Gator (Photo credit: Mamboman1)
Black Friday hoops action, Gator Nation.
A big scare in our last Gator basketball game when Kenny Boynton went down with an apparent ankle injury, but fortunately for him it was not as serious as first believed. He did miss his FIRST practice ever in a Gator jersey the following day. Pretty impressive considering the amount he has played in his four years as a Gator. I’m currently watching the first half of the game on ESPN3 and he does not appear to be suffering any ill effects, but the big surprise is Scottie Wilbiken who has lit up UCF for 3 treys so far and 11 points before half.
This is a big retribution game for us as UCF marked one of our six losses two years ago for a senior-driven team that came within 4 minutes of the Final Four. UCF is led by Isiah Sykes and Keith Clanton at 17 points each. They have been competitive all season against their opponents. We share common games with Savannah State and Middle Tennessee. MTSU gave us our most difficult game this year so far and actually beat UCF by 6 points. Both teams won their respective games against Savannah State. UCF is very physical, but are a streaky offensive team. If our defense shows up like it has—especially in this first half—we should fare well against them.
This starts a string of very competitive games for us against Marquette, at FSU and at Arizona who is currently ranked #10. This team is starting very well and should progress nicely with a very deep bench and what is surprisingly some of the best defense our Gators have played in awhile. If you miss this game, check out the replay on ESPN3. ‘Nuff said.
It’s true, Gator Nation!
As I was sitting with my local Gator Club last weekend (first time in a year), it was clear that the Gators were gonna lose. You can disagree if you want to do so, but the fact was we were about to lose to an unranked team from the Sun Belt Conference where they weren’t even close to being the best in THAT conference. With 12 seconds left and a punt by ULL coming, what play does a team draw up? OF COURSE…the ol’ block the punt and run it in for a TD and the win play. Why didn’t I think of that? I suppose that’s why I’m not a football coach. Let’s talk some football…
Had we lost that game last week, Muschamp is done. I don’t care if we beat FSU and win our bowl game and go 11-2, he needed to be fired. I don’t care if we have no reliable, play-making receivers, or an offensive line that can block or even a reliable down field passing QB, Muschamp would need to be fired. No top ranked team in the nation or a team that considers itself a powerhouse football school LOSES TO LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE—AT HOME—FOR HOMECOMING. It just does not happen and if it had, then Muschamp needed to go because he would have lost the team at that point. Sorry to say, but that’s just a fact. As it stands, we won and all is correct (not well) in the Gator Nation. Now we play Jacksonville State in a game that we would normally win 63-3, but who knows what is in store this week. We have not lost to an FCS opponent in the last 50 tries. I have no doubt we will extend that streak this week, it’s a matter of how we do it. Jax State does have an offense averaging over 400 yards a game. To put that in comparison, we are averaging just shy of 300 yards a game. That is probably the only bright spot for Jax St. Our defense will overwhelm anything they put on the field this week. They don’t have the depth we do and this is our seniors—all 18 of them—last game. I’m looking at this week being a game changer for the Gators.
Well, now that all of that is out of my system, back to my usual Gator mood. If you’re expecting more scouting on Jacksonville State, that’s not going to happen. This shouldn’t even be a game after the first quarter. If it is, I’ll draft a post at halftime to state my displeasure. Jacoby Brissett is getting the start and normally I would be very happy with this, but our offensive line is in tatters and wasn’t that great protecting the QB when they were healthy. Brissett would have been the starter if he had any mobility at all. He doesn’t, so he sits. This week he should be able to showcase why he was a top pick out of high school. If we can’t block a FCS team defense, then we have a level of issues on offense that I can’t even begin to explain to you. This does; however, preclude that our wide receivers will be able to make some plays this week. I also expect a heavy dose of Mike Gillislee who is only 168 yards from 1000 yards. I really, really, really would like to see him break 1000 yards this week. So, yeah, I’m being a bit of a pollyanna for our offense this week because I’m totally expecting our defense to create plays for us. It’s what we’ve done all season as it is anyway. Gotta justify that #6 BCS ranking somehow. Florida 55 Jacksonville State 9. I can’t help it, we need to score 50 at least once this season. Game time is 1pm EST, 10am PST and some unreasonable hour in Kuwait that I don’t care about since I’m no longer there. No national network is showing it so it really, really, really is a great time to go to your local Gator Club where you can watch our seniors’ last game on PPV and a Victory over the Gamecocks from Jax St that is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.
Back from the abyss, Gator Nation!
I will provide an update on what has transpired in recent weeks, but not right now. In fact, it is truly a great story and one I will share in a few weeks. Needless to say, I’ve placed myself in a communications black hole for the time being. A necessary part of life, I’m afraid. I would not even be posting this except for a very pleasant email I received from Randy Hart. Randy is a great Gator and we started at UF together in 1987 and I met him that fall and we’ve been fortunate to stay in touch and be part of the Columbus Gator Club for the last 8 years. So in honor of Randy, let’s talk some football…
Georgia is coming into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party a wounded pup. They were spanked by South Carolina very unexpectedly after having very high hopes for this season. Needless to say…but I’ll say it anyway…this game looms HUGE for them. They need to win this game and win out to secure the SEC East. We, on the other hand, win this game and we win the SEC East outright with four games to go in the season. As you can imagine, Jacksonsville will be rocking. Georgia has had the offense this year and with Aaron Murray as QB, it has been easy to do. They average almost 40 points a game and have a great running back duo in Gurley and Marshall. It’s their defense that has not performed after high expectations to do so. You can’t give up 25 points a game and expect to win in the SEC. This week, though, expect a high level of emotion. Georgia’s season is on the line and all the stops will be pulled. They don’t have a choice. Expect the defense to throw everything at Jeff Driskel in his first Florida-Georgia game. Reading all the pre-game hype, even with our big Victories and 7-0 record, everybody….and I mean EVERYBODY is thinking that we will lose this game. That an emotional Georgia team will come in and put us in our place. I just have one thing to say….let them try.
I’ve wanted to write so much in recent weeks with our team moving ahead like they have, but let’s just focus on today. We don’t have the stats and we don’t seem to have the playmakers other than Gillislee, but we keep winning and our defense keeps rising to the occasion. My guess is that Will Muschamp has thoroughly prepared for this game. You don’t think he wants to win this one very bad? Here’s my main point with today’s game…we can’t let Georgia win. If we let them win then it’s two wins in a row and that constitutes a streak and that I can not abide. We absolutely have to win this game for more than just the SEC East. We have to win because we are Florida and it’s never enough to just beat Georgia once in awhile. If you are a Gator who graduated in the last two decades, you are not familiar with the rivalry as it was when we didn’t win as much. I would tell you I don’t ever want to go back to those days. We need this win. We need the SEC East. I don’t care what the stats say…we need Florida football back on top. Not much in the way of stats for today other than we need to keep improving our turnover margin in our favor. Florida 27 Georgia 17. Gillislee for 170 yards today. Game time is 3:30pm EST, 12:30 pm PST, and 10:30pm local Kuwait time. If you’re not at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, then I hope you are at your local Gator Club where Victory over Georgia is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.
Skype session with the Columbus Gator Club Kickoff Party
Even in the middle of Kuwait, I’m able to virtually attend my local Gator Club’s Kickoff Party. Here’s me in the middle of a Skype session with the Greater Columbus Gator Club and few of their members. A little Gator football talk and a little while just to catch up on things. Had a goal of “Be Back By Vandy” when I started this, but I think the most likely scenario is “Back Before Bowl Game”. Such is life. Thanks Kathy & Deena. Go Gators!
One week left, Gator Nation!
Football season is just around the corner and we’re gearing up for an exciting season this year. Not sure what to expect on offense and plenty of anticipation for our defense. Year Two of the Will Muschamp era kick offs against the Bowling Green in just over a week. I know we are all hoping it is significantly better than Year One which amounted to much of what I came to expect my first three years in college when 6-6 and 7-5 seemed to be a frequent occurrence. Then the Head Ball Coach came to town and Gator expectations were through the roof….and have never come back down. What to expect this year? That is the question. Let’s talk a little football and some other stuff…
I’ll get more into football in the coming week. The fact remains we have no QB designated—though both promise to be GREAT quarterbacks. They are sophomores and at least this qualifies for one of my rules: The great thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores. Life can’t get any worse on offense than it was last year….can it? I don’t think it will be. We have far more depth on both sides than last year. The thing is….and this is hard to ignore…does anyone out there know what to expect this year??!? Information about the Gator football team has been about as minimal as I’ve seen in most years. The fact that Muschamp makes Nick Saban look like a blabbermouth is interesting. Makes me nostalgic for the Spurrier days when darn near everything he said was a riot….oh, yeah, we also blew teams out as well. So let’s start this season out correctly….we’re just going to assume the Gators are great this year and go from there. Game one will be over soon and we will definitely know more than we do now. We might even find out who the starting QB is going to be as well.
Finally, let me address the question in the subject line. I’ve been in Kuwait (and other not so nice places) since January of this year. It has cut into my TGN time, but I’m trying very hard to be back with a vengeance. As such, I’ve decided to get serious about this whole Gator Narrator gig. I like writing the weekly posts and reading up on the Gators from week to week. It’s about time I’ve managed my operations with it better. Usually this is just something I draft up and send out in my spare time. Since I’ve been in the desert, I’ve been using a WordPress site to tell my tale here in the Middle East. I believe many, if not most, of you are on it. It really is user friendly and not as controlling like Blogger and other sites. I thoroughly enjoy its functionality. So, I’ve setup shop there with my own TGN page (link below). It is currently a work in progress, but all these emails that go forth will be posted there, so if you sign up you can watch it mature…and that’s pretty much why I’m telling you this. I’m going to stop the email distribution and utilize the function on thegatornarrator.com to distribute my weekly musings. I’ll keep this email distro up for awhile, but eventually it will go away. This will also give you the opportunity to be released from the distribution if you choose—no worries, my feelings won’t be hurt, if you’re not reading, you’re not reading—just a fact of life. For now things will stay the same, but changes they are a comin’! I hope everyone is enjoying their Gator Kickoff parties this August. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can expect next week. It’s going to be an exciting season. Hopefully, you’ll join your fellow alumni at your local Gator Club where Victory is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.