Category Archives: 2013 Football Season

Rocky Top Meets Rocky Bottom This Weekend

This picture was taken at the South Carolina-F...

This picture was taken at the South Carolina-Florida game on November 11, 2006 by Randall Stewart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new look Vols this weekend, Gator Nation.

We’re rested from our Bye Week and Tennessee is fresh off a thumping at Oregon. We have QB questions and they have QB questions. Both coaches want their QB’s making better decisions. We’re both coming off losses to the only real team either have played so far. We’re both starting the SEC schedule this week. We both run the ball predominantly. We’re at home. They are not. We’ve won eight straight games against them. They haven’t. Time to make it nine. Let’s talk some football…

Tennessee played Oregon at Oregon and got smacked. Many of us in the Gator Nation and sitting here thinking….well, this game should be easy this weekend. Let me just say that Oregon is going to beat most of their competition the same as they beat the Volunteers last weekend. It is not an anomaly and it is not a forebearer to our game this weekend. Tennessee has hit “Rocky Bottom”, but the fact remains they can run the ball and have shown a penchant for forcing turnovers—something that should be a primary concern for us. UT has hinted that the QB competition is wide open this week. Their QB, Justin Worley, has not been impressive, but he’s the guy who has been taking most of the snaps since last year. He’s playing. If he ends up making the field stink because of his play, THEN we may see another guy. Right now, I think the QB issue is all talk. The Vols simply will not walk into The Swamp and start a freshman QB in his first game ever. If they do…then this will probably be a wild game for one team…probably not us either. The Vols coach, Butch Jones, is fresh from his head coaching gig in Cincinnati and has his hands full trying to get Tennessee back to the elite status they enjoyed for the better part of the 90’s and mid-2000’s. He’s got recruiting going for him this year, but this team lacks the depth and talent to compete with Top 20 teams (see Oregon again). I can’t see their defense lasting for the entire game, especially if we pound and pound the ball on the ground. I also can’t see them primarily running the ball against our defense, although they have two solid RBs in Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane. They have many of the same issue we do, but it all comes down to the passing game and defense. Their defense will have something to prove this week after Oregon so expect it to be reaonably close. Unfortunately, they don’t have the depth at defense to rely on when the run fails and the passing game can’t keep them close this weekend.

If we avoid a Western Kentucky-like performance (five turnovers in six plays) and limit our turnovers, this game should be ours for the taking. Right now UT does not have the horses to compete with us. My guess—in the wake of the Miami game results—we will run the ball, run the ball, run the ball and then…run the ball some more. It should be a good weekend for Matt Jones and company. Brent Pease has already made public comments that he wants Jeff Driskel to make beter choices in pressure situations. I would argue that maybe we should have better play calling that can use Driskel better in pressure situations. I can’t attribute this comment like I would prefer, but I did read on the blogosphere a great suggestion. Driskel has had moments of excellence and it generally happens when we go uptempo when we are ahead and can still rely on the running game. Excellent idea! How about a series at the end of the first quarter or start of the second quarter where we pick up the pace a bit. Seriously. Haven’t you noticed by now that Muschamp’s method is to plod along, be deliberate, get ahead and run out the clock. Actually, plodding along is too fast compared to what we do. Give Driskel one series to unleash himself. I might as well stop writing about the offense anyway. Once Muschamp gets up by 14 points that may be all we can hope for in terms of point spread. I think that’s just how he is wired and as along as we are winning that is what we can expect. Hard to argue with winning, but you know me, I wouldn’t mind the points either. Or a Kickoff returned for a Gator TD. Just sayin’. I’d expect our defense to be ready and it is quite possible we can keep UT to single digits. We’ve had a week to rest and some time to work on some of our issues in the red zone. It might not be exciting, but we win, they lose. Florida 20 Tennessee 9. Game time is 3:30pm EST, 12:30 PST on CBS. Yes, it’s Gary Danielson and Vern Lundquist calling the game. I know. It’s not even worth commenting. In between my daughter’s soccer games this weekend, I’m joining my local Gator Club where nine straight Victories over Tennessee is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.

Go Gators!

The List

The Coaches' Trophy later presented to the 200...

The Coaches’ Trophy later presented to the 2008 Florida Gators football team seen at the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Media Day at Dolphin Stadium on January 5, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Utilizing a technology way beyond most human comprehension (not really) and applying an acute analysis (probably not) from yours truly, I give to you the teams that will NOT be winning the National Championship this year. Please note–they may make the title game, but will not be winning it.

Disclaimer: If you think this is the pinnacle of rocket science and want to use it to gamble, bet with your friends or anything that involves risk to you or anyone you know….you are on your own. This is unskilled labor at its best. You’ve been warned.

Ok, so here the following teams who will not be winning the National Championship this year. I have my reasons, but suffice it to say, they can win all their games and get to the NC, but unless two teams on this list make the NC game, none will be winning it. These are teams currently ranked in the Top 25 AP and Coaches Poll and ESPN Power Rankings. No team will come off the list, it will only grow as the season goes along. I have to say I’m excited to see if I’m proved correct at season’s end.

The List (in no particular order):
Alabama (not a typo)
Clemson
Georgia (one loss)
Texas A&M (one loss)
Fresno State
Oklahoma State
South Carolina (one loss)
Ole Miss
Notre Dame (one loss)

Ohio State came THISCLOSE to making the list, but so far the numbers work in their favor and they remain off “The List”. Note: All teams listed at this point have zero or one loss. Once a team gets their second loss then “The List” becomes moot because they aren’t going to the NC game anyway. I do not foresee a repeat of LSU’s championship season.

Go Gators!

The Bye Week Blues

No football this Saturday, Gator Nation.

Well at least there are no Gator football games. I suppose you could watch Oregon pummel Tennessee or that team coached by Nick Saban play that popular but immature college kid in Texas. IF…that’s what your looking for this weekend. Can’t say they will be disappointing games. For guarantees you could watch Louisville or Ohio State continue to beat up on their respective schedules featuring some really good high school teams and some not so good college teams. But you can’t watch the Gators this weekend. Let’s talk some football…

You can read about my recent absence here. It’s a not-so-exciting tale that explains why you haven’t received these in recent months.

I’m thinking that last week was difficult for every Gator watching the game. The Florida Gators were clearly the better football team. We moved the ball when we wanted and absolutely shut down Miami save for one breakdown on defense…which as it turns out was a BIG difference maker. Unfortunately, we decided that we didn’t always need the ball when we were on offense so we made an unconscious decision to just hand it over before crossing the goal line. Little things, ya’ know. I do think there was an overall release of held breath at how stout (nice descriptor) our defense appears to be at this point. Our ability to take the ball away is still in question, but I think we should feel somewhat good on how this defense has developed at this point after taking what most considered a major hit of key personnel from last year. The offense is another story….and somewhat a a sad one.

Our QB situation is moderate. We have a solid QB in Jeff Driskel, but we do not have a great QB. This brings to mind how things transpire in college football. Had we not needed a mobile QB last year because of an inability to protect our thrower, we might well see Jacoby Brisset out on the field who I felt had a much better touch and placement on his passes than Driskel. Of course he is at NC State and more than likely will do an Eric Kresser and throw for 4000 yards…but only if he has a Randy Moss to throw to of course. (Note: You will have to search your Gator historical files on that one). I digress. We will see how Soloman Patton develops as a downfield receiver. He doubled his career numbers last week, so he’s off to a reasonable start. Quinton Dunbar remains the solid, reliable hands receiver, but still not a downfield threat. It really is just hard to believe that we haven’t had a receiving corps that has blistered opponents in well over three years. My head is spinning. I think I may need to sit down. I’m gonna give Matt Jones the benefit of the doubt for last week. I did not think that was the best time to bring him back after his illness, but then again, there wasn’t a good answer to that decision anyway. He needed to get on the field and last week was as good as any if he is as good as billed. Of course, my money is on Kelvin Taylor by season’s end.

I could go on, but I will end with this point—Will Muschamp needs to right the boat and start putting opponents away. His record last year will get him to Year Four, but not beating our key rivals (say perhaps Georgia/FSU) year in and year out will not get him to Year Five. One more loss to UGA and I will be officially done with him. This season looks interesting at this point. I’m really not fancy on interesting. I more relish total domination and overall destruction of our opponents. We’re not at that point yet. None the less, we can sit easy this weekend and watch some other teams play each other. I’m going to scout a future SEC opponent in the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend with my dad and will let you know how they look after probably getting beat by Louisville. It’s always good to watch a football game with your dad. You should start making plans right now to join your local Gator Club next week where a Victory over the Tennessee Volunteers is best served with Gators. ‘Nuff said.

Go Gators!

Note: To answer your history lesson, Eric Kresser was perhaps the greatest QB that hardly ever played at UF. He backed up a guy named Wuerffel and transferred after his senior year to Marshall and played out his last year throwing to Randy Moss, then a freshman, for well over 1700 yards. Won a NCAA I-AA Championship as well.