Andreu’s Analysis: Focus is on Florida

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Florida coach Dan Mullen, left, talks with quarterback Feleipe Franks on the sideline during the first half Saturday against Charleston Southern. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

It’s Kentucky week. But we’re not going to talk about The Streak. It has no bearing on this game, therefore it is irrelevant.

Earlier this week, coach Dan Mullen said it’s important for the Gators to focus on themselves, on what they need to do to grow and become a better football team than they were a week ago.

So, I’m going to be coachable this week. I’m going to focus on Florida.

The Gators certainly showed some positive signs on both sides of the football. And there’s no denying Feleipe Franks has been coached up big-time by Mullen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson and is a much more confident and capable quarterback than a year ago.

But Franks is still in the early stages of his development under Mullen. The key here is for him to make steady progress from week to week, game to game. He took a positive first step in the opener. This next step could be a little trickier because he’ll be facing an SEC defense that is world’s apart from what he went up against a week ago.

Given that, Franks and the offense probably will not enjoy the free flow they produced against Charleston Southern. There will be some negative plays — some sacks, maybe some turnovers, some missed opportunities. What’s critical is how Franks responds to them. So, keep an eye on that.

If I’m Mullen, one of my biggest concerns this week would be the performance of the offensive line in the opener. It was shaky at best, especially in the running game, where there was barely any push. The line will face a much stiffer test against an SEC defense. If the Gators have problems running the ball, it’s going to be problematic for Franks and the passing game. So, keep an eye on that, too.

On defense, the plan is obvious: shutdown (or slow down) star tailback Benny Snell, then harass inexperienced quarterbacks Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak, who were both shaky in the win over Central Michigan last Saturday.

The Gators will execute their game plan on defense, and that will take some of the pressure off Franks and the offense.

As for the offense, there will be some bumps and curves in the road to navigate, but the Gators will find their way to enough points to win the game.

Prediction: Florida 28, Kentucky 17.

 

21 COMMENTS

  1. Well said, Robbie.
    I’m not sure which scenario takes place. But with the U.K. game throughout this “record streak”, Florida either blows out the Cats
    or barely beats them. I’m not sure which happens this year. But either way, Go Gators! Chomp the Cats! “Here kitty, kitty…”

  2. Both the Gators and the Kitties opened with patsies, but. Kentucky struggled in their game. On Saturday, Mullen will have a great game plan and the outcome will be decided by the start of the fourth quarter. I expect the margin to be greater than what Robbie and Pat predicted because the Swamp is back!!!

  3. Just don’t resort to holding them. It is one thing to have a 1-2 yard running play, but another (and more damaging) to get 10 yards called. Being called out, and facing a tougher defense, could lead to resorting to holding more. Cannot afford that. Would prefer having to throw more or jet sweep to compensate for just 1 yard up the middle.

  4. Great read. Both sides working on things from last week. Both should be better. Depth will help us win the game. Mullen will be rotating 1-2 to keep fresh legs. Adding(I hope) Heggie off injury and the others suspended last week our depth is better. Running game may struggle to start but look for good things when UK gets tired. I’d almost expect them to stretch the field with deep balls intermediate stuff making defense run a lot. Then run at them. As long as QB is does not become an issue.

  5. Right on analysis. I would expect KU to try and stop the run and then look to confuse our guys with lots of different coverages and stunts. This will be a great chance to see how well our o can deal with a complex defense.

  6. Cats’ qb Terry Wilson completed a pedestrian 56 per cent of his passes in JC ball last year. He won’t fare well against Florida’s secondary. Neither in particular will Bennie Snell, Jr., with the Gator defensive front keying on him. Kentucky remains a team of middling results, an average outfit that can’t quite reach the summit of SEC success. Keep in mind that Dan Mullen’s previous teams went 8-1 against the Mildcsts. Add in Florida’s raucous crowd on a typically warm, humid early September night. Gators will score six TDs, about two either by or set up by our defense, probably with picks against Terry Wilson, and Evan McPherson connects from about 43-yards out to make it a 45-13 Florida win. I barely missed last week with my final score at 55-6.

  7. I’ve been reading comments on a lot of different sites and they all pretty much discuss the same things. What I have noticed however is all the trolls have seemed to disappear back into their own miserable existence. I think there’s a correlation with troll appearances vs how CDM is doing running our program. If recruiting was still tanking and we barely beat or even lost to CSU they would be insufferable.

    To date, their dwindling presence on our boards has to be one of the best benefits CDM has brought to the program.