We're going to be fine. Seriously.

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by bcdowling, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. bcdowling
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    bcdowling New Member

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    Look, I was on suicide watch along with everyone else Saturday afternoon and evening. I took a deep breath on Sunday, re-watched some of the game. I've really come away with a different perspective. Here are my observations:

    1. This is NOT the same offense as last year. Remember that sick feeling you got in your stomach whenever our offense went on the field the second half of last season? When you just knew something bad was going to happen every time (and were usually right?). This is not that offense. Just a few quick numbers - JD threw for almost 300 yards. We had a 100+ yard receiver (Patton) for the first time in I don't know how long (and Dunbar had 98 yards). Our WR's were getting really good separation. We almost doubled them in time of possession. The running game didn't have any huge breaks, but was at least consistent for a few yards every time across 3 different guys (I'm REALLY liking Showers - good things seem to happen every time he touches the ball).

    2. Defense is even nastier than last year. These guys can flat out play. With the exception of Maye (a redshirt freshman playing in his second game) getting smoked on the post route for Miami's second TD, the D was awesome. They're not going to pitch shutouts every game - noone does. But this is absolutely a national championship caliber defense. These guys will keep us in every game we play. Hargreaves is a beast - it sucks that he's going pro the first chance he gets, but at least we get him for two years. Purifoy was all over the field and Powell kept getting good penetration through the line. The safeties need to improve, but made a lot of nice plays (I loved that goal line ball swat we had - perfect D).

    3. Special Teams are rock solid. Hardin looks like a pretty solid replacement for Caleb Strugis (he did miss one against Toledo), Roberson looks good in the return game, we blocked a punt, and we've got one of the best punters in the country. We damn near recovered that onside kick, too, which was executed perfectly.

    4. It really is just the turnovers - everyone's making this more complicated than it needs to be. JD's biggest problem is panicking in the pocket and making bad decisions. He holds the ball too long, and locks on to receivers when the pass protection breaks down (which it will from time to time no matter how good your line is). Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet to fix this - he just needs experience to get comfortable and have the game slow down for him in those scenarios. He did a lot of really nice things in the game - he made good checkdowns pre-snap, he ran the read option well, properly identifying the LB and handing off or bootlegging it himself. He threw some nice balls, hitting the 3 or 4 WR in his progression (he NEVER did that last year). He just freaked out and threw it into coverage when it mattered most. I'm not trying to excuse that, and it needs to improve, but people calling for Murphy to take the helm are delusional. JD's got the tools to get us where we want to go.

    5. Bad luck. Noone wants to hear this but turnovers are, at least in part, just bad luck. Yes, when JD throws into triple coverage or forces a ball to a covered receiver, that's on him. But a breakdown on the o-line when someone comes behind him and strips the ball within 3 seconds isn't on him. He's trying to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the pass - that's what they've been trying to get him to do (rather than immediately abandoning the play and making a break for it). The early Matt Jones fumble was just a great play by the defender, who had a perfect angle and put his hat right on the ball (and popped it waaaay up in the air). I'm not sure Emmitt Smith could have hung on to that.

    6. Perspective. Texas just gave up three trillion yards on the ground to BYU and fired their D-Coordinator this morning. USC's QB threw for 54 yards. At home. Versus Washington State. Who had to play AT Auburn last week and were pretty beat up. We, on the other hand, lost by 5 points to a good Miami team at home.

    Look - noone's happy about this loss. It sucks for a lot of different reasons. But I'm absolutely convinced we are moving in the right direction. We've got a week off to work on ball security. We're beating Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas in our next three games. @LSU is iffy, I don't care how good we are. But that's over a month away. We control our SEC destiny. I'm stepping back from the cliff - step back with me, fellow gators.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
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  2. Pieisyummy
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    Pieisyummy Active Member

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    Hardin missed a field goal against Toledo, and at least the passing game looked better. Dunbar and Patton seem alright. On that I agree with you.
  3. Swampmaster
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    Swampmaster New Member

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    but muschamp didn't have enough confidence in the kicker to try an easy field goal.
  4. slayerxing
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    slayerxing Premium Member

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    Thank you. Good post. The game was a terrible loss, especially since UF dominated the game and NEVER should have lost to such a mediocre opponent. That being said, the goal of winning the sec east is alive and well.

    That being said, driskel has 12 turnovers in his last 7 games and that has got to stop.
  5. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    You are right across the board.
  6. bcdowling
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    bcdowling New Member

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    Corrected. Thanks for the catch - totally forgot about that (and I was sitting right there, LOL).
  7. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    FG kicking is the only part of the whole game I'm really worried about.

    It's a shame because this was a very winnable game.
  8. bcdowling
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    bcdowling New Member

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    I can see both sides on this (I feel the same way about the 2 point conversion). Road rivalry game, a lot of emotion, and if either of those things works it's a HUGE morale boost for us and for JD. I've got no problem with either of those decisions, but I totally get people wanting to take the "safe" play.
  9. HayGator
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    HayGator Active Member

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    I think it was more of over confidence that we could pick up one yd to get the first.
  10. klgator
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    klgator Member

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    Wow! I didn't think about the number of turnovers Driskel has had. That's putrid. For those who don't think Driskel is a major part of the problem, this is an eye opener. We're depending on him not to lose the game for us; well, he's been a major contributor to all three of our losses:<BR>Georgia - 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles; Louisville - 2 interceptions; Miami - 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles. In those three games 6 interceptions and 4 fumbles. I went back to the statistics, and I count 11 turnovers in 7 games, but still... The stats only showed one fumble in the Miami game, but I swear he fumbled twice. He also fumbled once in the F$U game. In games against our three major rivals he has thrown 4 interceptions and fumbled 5 times.
  11. bcdowling
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    bcdowling New Member

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    I don't know that it's fair to lump in last season's stats - he's a different QB running a different offense, who has now had a full offseason as "the guy." The 2 INT's are definitely on him - there's no 2 ways about it. But the rest of the game, he was pretty safe delivering the ball and making good WR selections. Even better, he recognized that Patton and Dunbar were the hot hands and kept feeding them. The fumble, as I originally posted, was NOT on him - he wasn't being careless with ball or ignoring the rush. He got blindsided while trying to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the pass due to poor pass protection.
  12. Tipmoose
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    Tipmoose New Member

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    Odd...I still feel the way you describe every time our offense takes the field. Its anemic at best...I have zero confidence in our ability to score against *anyone* given *any* field position.

    Its funny...I have much more confidence in our freshman kicker making a 45 yarder than I do our entire offense to drive 30 yards for a TD.
  13. EbSaxman
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    EbSaxman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the OP that the core issue is Driskel's mistakes. I honestly think he has every ability and chance to be a fine quarterback but he really is mistake prone. His play reminds me of Josh Freeman for the Bucs. That guy is a great passer, can escape pressure, etc, and can pull a big play to win games out of nowhere. But, you can track nearly every Buc loss to a key interception or fumble from Freeman. I fear that Driskel will make his mark this way, because the one thing a QB can NEVER do is turn the ball over. It is job #1. He MUST get this problem corrected or Pease will never open up this offense for him. Anyone who is blaming the OC is flat out wrong about the source of the problem. I'm rooting for Driskel and I really hope he can get this issue worked out.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  14. Gatorstooth
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    Gatorstooth New Member

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    I think I would have the same concerns about our offense even if we had won the game last Saturday.
  15. Crocodilian
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    Crocodilian Member

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    Hardin isn't very good. He has a great leg.
    Could make a 50 yarder. He also will probably miss a few XPs this year.
    I would give Phillips all the short FGs and XPs. Every kick with Hardin has the chance to be a shank or an absolute bomb.
  16. Gatorstooth
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    Gatorstooth New Member

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    Muschamp says Taylor isn't in the running back rotation because he can't hold on to the ball. If Driskel can't hold on to the ball then..........
  17. bcdowling
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    bcdowling New Member

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    We averaged 146 passing yards per game last year. He threw for 153 against Toledo (and we basically just ground it out on the ground in the second half) and 291 against Miami (his best statistical performance yet). Even better, he had a 77.3% completion percentage against Toledo and 66.7% against Miami (and a lot of those were longer balls than he EVER threw in 2012). We had a WR over 100 yards and one who almost got there. Again, if you take out the two INT's, he's a better QB and we're a better offense in every way.
  18. PTCGator
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    PTCGator Well-Known Member

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    Great post! We should all take a lesson from the author. I hate losing to UM but this team can be very good if we stop making dumb mistakes. We also need to get healthy on the O-line. That is where it all begins on this offense. If they can't make holes for the RBs and can't keep JD from being blindsided, this will be a long season. I for one think they can and will fix these problems. Let's get behind the team and stop screaming that the world is ending! Go Gators!
  19. bposs
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    bposs Well-Known Member

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    I wish we had an up tempo offense, less penalties, and get the ball to our #1 recruited WR who has been on campus since Jan.

    One more thing, points in the red zone!!!
  20. Gatorstooth
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    Gatorstooth New Member

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    Seems our starting OL are always hurt. Why don't we just start the backups and replace them with the starters when they get hurt?

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