MILLER REPORT: Rough start to the season

Well, was it good for you? After waiting through a brutally long offseason, I think it is safe to say that the Gator Nation was pumped and ready for football at 7:00PM Saturday evening. The best laid plans of mice and men….

I find it highly unlikely that I need to tell anyone about the series of events that lead to the suspension of the Gators’ opening game. I am sure you are all well aware of what transpired. I had entertained the idea of doing a good, bad and ugly segment each week. Let’s see…

The Good-The opening kick return. After the first weekend of college football, the Gators are averaging an astonishing 64 yards every time they touch the ball. I bet none of you saw that coming. More importantly, I was impressed with the intensity the team showed after nearly three hours of delay. The tenacity of the fans to weather the storm in the stands warrants applause as well.

The Bad-Uh, the weather, I would have gone with ugly for that but the weather finished second in that category. I looked into the weather forecast about mid-week and was not happy to see rain and possible thunderstorms forecast for game day. However, my concern was for the effect it would have on unveiling the new offense. At no point did I even consider the possibility of the Gators not being able to play the game at all.

The Ugly-The response of some fans to what I consider a completely unavoidable situation for the powers that be in Gainesville was indeed ugly. How the postponement of the game will be handled is still under discussion as it should be. The right decision is much more important than the quick decision. I understand that fans were disappointed and upset, especially those who were at the game. I was extremely disappointed and upset and I was in the comfort of my humble abode at the lake in Alabama. But, the vitriol and venom spewed at the athletic department really amazed me and I have learned to not be shocked by much when it comes to fans. Foley and company will make every effort to do what is best for the Gators.

There is a Jimmy Buffett song that says “breathe in-breathe out-move on”. Coincidentally it is referring to a weather incident as well. My advice to Gator fans is take a deep breath, accept that what transpired was unavoidable and let those who get paid to make these decisions choose the path that best serves the program. When all of the options are weighed and discussed there will be an announcement as to when, if at all, the game will be replayed and what will be done for the fans that were in attendance Saturday night.

For now, it is time to look forward to this Saturday and Eastern Michigan. It is a good thing for the Gators that their second game wasn’t against a power house that would have already played their first game of the season. EMU has the advantage of game experience already this season. Florida has the talent advantage. The goal remains the same for EMU that it was for Idaho. That goal is to dispatch a lesser team quickly and thoroughly allowing the opportunity to get the starters out of the game and the backups some much needed experience. This will probably be a little more difficult with EMU than it would have been with Idaho but it should still be quite attainable.

The truly good news is that Florida is one week and game closer to hitting the gauntlet that is the 2014 schedule without any new injuries. I am sure the Gator coaching staff would like a dry field and good weather Saturday to help keep it that way and allow the offense to fully utilize the play book and talent advantage. However, Florida is Florida and thunderstorms are possible pretty much every day this time of year. The Gator nation has their fingers crossed hoping to finally get to real  break the seal on this season. The Idaho game was expendable in my less than humble opinion. This week’s game is not. Let’s play some football.

Previous articleGator with the golden ticket
Next articleFlorida Gators: Friday Night Frenzy Preview
Mark Miller
Mark Miller's bravery knows no limits. He's a Gator living deep in the heart of Georgia. Mark's weekly columns appear in the Coosa Valley News in Rome, Georgia, where Gators are few and Bulldogs are many. His updates about football and life among the heathens will appear in Gator Country on a weekly basis.


  1. You hit on the head squarely when you said it was very fortunate for UF to be playing a bad team to open their season with. Coaches can talk all they want, but none of them have a clue about how their team will play in the first game of the season. That’s why teams rarely schedule a team that can beat them in the first game. I’m sure Spurrier didn’t see his team playing so poorly in their opener, but he went against a good team, so he got burned. On the other side, Texas A&M’s performance was an anomaly, it’s very rare for a team to come out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Yes, it’s a huge advantage for Eastern Michigan having a game under their belt, but it’s Eastern Michigan, so it really shouldn’t matter. Alabama looks vulnerable, we’ll find out how good Florida is in a couple of weeks. UF has to win at least one game against the six currently ranked teams in the AP Top 25 and sweep all of the unranked teams on it’s schedule to avoid a losing season since the Idaho game has now been eliminated. Hopefully, UF is up to the task, but, like everyone else, I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more Mark…’s disappointing to read and listen to the few Gator “fans” that always seem to have a negative reaction to anything the coaches and/or athletic department does. The decision to suspend, and most recent decision to not re-schedule were both in the best interest of the team; in my opinion, it’s the right call. Saturday can’t arrive fast enough……….Go Gators!