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Official Game Thread: Orange and Blue Game 2022 (4/14/2022)


Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Spring football is here! The Gators take the field in front of a crowd for the first time since the Gasparilla Bowl 112 days ago. This team will look nothing like the team that was embarrassed in their last game, and they might not look much like the team that will take the field against Utah in 142 days. Kickoff will be at 7:30 PM Eastern and will be streamed on SECN+ and over WRUF online. Former Gator football player and WWE superstar Titus O'Neil will lead off the festivities leading up to kick-off and the Honorary Mr. Two Bits will be student body president, Cooper Brown. Honorary captains will be men's basketball coach Todd Golden and women's basketball coach Kelly Rae Finley.

This year, Team Blue and Team Orange will be split into two independent teams--including the support staff. The teams will enter through different tunnels and will be coached by different staff.

The goal is to get more than 30,000 fans in the stadium, which is higher than FSU's announced spring game attendance. Here is a quick synopsis of the previous Orange and Blue Debuts:
OB Game Score
60-35, Orange​
Franks 13-18 327 4-1; Jalon Jones 1-3- 5-0-0; Sproles 1-2-5-0-0; Toney 1-1-40-0-0​
Trask 11-16-209 2-1; Jones 6-13-117 2-1; Ruskell 1-4 -5-0-0​
35-30, Orange​
Franks 8-12-117-1-0; Emory Jones 3-7-93-2-1; Ruskell 0-0-0-0​
Trask 12-24-178-1-0; Allen 4-7-7-0-0; Sproles 2-2-53-1-0​
31-0, Orange​
Franks 8-14-119-1-0; Trask 2-2-35-0-0; Toney 1-1-9-1-0; Sproles 1-1-23-0-0​
Trask 4-13 31 0-1; Toney 2-4-15-0-0​
44-6, Blue​
Trask 4-7-0-0; Appleby 6-8-44-0-0; Franks 1-4-4-0-3​
Appleby 2-3-36-0-0; Franks 4-7-54-1-0; Del Rio 10-11-176-2-0​
31-6, Orange​
Guy 7-12-37-0-0; Morningweg 6-11-23-0-0​
Grier 7-9-130-0-0; Harris 6-9-94-1-0​
Morningweg 14-18-149-2-0; Grier 8-15-0-1​
Driskel 19-33-171-1-0​
21-20, Blue​
Brissett 9-16-233-2-0; Murphy 1-4-6-0-1; Driskel 2-3-14-0-0​
Driskel 12-14-147-0-0; Brissett 1-4-52-0-0; Murphy 2-2-37-0-0​
13-10, Blue​
Murphy 7-11-68 1-1; Driskel 1-2-16-0-0​
Brantley 4-14-45-0-0; Driskel 2-6-13-0-0; Provancha 1-3-39-0-1​
27-24, Blue​
Burton 12-18-1-120​
Brantley 15-19-0-201; Reed 3-5-1-80​
31-21, Orange​
Brantley 12-18-1-214; Blaylock 0-2-0-0​
Tebow 7-9-1-83; Brantley 2-5-0-51; Moore 1-1-0-19​
28-14, Blue​
Newton 6-18-0-53​
Tebow 13-21-2-20​
27-20, Blue​
Newton 20-30 275 1-0​
Tebow 17-27 216 3-0​
24-6, Orange​
Tebow 15-21-0-197; Ingram 0-1-0-0; Rowley 0-1-1-0​
Leak 17-33-1-145​
34-28, Orange​
Leak 14-20-0-221; Ingram 0-1-0-0​
Portis 20-30-1-253; Caldwell 0-1-0-0​
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Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Here are some notes from around the Internet.

  • Anthony Richardson looked good
    -- 18/24, 207 YD, 2 TD, 0 INT; 1 TD rush; 174.95 rating
  • Jack Miller looked average
    -- 13/23, 121 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 92.2 rating
  • Montrell Johnson looked great
    -- Johnson ended up with 55 yards for Blue and 7 yards for Orange on 15 carries (4.13 yards per carry)
  • Demarckus Bowman and Lorenzo Lingard looked okay, but not great
    -- Bowman ended up with 61 yards and a fumble (not including a fumble on special teams) on 17 carries (3.58 yards per carry)
  • Receivers looked okay
    -- Ja'Quavion Fraziers had 5 receptions for 53 yards
    -- Trent Whittemore had 3 receptions for 36 yards (with a defender in his hip pocket the whole time)
  • Tight ends looked very good considering the injury bug
    -- Dante Zanders caught 5 passes for 56 yards for Blue
    -- Walk-on TE/LB Noah Keeter had 3 rec, 53 yards (42 YAC, 29 yards longest)
  • Second-team defensive line looked (surprisingly) good
  • Kicking concerns linger
    -- Veteran kicker Chris Howard missed a 32-yard chip shot, and misplaced the kickoffs
    -- Note that the kicker was a walk-on, Adam Mihalek. He nailed field goals of 52 and 47 yards. The 52-yarder ties a record held by Eddy Pineiro (2016) and Chris Hetland (2006).
    -- The presumed starting kicker for 2022, Trey Smack, is still in high school right now and will join the team after graduation
  • Penalties are still a concern
    -- The team had 6 penalties split roughly 50/50 between Orange and Blue, but Napier is still holding the team to the standard of 1 penalty every 30 plays and they failed here
  • Billy Napier is big on rewarding his players in public
    -- Coach had players line up at mid-field at half-time and receive spring training awards in front of the crowd
  • The fans showed up and created a nice environment
    -- Attendance estimates varied between 35,000 and 45,000
  • Notable holdouts due to injury:
    -- Nick Elksinis
    -- Jonathan Odom
    -- Avery Helm
    -- Dakota Mitchell
    -- Antwaun Powell-Ryland
    -- Tre'Vez Johnson
    -- Nay'Quan Wright
  • Notable in-game injuries:
    -- Lorenzo Lingard (hamstring)
    -- Gabriel Ortiz (knee)
    -- Amari Burney (arm)


  1. Swamp247
  2. GatorsWire
  3. Gatorsports
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AR15 looked REAL good--thankyou very much.
Surprisingly enough, Napier's "bring-over" at RB, Montrel Johnson, looked the best of all three expected to be a strong trio replacing last year's first string set at the position.
Tight ends (in a group severely truncated-by-injury and graduation) looked much better than anticipated.
Overall, the actual "show" (as an entertainment production aimed at impressing potential recruits, along with reflecting and further pumping up the enthusiasm of students, alumni and the widespread "Gator Nation"), while clearly successful AND indicative of growing across-the-board confidence and enthusiasm for the new Coach, staff, and program, I must say that PERSONALLY I found that production, at least from a "showbiz" P.O.V. to be at various times alternately rather plodding, obvious (lacking insight), and/or (especially early on) downright obnoxious (for example,, I could have done WITHOUT the "commentary" of that ex-Gator wrestling guy).
In general, a severe upgrade in professionalism among the current local "Broadcast Team" seems DEFINITELY overdue. Chris Doerring was the only one on board who knew wtf he was doing--and hence had valid, concise comments to offer.
The rest were mostly just blowing smoke--and way too obviously so!
All in all, play itself was much more entertaining (AND, I think, more practically productive) than, for example, last year's shallow-showboating from the Mullen regime's effort...In retrospect, that turned out to be somewhat of a harbinger for the season to come; Hopefully, THIS Spring's ONFIELD performance will turn out to be predictive of a similar overall change-for-the-better in the coming 2022 SEASON.
As a general summary, especially in terms of onfield performance I am confident in giving the game and its details a strong "Thumbs UP!":
As repeatedly (and as it turns out generally quite accurately--a strong and consistent feature of Billy Napier's comments and personality), the main weakness with this Gator team will likely be in its DEPTH...and that will be addressed--as soon and as strongly as circumstances and opportunity permit--if not as thoroughly as the transfer portal permits THIS year, but in the NEXT season or two FOR SURE.
I doubt we'll be playing for the SEC Championship yet--but we MAY pull a big upset or two, and if we can stay relatively healthy (especially AR!) we MIGHT surprise folks and make one of the better Bowls, setting ourselves especially up for big things sooner than currently expected by media prognosticators.
Finally bringing us to the following "natural conclusion" concerning "where we're at and how we got here":
The two aforementioned "main takeaways", then, regarding the things that continue to stand in our way (to wit: lack-of-depth and a continued propensity for penalties and unforced errors), EACH of these we can now say are clearly the result of long-standing negative PROCESSES that only deepened and were exacerbated during Mullen's regime:
(1) "lack-of-depth" to a great extent the result of YEARS of relatively weak recruiting, and
(2) "rampant penalties" the result of general lack of DISCIPLINE--on AND off the field, and running to the deepest level of attitude and commitment.
These appear to be at the very top of Napier's explicitly stated list of intended "immediate turnarounds" for this program.
THAT, of course, bodes well for our soonest possible return to highest contention and eventual championship form.
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Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Here are some results from other spring games for "comparison":
  • Alabama. White defeats Crimson 25-7 in front of 31,077 fans. QB Bryce Young was 14-29 for 153 yards. QB Jalen Milroe was 11-23 for 149 yards and 1 TD. RB Jahmyr Gibbs had 9 carries for 100 yards and 1 TD. WR Christian Leary had 5 catches for 106 yards and 1 TD. Each kicker made 3 field goals with Jack Martin averaging 23 yards per kick and Will Reichard averaging 42 yards per kick.
  • Georgia. Black defeats White 26-23 in front of 68.002 fans. QB Stetson Bennett was 15-35 for 273 yards and 3 TD. QB Carson Beck was 13-21 for 246 yards. RBs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton combined for 44 yards on 12 carries. WR Kearis Jackson had 4 catches for 107 yards. TE Arik Gilbert had 3 catches for 49 yards and 2 TDs.
  • South Carolina. Garnet defeats Black 20-13 in front of 20,671 fans. QB Spencer Rattler was 8-10 for 79 yards with 12 yards rushing negated by sacks. QB Luke Doty was 7-10 for 85 yards and 1 TD. RB Juju McDowell rushed 4 times for 46 yards. Walk-On S Joseph Byrnes grabbed 2 INTs (both off backup QB Colten Gauthier).
  • FSU. Garnet and Gold total 38 points overall in front of 30,184 fans. The team was not split into separate Garnet and Gold teams due to a lack of personnel. Oregon transfer RB Trey Benson led the offense with 77 yards on 11 carries. 2nd-year transfer RB from Auburn, DJ Williams, had 40 yards on 5 carries and 1 TD. Transfer DE Jared Verse was the leading edge rusher with 2 sacks and a few tackles. DEs Shyheim Brown, Malcom Ray, and Quashon Fuller contributed to the overall 7 sacks. The offensive line was a patchwork of available players. All the QBs threw INTs during 2-point drills on the goal line. In the first half the QBs combined for 11-27 and 105 yards. The leading QB was Jordan Travis who was 7-13 for 71 yards.
  • Kentucky. Blue "defeats" White in a 32-0 scrimmage on a snow-covered field. RBs Kavosiey Smoke and Mike Drennen split carries with 10 carries apiece and 54 yards for Smoke and 46 yards for Drennen. Drennen had both of the team's rushing TDs. QB Will Revis was 7-8 for 98 yards and 2 TDs. The next leading QB was Beau Allen who was 4-11 for 75 yards.
  • Tennessee. The team held a scrimmage at an alternate location due to renovations at Neyland Stadium.
  • Texas A&M. Maroon defeats White 30-24 in front of a crowd of 22,212. The QB battle was not resolved as each QB had similar performances: Haynes King (11-of-33, 130 yards, 21-yard rushing TD), Max Johnson (13-31, 117 yards, 2 TD) and Conner Weigman (7-19, 116 yards, 1 TD). Amari Daniels the way with 16 carries for 128 rushing yards, while Evan Stewart added seven catches for 75 yards.. RB Amari Daniels was a standout with 128 yards on 16 carries.
  • Missouri. Team Mizzou beats Team Tigers 35-34. QB Brady Cook was 16-20 for 191 yards and 3 TDs. QB Tyler Macon was 16-23 for 233 yards. Both teams were somewhat depleted by injuries and neither team had much to brag about.

My way-too-early take: Only Georgia looks to be in good shape emerging from spring camp. Florida seems to have the most promise considering results from last year.


Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Updated attendance rankings:
1. Oklahoma 75,360
2. Georgia 68,022
3. Penn State 62,000
4. Ohio State 60,000
5. Nebraska 54,357
6. Florida 45,000
7. Oregon 42,000
8. Clemson 35,000
9. Notre Dame 33,754
10. Alabama 31,000


Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
USC and FSU each had just under 31,000. Texas A&M had over 22,000. South Carolina and Michigan State had about 20,000. Other schools had attendance at 10,000 and below.


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(Side note: With this latest "last second miss" on that 3-star who jumped to Miami through the transfer portal, there are of course those among us seeing this in the worst possible light; I understand this, given our needs AND the recent history vis a vis our recruiting in general...
At the same time, this all apparently turned on the "generous" offer by Miami--some would judge it a likely "over payment" for the kid-in-question--in his share of NIL access...We're all still learning how this thing is gonna work in process--and personally, I'd expect MIAMI, of all programs, to potentially overplay to the point of violation any such system that involves what amounts to "pay-for-play", know what I'm saying?
WAS more concerned at Del Rio leaving: After seeing Miller's continued mediocrity in the Spring Game, that leaves just Miller and Kitna, if AR goes down again...with our schedule, AND the dearth of breakaway talent at WR, we could be in deep trouble!
We'll clearly just have to wait and see: All in all, I suppose we're hoping, fighting for maybe 8 or 9 winds, given good luck with injuries in a "rebuild season", making a decent "higher-profile" bowl game and THEN seeing Billy Napier and staff really begin to shine on the recruiting trail--in which case perhaps I'm singing a WHOLE different tune a year from now!
Of course, if AR15 puts up a consistent Heisman-like performance this season a la Tebow HIS first year as the clear starter, then most of the above "bets" are off: That could obviously accelerate the whole process...A lot to ask--and a reminder of just how special that year, and that GATOR, really was! Of course, HE was surrounded by a deeper, more all around balanced TEAM.)


Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
The good news coming out of spring camp is that the Gators will return 14 starters, which does not include AR-15. Compare that to other programs on our schedule:
- Florida 14 (6 offense, 8 defense)
- Utah 12 (6/ 6)
- Kentucky 10 (5/ 5)
- LSU 6 (3/ 3)
- Georgia 10 (7/ 3)
- Texas A&M 9 (4/ 5)
- Tennessee 14 (8/ 6)
- Missouri 14 (6/ 8)
- Vanderbilt 13 (7/ 6)

Granted, the number of returnees is less of a factor later in the season. If the Gators can remain healthy then the floor is 7-5 and the expected record should be 8-4. Take away penalties and last year’s team could have ended 8-4. Take away the turnovers and last year’s team could have been 9-3 or even 10-2 with a few lucky bounces. This variability is not unique to Florida, but what is somewhat rare for us is that we have zero continuity and insight from last year’s coaching staff so we know nothing about their ability to coach the team up for big games and work through challenging opponents. Like many other teams the Gators lack top-end talent and depth, which places the expectations around 7 or 8 wins.

The spring game rarely shows anything representative of the actual season in the fall, but this game did highlight what we already knew: there is talent but no depth, and there is room to improve with penalties.
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