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2 posts from November 23, 2013

November 23, 2013

Gator Grades: Cover your eyes

GAINESVILLE -- Florida paid $550,000 just to get embarrassed by Georgia Southern. The Eagles shocked the Gators 26-20 on a picturesque -- unless you were wearing orange and blue -- Saturday afternoon in The Swamp. Here’s some rapid reaction grades on UF’s harrowing (and historic) defeat.


Florida jumped to a 10-point lead and then sneezed. The Gators gained just 279 total yards against a GSU-team that had allowed 30+ points to Appalachian State and Wofford. Coordinator Brent Pease had little faith in redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornihinweg – and with good reason. The redshirt freshman nearly tossed three interceptions on his first five passes and demonstrated his accuracy issues, questionable arm-strength and footwork concerns.

UF’s rushing attack didn’t fair much better either though. Aside from a dominant first drive (which again stalled in the red zone), Florida couldn’t run against a front that averaged just 260-pounds. Will Muschamp's postgame "talent" rant was embarrassing, but if the triple-option is such a great equalizer perhaps Florida should consider running it to wake up its anemic beggared offense. 


The Gators didn’t allow a single completion. The good news ends there. GSU gained 429 yards on the ground -- the fourth-most yards allowed UF history. Those other teams? 1996 Nebraska, 1979 Alabama (one of Bear Bryant's national championship teams) and a Georgia squad led by Hershel Walker. The Eagles may run the triple-option, but you’d be hard-pressed (or insane) to find someone who’d confuse them with the aforementioned teams. Florida -- struggling with assignments, discipline and gap control throughout its lengthy losing streak -- couldn’t stop GSU’s dive, veer, pitch, reverse, anything. The triple-option is plenty tricky to prepare for, but Florida looked like it'd never seen it before -- even in practice.


Another missed field goal (blocked), poor punt coverage, a shanked punt. Really, aside from Solomon Patton’s 54-yard kickoff returns Florida’s third unit again disappointed.   

***** VIDEO *****

Muschamp talks Florida's soul-crushing loss to GSU.


Thoughts? Comments? 


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton 

Saturday Selection: Florida-Georgia Southern thread

GAINESVILLE -- Good afternoon, Gator faithful. It’s a beautiful day here in The Swamp, but I’m not sure how many Florida fans will be here to see the Gator tangle with Georgia Southern.

IMG_0107(student section under five minutes until kickoff)

The Gators (4-6) hope to snap their five-game losing skid, while the Eagles (6-4) want to end their season on a high-note, beating an SEC team for the first time in school history.

Don’t blink or the game might be over before you know it. I expect lots and lots (and lots and lots) of running today. 

Tyler Murphy again "warmed up" but it was a workout consisting of just footwork drills and dropbacks. He did zero throwing, so expect Skyler Mornhinweg to make his second-career start.  

My pregame teaser… 

GAINESVILLE -- Losers of five straight, Florida isn’t overlooking any team, even a Football Championship Subdivision foe 0-9 all-time versus Southeastern Conference schools.

The Gators (4-6) square off against Georgia Southern (6-4) today at 2 p.m. (pay-per-view) in The Swamp, a matchup featuring two injury-depleted rosters and a whole lot of running. 

The Eagles stroll into Gainesville with their prolific triple-option attack, while Florida appears poised to start its third-string quarterback, Skyler Mornhinweg, for a second-straight week.

There will be no looking ahead to archrival No. 2 Florida State.

“If you don’t come out prepared and ready to play you can lose to anybody. We lost to Vanderbilt. We hadn’t lost to Vanderbilt in 20-something years,” junior linebacker Michael Taylor said.  “Any team is capable of losing on any day. I know this team put up 352 yards on [Georgia] last year, so this is no team to push aside. This is a team to be prepared for.”

Georgia Southern’s dynamic and efficient rushing offense (353.3 yards per game) presents a unique challenge for an already teetering UF rush defense.

The Eagles’ traditional dive-oriented triple option is alien to most Gator players.

“It’s a total technique change,” defensive tackle Leon Orr said. “It’s all about focus, when it comes down to it. It’s something our defense gotta hone in on and be able to focus on your role. …It’ll be something of a challenge for us, but at the end of the day we ain’t got no choice but to get it done.”

Twelve different players have scored at least one rushing touchdown for the Eagles this season, and their offense also averages nearly 19 yards a competition. …”

***** UPDATE *****

Couple pregame announcements: Mornhinweg will start, while UF also announced defensive end Jon Bullard is OUT with an undisclosed injury and freshman wideout Demarcus Robinson is suspended for the remainder of the season (2 games) for violating undisclosed team rules. Remember (in the preseason) when I said Robinson could be more George Farmer than Stefon Diggs? What a disappointing freshman campaign for such a talented prospect. 


Scoreboard: 39-23-2 ATS, 5-5 selecting Florida games 

This week’s six-pack

Missouri (-2) at Ole Miss

Clemson (-42) vs. Citadel

Idaho (+57) at FSU

LSU (-3.5) vs. Texas A&M

Oklahoma State (+9) vs. Baylor

And finally, Georgia Southern (+28) at Florida. The Gators SHOULD snap their long losing streak, but I have little faith this team can actually cover 28 points against a triple-option attack (i.e. very, very quick game) with a third-string quarterback. Motivation will be another interesting storyline to watch too -- despite the normal weekly game-by-game platitudes expressed during the week.

Enjoy the weekend, everybody.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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