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Lookin Ahead...

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by DRU2012, Nov 21, 2020 at 8:24 PM.

  1. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Don’t know about y’all, but after seeing our game against Vandy earlier, AND having at this point at least monitored most of the others playing/played so far today, I look ahead and recognize that NOTHING will “just be handed to us”:
    If we are to “win out” on our way to the SEC Championship and have any real shot at BEATING Bama, let alone being a part of the Football Final Four Playoffs after that, it will be a potentially “rough and bumpy road, one that will see us “tested in fire”—and eventually either (a la Neitzche) “MAKE US STRONGER”, or see us stumble, fall and FAIL.
    So: In that light, how do you ALL see us progressing from here? How WILL the rest of these games go? Who are likely to give us the most difficulty? And, depending on the challenges and how we respond to them, how well do we continue to adapt, evolve and GROW, as a TEAM? Between now and the Tide, considering our present strengths and weaknesses and those of our various remaining opponents, who will likely give us the most difficulty?
    I’d already figured that LSU might be the hardest to figure—which, given OUR “ups and downs” made THEM at least the toughest game to predict...but watching Tennessee this evening, knowing they showed great promise and “upside” early in the year, and appear (by all accounts) to be RE-finding their form NOW, might just make them a “tough out” TOO...
    But all in all, I think Trask and Co. can outscore them (all the MORE so with Pitts back).
    Personally, though I’ll grant it won’t be “EASY”, I am becoming steadily more sure of THIS:
    Provided we “play our game” offensively, and the defense keeps evolving towards greater and greater consistency, we can and WILL keep WINNING, will win-out in our scheduled remaining games and go on to face Alabama as projected...
    But as for THAT game’s outcome, well, HOPEFULLY I’ll have some confident insight into THAT one when it gets here, but for now just saying that I’m fairly sure that WE’LL GET THERE INTACT and still only carrying the one early-season (TAMU) loss will have to suffice.
    Meanwhile though, I AM interested to hear and discuss YOUR thoughts and analyses...
    I’m not “CERTAIN” of our fate here, but I see mostly positives to our direction and growth!
    Go Gators! (...BUT I’d personally prefer we didn’t mess around with our uniform the rest of the way: Stick to the Blue Jerseys and Orange helmets-with-“GATORS”-script at home; White “Away” Jerseys!).
     
  2. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    On paper, this should have been the easiest game out there and it wasn't. I'm sure there's a number of reasons why the Gators struggled but hey it's still a win. Kentucky should be an easy win but it could be like the Vandy game even though they're at home for this one. Plus it's a noon game as well. The next two games scare me. They're going to Knoxville in December against a slightly better Vols compared to their in-state rivals (Vandy). We don't know what time that game is and of course the game against the defending champs LSU in G-Ville. Both the Gators and the Bayou Tigers are similar (good on offense and terrible on defense though they struggled the last two games on offense). I think the game will be a toss-up, probably would know more seeing how they will do against A&M and Ole Miss. It would help big time if Pitts can return.
     
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  3. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    The funny thing is that I’M NOT as worried about the Tennessee game as I was BEFORE today’s strange excursion into the “Bush League Bowl”; I “LIKE” that you warn against our taking them lightly (ourselves as fans AND our TEAM as COMPETITORS)—and at this point I am less concerned about UK than I have been since before we finally had the STREAK broken a coupla years back!
    Oh, we DO need to “be careful”, BE MOTIVATED...but it is recommended I think that we look at TODAY’S game as a sort of “inoculation”: When all is said and done, it is likely BETTER that we are reminded in this way that we have GOT to keep working, growing, GETTING BETTER—continuing to evolve into one of the “ELITE TEAMS” that we will HAVE to be to compete favorably with Alabama and (ultimately) have ANY chance of beating them and then have any kind of opportunity to get into and then WIN THE FFF Playoffs!
    I’ll have more to say about all this, and in more detail, on the eve of our going up against LSU in the last game on our “current revised schedule”...
    Check out Mullens’ postgame presser earlier today, and/or his usual “Monday Morning Gameweek” presentation due up at noon Monday: It looks like we’ll have Pitts back, near as I can read between the various signs, and for all the turmoil and inconsistencies, this Gator team (ALL its components, parts and squads) continues to grow, evolve and in general GET BETTER...and in turn would do well to support that growth, enjoy and celebrate it as they THEMSELVES continue to grow, get better. If THEY can somehow manage to do THE SAME, KEEP DOING SO THEMSELVES AND FIND THAT “GATHERING STRENGTH” WITHIN THEMSELVES TOO, well, maybe THESE Volunteers will more successfully CARRY the resulting success into the NEXT season more positively than they in truth managed to do THIS year after all!
    Now, ALL of this, every hopeful point I make here goes up in a puff of self-delusional SMOKE if and when we proceed to blow one of these last few 2020 games after all!
    I went on to further extend the above metaphor—but then decided that
    (1) I didn’t need to: That y’all were smart enough to do that yourselves without ME “spelling out the obvious”, and (2) It didn’t belong here, was out of place in any event. So I chose instead to delete all that, replace it with THIS “note” and end today’s comments HERE, after all.
    (It’s late, I’m tired—and it’s WAY past time I ended this “Gameday” and got some much-needed SLEEP!)
     
  4. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sunday...Early the next morning:

    Well, from the P.O.V. of having by now seen and somewhat “digested” the further results of yesterday’s (and last NIGHT’S west coast, especially PAC 12) results, but I for one am far from yet convinced that there ARE now enough more “data points” to begin to draw any solid conclusions about how all this will ultimately play out:
    Perhaps the Tide ARE too much of an V“offensive juggernaut” after all...but we are at least CLOSE TO MATCHING THEM—and THAT’S WITHOUT KYLE PITTS...Meanwhile, Kentucky had its chances to make a whole different game of it early on!
    NOT saying they likely would have WON the game, under ANY circumstances—but that game COULD have gone a whole different way all around...
    We continue to “improve”, evolve and grow as a TEAM as we have so far and show every sign of continuing to do—and we show every sign of similarly carrying on in like fashion, on BOTH sides of the ball—Well, as our Coach said post-game: “We WIN as a TEAM.”
    Not only was that against a competent Vanderbilt team giving it all they had, after all, but they never DID “throw in the towel”! I doubt we’ll see that sort of “sustained effort” from anyone ELSE on our remaining schedule.
    Arkansas in part has posed us a warning AND a very fat encouragement:
    “KEEP GETTING BETTER!!!”
    You MUST, Gators!
    Keep growing, evolving, as you have and continue to DO, as do your competitors, the BEST of them anyway have shown, and you may STAY in this “race”, be there at the end at least...
    That will have to do—For now!
    “Brick by brick, my friends.
    Steadily... Brick by brick.”
     
  5. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Instead of looking at the teams (Nov 28 Kentucky @ 1200 EST, Dec 5 Tennessee, Dec 12 LSU) I would focus on the only variables that Dan Mullen can control: personnel and strategy.

    Personnel
    • RFr LB Ty'Ron Hopper needs more touches. He seems to be more athletic than RJr LB Ventrell Miller. RJr James Houston is still injured, and will likely still be out against Kentucky and Tennessee. Hopper's superior athleticism works well for him on both the WILL and MIKE. It is debatable whether his youth makes him a better WILL, or if he has outperformed the other linebackers and could make the reads to be MIKE.
    • RFr LB Jesiah Pierre looked pretty good in second-team duties at the end. He gets fewer snaps than Hopper, but he seems to be a good complement to Hopper and he could probably step in for RJR LB Amari Burney. Burney seems to be caught in between skill sets. Last year he showed promise as a backup STAR at times, but he lacks the speed to continue there. Pierre seems to be a better fit than Burney at this LB position.
    • SO RCB Chester Kimbrough seems to have spots where he takes better angles than SO Kaiir Elam. He appears to tackle better, which is one thing the entire defense could work on.
    • SO LB Mahmoud Diabate is still growing into his position. He is about 20 pounds lighter than Hopper, Pierre, or even Chatfield, but he seems to make great plays when his number is called.
    Strategy
    It is easy to call for the firing of Todd Grantham, but I think he just needs to earn that paycheck of his and make the necessary adjustments given the personnel he has. Grantham did make some adjustments to his base 3-4 hybrid to make it look like a 46 Bear defense against Georgia's rushing attack. Regardless of the strategy, the players need to execute. Tackling, eye discipline, and angles have been lacking at times.

    On offense, Mullen and Johnson have shown that they can make the right calls. It is up to the personnel to execute. There have been a few dropped passes and some bad routes.

    Screenshot from 2020-11-22 08-48-19.png
    Screenshot from 2020-11-22 09-05-24.png
     
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  6. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Ultimately of course you have GOT to be right:
    We can analyze the teams we will face, TRY to see it all from our Coach’s points-of- view—but that’s what EVERYBODY tries to do! In truth, your point is probably even more spot-ON than it seems:
    PERSONNEL has steadily improved (both innate talent AND our staff’s work in bringing it up to its highest potential?) in pretty tight parallel (almost “lockstep”!) with our overall status and ranking as a program since MULLENS got here.
    Moreover, STRATEGY (particularly THIS season) has also developed apace, dramatically so in the course of our game-to-game performance. It has sometimes seemed to show itself as much or more IN-game as between them, but the main (and possibly most encouraging) point is that we MAY be building towards the ideal situation—where a team PEAKS in these very ways as it approaches “the SEASON CLIMAX”
    ...in our case, of course, that would be
    the SEC Championship Game and beyond.
    No matter HOW you slice it, our own state or that of our opponents, when you turn to analyzing the Alabama game it becomes very difficult—and VERY DANGEROUS.
    So for now, I’ll stick to NOT “analyzing” or predicting that one:
    Let’s just play the games, one at a time, then see where we are at and what we GOT!
    I know: pretty damn wishy/washy on my part! What can I say? It’s the best I got right now. We just struggled for almost a full half with a game (but hardly world-beater) Vanderbilt squad!
    We may have a better grasp after going up against UK ourselves (whom the Tide just slaughtered!)...We SHOULDN’T feel we need to match that—but let’s face it, we’ll all be filled with “a certain foreboding” if/WHEN we don’t, am I not right? Certainly we’ll hear it from the college football/“media experts” world!
    Again...For now: “Just WIN, baby “
    I know y’all must be getting sick of me and my repeated cliches—but it’s still the “best I got”! And sometimes cliches ARE “cliches” for a REASON: BECAUSE they apply so well!
    In this case, I am SURE that HAS to be our attitude and approach—the score doesn’t mean NEAR as much as the result...For example, if our RB doesn’t fumble late against TAMU, we are probably UNDEFEATED now, and the discussion would be whether we’d STILL be in the mix as far as the FFF playoff Four “even if we were to lose a close one to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game”.
    As things ARE, though, the only real difference is that we MUST win that game, if we can: Win it by ONE POINT, and we are IN the Playoffs...
    Lose it by ANY score, and it’s a “New Year’s Six” game, at best.
    It just so happens that the way things are currently playing out, Kyle Trask’s Heismann run probably depends on a win there too. Even ASSUMING he carries on in similar dazzlingly efficient fashion through the rest of the regular season, the Heismann AND our shot at the NATTY depends on his spotlighted match-up with his one remaining “neck’n’neck” competitor, Jones.
    One of the great things about Kyle is that he HIMSELF really doesn’t put much stock in all of that—he doesn’t deny that “the attention is cool and all that” but that he really IS focused on and appreciative of his team, it’s talent and various weapons and all of THEIR goals, collectively. The kid has his head screwed on right.
    All in all, that may be one of the subtle positives on OUR “side of the ledger”:
    That our prolific offense is led by a kid who continues to stay calm and (as the test pilots say) “maintain an even strain”.
    I am TRYING to follow his lead—as I HOPE the whole TEAM is able to do, at least to SOME extent.
     

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