Dooley grades the Gators, best and worst


Published: Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 6:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 6:35 p.m.
Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley breaks down the Gators' first-half, second-half and overall performances.

OFFENSE: D
First half: Really, I was looking for a thesaurus. What's another word for stinky? Florida finished the half with 13 yards and two fumbles. Seriously, do I need to go on?
Second half: There was some improvement but take away the Demps run and the deflected touchdown catch and UF had 102 yards in the second half.
For the game: As Dana Carvey's George Bush character would say, "Not gonna do it." And we thought this offense would be fun to watch.

DEFENSE: B+
First half: Despite a late Miami drive, the defense played well. The Gators allowed only 102 yards of offense and made three big plays with interceptions — one that resulted in a score and another that set one up.
Second half: Defense gave up some yardage but made some big plays when it had to while keeping the RedHawks out of the end zone.
For the game: Florida's young defenders played well, coming up with four interceptions and limiting Miami (Ohio) to 208 yards for the day.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C+
First half: Miami wouldn't kick to Jeff Demps so we couldn't see what the new return man would look like. Coverage was adequate on kickoffs.
Second half: Not a good day for Caleb Sturgis who missed a field goal and an extra point that was yanked left of left.
For the game: Coverage was OK, and Mike Gillislee provided a highlight with his 50-yard kickoff return.

OVERALL: C-
"We won. There's a bright spot for you," Coach Urban Meyer said. The Gators did win and were never in danger of losing but this was hardly the kind of performance that will win SEC games.

BEST/WORST

Best weather
Look, if you did anything but sit in a chair in the shade you were sweating like Shaquille O'Neal. But there was a lovely pregame breeze blowing throughout the day making things more bearable than they have been for most of UF's openers.

Worst use of a timeout
Five seconds into the second quarter Florida called a strange timeout after stopping Miami on third-and-10. After thinking about it, the RedHawks decided to try a fake punt and hit it for 17 yards to give themselves a first down on the Florida 36.

Best read
When Janoris Jenkins broke on a Zac Dysert pass and picked it off you figured he would be gone. And he was. Jenkins flew down the west sideline like he was Usain Bolt with someone chasing him. "It was a three-step read and boom!" he said. Boom, indeed.

Worst first eight minutes
Both offenses looked miserable at the start of the game. After eight minutes they had combined for minus-6 yards of total offense.

Best first carry
The first time Trey Burton had the ball he went 2 yards for a touchdown on a tough run. Burton is no Tebow but he appears to be one of the answers on short yardage plays.

Worst fake punt pass
Why Miami went for one again in the second quarter is a mystery, but it would have worked if Ryan Kennedy had thrown a decent pass to Erik Finklea. But as Finklea turned back for the ball, it was sailing well to his right out of bounds.

Best recovery
An hour before the game there were more empty spaces than full in the O'Connell Center crowd and 10 minutes before the game there were plenty of empty seats. But by the time the game cranked up the place was packed as usual.

Worst call
Head official Matt Austin's roughing the passer call on UF cornerback Janoris Jenkins late in the third quarter was brutal. But the call on Jeremy Brown's interception was worse. Luckily, replay gave Brown the interception.

Best quote
"It was not shocking that we didn't play well. It was shocking that the ball was on the ground so much." — Urban Meyer

Worst third-down call
From UF's own 1-yard line, Florida called for a pass to Jeff Demps who caught the ball at the 1-foot line, was drilled by a Miami defender and was fortunate not to get called for a safety.

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