First, I would like to apologize for my erroneous prediction of a win for the good guys. I should have known that when the head coach states, “It’s just a game” and downplays the significance or fails to recognize its importance to the fan base we are in trouble. Top it off, my nephew was supposed to come down from Georgia to his first Florida-Georgia game with Uncle Fee only to cancel as he had a Saturday game of his own. In hindsight, the only real football was being played in Snellville, Georgia in the peewee division of Pop Warner. That should have been my logical conclusion along with a foreboding unease.
Anyway, I’m at a total loss of how to explain what I witnessed from my vantage point high up in the south end zone. I had a PlayStation view of both X’s and O’s and utilization of the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. My observations immediate were as followed:
Our Jimmy’s and Joes were not emotionally ready for the first half. It took a literal punch in the mouth to get us going.
STOP! If Muschamp actually thinks this is just a normal game rather than simply engaging in coach speak, pass the hat for his moving expenses, contract buyout and house purchase. He would have to be the dumbest person in NCAA football viewing history. Flatly, stupid! I hope he was simply trying to find a way to channel the emotional overflow and communicated poorly.
Mark Richt had a plan for our defensive X’s and O’s and it involved singling out a Jimmy and a Joe. Antonio Morrison is an aggressive, hard hitting little Pit Bull but like the cute ‘lil animal, his innate aggression serves to his detriment. Let’s face it: the kid ain’t gonna cover anyone even in the correct position. He sugared a blitz (faked) himself right out of position on a back with one leg. Not to mention, Richt attacked the middle of the field to see if anyone on our defense recognized that tight end is an actual offensive position. Injury precluded an embarrassment of epic proportion.
Offensive X’s and O’s were actually pretty good despite a shocking inability to get lined up correctly but when executed the offense was pretty encouraging. We actually assisted struggling linemen and stretched the field once but that was never attempted again. Why? Someone else has that answer. I don’t.
Trenton Brown? Although equaling two Jimmy’s and half a Joe, he actually played pretty well. He had his moments and a slew of plays that would have made Big Daddy Zeus smile. He might have missed a guy or lined up to deep but when he got his hands on a defender Baptist Preachers were envious.
We had one Jimmy missing (Easley) on the defensive side but they had four plus on the offensive side plus an in-game injury. They still scored 23 points and it was strange to watch their former walk-on wide receiver work over our supposed first founders there at the end.
All right, I can’t hide my disappointment with this game or the head coach. I can’t jump on the Fire Muschamp band wagon but another performance like this and I’ll be chipping into the Mayflower donation committee. If you have the gumption to play the game down at least make sure the part of the team that you are known for is ready. There is no excuse for the defense no-showing in the first half. Altogether we have way too many injuries to win consistently, yet it’s pretty evident under the current coaching paradigm that we need elite athletes across the board to win or as otherwise stated: Coach is not good enough to win without elite talent across the board.
We need time and patience to evaluate Champ as next year will be all his recruits save for one or two. If we can’t blame Urban for this mess, then what?
It was just not there. They took too long to get involved and too long to make a difference. When we needed a stop we didn’t get it and our lack of discipline handed them more than one first down.
Sporadic to non-existent play for the most part. There was good pressure from Ropo (Ronald Powell) and (Dante) Fowler but interior gap control and rush was not there.
Coverage issues, inability to stop a big back in the hole as well as to disengage from blockers: that’s the story of the first half. It was definitely better in the second half but not when we needed it at the end.
First rounders? Pssst! Beaten when it counted by a former walk-on and there were more busts than you’ll find in Canton. Vernon Hargreaves again learned that it’s that time of year when no one cares who you are or what your hype was coming out of high school or into this game.
We understand we are a walking M*A*S*H unit but we should be better prepared and see more maturity out of our coach, players and fans. The only reason the game was close because Richt went into his normal choke position and thought he could sit on a lead in the second half. We just don’t have enough healthy Jimmy’s and Joes to be competitive weekly and there are decisions that must be made about whoever it is devising the X’s and O’s. The development – even with a healthy Jeff Driskell was non-existent in my opinion.
Still have on my Gator Shirt representing. Just have to figure out a polite way to explain to my ‘lil buddy (nephew) why the Gators he loves living in Bulldog country lost. It’s easier writing this than that explanation. I want to say, we just didn’t have enough healthy playmakers but it’s not that simple. We had failure by coaches, players and even the band playing during a drive Tyler Murphy scored on.
I’m a Gator, damn It! I want to win but fortunately, this, too, will pass.
Thank you for your time.
Ephesians A. Bartley II