Posted on: October 3, 2010 5:14 pm

Latest AP Poll


As you can see Florida dropped 7 spots from 7 to 14 in the latest Top 25 poll. Are Auburn, Arizona, and Utah, among others, really better than the Gators? I would be quick to say no. Nontheless with thier upcoming slate of SEC games they should shoot up little by little every week. Plus a couple teams above them no doubt will endure an upcoming loss. Florida will be fine and everything will go back to normal but we have to deal with this situation for a little while.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 3, 2010 4:47 am

Florida-Alabama tonight & the rest of the season

Honestly I had a good feeling going into the game tonight. There were a couple things I thought were going to work well and a couple other things that were going to get ironed out. For instance, I thought the inside run game would open up passing lanes. On that note, I thought someone would emerge as a playmaker down the field in the passing game. On the defensive side of the ball, I thought the secondary would fly around with ferocity and create turnover opportunities. I also thought the defense would pick up the offense by putting some points on the board.

We can think all we want about what we expect to happen and it's hard to accept the fact that none of those thoughts came to fruition. With Demps very limited due to that ankle our dive game, a staple of our run-first Spread variation, was nearly non-existent. While Moody and Gilislee are very capable backs it just wasn't in the cards tonight. In turn the passing game struggled and at times it was frustrating to watch. The biggest problem I saw actually caught me off guard because before today I believed the offensive line was one of, if not the, strongest units on the team. The Tide D-line seemed to get penetration on almost every play. Marcell Dareus was a game changer tonight. He stuffed the run like he was in the huddle and I think the rest of thier defense fed off his energy and flawless play. I know the Gators have been experimenting with different combinations along the offensive line and they need to find the one that is going to give us a chance to be successful sooner than later. The line troubles grouped with the absence of a inside run game made us nearly one-dimensional. It is common knowledge that a team needs some sort of balance to win ball games, especially the big ones against great competition.

That brings us to the passing game. We all know John is a stud passer but no one is going to be effective when they barely have two seconds to get the ball away. It is very easy to be critical in hindsight but it became clear early in the game that if we wanted to stay with Bama's offense we were going to have to fling around the field. Now I know that a good coach does not abandon what he does best just because it isn't working right away but that proves my point. The point is to let your playmakers do what they know best, just as coaches do. Brantley is at his best when he is given the freedom to read coverages and methodically move the ball down the field via the air. The coaching staff let him chuck it around more in the second half but by then they were trying to play catch-up.

The most important aspect of any football game is what happens in the trenches. With good offensive and defensive line play a team has a great chance to win the ball game. Without it the struggles can be overwhelming, as we saw tonight. The offensive line could not subdue the four man rush, let alone the blitz packages. This left no room for the backs to run and it gave John no time to comfortably get the ball out of his hands. On the other side of the ball, the Florida pass rush rarely got significant pressure on McElroy, giving him time to get the ball downfield or take off and make positive plays with his legs. We can now shift our focus to Alabama's ground game. It is very clear this is their bread and butter. When in doubt McElroy will hand the ball off and sit back and watch. Those two are special players and Saban is very fortunate to have them both there at the same time. *A lot of people forget that Trent Richardson very nearly became a Gator before flipping at the last minute. These guys bring the hammer and the Florida defense was going to have to tackle extremely well to have any chance of containing them. They earn the majority of thier yards after first contact so sound fundamentals would have to be almost perfect. It is rare to tackle either of them for a loss of yards. We did not do this effectively and thus had a slim chance of leaving Tuscaloosa with a victory.

The game is over and our focus needs to shift to week 6, LSU, and the remaining conference games. While this game is a tough pill to swallow, there are some positives to come from it. This was a regular season game and Florida did not lose a chance at winning the East and traveling to Atlanta for a third consecutive SEC Championship game. They control thier own destiny with how the SEC schedule has played out so far. A loss to a team from the West does not affect the Gators in any head-to-head tiebreakers in the race for the Eastern division title. Another positive is that this time was a major learning experience for this team. They are a very young team and now they know how hard it is to win every week in the SEC and I know for a fact they do not want to feel like this ever again.

The biggest thing I take away from tonight is I know Urban will do everything in his power to make sure there is a rematch in Atlanta in December. He now knows how his team got beat and what he needs to do to flip the script. I cannot wait to watch the transformation from tonight's Gators to what they will look like come December 4th in the Georgia Dome.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 3, 2010 4:46 am
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