Thoughts of the Week: Game 1

The first game of the Gators season can be described in five words: suspended, lightning, showers, Showers, and suspension.

First, the news dropped that Demarcus Robinson, Jay-nard Bostwick and Darious Cummings would be suspended. Then, the lightning came followed by showers. The skies then cleared allowing for one electric (pun intended) kick-off return by Valdez Showers. And finally, the game was put under suspension while officials figure out if the game will be replayed.

Heckuva first week, huh?!

Normally, there would be statistical analysis and film review of the previous game, but this week, obviously, there won’t be any. The Shower’s run was explosive when he attacked the open hole and saw the open field ahead running just north of 70 yards and setting up the Gators on the Idaho Vandals 13-yard line, a play that needs no further explanation or review. So let’s just plan on next week starting our analysis on the Gators!

Eastern Michigan Statistical Analysis

Eastern Michigan enters their game against Florida after beating Morgan State, an FCS school based in Baltimore, 31-28. The game was as ugly and as close as it looks, too. Morgan State took the quick lead 7-0, then got down 21-7, climbed back up to 28-28, and then Eastern Michigan scored a late field goal to win.

Eastern Michigan went 18-for-30 for 99 yards passing and amassed 292 yards on the ground being split amongst three running backs and two quarterbacks, a combination that gives them the 77th best offense in the country.

On the flip side, Eastern Michigan struggled even more mightily on the defensive side of the ball surrendering 479 yards to Morgan State, a mark that ranks them 99th in the country in total defense, with their pass defense ranking 89th (269 yards allowed) and their rush defense ranking 95th (210 yards allowed).

Of Florida’s scheduled opponents, none currently rank worse than Eastern Michigan on rush defense and only Alabama and South Carolina rank worse in pass defense, albeit they played much tougher teams than Morgan State. On the offensive side of the ball, only Tennessee and Vanderbilt rank worse than Eastern Michigan in total offense. Right now, none of this really means much, but it is the start of a great statistical analysis being worked on for the season.

Suspensions Over

At the Monday afternoon press conference, coach Will Muschamp announced that the suspensions of Demarcus Robinson, Jay-nard Bostwick, and Darious Cummings are officially over after serving their suspensions. Of course, those that love to criticize the SEC, those at cheer for Florida State, and those who are wishing for the demise of Will Muschamp collectively threw their hands up in the air and bemoaned the decision.

In my opinion, much ado about nothing and Will Muschamp made the right decision. Suspending players for the first game of the season is a result of things that may have been done between the end of the last season and the day before the beginning of the new season, plus it could include holdover penalties like Demarcus Robinson.

With the first game of the season not going as planned with weather, that does not mean that penalties should carry over; effectively meaning a one game suspension becomes a two game suspension, even though the first game was not much of a game. It is not the players fault that the game was rained out and they were not able to play, nor should they be penalized as such.

The penalty was a suspension for the game against Idaho. If the game gets made up, then sure, suspend them from that game, but do not make a one game suspension a two game suspension because of an “act of God”.

I could understand the backlash if it was a situation similar to when Gus Malzahn announced his quarterback Nick Marshall would be suspended for the game, and then when they were struggling against Arkansas lifted his suspension mid-game and allowed him to play – but it wasn’t.

Current Heisman Rankings

Of course, subject to change, but if I were to have a vote for the Heisman Trophy, which I don’t, and had to vote today, which I wouldn’t, this is how I would vote:

  1. Todd Gurley, Georgia
  2. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
  3. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin


Upset Pick of the Week

Well, if you listened to me last week, you would have made a lot of money picking North Dakota State over Iowa State.

This week, I have UTSA beating Arizona. Yes, the Roadrunners of the University of Texas-San Antonio led by Larry Coker will beat the University of Arizona.

While this is only the Roadrunners fourth season in existence, they currently have 19 senior starters on their team, while Arizona is one of the more inexperienced teams in the FBS.

After beating Houston 27-7 in the first game of the season, I have faith in Coker’s defense to be able to shutdown Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats, while also being able to score points against their porous defense.


Must Read Articles of the Week

Song of the Week

Last Friday, reader CTRESH brought to my attention a new country music artist named Chase Bryant.

I have heard the name a few times on the radio, but never really bothered to explore more. But, I should have.

He has a good voice, can break it down on the guitar, and has some good songwriting ability. He is on Broken Bow Records with Joe Nichols, Dustin Lynch, Jason Aldean and Randy Houser, which means he is surrounded with some great talent.

His first single, “Take It On Back” is a solid country music song, with a strong guitar and some rock-n-roll elements. Good track. Watch out for this kid.

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Daniel Thompson
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan oversees the IT consulting practice of a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, bourbon, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan can be found on Twitter at @DK_Thompson.