The Sunday Blog, Week 3: Improving offense

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UF freshman running back Dameon Pierce (27) celebrates on the sideline with teammates after scoring on a 68-yard run in the fourth quarter Saturday against Colorado State at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

The Sunday Blog comes at you after a day when I realized how lucky we are to be in a press box that has an air conditioned lounge. How did you sit through the hottest day ever in The Swamp?

  1. So the first couple of graphs of my column didn’t run in the paper which is going to cost me a Pulitzer. Wait, they did run online? Never mind. At any rate, here is an interesting stat for you — Florida currently ranks 94th in the country in total offense, which is actually an improvement for the offense. But the Gators are 40th in the country in yards per play. Just gotta get more plays, right?
  2. Alabama. That’s all I have to say. Think Ole Miss fans were drinking in the Grove at halftime? Holy moly. The Tide is ranked first in the country in points per game and eighth in points allowed per game. I wanted to cast my AP ballot twice with Alabama at the top. Anyone voting for anybody else at No. 1 isn’t paying attention.
  3. This stat can’t be right. I saw that the Big 12 is now 0-14 in non-conference games at Jerry World after TCU’s loss Saturday night. The money is just too good to pass up. Here’s another stat, kind of. The Twitter world was all abuzz Sunday because if you asked Siri who is the worst team in college football the answer was Florida State. Got some belly laughs at my house.
  4. The SEC is the story of Saturday’s biggest games:

Georgia at Missouri, Noon, ESPN.

Texas A&M at Alabama, 3:30 CBS.

Mississippi State at Kentucky, 7 p.m., ESPN 2.

And also, Stanford at Oregon, 8 p.m., ABC.

22 COMMENTS

  1. There’s nothing quite like waking up at 6 am, doing some yoga, eating a healthy breakfast, then going to the range and getting 150 rounds of ammo on target. Now that the relaxation is out of the way, let’s understand where this team is.

    Offense: it’s nonexistent. Sure, there’s some young players like Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis (if he’s healthy), but overall, this wide receiver corps is really bad. If Freddie Swain is the best we have, well, we’re really not good. The tail of the tape is absolutely atrocious route running. I expect that at the high school level. This is UF. And, again, we now know that no program in the SEC would want any of our offensive lineman. None of our lineman would get a scholarship offer at Alabama. (see last night’s game vs Ole Miss if you want to see a football program in action) Fileipe Franks? Yea, there’s a couple of programs at the division II level that will take him. Again, nobody in the SEC wants him, I can assure you. But, Trask can’t beat him out and we have to trust the quarterback whisperer, don’t we? Jordan Scarlett and Martez Ivey have been wasted scholarships. I understand the thoughts and theory that the talent level isn’t there. But even with my previous statements, could you imagine what a 35 year old Steve Spurrier would do with this talent? Very doubtful they’d lose to Kentucky. Even the 1993 team survived.

    Defensively, this group would be ok except for the young secondary. This defense could be really special if they can learn their assignments and play with control. That being said, blown assignments and over pursuing is killing them in certain situations. Trust is an obvious issue with this group. Do your job, gentlemen. Let your teammate do his! We have excellent pass rushers, if we ever play a drop back passing qb. The secondary is the hand we’re dealt. They’ll have to grow up fast.

    Special teams wise, there’s nothing wrong with winning by blocking kicks and punt returns, but how much of that can you rely on? McPherson I believe can kick a game winner, and probably from 50-53 yards too. That’s a weapon. But how often should we rely on that weapon? He shouldn’t be our primary. Just like Freddy Swain punt returns shouldn’t be our primary weapon. His td should have been an add to 5-6 offensive touchdowns. As it is now, first team offense only put 3 touchdowns on the board. They should have had 3 touchdowns in the first quarter. So let’s see if our special teams can be a compliment to our offense, instead of substitute.

    Overall: it’s a win, but it’s not an SEC caliber win. (see what North Texas did to Arkansas? I rest my case) Next week in Knoxville we play a program that is having to be rebuilt as well. I believe it has to be rebuilt with considerably less talent than Florida. But we’ll see. Next week, we will know how far this program has to go. And yet, what is the dedication of our administration to building a football program that can compete with the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and the SEC West. And yet, we wait to see.

    • Dude, let’s just be happy we didn’t pick any other coach but Mullen. Three of the other candidates floated for the Florida job are a collective 1 and 7 and it could have very well been 0 for 8. FSU led FCS Samford for only the final 4:03 minutes of the game. FSU got a late score to take the lead and pad the score. That in itself is telling; it means that Samford was on the FSU side of the field with a chance to pull off the victory. As for FSU’s other two games, they got crushed by VT and hammered by Syracuse?!? Frost at NU is 0 for 2 with losses to Troy and Colorado. Chip Kelly at UCLA lost to Cincinnati and Fresno State and was crushed by Oklahoma.
      I’m not saying that any or all of these coaches won’t turn their respective programs around, but I’m just glad we hired Mullen and I’m willing to let his judgement play out in this thing. We all might have expected the Gators would be competing for the SEC in Mullen’s first year, but I suspect we were all wearing our Orange and Blue glasses when we believed we could compete (including myself). And although I don’t usually troll FSU sites, the fans are already calling for Taggert’s head.
      Just remember this as we go through the season and collect what victories we can and know that things will continually get better.

  2. A total transition year for us and our rivals. Offense didn’t improve from last week. D and Special teams played better. No need to hash out other details. Next week will better define our existence. Who would have thought we appear better than the Holes and Vols? Those NWFL backwoods Holes fans are about ready to have their own uprising. Yes, Bama may have their best team every, that hateful Saban is great at what he does. He leaves NO room for non success. Final, no national scene for us for a LOOOONNNNG time to call.

  3. Forest Gump you might want to think about finding another team to root for. Alabama has plenty of Bandwagon fans who can’t name 5 players on their team. You would fit right in with them. Real fans don’t have the toxic venom that some display on a week to week basis.

  4. To Pat, thank the good Dr. that invented AIR CONDITIONING, as he was from Apalachicola, FL. (he used an ice block and a fan to help cool off his patients). Now for Grump E Gator, you sir are NOT correct about Florida’s receiving corp. Deebo Samuel from Carolina is the ”best receiver in the SEC, perhaps the nation”, according to the so-called ”experts.” But statistically he’s presently BEHIND U.F.’s Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain. Facts, not emotions, or opinions, sir! Please look it up. The SEC rankings as of today: Deebo Samuel is presently ranked 30th, while Jefferson and Swain are 24th & 29th, respectively (in the SEC). Go Gators!

  5. Woah I think the WRs are fine its the QB that’s the issue there. Plenty of open guys – QB too stupid to see them however. Perine needs to start at TB with the Freshman backing him up next game. It frightens me that Franks is the best we have at QB. His field vision is the worse I can remember from a Gator QB since – I don’t know – Tyrone Young Maybe?

  6. I have just two question: 1) Why isn’t Kadarius Toney in the game every play? He should be lined up at slot, WR, RB or even QB on every down. Clearly he is a playmaker. Of course it is all a mute point if the OL can’t block their baby sister. And 2) So what if Dameon Pierce is only a freshman? He should at least be in the rotation with Scarlett (who will get better and better in proportion to OL play I think) and Perrine who clearly is tough as nails and wants it. (Looks like Malik Davis will follow the David Reese mode of perpetual injury.) But Pierce makes it happen whenever he has touched the ball e.g. 70 yd td on first touch and leading RB in yards again, granted against a beat down CSU defense. Burn the redshirt. He too seems to want it bad and has the talent. I did see slight improvement in all aspects, but slight won’t be good enough come MSS and LSU time, and hell, maybe not even for UT. I suppose the bigger, stronger, and faster line was again a fallacy as it was last year. Perhaps, like many, I am an impatient Gator fan but am sick of the Gators sucking. Maybe it’s because I’m around a**hole UGA fans daily. I hate that they’re so good I guess. Never been a fair-weather fan though, so I’ll keep hanging and hope for the best. Gradual improvement is better than going in the opposite direction as it was with Nusshead and Butterteeth.

    • But being around a**hole UGA fans is at least tolerable if you’re doing it in the most beautiful city in the South!

      A lot to agree with in your post. I believe that Pierce is the way forward….more than any other back I’ve seen so far. Me? Based on what he’s shown us to date, I’d burn that red shirt in a heart beat. We’ll see what Mullen does, I’m willing to bet that it’s crossed his mind too.

  7. I see where Florida opened as a 4.5-point favorite at Tennessee. I’ve seen them three times and know nothing about Tennessee save looking at their scores. Do know this though: Tennessee will come in with an edge and some attitude; lighting a fire under the Gators’ as**s isn’t even possible!

    Take the 4 1/2. You’re welcome.