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.