive performance, Matt Jones’ return, Solomon Patton and more.

OFFENSE D+

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.

DEFENSE A-

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.  

Thoughts? Comments?

Have at it.

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