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Game Day Thread: Game 2, Sat. Sept 8 @ Kyle Field, College Station

DRU2012

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Oh my friggin god--I think we may be able to pull this out--there! I dared to say it with a minute-plus left.
 

DRU2012

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I think we HAVE this one! I can NOT believe it, friends--I admit it!
 

DRU2012

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Let's give the coaches a big pat-on-the-back here, Gators: I thought we had NO chance at the half.
 

Escambia94

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I give Driskel a B+. He needs to count to four and throw or run. He can stare at his primary receiver all he wants as long as he maintains that clock--that will keep him in most games. He will not beat an LSU team until he learns to read the 2nd and 3rd receivers, or until the receivers learn to get open.
 

Ufgatorfan

VIP Member
I'm not expecting Driskel to beat LSU, Georgia or SC by himself he will need a team effort but he did well for his first start on hostel grounds. He didn't make any costly mistakes. he gets an A from me
 

Swamp Person

Swamp Gator
Wow WE WON.WOOHOO....Unreal just out right shut them down in the second half. Lets hope its more of this to come.......Welcome to The SEC A&M. Now you might think before you Boo our injured. How low was that.
 

DRU2012

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OK--that (Sticking it in the face of my Aggie neighbors) was fun...and THAT victory IS what they call "a signature win", turning it all around on-the-road in the 2nd half...However, I'd feel a WHOLE lot better about the team we "might be about-to-be" if we hadn't LOST so many players, KEY players on offense AND defense, in the course of this contest--and that was AFTER what seemed like a damaging enough game LAST week. Think about it, it's a Q of both quantity (how MANY injuries, of unknown but sure-to-be at least into-mid-season seriousness) AND quality (Gillissley on offense, Jelani Jenkins on defense, each leaders of their respective squads, in terms of talent AND influence). That will cost us, possibly turn close ones into losses and close losses into blow-outs down-the-line if they're out for long and their back-ups don't really STEP UP. We just don't yet have the depth OR the EMOTIONAL toughness to absorb and weather those kinds of losses--how else to explain how soft we are as a team for long stretches of the games we've watched so far, or indeed HOW SO MANY SUCH INJURIES ARE OCCURRING IN THE FIRST PLACE?!! Are we to believe there is NO relationship between those injuries and everything else, the missed tackles, the shrugging play for long portions of game time, confusion and especially underachievement in the very areas that were supposed to be our strengths? Is it ALL really supposed to be "bad luck", not part of a PATTERN of selfishness, ill-preparedness, and lax self-discipline?
Well, I'm gonna ramble on here in my inimitable manner for a while--though it's probably a big mistake considering the combo of pain-pills and alcohol I've ingested here this aft:
I AM happy and relieved at the win here today, no doubt about it--and I know that the team that showed up in the 2nd half is not only a decent one, it's actually itself just a shadow of what a healthy, together and smoothly running version of the currently stocked Gator team is truly capable of being. We'll have to get guys back, the back-ups playing over-their-heads until we do, our quarterback (while he showed a few of the things with his legs that the coaches were counting on as among his advantages) will HAVE to grow quickly as a passer AND a "field general", taking LARGE steps in the process of recognizing defenses, who is where and how you work through your reads and get it to the open guy, OR taking off when none of THAT is open--and working THRU' those "reads" quickly before time runs out on YOU, all the while having full awareness of where the protection weaknesses are in front of and/or behind you once you move from the pocket, avoiding the rush and the collapsing pursuit even while you're doing all the rest...I'm not saying Jeff can't do it, can't get there, and fairly soon (like a matter of 2 or 3 games)--but that assumes he has done ALL of it before under the MUCH slower and less challenging pressures of the prep-school level in which he developed, and just needs to apply his intuitive knowledge and muscle-memory at a whole new speed and intensity--and realize that only trusting that "prior practice and awareness" and "letting it fly" will get him there in anything LIKE the timeframe that he will have to show what he can do. They're not going to give you time to "figure it all out, think it all through, THEN start to try and apply the right lessons in the right places", Jeff. You are just going to HAVE to "GO FOR IT!", kiddo.
I don't know WHAT we'll do for a running game until Gilly is 100% again. We got some traction mixing things up late, but he was and IS our true "power RB", the one we've been looking for the last, oh, I don't know, 6, 7, 8 or 9 years, depending how you define the requirements and assess the intervening "candidate"/"stand-ins". We're back to "running by committee" and hoping one of the others blossoms (and quickly) until he returns. Once he was hurt, even Joyer seemed to fold in on himself, run more self-protectively rather than with the shredding abandon we've seen from him before now.Let's just hope that next year Taylor is not only everything he seems, but the tough and rugged, near-unbreakable as WELL as unstoppable RB his Dad was. Until then I just can't tell how much is just "physical fragility", and how much is the kind of example and precedent none of these players seem to show--only Gilly showed any kind of "suck-it-up-and-go" late despite his clear difficulties.
These look to be our two major hurdles, moving forward, then:
(1) Driskill HAS to grow into the QB he presumably CAN be, reach down inside and bring out all the natural and developed skills he made work for him getting here--one way or another, there has to be some kind of "break through", with help from a good coach he trusts or from within himself, he has to reach down and take that next step, and (2) Even missing some first-string guys, this defense MUST play tough for 60 minutes--more than ever now, this is the heart of our team, and if we are to get to the 2nd half of this season with ANY of our dreams and goals intact it is the defense that will preserve our shot at them.
Considering the first game and a half, and everything that happened in the course of those 6 qrtrs before finally showing something in the last 2, I'm left both happy to be 2-and-0, AND more uncertain than ever as to where we are in our road-back-to-Gator-greatness.
Just watch the SEC-teams that TRULY have their pieces assembled and functioning in the intended fashion, teams like Alabama and LSU: There's a "feeling", a rhythm on offense and a tough, calm determination on defense that together amount to well-fitting parts in each team's unique "character of domination" that we just don't have yet--no way, no how. These Gators have a choppy, uneven "feel" in everything they do--even when they manage to get something done, it doesn't seem part of a larger "flow"...Again: we have the parts, but one way or another we constantly find ways to fail to get or KEEP them working together.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Here is how I grade the mighty Gators (from my home blog):
  • Quarterback: B+. Sophomore Jeff Driskel got the win in his first start, but he was outplayed on the field by a redshirt freshman named Johnny Manziel. Driskel needs to respect “the QB clock” and make a decision at 4 or 5 seconds. His throws were usually crisp.
  • Running back: B+. Mike Gillislee is the key to the Gator offense, but he still lacks the skill or size to run up the gut. With the large offensive line that Florida has, he should be breaking some runs up the middle. For the most part, he is showing that he does well at the edges, and in certain plays up the middle. Unfortunately, he was injured and he may not be at 100% against Tennessee next week. Mack Brown is not the answer as his backup. Hunter Joyer is surprisingly ineffective as a fullback given his size.
  • Offensive line: F. Given the size and experience of this line, the running backs should have a lot more room to run and the QB should have a cleaner pocket. No excuses here. They should be ashamed that they let the QB get sacked 8 times in a game. They should be embarrassed that cannot protect the QB against a smaller, less experienced defensive line.
  • Overall offense: C. This is a mediocre offense. The Brent Pease motions and shifts have limited effect on the defense if the Gator receivers are not getting open and the supposedly faster, stronger athletes are getting beat at the point of attack.
  • Defensive front: C-. No excuses here. The defensive front was manhandled, and this is supposed to be a strength.
  • Linebacking corps: C-. I am not sure which I am more disappointed in, the defensive front or the linebacking corps. Both are a bunch of sissies that get injured a lot. Crocodile tears? Maybe Gator tears?
  • Overall defense: C. The first half defense gets a D- for surrendering 250 yards. The second half defense gets an A- for being disciplined and only yielding 65 yards.
  • Special teams: A. Hey! K Caleb Sturgis is awesome! P Kyle Crofoot will be exposed as a weakness in close games. KR Andre Debose is once again a non-factor. The fake field goal and pass from the holder, 150-pound John Crofoot, was the best pass of the day.
  • Coaching: A. Either the coaches made great adjustments at the half, or the Aggies pooped out early.
  • Toughness: D. What a bunch of sissies.
  • Execution: C. This level of execution will get the Gators to a bowl game, but not above UGA or SC.
  • Discipline: B. They had fewer penalties. Great.
  • Overall: C+. A win is a win, but this was an unranked team. Florida showed that it might be better than last year, but is still a middle-tier SEC team. My MVG: Mike Gillislee.
Code:
NAME    C/ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    INT    RAT
J. Driskel    13/16    162    10.1    0    0    166.3
NAME    ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    LG    FUM
M. Gillislee    14    83    5.9    2    24    0
NAME    ATT    YDS    AVG    TD    LG    FUM
J. Reed    5    59    11.8    0    30    0
Compare Jeff Driskel’s debut against the recent Gator QBs. I have him ranked 8th in recent Gator history. Keep in mind that his nearest peer above him, Doug Johnson, led the #10 Gators to an upset over the #2 FSU Seminoles in 1997, along with victories over #4 Tennessee, #6 Auburn, and #11 Penn State with key losses against #14 LSU and #16 Georgia. His nearest peer below him, John Brantley....well, let's not rehash those memories. My guess is that the Gator’s trajectory this year under Driskel will be somewhere in between the 1997 squad led by Johnson and the 2010 squad led by JB4. I would say that his leadership skills and passing skills are also in between those two, but JD does have a few more years to hone those skills and leap beyond JB4. Jacoby Brissett can also emerge, just as Eric Kresser emerged from behind Danny Wuerffel. All it takes is an injury. (That bad thing about that analogy is that it implies one of the two transferring.)
  1. Rex Grossman 1st career start in 2000 against LSU, 18-for-28 for 276 yards, 3TDs. #Gators won 41-9.
  2. [EDIT] Danny Wuerffel went 19 of 38, 267 yards with 3 TDs, 1 INT in his first career start in 1993 against Tennessee.
  3. Chris Leak was 20-for-35 for 268 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs in 2003 vs. Kentucky
  4. Eric Kresser‘s first career start (HC in ’95 vs. Northern Illinois), 26-for-42 for 458 yards, 6 TDs, 96-yarder Green. W 58-20
  5. Terry Dean was 16-for-22, 237 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT and at one point completed 14 straight in 44-6 win over Arky State in ’93.
  6. Tim Tebow‘s first career start, he was 13-for-17 for 300 yards, 3 TDs in 49-3 win over Western Kentucky in 2007
  7. Doug Johnson in his first in 1997 vs. Southern Miss: 17 of 34 for 231 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs. Gators won 21-6.
  8. Jeff Driskel was 13-for-16, 162 yards. Gator spoiled the Texas A&M SEC opener 21-17 in Kyle Field.
  9. John Brantley‘s first career start, he was 17-for-25 for 113 yards, 2 TDs in 34-12 win over Miami Ohio in 2010 opener
  10. Jacoby Brissett was 8-for-14 for 94 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs in last season’s 41-11 loss at LSU
 

DRU2012

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Having said all that, though, that WAS still one of the strangest, "Wait a minute--we might WIN this thing!"-games I've seen...suddenly there was less than 3 and a half minutes left, we had the lead AND the ball, and our broken down running game and inexperienced QB were getting the job DONE: and then it was OVER--Gator Win!!!
Driskel has some real work ahead of him (and even Hammond, the closest he's got to a "go-to guy" at receiver, had a sure TD bounce right off his hands when it really counted tonight, keeping things in doubt longer and leaving his QB pretty well alone out there, no one he can be sure of while he "learns on-the-job" at the highest level)--and this Monday's "after-action" report on injuries, performance, team- and next-game outlook will likely be even more hazy and obscure than normal. This is one of those times that my growing dissatisfaction with how injuries, discipline and general health and eligibility issues are handled, as if we the fans and faithful followers are as dangerous a "foe" to protect the team from as opponents and sports betting services are, gets the most frustrating and disappointing: Why not send out a private, detailed injury report on ourselves, one that simply names the players. their injuries and expected "expected normal recovery times": Let everyone else, our sites and all the rest, take it from there, cut, slice and examine the "stated facts" as we choose to?
 

DRU2012

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Escambia94
Great job with your analysis here, E-: Top rate--really pointed the way towards EXPLAINING how and why the disappointments, the underachievement, mediocrity and worse came to be, how they manifested and were pretty well inevitable given how they interrelate--ie. are part of that larger "flow" or "feel" I've been trying to describe/explain above. Thanks.
 

Ufgatorfan

VIP Member
I think Driskel did what any first time starter was supposed to do in his first real start in a big time game, that is don't lose the game making mistakes. Sure he took some unneeded sacks when he should of probably have took off with his feet. And yes he should of threw a couple away as wel instead of taking a sack but we must remember this he is young and inexperienced . He will learn when it's time to run. A&M qb was good as well but our defense made it easy for him in the first half. I think some people are being too hard on Driskel. I also think it was a mistake in keeping this " QB " battle going so long throw the preseason. A starter should of been named a month ago or more. Driskel was clearly the top choice. He should of had more time to build a relationship with the starters on offense and get in sink with the WR. I hate this " they both deserve to start" crap. Pick the guy you want to lead this program and let's get this thing rolling. Let Brisset transfer if he wants. I think the only reason Muschamp started both was to stop him from transferring and having three years of eligibility with a red shirt. Now he forfeits this years red shirt and if he chooses to transfere he will only have 2 years of eligibility left, which would make him question such a move. Oh and I will end my rant with this I can't wait for all these soft ass players Meyer recruited to finally rotate out. By far his ( Meyer )last recruiting class was the most overrated class in the history of UF with the exception of a few.
 

DRU2012

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Ufgatorfan
Not merely a "rant" (believe me, I KNOW about "rants", and the diff between that and the above), G-fan, but a pretty damn insightful collection of related-points that form a solid overview of where we're at with our QB situation, and how we got here...btw, the main reason I didn't come right out and state much of what you say regarding Brisset's current situation as it was developing was BECAUSE I was HOPING that was exactly what Muschamp was thinking and trying to pull off, that we could maybe hang onto both, with Jeff as starter and Jacoby as back-up without the latter really getting serious about leaving until it was late enough in the process to be a bad idea--and therefore give us one of the best "one-two"s in the nation...Still, I didn't expect EITHER guy to come along so SLOWLY: Is it me, or do we have a problem in the way we develop talent, especially at QB--or just with the people we've got in charge of bringing them along? Either way, SOMETHING isn't getting DONE there...How else to explain programs with nowhere near the annual access to top talent that we have showing up with guys of less-than-ideal size, mobility or pocket sense who are somehow able to annually burst upon the scene as under-sized, out-of-the-blue stars, while we produce a procession of well-hyped, under-achieving stiffs? (Not that Driskel is a "stiff" by any means, in fact may well turn out to be a really decent QB with patience and guidance and the chance to remember and apply the many lessons he already has absorbed but so far hasn't yet made a part of his repertoire at this level of play, but he sure as hell hasn't yet begun to realize his apparent potential--and before him WAS Brantley, for God's sake, and before that the whole Cam Newton fiasco...you see the questions that arise...)
 

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