10 observations from the Vanderbilt game

10 observations from the Florida Gators 56-0 win over Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt was just what the doctor ordered.
Coming off of a loss to Georgia this is exactly what Florida needed. Vanderbilt is bad, like worst scoring offense and defense in the SEC bad. The Gators got off to a slow start with some self-inflicted errors but quickly corrected that in the second quarter. Florida out-gained Vanderbilt 277-18 in the first half. The defense was dominant against a third-string quarterback. The offense moved the ball effortlessly, only stopping themselves, really

It doesn’t change what happened last week but this was therapeutic — medicinal, even.

Mohamoud Diabate
How in the world are the Gators going to replace Jon Greenard? We might have already found our answer. The freshman Buck linebacker from Hoover, Alabama had a coming-out part on Saturday.

With Jeremiah Moon out of the lineup, Diabate earned the first start of his career on Saturday. Diabate tallied three sacks and forced a fumble that Greenard returned 80 yards for a touchdown. Diabate has looked better and better as the season goes on and he is going to be a big-time player for Florida in the future.

I’d like to see more from Emory Jones
Jones played early for Florida. Dan Mullen made a point to get Jones in during the first half but it was still sparingly. Jones played more in the second half but mostly when the game was in hand. I don’t know what the exact mix is, because Trask played well, but I’d like to see Jones really get a chance at running the offense. Right now what we’re seeing from Jones leaves so many questions. He’s not throwing the ball as much when he gets in. It’s by design, clearly, but why? If he is not capable of making the throws, are they not being put into the package he gets because of that? We don’t know and we can’t know until we see it. I’d like to see Jones get a drive and just run the playbook. Even if it was when the game was 42-0 or 49-0, let him run everything so we can get a real look at what Jones can or can’t do.

Kyle Trask is still the guy
Now if you’ll allow me to speak out of the other side of my mouth, Kyle Trask is still the guy. Yes, I know I just made a case to see more of Emory Jones but Trask is the starter.

Trask threw for 363 yards on Saturday. That’s the 20th most in a single game in school history and the most since Tim Tebow threw for 482 yards against Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

In nine games this season Kyle Trask has completed 67% (160-239) of his pass attempts for 2,011 yards 19 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He’s done an incredible job this year and it’s not a stretch to say that he’s saved Florida’s season. He’s a backup quarterback, a career backup quarterback but nobody told him that and he isn’t playing like one.

New look offensive line
Brett Heggie (concussion) missed the game against Vanderbilt on Saturday and Chris Bleich quit on his team and decided to enter the transfer portal with three games left in the year. That forced John Hevesy’s hand and the Gators started two freshmen. Ethan White made his first career start and Richard Gouraige made his second.

Both of the young Gators played well and will continue to get more looks and experience.

One thing to note here is that this was White’s third game played in 2019, so he can only play in one more if the staff wants to keep his redshirt status. I believe they wanted to, but given the circumstances might burn it.

Tre Grimes
The junior receiver came into the game with 23 catches for 309 yards and two scores. He’s proven to be a tough guy to get to the ground once the ball is in his hands and that showed up again on Saturday. Grimes caught a quick pass from Trask and one stiff arm later was scampering 66-yards into the end zone for his third touchdown of the season. He finished the game with four catches for 95 yards and that score. He’s such a weapon in the passing game and if he comes back for his senior season he will be a featured player. The Gators need him to come back for 2020.

Donovan Stiner
The safety takes a lot of heat on social media and on the message boards. He just continues to keep his head down and he keeps playing. Saturday Stiner picked off two passes. The first pass he bit down hard into the box on purpose before drifting back. Vanderbilt’s quarterback saw the initial movement and assumed Stiner was coming, never checked back and the safety was waiting for the ball when it came. He returned it 29-yards, too. The second interception Stiner was in man coverage. A 50-50 ball was thrown up near the Florida sideline and Stiner just made an athletic play. He’s starting and playing for a reason. It’s ok to be critical at times but Stiner has taken more than his fair share of criticism and today he deserves to be praised.

Offensive parity
The Gators completed 25 passes and the leading receiver had four receptions. Florida completed passes to 11 different receivers. Nine different players carried the ball. Five different players scored the offense’s seven touchdowns today. It’s hard to gameplan for a team that has that many weapons.

Jon Greenard
Much respect continues to be due to Greenard. He’s not playing on a good ankle but he had another great performance. He had three tackles, half a sack and demanded double teams today that paved the way for other players. He also had an 80-yard touchdown, the first touchdown of his career.

Hats off to the Pride of the Sunshine
Today was the Salute to Service game. Florida does a great job of honoring those who have served and those who are currently serving in our armed forces. Today the band had a great halftime show. Here is some video below.

A few stats to look at:
– This was Florida’s first shutout of an SEC opponent sine 2012 (a 38-0 win over Kentucky).
– Kyle Trask is the first quarterback since Tim Tebow to throw for 275-yards in multiple games in a single season.
– Jon Greenard’s touchdown was the first defensive touchdown for the team in 2019.

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC