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Official Game Thread, Week 7: #14 Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores, October 13, 2018

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by Escambia94, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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    #14 Florida Gators (5-1, 3-1 SEC) @
    Vanderbilt Commodores (3-3, 0-2 SEC)

    October 13, 2018 at 12:00 P.M. ET on ESPN, Direct TV 206, Sirius 99, XM 192, and WRUF on TuneIn.

    ESPN Crew:
    LINE: Florida. +7 (49)

    Gators Lead the Series 39-10-2, including 25-1 since this became a regular series in 1992. 1st Game in series was October 3, 1945: Vanderbilt 7, Florida 0.

    On this day in 1934: Florida Field was dedicated to the memory of the Servicemen who died in World War 1.

    Florida’s pass rush is tied for third nationally in total sacks (20.0) and tied for 11th in total tackles for loss (48.0) this season.

    Florida is one of four FBS teams (East Carolina, Miami, Oklahoma State) featuring three players--Vosean Joseph, Jachai Polite, Jabari Zuniga--with at least 6.5 tackles for loss this season. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has six tackles for loss this year. No SEC team has more than two such players.

    The Gators have five-plus sacks in three games, which matches the 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2015, and 2016 Gators for the most such games in a season since the start of 1998.

    Florida’s four games with eight-plus tackles for loss this season are also tied with the 2012 and 2014 Gators for the most such games since the start of 2012.

    Last Saturday, LSU entered the game allowing just 5.20 tackles for loss per game. Florida had seven at halftime, and finished with 11.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 10:34 AM
  2. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    (Apologies to @Escambia94, in "tacking this on":)
    ...So, in conclusion, this is a game we SHOULD win.
    If we are nervous, it is because we haven't yet shown we have "come back" ENOUGH to be fully confident of even that. So that is this week's "test", the latest sign post of steady progress, the "check" in our ongoing big-picture resume under Dan Mullens.
    Come in on a roll, come OUT heads high and healthy with a WIN against a good, tough squad whom you are (at least marginally) more talented than, at their place, when it REALLY COUNTS.
    But this is a good-and-getting-BETTER Vanderbilt program and squad: We could lose this one, too. Easily. In the past in such situations, Muschamp woulda had his team in an uptight, high pressure, guts-in-knots frenzy (that was the problem); MacEllwaine, well, what does it do for a team when you have little idea what your Head Coach is thinking, when you look over at him on the sideline in the first quarter and he STILL has that "deer-in-the-headlights" look on his face?
    No, THIS Head Coach has a whole different grip on himself, his outlook, his team and the process of BUILDING--a season, a team, a program. And the whole "culture change" that was required and that we have more and more come to believe is well-under-way NOW requires this "Gator Team-coming-to-BE" to simply be able to sustain a certain level of confident proficiency: "HOLD SERVE". Go on the road and BEAT a good--but not quite "good enough"--mid-level SEC squad.
    Win, and you set up nicely for a shot at UGA in The Party, and at least a CHANCE to basically announce yourselves "ONE YEAR EARLY" on the national stage...If we DO prevail we'll be "in the discussion" no matter WHAT comes after that--which will be invaluable come what is likely gonna end up being our TRUE "big one up ahead" (as it is for EVERYONE not ultimately included in this season's Football Final Four, lets face it): ie. the weeks directly AFTER The National Championship Game, when we find out what all the hidden, currently-ongoing recruiting battles finally bring us.
    We are NOT yet even in that "SECOND Tier" (ie. everyone under Alabama) yet, boys. This Vanderbilt game is sort of a "gateway game" for our potential entry into the series of "Second Half of Season" games which MIGHT reveal our fitness for CONSIDERATION IN that group.
    But we're not even THERE yet--hell, not even all of THOSE teams will be there after they face their OWN such "gateway games" ahead, you watch.
    If EVER there were a time for "One GAME at a time", to listen to the Coach and just get better and get READY for the NEXT team, the next test, the next game on the schedule, this is it. From now til the final gun vs Free Shoes. Somehow gotta just "let the rest take care of itself"...Now, more than ever, that approach will pay dividends.
     
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  3. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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    Since the loss to Kentucky the Gators have allowed zero touchdown passes, have intercepted opposing QBs 4 times, and have held opposing QBs to their lowest QBR:
    • Tennessee - Justin Guarantano 2 INT, 35.9 QBR
    • Mississippi State - Nick Fitzgerald 0 INT, 3.7 QBR
    • LSU - Joe Burrows 2 INT, 33.0 QBR
    Against Georgia, Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur was held to 14 of 28 with 169 yards and a QBR of 43.9. Vanderbilt barely escaped Tennessee State as former Gator QB Treon Harris caught 1 TD and nearly half of the team reception yards at 109 yards.

    Shurmur only hit 36% of his passes for 82 yards as a sophomore in the 13-6 loss, and connected on 45% of his throws for 245 yards and three scores in last year’s 38-24 loss. This year's defense will not allow 245 yards.

    Florida should have no problem performing somewhere in between Tennessee State and Georgia. As long as the Gators do not turn the ball over, they should cruise to a 2-touchdown victory and save some plays for Georgia.
     
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  4. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Your most optimistic analysis/projection since PRE-season, E--...I'm not sure whether to relax or ratchet up the "defensive pessimism" all the more. But "somewhere between Tenn St and Georgia" sounds both realistic and safe to me: As you say,
    long as we don't go out and lay one of those classic Gator mid-season EGGS (and THIS coaching staff at least consciously takes steps to be aware of and guard AGAINST that danger), we "SHOULD" be ok.
    I am superstitious about my personal prognostications (well-founded over time, to be honest), so I'll just try n settle back, let IT come to US. BUT...
    GO GATORS! Time to start RElearning the habit of WINNING:
    Only real "requirement" here IS to win, move on, DO NOT LOOK AHEAD. There's more I'd "LIKE to see", but fact is there's still too much on the line, too much still to be learned about ourselves and our progress. One way or another, starting here and in the weeks ahead: WE WILL LEARN.
     
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  5. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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    I think I have been an optimist throughout the season, minus the aftermath of Kentucky. So far the Gators are performing about what I expected, except they swapped Kentucky with Mississippi State.

     
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  6. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Of COURSE I remember that week-before-season post, E--...That was the very one I was referring to in my opening sentence above. I thought at the time that you might be "OVERoptimistic" (mainly in terms of neither wanting to set unrealistic expectations among a fan base who are notorious in overlooking the program's long-developing shortcomings--in this case in the locker room, on the roster AND on the field--nor for myself and my own hopes at that point, frankly), and said so then--but (acknowledging UK--and NO one had that OR them right) way things are playimg out, your "range" still holds--and if we can just continue to learn, grow and hold serve against similarly and/or LESS talented teams before and after (and FSU is looking more n more like one of the latter, btw), I was thinking earlier today in fact that that Party in J-ville against the REMAINING "Bulldogs" on our schedule could make you not "optimistic" but rather "clear-eyed REALISTIC", even prescient, as it turns out: Even WITH a loss against UGA, 12-2 would still be doable (and place in a Prestige-Only Bowl--which won't hurt recruiting at ALL, and there is a school of thought around now that says, for such purposes, a nice win in any of those might be BETTER than "one of the teams that got beat down by The Tide in the '18 playoff"... Of course, a REAL "potential Champion"--and our highly competitive Head Coach, I'm sure--would always choose the larger stage...but considering the big picture, the story of where we were starting from less than a year ago, everything that had come before and since Mac (fortunately for us--and I felt that way THEN) shot his vapid mouth off, the wheel turned and, well, click click click here we are, things can be viewed as "falling nicely into place indeed". You certainly have shown a better handle on "reality" than anyone else out there, I'm happy and proud to acknowledge.
    Now: Let's see how this particular collection of young players exceeding their apparent limits and the talented, hungry young staff that has helped them to do so, actually FINISH. No matter what, this has turned out to be a more fun and exciting season than I dared hope it might be--one that already fills me with hope, no matter WHAT happens.
     
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  7. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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    We have already seen that Mullen will fall below the upper, Malzahn bound. Granted, Malzahn had the advantage of moving up from offensive coordinator to head coach of the same team, with the same recruits he brought in. I doubt we will hit the bottom, Strong bound, because Mullen has performed at a higher level at Mississippi State with lesser players. Oddly enough, these past two years are the only ones where we could argue that Mississippi State had equal talent to Florida--just as Kentucky has almost equal talent as Florida in the past year. There is little that Mullen can do to overcome talent gaps at key positions other than what we have seen: scheme, trick plays, and shifting of player positions. The trick plays will not work as well against Georgia, especially since we have pulled off a similar double-pass twice already. We have pulled off a jump pass. There are few trick plays left to try that will conceal the weaknesses of the existing talent on this team. Florida can beat Vanderbilt with talent, a solid 1st-quarter game plan, and a good adjustment in the second half, but it will need a solid scheme to beat Georgia. By now those players who have shifted positions will need to have adjusted to the new role, and do well in this Vanderbilt game. What we should look for against Vanderbilt is sound gap control from linebackers who shifted into these positions a few games ago, and solid pass coverage from defensive backs who will be going up against a dangerous passing threat from Jake Fromme next week. Kyle Shurmur will come into this Vandy game thinking he has improved since last year, but he will forget that last year's 4-7 Gators are not a good gage of his QB progress.

    Basically what I am saying is that the Gators will not look past Vanderbilt, but they will use this as an opportunity to solidify the team for their challenge against Georgia without losing focus on Vandy.
     
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  8. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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  9. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Check, hmmmm, check, mmmhmmm, CHECK right down the list on the "Vanderbilt Game sheet"...EXACTLY why THIS one is a "SHOULD win" (that I doubt our Head Coach lets his players stumble, bumble or FUMBLE away, through "overconfidence" or anything ELSE), but the NEXT one's a whole different deal. And you're right, it WON'T be "trick plays" or trick ANYTHING that gets a win, if one is gotten: No, it'll be an "A-PLUS MIDTERM" performance, where all the things we've learned, steadily grown INTO and are habitually doing "better and better", are polished and performed BEST as they are capable of DOING...
    And the "PLUS"? Not "tricks" so much as "OPPORTUNITIES": We have a handful of "unique playmakers" on our team, young guys we've heard about, in some cases caught GLIMPSES of their undeniable speed, moves, crazy-on-the-edge-TALENT...You think Coach Mullens might have a number of varied plays, sets and formations designed to get the ball into THEIR hands in as many different ways as he can manage? Both on special teams AND "regular play"...
    From THIS point of view, it is arguable that he has only used a small portion of what he may have available in that regard.
    I know: The less of that sort of thing you are counting on to claim victory, the stronger your position to start with--and the better off you presumably are going IN. But I am just acknowledging and matching your "realistic" assessments now: I think we'll NEED some imaginative, creatively TRANSCENDANT moments to win in the Gator Bowl thos year (is the place still called that? Hope so...). I think we may have a bit of an edge there--at least the hint of a SLIVER of one--and am pretty damn sure that if we DO, THIS head Coach will find, polish and USE IT to slice things our way, if there IS a way!
     
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  10. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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  11. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    OK...Got my coffee, breakfast arranged, College Gameday moments away...SO:
    I have WORKED at not EXPECTING anything-in-particular this season from the start. While the danger is there, more exposed than ever for this one, it's so obvious a "trap game" situation that I'll trust our coaching staff and their young charges to follow their BOSS'S lead and come in with that "right mix" of respect and quiet confidence.
    The REAL test of the "no expectations" process comes NEXT week--one MORE marker to drop on the "Trap Game"- side of THIS week's emotional weigh-in.
    Am preparing my "gameface" now; Gotta bunch of left- AND right-coasters in town for ACL, a wide range of schools (not to mention varied levels of INTEREST in their respective match-ups today--funny how USC fans' obnoxious confidence morphs so quickly into "oh, that..."-apathy BEFORE HALLOWEEN once again: I understand, but year after year they are so loud in their contempt when they enter another season riding a wave of media-hype)...Me, I'm set up back in my room with my "smaller" flat screen (yeah yeah--smart phones, flat screens, electric cars and more computing power in our fridges than got us to the moon--THAT turns out to be THE FUTURE...so much for flying cars and malls on the moon, right?)--and will move back there to watch OUR game (and hang HERE online with y'all)--my guests can "work it out" far as monitoring games n scores out on the "main screen". Some will head out early to the Park (but it's pretty overcast--and with skies forcast to clear later, unless it is "job-required"--like PLAYING there-- many will wander in later)--I don't have to be there til round suppertime, so with OUR game starting early for a change I catch a break here. Just hope I'm "in a good mood" at "work" later.
    GO GATORS!!! Eat 'em UP!!!
     
  12. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Well, I agree about what our COACH has in mind--but the degree he can adequately influence what are after all "Young Minds/ Young MindSETS" is the question here: That's where upsets in "Trap Games" COME from: "Y'all were the 2-star guys they got INSTEAD of us--when WE went to this 5-star program!" They may say the "right words" with cameras in their faces, but they don't really KNOW what they mean or why everyone wants to hear them until they LOSE one of these, have to face the consequences of unexpected failure (most of all that sinking "woulda shoulda coulda"/"can't get it back" feeling that, hate to say it, might serve them well later...On the other hand, a "close win" might accomplish the same thing, but WITHOUT the plunging disappointment, the crushing ANGST of a "let it all get away from us" loss that we will ALL look back on painfully. I just refuse to believe that "maybe a loss here might be GOOD for this team, in the long run".
    NO: Recruiting alone will benefit greatly from our "arriving early on the National Stage", which is the story (with all its attendant benefits) that is helping to create a swelling wave of "self-fulfilling prophesy" out there.
    And damnit--WE will feel immensely better: Win this one, on the road against a tight, scrappy and improving opponent, one SEARCHING for some reinforcement to the idea that they ARE "getting better"/"on their way"/"ALMOST THERE"--for whom THIS one is like THEIR "Big Game" as far as showing themselves, "showing THE WORLD!"...Our guys simply must remember and keep in mind: "So are WE." We TOO are still "relative underdogs", fighting our way back, surmounting the obstacles of recent history and expectation. We came INTO this season "unheralded" to say the LEAST--and pretty well "left for dead" after Kentucky.
    Important to begin winning the relatively few games we "SHOULD" win; then I personally will more easily face, and in the event we lose to a Georgia team in a game (at least on paper) that THEY "SHOULD" win, and (at least for now) LIVE with a loss the week after (be nice to at least see us keep it close, though). But that's NEXT week's discussion (and damn well hope even considering anything about it is a luxury only WE FANS can indulge in--God HELP us if any part of it is even "in the back" of the players' minds...but I am pretty damn sure it is NOT!).
    Sorry, Commodores, but WE'VE got our OWN "story to tell". Let's go tell it.
     
  13. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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  14. DRU2012

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  15. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    (We may not be BACK--But the gnawing tightness at gametime each week sure is!)
     
  16. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    NO!!! He is DOWN.
     
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  17. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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  18. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    THAT WAS A PENALTY FOR TOO MANY ON THE FIELD, TOO! This should come back, but who KNOWS? There, but STILL bad throw by Franks...good int by Vandy guy too. D better buckle down here....
    No. Shitty tackling. No contain outside. shit. We could really collapse now.
     
  19. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

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    Crap. Florida defense is lazy. David Reese is not awake.
     
  20. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Worst case scenario developing before our eyes: LAST year's Gators have shown up.
     

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