The Ephesians Bartley Report: An emotional gamut

Games like Saturday are not good for my mental state. I went through the entire emotional gamut and it’s a good thing the Gators won or else it might take me a few days to recover.

Looking back, here are a few things that piqued me emotionally:

Sheer Joy: Dante Fowler coming off the corner with reckless abandon. Now that’s the way you’re supposed to come off the edge.

Real Pain: Watching JD6 (Jeff Driskel) going down is hard to take. If you haven’t played the game at this level I don’t think you can understand what current and former players feel when we watch someone going down like that. I know what JD6 went through to get ready for this season and that game. I haven’t played in years but it never gets easy to watch.

Pure Agony: Watching the secondary give up another big score at the safety spot is difficult. Three of the four touchdowns the Gators have given up have been directed at a safety.

Cried and Hurt My Spleen: Watching  #55 (Darious Cummings) run the interception back I laughed so hard it hurt! Did you see him trip over that 18-ounce mole in the turf? He can blame Dominique Easley all he wants. I saw that vicious varmit.

Despair: That was what I thought when I realized the Gators are going the rest of the way without JD6. Did any of you think Tyler Murphy was going to be able to step in and play at that level? Maybe Tyler’s mama, but anyone else?

Jubilation: That’s what I felt watching Murph showing great poise, perseverance and a whole lot of character in the win and he did it with enough swag that makes me think he can get us through the rest of the season. Let’s hope the men in charge don’t go all conservative on us. Let the kid show what he can do.

Other observations:

Defensive Line: They were dominant, disruptive and  active against what is supposedly one of the  best offensive lines in all of college football.  There were only three or four plays the whole game when they gave an alley to run through. I like it when D-lines are gap sound. Dominique Easley couldn’t be blocked.

Linebackers: The D-line did such a good job that the linebackers were pretty much relegated to clean up men, there to sweep up the carnage from what the guys up front were doing. Darrin Kitchens and Michael Taylor looked very good. I didn’t see much of Neiron Ball but Antonio Morrison looked like a puppy someone just let out of a cage because he was chasing anything that looked like it needed chasing.

Corners: VH3 might be a freshman but he’s a man. The rest of them are a walking M*A*S*H unit but there is depth, talent and skill. When they’re all healthy you’re not going to get much against them.

Safety: Brian Poole was not so smart getting flagged and ejected for targeting. In today’s football that is text book targeting and it is blatantly uncalled for.  In the 90’s it’s residual contact and verbal instructions as to why its not good to be in the middle of the field where such things are bound to happen “REPEATEDLY” but this is 2013 and you have to adapt the way you play the game to the rules.

Right now, being the rolled to coverage safety should come with asbestos suits. Ouch!

Final Thoughts: This was a great game and great win. I thought the Gators were in trouble when JD6 went down. Didn’t have a clue that Tyler Murphy could play like he did. It’s only one game, but Murph showed potential. Can he keep it up the rest of the season? If he can, the Gators still can win a championship.

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Ephesians Bartley
Former Gator linebacker Ephesians “Fee” Bartley defined the 1990 season for the Florida defense when he laid out LSU wide receiver Todd Kinchen near midfield on the West sideline of Florida Field. The entire crowd stood silent as Kinchen lay motionless on the turf. It wasn’t until someone shouted, “He’s alive! I can see the spit bubbles in the corner of his mouth!” that the crowd breathed a sigh of relief. An All-SEC linebacker in 1991 who spent a year in the NFL and a few more in the CFL, Bartley runs a business and tax consulting firm in Jacksonville but he’s never lost his passion for Florida football.


  1. Until the Gators start spreading the offense out and set up the run with the passing game,( I know most people thinks that’s backwards), the offensive line is going to look sluggish, plain and not so simple. The one thing the Ole Ball Coach use to do that I enjoyed the most (outside of winning) was to show you one thing and deliver something else. We have the talent to never lose again and that should be the mind set of our team. Last comment, fans, get out to the game, this is the swamp for gosh sakes, it’s the greatest football stadium in the country, we shouldn’t have to prove it. GO GATORS!!!!!!