To be honest, when the Gators game against Kentucky went into overtime and the Wildcats quickly scored, I thought the game would be soon over – I just didn’t have the faith. But just as the Gators had all game, they scored when they needed to.
Think about it…
- When Kentucky went up 10-6, Florida quickly scored.
- When Kentucky went up 17-13, Florida quickly scored.
- When Kentucky went up 27-20 in overtime, Florida scored.
That would not have happened last year.
All in all, while likely many of you expected the Gators to win big, they showed grit, heart, and determination when adversity came, and are entering their game against Alabama 2-0.
Here are some thoughts from the week and on next week.
11 Random Thoughts on Kentucky
- Kentucky will give problems to teams this year, particularly South Carolina, LSU and Georgia who have proven to have less than average pass defenses.
- Florida’s best offensive play is the hitch route and every time they have completed it this year, they have gotten a first down.
- Matt Jones really showed that he can be a power running back and should finally lose his “soft” moniker that he somehow gained.
- Demarcus Robinson proved that if he can keep his head on straight, that he can not only be an All-SEC player, but even an All-American and NFL starter.
- Florida’s turnover margin (+3) is the only reason Florida won.
- Jeff Driskel needs to be eased into deep passes. He needs to start by being successful early in the game, before they try to air it out. His confidence was shot when he missed a couple deep passes in the first quarter and it in hindered his performance for the entire half.
- Florida really needs to improve on penalty yardage. 100 yards in the first game and 78 in the second game will greatly hinder Florida’s ability to beat teams like Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri that don’t allow many yards through penalties.
- The weakest part of the Florida defense was the secondary, albeit they had three interceptions. They often struggled in man-to-man and their zone defense allowed for at least three huge plays.
- Florida needs to end the Austin Hardin experiment in placekicking. Hardin is 4-of-13 in his career, with his long being only 33 yards, while Frankie Velez is 12-of-15, with a career long of 44. Hardin, as told by Will Muschamp, is better at kicking longer field goals, but I haven’t seen it. His kick on Saturday was one of the worst I have seen in my football watching life and I haven’t seen much from him in the past two years that would warrant him taking opportunities from Velez.
- Florida is not as bad as they played at times against Kentucky, but certainly not as efficient as they were against Eastern Michigan. Somewhere in-between.
- Florida is much better in spread formations than they are in the wing formation. More spread, less wing, Roper.
Alabama Still A Juggernaut
How many statistical categories (20 in total) is Alabama ranked worst than 50%? Two – opponent red zone conversions and turnover margin – two things good for the Gators. However, they have the 12th ranked offense and 10th ranked defense and dominate in nearly offensive and defensive category.
Alabama has the number one rushing defense in the country, which will be something interesting to watch when facing Florida’s 25th ranked rushing attack.
Other notable match-ups are:
- Florida’s 6th ranked Total Offense versus Alabama’s 10th ranked Total Defense
- Alabama’s 12th ranked Total Offense versus Florida 12th ranked Total Defense
- Florida’s turnover margin (ranked 1st) versus Alabama’s (ranked 98th)
And here are some data trends through only the first three weeks, which is not statistically too significant yet…
- Alabama has improved weekly in scoring offense from being ranked 59th in week one, to 49th in week two, and 26th after week three.
- Alabama’s scoring defense has jumped from 65th to 10th in three weeks.
- Alabama’s rushing defense has been ranked 7th, 3rd and 1st so far this season.
- Their passing defense has jumped from 108th to 54th in in the past two weeks.
- Opponents are having a tough time on third downs with Alabama having the 12th best percentage on 3rd down stops. ‘
Gators in National Rankings
- Matt Jones – Rushing Yards/Game – 25th
- Kelvin Taylor – Rushing Yards/Game – 90th
- Jeff Driskel – Passing Yards/Game – 31st
- Demarcus Robinson – Receiving Yards/Game – 2nd
- Andre Debose – Punt Return Yards/Game – 6th
- Frankie Velez – Place Kicking Percentage – 24th
- Frankie Velez – PAT Kicking Percentage – 1st
- Kyle Christy – Punt Yard Average – 5th
- Frankie Velez – Scoring Per Game – 5th
- Demarcus Robinson – Scoring Per Game – 53rd
- Jeff Driskel – Total Offense – 41st
- Demarcus Robinson – All-Purpose Yards – 11th
- Matt Jones – All-Purpose Yards – 65th
- Demarcus Robins – Yards from Scrimmage – 8th
- Matt Jones – Yards from Scrimmage – 40th
- Demarcus Robinson – Long Scrimmage Plays (10+ Yards) – 29th
- Neiron Ball – Sacks/Game – 27th
- Neiron Ball – Tackles for Loss/Game – 81st
- Keanu Neal – Interceptions/Game – 1st
- Brian Poole – Interceptions/Game – 37th
- Duke Dawson – Interceptions/Game – 37th
- Vernon Hargreaves – Passes Defended – 1st
- Keanu Neal – Passes Defended – 5th
- Brian Poole – Passes Defended – 25th
- Neiron Ball – Fumbles Forced/Game – 16th
- Caleb Brantley – Fumbles Forced/Game – 16th
- Austin Hardin – Kickoff Average – 32nd
Stat of the Week
After beating Kentucky, Will Muschamp improved his record to 20-0 when his team scores more than 24 points.
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Kelefa Sanneh | The Real Cliff Huxtable
Song of the Week
Often times I post a lot of Nashville country music, this week we are going a bit more “Red Dirt”. We are traveling to Tyler, Texas to find Whiskey Meyers, a five-man band that has a Pat Green style.