On Monday Florida Gator Head Coach Urban Meyer will dole out his “Plan to Win.” There are five main categories and the basic premise is if the Gators win or grade out well in all five categories they should also be victorious on the scoreboard. Here are my grades for the five categories of the “Plan to Win.”
At first glance of the stats — if you didn’t watch the game — the defensive stats weren’t that awe-inspiring. A total of 295 yards isn’t really a great goal to attain. But watching the game, it was easy to see that Southern Miss was never able to sustain a long drive. The only touchdown by the Golden Eagles was on a short field after a turnover. Of their 295 yards, 121 were given up in two drives in the fourth quarter with many reserves and true freshmen in the game. The Golden Eagles could not run much all night unless the quarterback was keeping the ball or running for his life. And that was with the Gators best defensive tackle and run stuffer Marcus Thomas out of the game. The Golden Eagles got a lot of yards by using the aggressiveness of the Gator defense against themselves with screens and the like,
The Gators caused three interceptions but turned the ball over once on the night. It was a Southern Miss offense that was pretty safe, so causing three interceptions was probably a little surprising.
RED ZONE OFFENSE (A):
The Gators were four for four with four touchdowns when they reached the 25 yard line of the opponent. They did it by land and air twice each and when they smelled blood they attacked the pay dirt.
SPECIAL TEAMS (C-):
Urban Meyer was definitely not happy with his special teams after the game. The Gators missed an extra point. The Gators’ only kickoff return netted the ball at the nine yard line. Eric Wilbur’s lone punt for distance went 38 yards. The Southern Miss punter netted 45.8 yards on four punts. The few bright spots were Reggie Nelson on a couple of punt returns, Wilbur pinning two punts inside the 20, and the kickoff coverage was excellent as always.
TIME OF POSSESSION (C+):
This is another somewhat misleading stat for this game. The Golden Eagles controlled the ball for almost ten minutes of the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand and the Gators were playing reserves and somewhat of a less attacking defense. They finished with a 3:34 second edge on the night.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Dallas baker has become a big time go to guy for Chris Leak. Baker had nine receptions for 123 yards including a few drive saving catches and a long touchdown reception. He made a couple of very nice snags that a lot of receivers couldn’t make.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
I am going with Reggie Nelson. He had four tackles and an interception on the night. But a couple of his tackles were of the last man between the ball carrier and the end zone variety. He also had a very nice pass break up. I thought Nelson’s counterpart at safety, Tony Joiner, really played well also.