is a day late, but definitely not short.
Here’s a laundry list of thoughts, stats and
highs & lows from Florida’s 21-16 defeat to Miami after rewatching the TV
- The death of ‘Murderball.’ Where was the
Gators’ physical rushing attack? Florida averaged just 2.8 y/c against last
season’s No. 114 ranked rushing defense. The per carry average isn’t much
better even if you discount the negative sack yardage. At times UF faced a
stacked box (8), other times it didn’t. Florida’s offensive line simply failed
to win the line of scrimmage on most running downs. Tailbacks Matt Jones and
Mack Brown didn’t have a ton of holes to hit, but even when there was room they
(both) failed to accumulate yards after contact.
- Speaking of Mr. Jones, UF’s sophomore back
looked sluggish, tentative and indecisive. Jones rushed for nine yards --
behind Florida’s JUMOBO personnel -- on his first carry of 2013. He totaled
just 38 yards on the ground on his next 17 carries. I counted just a single (1)
YAC in the second half for Jones. Jones was also confused on multiple plays
(see: running the wrong route, earlier turning the wrong way on Jeff Driskel’s
first play action pass -- a 22-yard completion to Quinton Dunbar, ironically).
- Hunter Joyer had a rough afternoon. I don’t
know if he’s still slowed by a strained hamstring -- the staff insists he’s not
-- but the struggles of Florida’s fullback was a big reason why the running
game never got going. Joyer whiffed on multiple blocks, while other times he
just didn’t block anyone and went to the second level way too quickly.
- Florida’s offensive line was a mess at times, yet perfectly adept at others. Overall, it was an uneven performance. UF’s line
got minimal push in the run game, but they pass protected fairly well until
injuries shook up the whole unit. Left tackle D.J. Humphries exited the game
late in the second quarter, moving Max Garcia over from left guard. The
transition did not go well. Garcia had little rapport with new left guard Ian
Silberman (who also struggled) and allowed at least two sacks -- McCord (sack
fumble) and Chickillo (the game-ender). Right tackle Tyler Moore (Nebraska
transfer) had a tough afternoon too -- mostly in the second half. Moore was
called for two false starts and a pair of holding penalties.
pariah Quarterback Jeff Driskel has been dissected enough since the loss,
so I won’t belabor all the junior’s issues. To me, it’s about confidence.
Driskel has all the physical tools, he’s tough as nails and has a big, live
arm. But he plays frazzled, afraid to make any mistakes. He has tunnel vision
and is too mechanical. He needs to just cut it loose and play. His best throw of the day was when he stood
tall in pocket and delivered a 20-yard strike to Quinton Dunbar as he was
tattooed by a UM blitzer. But his accuracy was hit-or-miss (see: missed TD pass
to Dunbar one play before the red zone INT), as was his field awareness. Below is just one example of an open wideout, but Driskel never looks his way.
(Matt Jones will plenty of space. Ball was thrown to behind Demarcus Robinson on the crossing pattern)
solid defenses (see: everyone aside from Tennessee and Kentucky) the WildGator
plays are a waste of a down and do little for Driskel’s already waning
confidence. Driskel tossed his first INT two plays after a failed Trey Burton
run. I have no idea what Driskel saw/was thinking throwing into triple coverage. Upon
further review, Trey Burton probably did run the wrong route on Driskel’s
second INT, but it didn’t matter because the spot Driskel threw to certainly
wasn’t where Burton was supposed to be. Driskel threw the ball too soon and
Defensively, the Gators played outstanding. Florida allowed just 212 yards to a
potent offense -- 87 on two plays.
The Gators were definitely confused by Miami’s tempo in the first
quarter. UM called lots of counters and boot-legs on its first couple of
drives, but Florida eventually adjusted and played pretty flawlessly after the
opening period. Dominique Easley was a monster Saturday and the offical stat sheet does no justice on his impact. The senior had a ridiculous
series early in the second quarter: he blew up Duke Johnson (3-yard loss) and
forced two straight holding calls. Also of note: This counters Will Muschamp’s
postgame “We weren’t playing worth a dang…” and why he decided to go for it on
fourth down the very next possession.
(Johnson's 3-yard loss)
Antonio Morrison played mad (team-leading seven tackles) and had a strong game.
had five consecutive three-and-outs before Stephen Morris’ 11-yard competition
to Clive Walford in the third quarter -- a missed tackle by Marcus Maye.
On Morris’ beautiful long TD pass to Dorsett: No Easley, Loucheiz Purifoy or
Leon Orr (also solid most of the afternoon) in the game. Backup nose tackle Damien Jacobs hesitated on
the play action fake, while end Bryon Cox Jr. was totally fooled.
- Marcus Maye had two missed tackles, had the bad
blown coverage and was late on several blitzes.
- Stephen Morris is no Teddy Bridgewater.
- Vernon Hargreaves III is good. Really good. The
freshman outplayed senior Jaylen Watkins (who did nearly collect a pick-six on
the goal line) and could be a starter sooner than later.
- Denzel Perryman. BEAST.
(That's putting a hat on a ball)
Driskel averaged 6.6 y/c on read option runs (40 yards and a touchdown on six
carries). But only two of those carries came after halftime.
Florida played Valdez Showers and Matt Jones together in the backfield a lot.
Couple notable plays include the 46-yard bomb to Patton and Burton’s red zone
eat zebras. Penalties, penalties, penalties. Clay Burton’s late hit was two
plays before Jones’ fumble. Easley’s roughing the passer negated a 3rd-and-long
situation in the red zone -- aiding in UM’s first score. Speaking of…
- Safety Cody Riggs was slowed by Miami’s quick snap, and Herb Waters torched him
outside, easily beating Riggs to the corner of the end zone for the game’s
- Duke Johnson rushed for 12 yards on a play UF had 12 men on the field. No call.
(See Orr (#44) run)
UM punter Pat O’Donnell recovered really well after his first kick was blocked
(more on that in a second). The senior averaged 49 yards (on eight punts),
consistently flipping the field position in Miami’s favor.
Florida’s blocked punt -- of course by special teams extraordinaire Loucheiz
Purifoy -- was fantastically designed. I’ve long wondered why others don’t do
exactly what UF did: Send two bruisers (in this case Morrison and Michael
Taylor) and smash the diamond protectors, allowing your best athlete (i.e.
Purifoy) to wiggle inside and block the punt. It worked beautifully.
defense is super talented, but I bet it wishes Tyriq McCord wore orange and
botched two-point conversion was poorly blocked (see: Trenton Brown) but it
wasn’t an audible at the line as the announcers suggested. K Austin Hardin and
LS Kyle Crofoot weren’t even on the field. It was simply a funk formation and a
play that wasn’t executed properly.
(No kicker. No holder)
Freshman linebacker Jarrad Davis is around the ball a lot on special teams.
Overall, UF’s receivers -- T. Burton, Q. Dunbar and Patton -- actually had a
productive day. However, Florida’s lack of confidence (and rightfully so) in
its tight ends is obvious with so many full house (or diamond) formations.
- Clay Burton is
not a starting tight end in the SEC.
Powell is back (and maybe improved), and Muschamp is already utilizing the
junior’s versatility. Powell lined up at end, as a stand up edge rusher, a
middle linebacker, a rusher over the nose and more. It was very similar to how
UGA employed Jarvis Jones last season. Powell’s sack was an impressive display
of athleticism, as he went spin-cycle and ate up Seantrel Henderson to the
inside. Powell also disrupted a reverse. He finished the game with 3.0 TFL.
No numbers. Florida’s failed 4th-and-short play was run 8 (Canes) on 6
(Gators). Kyle Koehne, at center, Trip Thurman and Humphries were all
(And actually, at the snap at ninth defender entered the box)
Dorsett was actually open on Morris’ INT, but UM’s quarterback airmailed the
throw -- despite little pressure.
Dante Fowler Jr. Jekyll and Hyde. The sophomore was invisible during the first
half, but was a disruptive force after halftime.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton