Andreu’s analysis: Gators will be distracted

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Jim McElwain surprised the media boys (and girls) with his news after Wednesday’s practice that Feleipe Franks had won the quarterback battle and will start Saturday’s game against Michigan. We all thought Mac was going to hold off and wait until Saturday to make the call based on his comments earlier in the week. But when you think about it, dropping the news was good timing, because it detracted (just a little bit) from the bigger story that broke earlier in the day — the suspension of starting running back Jordan Scarlett and backup wide receiver Rick Wells.

The problem is, that bigger news isn’t going away. And it might grow even bigger as the investigation into possible credit card fraud continues. Nine players have been caught in the net so far, and more could follow in the coming days (maybe even before Saturday’s game).

This mess is kind of spoiling the mood heading into the opener, casting a dark cloud over the program and sucking up some of the excitement of this intriguing opening-day matchup.

I’m sure the players that do play are excited and fired up about Saturday.  But the harsh reality is all these suspensions could turn out to be a huge distraction that affects UF’s overall performance (especially if some bad stuff happens early in the game, and trust me, they will).

Naming Franks the starter certainly generates some excitement. He seems like the perfect fit in McElwain’s offense and I think you’re going to see the downfield passing game come to life in this game. On both sides of the ball, the Gators will play well enough to win, but it’s just not going to happen with the mood that has set in since Wednesday’s suspensions were announced.

Before the latest suspensions, I thought Florida was going to win and look pretty good doing it. Now, I’m seeing a dark day ahead in Texas for the Gators.

Prediction: Michigan 28, Florida 24.

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. Do you have any semblance of proof related to any more Florida football players being involved in the fraudulent activity? If so, please publish it. If not, please avoid trying to scare Gator Nation or spread negative rumors about the team. Very unprofessional “journalism” in my opinion. I do believe McElwain said he was not aware of any more players being involved but would deal with those players if any came to light. You would certainly think that awareness would have come to light by 2:30 on Friday????? If there are more players, this might go down as the least intelligent Florida football roster in history.

  2. With the football player suspension debacle currently going on, the last thing the ‘Gator Nation’ and players need is more negative comments and press! Why don’t you journalists provide some positive and supportive comments. After all, don’t you actually work for the Gator Nation, football players, students and Gainesville community? We support you…..why not support the GATORS? Thanks.

    • What color Kool Aid are you drinking tonight PR?

      Journalists don’t “work” for “Gator Nation” they cover the NEWS about the program and don’t have a Blind Eye to the facts!

  3. Any player or coach who is distracted by whatever for this once in a lifetime opportunity to play in a great venue and before a national audience is not really a football player. I expect a lazer like focus and great effort, that might not be sufficient for a win but I bet it will be close if not sufficient.

  4. At first I thought what has been going on with the Florida program over the past few weeks was just a case of a couple of bad apples. But now it’s starting too look like a trend. I hope I am wrong, but I am starting to wonder if in recruiting, sufficient attention is being given to character and not just athletic ability.

  5. Callaway should already be at the bus station with a one-way ticket home. Maybe the same for Scarlett, who should at least be on the very short list for expulsion. We all screamed when Jimbo Noles let King Crab Winston get away with anything – how is this worse? Mac, please show some regard for the fans and dump these thugs!

    • Pat. Big difference from credit fraud with student money (star RB and WR at Florida) and sexually assaulting and insulting women (the star QB at Florida State). But the only difference is, Florida suspended those two star players accused of fraud and FSU played the famous one who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman, and later insulting them as well as stealing from a grocery store. So, maybe the FSU coach should just show some regard for women, period.

    • Man u need to stop and look at the big picture if these players are
      doing things like this for cash then they really need money everyone is saying kick this player off and all the crap but the real question is what is the University of Florida doing to take care if these players when people do stupid things like this that is a cry for help one or two players doing this then ok u may have a couple of bad apples but when multiple players are doing this I think it’s time to question the University because these players need things that UF isn’t supplying.

      • Ozar, criminologists disagree as to crime’s cause; poverty, yada yada, or choice. I agree with you, take care of your people, but I am thinking it is choice. Isn’t character revealed by our actions when no one is looking? Now, what to do; find and fairly face the facts; correction, so we DON’T DO THAT AGAIN; and move forward. I would like to see this reveal the Gator Nation as human, but honorable. What do you think?

  6. Many of these 2nd teamers and younger players may, due to lack of depth at some positions, get more paying time than they were expecting. This is a prime time for players like Thompson and Perrine plus the 2 freshmen to step up at RB. We’ve heard about Massey and Toney’s playmaking ability and speed. Now is the time for them to show it off. We’ve got weapons at all the positions including QB. It’s GO time! Let’s not forget that Michigan will also have players that haven’t been in the limelight yet either. How will they react. They are as green as we are. Maybe even more at some positions. We have the capability to win. I don’t think the sideshow will be an issue for anyone except the announcers. Let’s just hope they don’t drone on about it during the entire game.

  7. Actually, I am sorry I took the time to read this article by Robbie…He is beginning to sound just like Pat Dooley. Both, have become so negative and wishy-washy towards the gators…one might even confuse these guys for noles. I look for the gators to blow Michigan away. Michigan has only 5 starters from last year and a very inexperienced offense and defense this year. I really like Perine, he is a little bigger and faster than Scarlett and will be able to carry the ball 25-30 times for over a 100 yds in this game. Scarlett made a mistake that will probably cost him, his job as the starting RB. UF is loaded at WR, they all are very fast. QB’s will be a big asset for UF this year, great arms and speed, as well. UF has more offensive and defensive speed than Michigan. This is UF’s fastest team across the board than they have had in years. UF 48 UM17

  8. Thank you very much Robbie. Let’s just cancel the game, close down the Football facility and hell why not just close the School, right? You are such a douche bag. Get on the train or get off, for good. you suck.

  9. I actually had this game as loss, originally. But since the added suspensions I pick UF by 13. This forces us to not rely on one player to bail us out and the the speed on offense is back to Meyer era levels. The distraction is huge but I think Mac is “all-in” on this game.

  10. It is unfortunate that the two reporters (?) who cover this team the most know so little about it that THEY are the ones creating and feeding the so-called suspension distraction issue. There is so much more to report about this game, the coaches, the teams, and the individual players, but all we hear from the pair we are stuck with is the worn-out drama that makes for mindless ESPN soundbites and little else. Too bad, really, and a dis-service to the players who DO care about the team, and the coaches who have worked their butts off as well. The reality is that eight of the ten are of little consequence, Scarlett is at best an average running back, and Callaway has become toxic to the team anyway. The talent is there at RB and WR to make Gator Nation quickly forget about the selfish children who have gone astray. The continued insinuation that the “scandal” could grow is irresponsible and pure tabloid unless or until any real evidence surfaces. Reporting rumors and innuendo demonstrates a lack of professionalism and highlights the glaring lack of any actual game/team relevant reporting.
    As for Coach Mac’s “bunker mentality”, where the heck did that come from? It is another petty gripe, alluded to completely without substantiation, that amounts to cheap shot whining from a frustrated reporter who is not being spoon-fed the stories he is not capable of writing himself.
    It would be nice if we had journalists in the press box whose expertise goes beyond an appreciation for the free food they have obviously enjoyed way too much.

  11. Dearly Depressed: Get a grip! It’s opening day college football and UF is playing a non-patsy in what should be a really good game. I dont care about the knuckleheads who arent there. I dont care about the blathering re the distraction of their absence. I cannot wait for the 3:30 post time on ABC. As usual, I’ll be turning the volume way down, tuning out the tedious pontificating of the allegedly expert analysts. Win or lose, elated or saddened, I’ll be excited about all the big games (especially UGA) this year and keeping up with the ensuing pretend drama from week to week. In closing, may this be the year of an offensive resurrection. We are ready, Coach. Go Gators!

  12. Wow! Piling on the “old guys” for reporting what is most likely true. BTW, if you weren’t paying attention , Dooley picked the Gators and Andreu has the game very close. These guys have been around the block a couple of times. There under garments are probably older than some of you. Just because you don’t like what they said , doesn’t mean there is some truth to it. Having said that I think the Gators have potential to be fine. The big issue is at linebacker where the depth is not there and two of the suspended players are. Having said that, I somewhat agree with Ozar at this point. Many of these guys didn’t grow up having the social and economic advantages that others have. The mindset is just different. I am not condoning their actions but just saying

  13. As for me, I’m going to turn on the tv and watch some gator football. I’ve waited 9 nine months and now college football is back, and I’m going to enjoy it.

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