Andreu’s Answers: Gators can’t Lock down Tigers’ offense from get-go

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Missouri quarterback Drew Lock runs between Florida defenders during the first half Saturday in Columbia, Mo. [L.G. Patterson/Associated Press]

[Updated: 4:20 p.m.] COLUMBIA, Mo. — Before every game, veteran college football writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 8:

1. How will Florida’s young secondary hold up against quarterback Drew Lock and an explosive Missouri passing game?

It didn’t hold up at all. It was torched. Lock had all day to throw and open receivers to throw to, making it a simple game of pitch-and-catch for the Tigers. It was almost ridiculous how easily the Missouri wide receivers were getting behind the UF cornerbacks. DBU is a distant memory now.

2. Will the Gators play looser and with more confidence under interim head coach Randy Shannon.

Instead of loose and confident, the Gators appeared totally indifferent about this game, especially on defense, where UF seemed to almost quit at times. There was no passion, no energy on either side of the ball for a team that showed plenty of both in practice throughout the week.

3. Can senior running back Mark Thompson finally have a breakthrough performance for the Gators?

It’s hard for a guy this big, this strong and this fast to disappear like he does, but somehow he does. It happened yet again. Thompson saw considerable playing time behind Lamical Perine, but was a non-factor as a runner and a receiver.

4. Will the Gators have any success throwing the ball downfield?

Malik Zaire’s pocket presence and ability to find receivers down the field was perhaps the only bright spot for the Gators on this long, gray afternoon. Zaire hit some big plays in an area the Gators have largely ignored this season — down the middle of the field. Unfortunately for UF, Zaire’s best throw of the day — a 40-yard TD strike to Tyrie Cleveland late in the second quarter — was called back by a holding call on tackle Martez Ivey. Even though Feleipe Franks threw a late TD pass and Randy Shannon said the position would be re-evaluated this week, Zaire would appear to be the quarterback moving forward.

5. UF has worked hard on special teams this week. Will it be noticeable today?

It was noticeable, all right. Noticeably worse. In fact, a new problem emerged Saturday. Eddy Pineiro, who had not had a kickoff returned this season before this game, mishit his kickoffs and all failed to reach the end zone, and Missouri returner Larry Rountree time after time. So, now we can add kick coverage to the long list of failures on special teams this season. The muffed punt by Brandon Powell that set up Missouri’s first TD set the bad early tone. Nothing good happened after that on special teams.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or robbie.andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. We’re irrelevant for the rest of 2017. Now we really know what a mental mess Coach “Flip Flop” left the program in. Game analysis is irrelevant.

  2. FSU won today, so Florida can’t even play them in the final game to see which team could possibly be the worst coached team. Florida is officially that and likely the worst college team in the entire state of Florida. We won! We won! Something. For the first time since I can remember, I did not watch a complete game Florida played….intentionally. Turned it off when Powell fumbled the punt. I knew the game was over at that time. I just had no idea it would be as bad as it was. Shameful excuse of a performance by this team. The season is over for me, as with these sorry current UF coaches and poorly prepared players. At least these coaches will be gone soon.

  3. Georgia fan here. Gators, keep your heads up. Never give up or allow yourselves to fall apart like you all seem to be doing. You’re a Championship program and Champion-quality fans. I can’t stand the Gators, but I sure as hell can’t stand watching a quality program and fan base quit like this! Better days are ahead. You’re Gators; act like it!

  4. I wait all year from Jan to Sept to watch my favorite team play and this is what I waited for. What a total waste of time. I still bleed orange and blue and will hope we hire a good coach and I will wait till next year to watch another season.

  5. This team quit today. They’re done, over, finished for the year. They need a complete make-over by a new coach,, and a new coach who can actually recruit top 10 classes consistently.

    Do not retain a single assistant on this staff. Just raze the entire shambles to the ground… every last article of it.

    Fire every assistant coach… The ground’s crew, the guy who puts the bulbs in the stadium lighting, the friggin janitor… fire all of them.

    Clean it out….burn it down, bulldoze the ashes, sanctify the ground once more.

    Just start over.

    Scott Frost, come on down.

  6. From the first kickoff I knew we were in trouble. Pineiro kicks the ball out of the end zone for a touchback almost ever time. Not this game, he kicks short kicks and they returned it back to the 35 yard line. What the heck! Then Powell dropping the ball on the 10 yard line. Just let the bounce into the end zone. Whoever put Lemons returning kick offs should be fired. The kid returns balls that are 5 yards deep in the end zone and runs in a straight line out and then the first guy hits him at the 10 -15 yard line ever time.
    Both sides of the ball were horrible today.
    This year is lost.
    Need to spend the rest of the season calling recruits for next year informing everyone of them that they can come in at day one and start.
    Spend as much money as needed Strickland to get the best offensive coach out there.
    I hate watching Florida Football this year. Somehow ever game we get worse.
    Last thing, recruit 3 QB’s next year and start over. Our QB’s are really bad.
    Sad year to be a Florida Gator.

  7. From the first kickoff I knew we were in trouble. Pineiro kicks the ball out of the end zone for a touchback almost ever time. Not this game, he kicks short kicks and they returned it back to the 35 yard line. What the heck! Then Powell dropping the ball on the 10 yard line. Just let the bounce into the end zone. Whoever put Lemons returning kick offs should be fired. The kid returns balls that are 5 yards deep in the end zone and runs in a straight line out and then the first guy hits him at the 10 -15 yard line ever time.
    Both sides of the ball were horrible today.
    This year is lost.
    Need to spend the rest of the season calling recruits for next year informing everyone of them that they can come in at day one and start.
    Spend as much money as needed Strickland to get the best offensive coach out there.
    I hate watching Florida Football this year. Somehow ever game we get worse.
    Last thing, recruit 3 QB’s next year and start over. Our QB’s are really bad.
    Sad year to be a Florida Gator.

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