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.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton