Andreu's Answers: No room for UF to run against Miami
Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.
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 2:
1. What kind of impact will Florida tailback Matt Jones have in his first game back from a viral infection?
He made some tough inside yards, but there really wasn't much space in the running game for him or Mack Brown. Jones carried the ball 18 times and gained only 47 yards for a 2.6 yard average. The only spectacular play he was involved in was when he lost a fumble in the first quarter that led to an easy UM touchdown and great early momentum for the Hurricanes. Will Muschamp said Jones had gotten plenty of contact in practice, and that was not the reason for the fumble.
2. Will the Gators be able to hold Miami's Duke Johnson to less than 100 yards rushing?
To do the job the defense did on Johnson and to not win the game — its going to be hard for everyone, especially the defensive players, to file away. The Gators gave up some early yards to Johnson, then owned him for the rest of the game. He gained only 59 yards on 21 carries and had a long run of only 12 yards. He averaged only 2.8 yards a carry, something not many defenses are going to be able to do against this explosive playmaker.
3. Can the Gators hit some plays in the downfield passing game?
One of the bright sides on offense (and for QB Jeff Driskel) was the fact the Gators did make more happen down the field in their passing game than they have in quite some time. Driskel threw for a career-high 291 yards, and Solomon Patton and Quinton Dunbar both made receptions deep in the UM secondary. Patton had a diving 46-yard reception in the first half and Dunbar had a 32-yard catch in the second. The downfield passing game wasn't the problem this time. It was the ineffective passing game (and offense in general) in the red zone that doomed the Gators.
4. UF will be facing more of a classic drop-back passer. Can the Gators bring some steady heat against Stephen Morris?
Morris had plenty of time to deliver those two touchdown passes in the first quarter — a 7-yarder to Herb Waters and the 52-yarder to Phillip Dorsett — but then the Gators knocked him out of rhythm for the rest of the game with a combination of pressure and tight coverage. The Gators sacked him only once (Ronald Powell), but affected him many times with their pressure.
5. Will the Gators continue to hurt themselves with penalties?
On top of the turnovers and the red-zone blunders, the Gators again hurt themselves with penalties. They were penalized 10 times for 70 yards, including some critical holding penalties that set the offense back. When your offense is struggling to sustain drives, penalties can be deadly, and that's what we saw again at times Saturday. Penalties have been an ongoing problem.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.