GAINESVILLE -- Before I re-watch the tape of Florida’s first
home loss to Vanderbilt (34-17) since Harry S. Truman was president (1945), here are
some rapid reaction grades.
What’s Murphy’s Law again? UF quarterback Tyler Murphy was
essentially Vanderbilt’s MVP on Saturday afternoon, turning the ball over four
times leading to 21 points on three short fields. Yes: Murphy threw for a
career-high 305 yards, but most were in garbage time. Florida’s running game
tallied just ONE carry over eight yards (Mack Brown’s 10-yard rush), while its
injury-riddled offensive line allowed five sacks, nine tackles for loss and
four quarterback hurries to the nation’s No. 59 defense.
Even a measly 3-0 deficit is a giant chasm to this unit.
In the end, Florida South-Carolina’d Vanderbilt -- emphatically losing a
game it allows less than 200 yards on defense…
… That said, UF’s defense really wasn’t as nearly dominant as the
stats (187 total yards, 4-of-13 third down conversions) indicate. Vanderbilt’s offense was more conservative than a Grover Norquist
speech. Redshirt freshman quarterback Patton Robinette -- a backup - attempted
just 12 passes (completing six) but made several key plays with his legs to
extend drives. VU converted two key fourth downs and another couple game-altering third down conversions.
Florida’s red zone defense -- albeit positioned in tough
spots -- was woeful. The unit again lacked a sense of urgency, sleep-walking
through most of the game. When UF’s loathsome offense found a sliver of
momentum midway through the third quarter, its (seemingly) disinterested defense promptly handed the juice right back.
SPECIAL TEAMS D
A muffed punt (recovered by UF, but still), another missed
field goal (DRINK), three holding penalties and an offsides flag on an onside
kick, yup, UF was bad across the board Saturday. Solomon Patton again had some
nice returns (nearly breaking a squib kick for a touchdown), but otherwise it
was a shaky performance by a regularly inconsistent group.
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