Pat Dooley

  • There are no secret formulas for hiring successful head coaches. Sometimes picking the low-hanging fruit off the Nick Saban tree works, sometimes it does not.
    You can use a search firm or you can create your own, […]

    • Excellent comments Larry! Pat… you man but Larry’s take on Mullen is just a bit more accurate than yours.

      • Took the words right out of my mouth, Rog! That’ll teach me to lollygag around at the gym, with hotties young enough to be my adult daughters.

    • Again. Jeremy Foley was the best AD in the game for his entire tenure. We are fortunate he IS a Gator!.STOP THE HATE!

      • It’s fans like you …. you pathetic little brain washed “cheer in all kinds of weather “ morons that enabled all this nonsense. Foley inherited spurrier , his boss told him to go fetch urban from Utah where he served as university president just before coming to uf . Foley hated Mullen , brought in zoom mushchamp and that other clown did not upgrade facilities at all imploded our highly prolific spread offense to go pro style in fact I think the casual 12 year old fan could’ve done a vastly better job inheriting the program and coaches foley did without running them all out of town. FOLEY THOUGHT he was the greatest ad ever then LEAKED offseason “news” to all his pets in the press who cover gator sports such as pat Dooley to run articles about how he’s the greatest ever and in exchange these media members got front row seats to actual press conferences and first scoop on breaking news which is why they went along with it ……. foley SUCKS!

    • Screw up? 25 NCAA national titles during his tenure, tied with Stanford for the most by any A.D. during a career. And you’re saying Foley screwed up? LOL big-time.

    • Tampa I’m with you on the trolls. One of the reasons I joined as a member. User name and pw keeps people from posting as me. Though there is proudly a way around that. I suspect some of the user names here are not always the same person. LT’s writing is very close to some of the others Mikey etc. Regardless I don’t always agree with everyone one here and I’m sure that is mutual. But I agree the part above really sounds like a nole fan.

    • Every thing matters and I love CDM but imo the most Important thing is recruiting that superleader that takes the program to the championship bevel. As good as coach d was Al horford was the guy that did it same with tebow.
      Everyone has athletes. Coaches all call pretty good plays those difference makers are what counts. The culture at UF attracts them in multiple sports.

      • I think there’s a correlation between the two but I don’t think one is more important than the other. You need great coaching AND great talent / leadership for continual championship success. There are transcendent players who most certainly make a difference but they also have great coaching.
        Spurrier – Wuerffel
        Meyer – Tebow
        Brown – Young
        Swinney – Watson
        Jackson – Jordan
        Popovich – Duncan
        Belichick – Brady
        Saban – A team full of five star talent

        Occasionally the transcendent player is mostly what you need:
        Any of His Coaches – LeBron
        Chitzik – Newton (Cam carried an otherwise ordinary team to a championship).

        My last point is that championship teams are almost always (see previous point, almost) loaded with talent AND have good coaching. Think back on every championship team, they’ve all loaded with all-Americans, all-stars or pro bowlers. No matter what sport.

      • Dan is a great coach, if he can get the talent we will be putting his name in the ring of honor and maybe name an end zone after him or something. 7 games into his first season I might be a little drunk with the kool-aid but it’s better than having shark after taste burps.

    • The comparison is it’s their second head coaching jobs…the end. You guys are right, everything else is apple vs oranges.

    • My pick to replace Muschamp was Dabo Swinney because he had Clemson rising and was winning the recruiting battles in Florida at the time. However, I was almost heckled out of the forums for making that suggestion. People thought he was just a figure head and that Chad Morris was who made the team run (I suspect it was because Dabo wore his faith outwardly). Well Chad Morris got his HC gig at SMU and didn’t do much. He is now at Arkansas and it’s not looking good there either. Meanwhile Dabo keeps getting his teams in the CFP. After he has won a national championship, there’s no way he’s leaving Clemson now except maybe Alabama if they offered him $10M+. The bottom line, I think one of the many criteria for a coaching hire at UF should be a history of successful recruiting in the state of Florida. That criteria should be near the top of the job description.

    • All that aside, I kind of like Ed Ogeron…..but not THAT much! C’mon.

    • I have a serious question: In the game against Vanderbilt the Gators were hit with a team “unsportsmanlike” penalty. Because James Huston had received an individual unsportsmanlike earlier and even tho he was not involved in the team penalty it was deemed that it would be his second and he was ejected. My question is that if the team received a second unsportsmanlike would the whole team be disqualified? If it was in the second half would the team also be disqualified in the first half of their next game? (This is how the rule reads). Is this not unprecedented power in the hands of an official who on one play could inflict two loses on a team!

      • Roger Eaton – Good question. Technically, the officials could make that call as you described. Realistically, I doubt any official would make such a call if he wants to ever officiate another game. It would be sheer stupidity. No doubt the SEC is going to change the rule at the next opportunity.

    • I can’t believe it took everyone this long to figure out Jeremy foley and his arrogant stupidity false accolades lack of understanding of football ect ect ect was the problem the entire time and ppl like pat Dooley were his direct media PR spin machine, Dooley needs to be fired along with a hoard of ppl involved with gator athletics going back to 2010. We’ve had all these speedy skill players the entire time and instead tried to bunch them all up in a venella pro style offense did anyone ever bother to ask foley in the past 8 years what his obsession was with doing that????? Foley has been hiding from public statements lately someone needs to drag his bottom up in front of some cameras we deserve very lenthgy explainations for all his nonsense

    • You are way wrong bro spurrier actually did not get along well with foley and it climaxed back in 2001 when we had a shot at a national title and that FSU thug Derrall Docket on Bobby Bowden’s command with game well in hand purposely stomped on and broken earnest Graham’s hand our all American running back . The next week we ran for -35 yards in a 2 point loss to Tennessee costing us a rose bowl. Spurrier wanted to go after corrupt FSU ath dept and foley told him to stop and he quite. Foley also was known to walk into coaches office and annoy them with his nonsense most likely his love for women’s athletics. He didn’t like Mullen it’s why we didn’t hire him he only wanted coaches that would be his yes men. Foley is the catylist behind our lost decade perhaps the only impressive thing about him is his ability to control the gator media sports news cycle and leak topics regarding his own self about being “the greatest athletic director of all time.” He impressed liberal university “elite” types with his absurd windfall funding for women’s sports at the cost of not upgrading any of our football facilities…. foley is a traitor horrible person and it’s time ppl wake up and demand our top tier football program be handled by ppl who actually want to invest and win big in football

    • Also in 1998 Bobby Bowden pulled that same trip in getting his 2nd string benchers to go start a fight with tony George our all American corner back who was going to cover cheater Warick that game George defended himself and the ACC refs threw him out and warrick went off in the 2nd half or we would have most likely won that game ….. same year we got hosed at Tennessee as well 1st and goal from the 3 and Fred Taylor’s knee clearly was down at one before ball game out Tennessee then marched down field kicked game tying field goal and won in oT this was in the 4th quarter we got robbed in that game also. Foley never did anything I think that season set the example of how to slow down spurrier …. his teams always got robbed on the road and foley let it happen

    • CAW Mex, Ad isn’t the coach, they do wield a lot of power. There are good ones and bad ones and I’m not defending him. I am saying there is a lot going on none of us ever know about. Lots of moving pieces. Did we talk behind on facilities? Yes and likely that is his fault. Hiring Mus, Mac his fault too. Now s for revenues at games that has been an issue at almost every football team. Almost. The problem is tv hd tv has become so good many are starting home to watch. The younger set can’t focus long enough to watch the game. Our product on the field didn’t help. Since Spurrier we have been improving. There have been dips and surges. The ebb and flow will always be the case. Being the best at something is only relative to the competition and the perception of interested parties.

    • If you are going to be vocal criticizing Foley on facilities, you should also be vocal criticizing Stricklin. In fairness to Foley, while he was late in upgrading facilities, he did get the IPF built and had a plan in place to start construction of the stand alone facility by last December before he retired. Stricklin made the decision to delay construction of the stand alone in favor of first funding the baseball and softball projects.

    • Todd Grantham is one of the best defensive coordinators in NCAA Div 1 football. I admit I did not look at his defenses when he was at Georgia. However, as an ex-college defensive player, I began looking at the defensive scheme this year. Outside of the KY game (I do NOT think players yet understood his system), he has been as MASTER at disguising the defensive schemes, mixing up coverages and blitzes, rotating his zone calls, etc. If you review the Vandy game, you see the defensive over-ran the first Vandy run at first, and one pass. After recovering from the fumbles and the picks, Grantham really fooled Shumer and the Vandy OC, just like he did vs. LSU. Do NOT worry about sacks. Vandy was blocking with 6 players. It stopped the rush, but left them with only 4 offensive threats. From 21-3 to 37-27 (a 28 point swing) was remarkable. I hope Grantham develops a strategy for Georgia. The best defensive coordinators look at the other teams offense, devise ways to stop and implement strategies that hide what the defense is going to do. That said, Georgia’s threat is the run. If that is stopped and Georgia is forced to rely on Jake Fromm’s arm, I think the Gators will get at LEAST 2 picks and a defensive score. That’s a big IF, but that’s how any Florida-Georgia game is. Should be a good one Oct. 27 at the cocktail party. PS: Went to a number of cocktail parties while in college and just recently. It’s still The World’s Largest Outdoor Party” to me.

  • Kerwin Bell, the former Florida quarterback and Valdosta State football coach, joins Pat Dooley this week, along with a recap of the Gators win over Vanderbilt and picks for the upcoming weekend.

    Trying to […]

    • I really cannot understand why Kerwin has never gotten a sniff as OC from any of the coaches we have had since Meyer. Man, him and ‘Champ would have been a good combo.

    • Kerwin Bell will always be one of my favorite Gators. A walk-on, and back-up to the back-ups, he was the unlikely leader of what was arguably one of the greatest Gator teams of all time.

      The players on the ’84 team paid a high price for Charlie Pell’s NCAA indiscretions. The conference took Florida’s first SEC title away from them. Then they were ineligible for the SEC title they would have won on the field in ’85.

      Kerwin has proven himself an excellent coach in both high school and college. I always hoped the ‘Throwin’ Mayoan’ would find his way back to the Gator sideline as an offensive coordinator. Thanks for having him on the podcast.

    • dennis dixon?

    • college gameday came to vanderbilt october 4, 2008, as nationally ranked 4-0 Vandy played host to 4-1 Auburn

    • Late to the game here, but I always wondered why Bell never could get to the sidelines at Florida except for the one year with Spurrier. In that year, Bell, along with Spurrier and Reeves, found the quarterback to take Florida to the next level of elite status. He’s a great offensive mind. If you couple him with an aggressive defensive coordinator I believe that football program would be unstoppable. He’s had good seasons, has a great offensive mind, but there must be some reason he doesn’t fit at Florida. He’ll never be able to coach under Mullen due to philosophy differences. So best of luck to him in his coaching career. The Throwin’ Mayoan. That limp into the endzone in 1986 is the loudest I’ve ever heard that stadium. Yes, louder than 97. We shook the foundation that afternoon.

    • The squeaky chair gets the hook instead of the grease. LOL.

    • And yet (sorry), I recall the Texas teams he coached on as being fairly potent on offense too, so how did he wind up this way? Mack Brown, love him or hate him, was a pretty good judge of talent and Muschamp was his head coach-in-waiting. Maybe you’re right, Joe….maybe he really is headed toward mediocrity at S.Carolina. What a shame.

    • Well, there IS that too! Good catch, Redondo.

    • The crowd after the block was louder than the full-afterburner pass of F-18’s prior to the game. I know — I was on the top row of the North endzone… I could see the pilot’s faces!

  • The Back Nine comes at you after 12 hours of sleep again. I can’t think these sleep patterns are good for me, but it’s good to have an off week to take care of things around the house. Tell me my wife didn’t hear […]

    • Let’s hope that Jackson”ville” will be #4 and make the record even more exclusive and impressive!!! GO GATORS!!!

    • It now comes down to a week off and then a HUGE game in Jacksonville (The inflamed boil on the ass of the world. If Jacksonville didn’t have Florida Georgia every year, what would they have?) Florida has set itself up for the SEC East race. As I’ve been reminded, Kentucky holds its own destiny, but they’re Kentucky. They’ll be sure to lose to Georgia, Tennessee, Vandy, or Missouri, or all of them for that matter. They’re still Kentucky.
      When I called this season back in August, I called losses to Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Georgia. Only called the Kentucky loss because o f law of averages. State because I felt Florida would go on the road and get pushed around by physically superior lines, and Georgia because their program looked to be a cut above and near the strength of Alabama. But now, Georgia looks beatable, and any game is winnable, if the ball bounces correctly.
      So let’s all take a week off. Let’s relax, have some fun, get in some family time and enjoy the little things in life. Next week, it’s going to be time for the Football Program at Florida to step up to a defining moment with its new Regime. There’s something on the horizon coming this way.

    • Hey Phil you forgot the TPC one of the greatest sporting events. Jacksonville also has some very very good golf courses. The Old Gator Bowl and the stink are gone. Jacksonville matters!
      Gators going to shock da world!

      • Jacksonville has more golf courses than any city in the state. I’ve been waterskiing, golfing and attended a beer festival at the beach all in the same day in Jax. Cocktail party still the best in the country at any venue.

      • And don’t forget the minor league baseball team, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 🙂 And no, I’m not from Jacksonville nor do I want to be, though I’ve had a lot of fun experiences in and around Jax.

    • I’m not sure where I’m gonna end up in my prediction but I’ll say this…. the Gators front 7 on defense better be ready for the UGA running game. Holyfield is a punishing runner who does not give up on plays. All it takes is one missed assignment and he’s gone for a TD. Swift is a very skilled runner as well. I also expect their plan will be for Fromm to try and exploit any secondary weaknesses we have (here’s looking at you Mr. Dean… Mr McWilliams). In addition I think we may see a lot more from Justin Fields. Fromm is not going to hurt you with his legs and if we get good pressure up front, I can see Fields coming in to neutralize that a bit…maybe a lot.

      I actually feel better about our offense’s chances against UGA. Again, it is critical for the OL to continue to show improvement and give Franks time to wind up and throw.

      I see a physical game, I see a lot of coaching and scheming and intellectual football going on, I see special teams being a BIG part of this game. I’m still pondering my prediction….

    • “For the record”? Name one person who is keeping a record of every major city you have visited, beside yourself.

      Reluctant as I am to comment, especially on the heels of CO since you will no doubt read a conspiracy into it, let me just state the obvious: That was the most arrogant post I’ve ever read on here, lectures and corrections notwithstanding. Please stick to football and leave social commentary and travel guides alone.

    • Big Kerwin bell fan here. I have no idea why champ for example didn’t give him a shot. But champ is a nice man who’s judgement and mine aren’t exactly the same. For that matter but I don’t see why the Gators never hired CDM ten years ago and never got why chip Kelly was preferred by the athletic department over CDM either.

      • Mveal — I’ve often wondered the same about Kerwin Bell. If diversity of experience is one of the things you look for, look no further…..from Spurrier to the CFL, he’s been around the horn a few times to include a winning record where ever he has landed. Though it’s hard to believe since his time as a Gator seems like yesterday, he’s got to be in his mid-fifties by now and it’s not likely he’ll move up soon. Guess he’s made a comfortable bed at the level he’s at, but even so I’d bet he’d be a winner as a Power-5 or GOG offensive coordinator — if he’d take the job.

    • Get a life.

    • Very surprised to read we are 116th in penalties. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that bad like in previous years. I don’t remember a lot of drive killing offsides/procedure calls this year.

    • I agree with everything. Finally some reason in this group by someone who is clearly a grounded individual.
      I will take exception to one point, Grimes TD is at 0:38. Go gatah

    • You really don’t get it, do you? Sad.

      Before you hastily respond, I have a suggestion for you. Become a member of the forum, and one of the benefits you will enjoy is the ability to private message other members back and forth. That way you can say anything you desire, off the forum and without distracting others, and be done with it. I’m sure others would appreciate it, even if they are less educated, less worldly, and less well off than you.

    • Tampa, you are delusional. But nevertheless, join the forum, take it off line on the private message feature. What’s stopping you?

    • I grew up hearing it called the Georgia-Florida game too, by both my father and grandfather……and come to think of it, my entire family of Gator fanatics in Florida. I guess I still do, but now that you mention it, I wonder why!

    • I’m on the same page as you, Smith, with the same concerns plus a differential in QB play. But I think — or at least hope — that this is where our improvement in S&C bears fruit. We do need our A+ game all around, but I still don’t think it quite measures up to David and Goliath.

      I’ve lately been against calling pin-point scores, more favoring margins of victory as the season has matured — but I’ll be damned if I didn’t call this one Florida 23-20 or 25-23 back in the late summer.
      I may well be a suck egg mule before it’s all over, but I still see the Gators winning a close game against Georgia.

  • The Sunday Blog comes at you from the Charlotte Airport finishing up our third trip in four weeks. Nothing but in-state games from here on out.

    The penalty assessed to both benches in Saturday’s F […]

    • A new rule that with a single sweeping personal foul penalty on the “entire bench” disqualifies every player who already has one personal foul.
      Stupid beyond belief. How could presumably intelligent men who spent their lives with college football be dumb enough to enact this rule?

    • TOTALLY AGREE, CHANGE THE RULE!!! WHY WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE SEASON? The SEC gets paid millions of dollars, and they should earn their salaries by eliminating a stupid rule now!

    • score one for ole dooley again. this could get weird if they dont change it and soon. lets say in the championship game something like this happens, and whole teams get disqualified. thats going to go over well with advertisers.
      in the meantime we have some work to do! this is going to be more important to kirby smart than beating bama in the championship game. if he loses this one at the cocktail party he will start to look like muschamp 2.0, which ask the booing south carolina fans if that is what you really want for a coach.
      i like our chances in an ugly one.

    • Noting despite the above conversation that we currently rank 67th nationally in offense. That represents an enormous improvement over last year, although we certainly have a ways to go to get back to the “Gator standard”. This, of course, being a multi-year building process — pretty encouraging wouldn’t you say?

    • Easy for you to say when you’re not a competitor and your competition juices are not flowing like his was just yourself in his shoes geez

      • Very well said. Those who find it easy to criticize others for playing a difficult game usually have never played such a rough sport ever. Adrenalin, emotion, screaming–and make the right decision in .02 seconds.

    • I was screaming at my computer, “where’s the f’n holding call”?

    • I’m only partially joking but that might be an NCAA rule violation and could result in the Gators being placed on 10 years probation. This is, after all, the NCAA.

    • Clyde saw some of your posts on another site. I don’t do face book so I didn’t post there. Fully agree with your position. We could win every contest if they stay focused on the team at hand.

    • From the first time I saw a player ejected for “targeting” I thought it was wrong. Ejections should be very rare, and never for unintended actions. Targeting should be a 15 yard personal foul and that’s all. I don’t ever remember seeing a “targeting” penalty called for something malicious. It changes the game too much when a star athlete or important defensive back is ejected. Let the kids play football.

    • nope. lasagna eating only required that the player sits out one game. crab legs is two. i looked it up.

    • Nice wrapup. BTW, thanks for explaining that new rule about unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the entire team–a new SEC rule this year–and a REALLY STUPID, IDIOTIC, RULE!!! The SEC needs to change that rule ASAP!!! As you pointed out, the entire team gets an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty twice and the entire game is forfeited over a ludicrous rule! The SEC needs to scrap that rule PRONTO!!! Also, thanks for sharing your observation of how you noticed the team was really putting their trust in the coaching staff like you have not seen in a long time. We have a GREAT COACHING STAFF–FINALLY–GO GATORS!!!

    • Kudos to you guys for doing this swampcast after the game!!!

    • Thank you for choosing a location for the post game gamecast without any distracting background noise. Enjoyed hearing your thoughts.

    • Thanks guys!

    • Something slipped thru the cracks on that rule. But you would think when it is a boulder that slips thru, someone among the SEC geniuses would figure it out. That must be the Louisiana and Tenn influence in the room. They need to ban alcohol at the SEC meetings. Perhaps they need to stop going to Destin and drinking their way through their meetings and instead go to Tupelo and watch the ferns grow .

  • Offense A-
    First half: On the one hand, the Gators were super efficient making 18 first downs. On the other hand, they were super sloppy with two turnovers costing UF points. Lamical Perine had himself a half […]

    • I forgot. What was Mullen’s response earlier in the week when asked if he had a trick play for this week?

    • That started out as a luckless Ron zooker and ended up a give em hell Charley Pell finish. Time to reflect on the ride so far and finish the season strong. Tebow strong.

    • Well said, absolutely correct. Frost who?

    • On one hand, don’t forget who you played: Vanderbilt. On the other hand, I never thought I would see the day that Franks was 19 for 29 for 284 yards, 2-TD’s and 1 Int (tip ball). Now, the leading receiver was a running back, Perine, but the yardage in the passing game and the yardage in the running game were almost even (284-293). So while I’ll state for the record that this offense is very difficult to watch, it got the job done today. It is a ground and pound with a short passing game hoping for the long run after catch, but it got the job done today. Dameon Pierce needs the ball more.
      Vandy knew exactly what to do against our defense. Draw, trap, and screen. If you have speed pass rushers coming up field, draw them up field, trap them, and run screen plays. It worked to perfection until Vandy lost Vaughn. Steve Spurrier used to run those plays to stop the pass rush from coming after his quarterbacks. Also, give their quarterback credit…when his internal clock got to 3, the ball got thrown. He wasn’t waiting around for 4-5 seconds. But overall, Vandy is Vandy and they were completely out manned by Florida.
      I have been watching college football for over 40 years. I have never in my life seen an entire football team hit with unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and then have a player have one already, and get ejected. Sideline unsportsmanlike penalties are always on coaches. Mullen’s statement, “Steve Shaw and Greg Sankey have something to look at and talk about.” Hey coach, remember 2006?? Steve Shaw doesn’t know the difference between a fumble and an incomplete pass. Don’t ask him to explain the rules of football to you, or anybody else!
      To Coach Dan Mullen and the Gators, congratulations on another win and setting up your own destiny in the SEC Eastern Division. It’s wonderful that Dooley is announcing at the top of the article, “Florida Bowl Eligible!” Just FYI: that’s expected every year at Florida. Another headline would be better: Once again, Florida is now in control of their own destiny in the SEC East. Florida has won the games and now is set up to play Georgia in Jacksonville in a pivotal SEC East game for a possible trip to Atlanta. THAT is what is expected every year, at Florida.

    • And, uh, uga ain’t fairing very well right now either.

    • We are 6-1. We should beat Idaho so make it 7-1. We must lose all four games between Georgia, S. Carolina, Mizzou and FSU to finish 7-5. I don’t think we can do it (go 0-4 for that stretch). Who beats us? I am curious to know opinions — not to get ahead of ourselves as we must play-one-game-at-a-time and only focus on one-game-at-a-time — but who beats us?

      We don’t win pretty, but we win and win with character. I am willing to say for the first time this year that it is within the realm of possibility that we win out. Probability is another matter, but even that looks better all of a sudden.

      • I would have rather faced an undefeated UGA team then playing them after their first loss of the season. They were already going to give us special attention but now they’re most likely going to refocus and lock back in for the next two weeks. That’s a long time to work on the flaws LSU exposed. I’m a CDM believer and would take his coaching ability over Kirby’s any day. However, talent can make up for a lot of things and their’s scares me. I go back and forth really, but I had a lot more confidence in beating them before they lost to LSU today.

        Everyone else we should peel off the bottom of our boots. Isn’t it fun to think we should and can win games again instead of hope we can and then be relieved that we did?

        • I take your point Dallas, and it’s a good one at that. I think Georgia’s overconfidence coming in unbeaten would have been a factor, just like it was LSU’s when we beat them. Georgia got behind in the LSU game, didn’t respond with appropriate urgency when they should have (after all, they ARE Georgia), and LSU capitalized on it. Actually, it reminded me of what we did to LSU.

    • Kentucky still has Vanderbilt, Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee to play. They will lose at least one of those

    • IF the Gators win out…(and I don’t make that statement lightly…..UGA, Mizzou, SC remain, all winnable, all loseable) and someone else can beat Kentucky, the hello Atlanta. I don’t think anyone in the room thought this was anywhere near possible back in August.

      I really don’t mean to put the cart ahead of the horse, but IF that happens and we meet Bama in Atlanta, I feel a lot better about a respectable showing than either time that Mac took this team there. I NEVER felt like our offense had any chance at all, and they obviously they didn’t, back in 2015 and 2016.

      • Wait — there’s late breaking news, Rog. UCLA and Chip Kelly finally won a game last night. Now they’ll be ranked for sure this week and probably in the Play-Offs, so there might not be room for the Gators even if they do win out.

    • Regarding UGA in two weeks…… Elijah Holyfield is a beast. The Gators better practice hitting and tackling…. a lot… between now and then.

    • yeah, but it’s the Vandy d line. verdict inconclusive

    • If we beat UGA (unlikely) but lose to USC or Mizzou, UGA beats Kentucky and everyone wins the rest of their SEC games then it would be a three way tie with the winner being the highest ranked team…is that right?

    • No te hagas pedo.

    • In one felt swoop, you have just insulted the whole Wal-Mart Greeter industry. Thanks a lot.

    • Anecdotal but seems he calls them whenever we need a momentum shift. He also looked so cool. He didn’t even watch the “punt” while it was happening. He was talking to Franks as he came off the field. Kinda like the movie scenes when the good guys don’t look back while everything explodes in the background.

    • Stop with comments about the refs, the coaches, the other team, etc. in EVERY game there are good and bad calls. Look at the rally guys. Enjoy the roses. Look for the “light in the pouring rain.” Well, everyone’s got an opinion. Makes America great. So just look at 6-1, national ranking, 6th best vs. pass, tough players, good offense when they hold onto the ball, and great DC in Grantham. He disguises coverages better than anyone. Vandy took away the blitz, some Gator defenders over-reacted on the 75 yd. screen and 48 yd. run, but outside of those two (123 yds). Vandy only got 196 yds the other 59 minutes.

    • You did say that, BC, and I remember it because it started changing my opinion about Georgia. To wit, how would they respond when somebody slapped them in the face, and got ahead. No, not Bama-East, but still good and just as Kentucky was our white whale, LSU may have been theirs…….a good game plan, executed well, would really unhinge them!

    • It is 1445 hours in Central Texas, and the sun is shining.

    • BC, you’re much smarter than me because I certainly called them “Bama East” in here a couple weeks ago.

      Irregardless, I think we both agree that them losing before we played them, especially the game prior, is not advantageous for us.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On a day that started out looking like it was headed toward disaster, Feleipe Franks walked off the field at Vanderbilt Stadium waving a Gatorade towel wildly over his head in celebration.
    As a […]

    • There were some bad bounces and unusual referee decisions mixed in. But the coaches did a good job imo.

    • I know Samaritan’s Purse will be out there in two or three weeks to help with the rebuild, but in the meantime, are there local donation targets that will get 100% to the people in desperate need?

    • By Jove, Jaws has got his MOJO back! BRAVO!

    • Good coaching change-up by Grantham . Vandy took away the blitz, and got the 75-yard screen cause of an over-run by the safety. But Grantham collected them and (other than 75 yd. pass and 48 yd. run via another over-eager DB) Gators held them to just 196 yds for 59 minutes. A lot of good things seen. A few things that are not there yet. REfs: Don’t blame refs. I see good and bad calls in EVERY game; football, baseball, basketball, hockey. Get over it.
      Gators now 6th nationally in pass defense vs. pass-happy Georgia. Something has to give. Should be another exciting cocktail party. Ooops. The politically correct say don’t use that term, even though it’s been around 70 years. So Ill say “the world’s largest outdoor party.”

  • Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley takes a look at the first half of the Florida-Vanderbilt game:

    It was a pretty pathetic performance on both sides of the ball. The biggest issue were the two turnovers by […]

    • A plan really is a priority list as to what to emphasize. No way today resembles anything that you can plan very well for

  • Dan Mullen was kidding.

    I’m pretty sure.

    But not 100 percent.

    I asked him on the SEC conference call Wednesday whether running trick plays in each of the last two games — one for a score and the other set […]

    • although the article was about trick plays, the headline was about plans which is a big deal. any plan is based on prediction, which in a trial and error world that we all live in, is not goi ng to work out as much as we all think. backup plans arent much better, but the process of planning helps prepare for scenarios so it is useful. trick plays fall into the risk management category, obviously they work over time when the downside isnt so onerous. One advantage of being a gator is that our athletic dept understands things like this far more than most places.

  • Caller: What if five teams go unbeaten, but Alabama loses to Georgia by a field goal in the SEC Championship Game and Urban Meyer announces he can’t coach any longer the day before the final vote and UCF joins t […]

    • This is no longer a new offence for the Gators. Cdm has done a great job bringing this team around and the defense is playing lights out. Who Dooley picks has nothing to do with how the players perform. I trust cdm and the positive attitude he has brought to this Gator team and trust he will have the Gators ready for vandy. I will not predict the score because I haven’t a clue, but I do think our team will win and play hard doing it.

      • I want to be the first to say, I was wrong. I know it is not even half time, but we (Gators) are not the same team that has played the past 3 weeks.

    • This is actually a realistic pick. I think Florida’s defense along with their kicking game can hold Vandy to 14 or less, 24 points on the board is an attainable goal for this offense…..against this team.

    • Not sure of the score but Gators win by 21

    • What do horseshoes, four leaf clovers, and Dooley picking Gators to lose have in common?

    • The really off pick this week? The spread on Alabama and Missouri. 42-21??? There’s going to be too many numbers in this game, so I’ll channel the ball coach and call the final score 10-4.

    • State, Colorado State.

      Pat, I told you last week you were going 4-6. Better picks this week but Arky over ole Miss and the Badgers get it done in Ann Arbor.

  • Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley and staff writer Robbie Andreu preview the Florida at Vanderbilt football game Saturday.
    Using the Gatorsports mobile app? You may need to view the video here:

  • Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley talks about Florida’s game against Vanderbilt and the challenges of getting ready to play in a odd environment at an early time. Plus an interview with beat writer Adam Sparks from […]

    • Vandy is a good road test for U.F.’s consistency, and I think Coach Mullen should have them ready to go. My hope is that this Gator team works Vandy over and quickly (and stays healthy). Then they have 2 weeks to get ready for those dirty Dawgs. Can’t spell ”ugly” without a U.G.(A). And Georgia fans, I know you’re here checking on us, I can smell some dirty dogs. ”It isn’t revenge we’re after, it’s the reckoning!”
      Go Gators!

    • So does Pat know a lot or not?

    • You’re right. Trying not to look ahead. Vand y first. We’ll be at the game in Jax. Hope to see the dog fans leaving by half.

  • We all know it’s coming, but a college football season is like a runaway subway train with the conductor locked in the bathroom. It flies by like a cheetah chasing a speedy meal.
    The treadmill doesn’t take any […]

    • It is indeed time for some fans to pump the brakes. The Gators are looking good, but they clearly still have some weak spots. Alabama’s biggest tests are ahead, but there’s no denying that their offense is much more potent than we have seen in the past under Saban. And their defense is still very good, loaded with NFL talent. I’m not saying that the Gators would have no chance against them, but the stars would need to be aligned just right.

    • The SEC is Alabama and Georgia, then all the rest. What I thought about Florida before the season was that there was talent upon talent in the program, but no leadership, coaching, or organization. Halfway through the season, it’s easy to see that there is talent on the defensive side of the ball and on the special teams with regards to the kicking game. The offensive side of the ball is lacking in talent and ability. Interestingly enough, the Gators have gotten through 6 games on the premise of play great defense, win the kicking game, and don’t turn the ball over. We’ll see how that formula works the rest of the season. Eventually, though, you have to be able to come out and physically dominate the everyday competition so you can compete with the elite competition. Maybe it’s time not to get conservative after a turnover, but try to be more aggressive and get right back out there and score more points! Maybe just get aggressive on offense in the first place!

      • Grump…..I’m just gonna say this before you get hammered by others. Are you kidding me? The Gators need to physically dominate someone? Did you watch the last three games? It may not have been domination but the Gators surely were physical. No talent and ability on offense? You need to have a cup of coffee and wake up and watch the team we’ve all been watching this year. Yes our QB play needs continued improvement and yes the OL is a work in progress. But lots of talent at skill positions. And finally, be more aggressive on offense????? Coach Mullen has crafted pretty masterful gameplans to play to our offense’s strengths and take advantage of the opponent’s defenses. This isn’t the most explosive offense in the history of explosive offenses, but it is getting the job done with the hand Coach was dealt. It takes years to recruit high level depth and years for strength and conditioning to make the consistent impact we’d all like to see. But in year one, I’d say we’ve already gotten more than we bargained for.

        • Rog I saw what you saw. The only thing Grump said that was correct is what Mullen said in the interview. He got too conservative after the interception. Risk/Reward decisions. Overall we are a team that has turned around but is still finding its identity and still learning how to do things. This weekend will be another test of what we are. One thing we are now is physical. Now they have to use that at the right times to get the push and blocks etc.

    • Dooley – I love your analogies.

    • Putting that in context though, Alabama has had so many big leads early, they are pulling starters before half time. Their starting 22 for 4 quarters would have a different statistical look.

    • Kim, subway trains do have bathrooms. They are reserved for conductors, staff and individuals with special needs. I thought it was a very clever opening line. Gators got that wama jama…

    • This is no time for any foot on the brakes. UF needs to obliterate Vandy, then rest and prepare for UGA. Then they only need to beat UGA, there will likely be no “domination”, then the SEC world will realize this is a different Georgia team than they thought, and more importantly this is a different UF team than they thought. The key difference for the Gators has been the high quality of the coaching at all levels. UAA should sue McElwain for fraud. Pat I would suggest you mail the BBQ sauce up to Ann Arbor.
      GO GATORS!

    • How do you go potty?

    • com·mo·dore
      a naval officer of high rank, in particular an officer in the US Navy or Coast Guard ranking above captain and below rear admiral.
      the president of a yacht club.
      the senior captain of a shipping line.

    • I did not think the gators would show toughness like they have, and thats a big part of the progress. i did think franks would be tough, but i didnt see it coming at linebacker and defensive line, although i did like the new defensive line coach. i never thought mullen would be as toughness oriented.
      the biggest thing that the gators being successful is we dont have to hear about how wonderful the TV teams in the southeast conference are, i am glad not to have to listen to that anymore.

      • That’s an interesting perspective mveal. I don’t think I ever thought of Dan Mullen as being focused on being “tough” either…..just a great play caller. The more I see and hear of Coach Mullen, the more I like!!! I think history will record that Coach Dan Mullen will be one of the SEC coaching greats.

    • That drive was one of my favorite Gator moments of the past 4-5 years. They got tough when they needed to get tough and they ran the ball up the gut for first downs and clock eating….I agree that this was instrumental in winning the game.

    • Pure poetry. You should publish…..

    • As the other replies suggest, these statistics may well be misleading. They may not be as good as prior years on defense, but I doubt that we know this to be true yet. No one has come close to challenging them to this point of the season, and they have been able to coast through large stretches of games.

    • It’s easy to say that Bama doesn’t play a tough schedule. After all, unlike other SEC schools, they don’t have to play Bama. It doesn’t make them any less of a favorite to win another natty.

    • DeWayne – I certainly feel for everyone affected. Like most on this forum, I’ve directly lived through a hurricane (or two) during my life and it never gets easier in dealing with them. Football can be a great diversion but for the folks in the path of Matthew, life is a bigger concern right now as the rebuilding will take years. Hang in there folks, our prayers are with you.

  • Pat looks back at the LSU game, the great atmosphere at The Swamp and other SEC matchups.

    Podcast breakdown:

    01:25 There’s a different feeling when LSU comes to town
    03:00 Florida has become a good […]

    • I always felt the same, PHS, at the time and ever since…..but Billy Fink pointed out the other day that he might not have been ready at the time. Got me thinking, maybe that’s true, you never know what might have been or what might not have been. I’m just thankful we’ve got him now!

    • Excellent point — and it goes for not only our QB at present, but for the team as a whole too. Pat’s point seemed to be that while we’re good, we’re not “back” yet…..”back” presumably meaning where we were before this mess started. Who can deny that either, as much as we wish it to be so? We are what we are right now, and that’s a helluva lot better than we were just a year ago; we win games and we win them the way we have to right now, which ain’t always pretty or easy. But we win them, and it’s sure as hell not luck. I think we really do what you say, Daz….we cheer them on, avoid un-needed negativity, and watch this team grow into what we all want it to be. One-game-at-a-time, to include any future disappointments. Even those of us who are grumpy by nature.

    • To actually be inside the stadium when special moments happen, like Saturday vs. L.S.U. is ”what makes college football great.” And many of us have had our fair share: James Jones 1 handed catch, falling backwards onto the pylon to take out the nasty ‘U’, or Kerwin’s comeback against Top 5 Auburn, or a Florida fan favorite: Florida taking down the #1 ranked F.S.U. in ’97. Ultimately, I sincerely hope ”The Swamp” can be as electric as it was Saturday, more often, with Mullen at the helm. Go Gators!

    • James Jones’ catch, and Kerwin’s ”bad knee comeback” are still my favorites.
      I actually snuck into that Miami game (via the old North end zone, as the punk kid that I was in the late 70’s to early 80’s). I sat right there in that corner too, between the North end zone and East side, where Jones made the catch. Gator great memories! And I sincerely wish them for all the young Gator fans today. They’ll NEVER forget them! Much like you and I. But they ”have to be there” to make those memories.
      Go Gators!

    • The truth is our perception of the team is as good as the last games. We started the season optimistic. We liked the first game and our QB’s improvement. We thought it was going to be a repeat of last year and were telling everyone to be patient after Kentucky. We didn’t realize then KY was pretty good. We won another game against an ok team .Then hear comes MSU and LSU and we are now good. We may be great, and we will know that soon. When you get to the point in your thinking when you should be patient and listen to what you said to yourself after the KY game, but find yourself eager after the LSU game–that is a good thing. We can go 5-6 or 10-2, who knows maybe even 11-1. I think 9-3 is more realistic. And I think that would make us a very good football team , especially when considering how good LSU and KY turned out to be this year. That should get us a top 15 ranking and a nice bowl game.

      • I enjoyed reading your comments, mkf. In the gradations of excellence department, I’ll be very happy if we rate out as “good” at the end of the year, especially in context of last year. “Very good” would be icing on that cake. I think we will be “excellent” when wins come easier, or at least don’t stop my freakin’ heart so many times during a game! BOTTOM LINE WAY DOWN LOW: It’s always great to be a Gator, but it sure is fun again now.

    • I rooted for Mullen’s return when Meyer left. At that time others pointed out Mullen had been abrasive and less than mature while here, although his offensive coaching was excellent. I now realize he wasn’t ready at that time and as MS head coach he has matured and grown in both personal communications and coaching skills. He sure is ready now!

    • me three

    • LOL. Probably both.

  • The Back Nine comes at you after an exhaustive week that required a low-key Sunday just to get the sweat out of your clothes and your voices back. At least that’s the way it was at my house.
    10. So everyone had a […]

    • The offensive numbers you cited are not very impressive, but they definitely don’t tell the whole story. How about the fact that the Gators put together two long drives against LSU when they needed to, once to take a 14-10 lead and once to take the lead at the end? I personally can’t imagine last year’s team doing that. Or how about the fact that the Gators outrushed LSU for the game? Or how about offensive efficiency ratings? Last year, the Gators ended up at 105 on this scale. This year they are currently at 40. The Gators also seem to play, on the offensive side, with a mental toughness and confidence that they have lacked for a long time. In other words, there are some numbers and empirical observations (if somewhat subjective) to support the idea that there is what you describe as a different vibe.

    • Way down we go is hopeful? Are you sure you have the right name? Seriously, how can anyone not see that Franks is playing at a much higher level than last year is hard for me to understand. Even more importantly, this offense is much better than some cherry-picked numbers would indicate. Also, the only team left on the Gators’ schedule that is tougher than either MSU or LSU is Georgia. How does that lead one to conclude that we are on the way down?

    • #15: Not if the play-offs are expanded and goes to conference champions, with the darlings of college football sports writers, Notre Dame, getting off their high horse and joining a conference (or not, I couldn’t care less but am tired of them being catered to). Of course, the set up then would probably be akin to taking the square root of Nick Saban’s birthday, dividing it by the circumference of the moon, and excluding any team exceeding the result of that by a factor of 12.3…………so maybe not after all.

    • This is on target. And don’t forget that the play just before this, Franks dropped a dime on his receiver on a very long completion. The receiver was pretty well covered, it appeared to me, and Franks put it right where it needed to be to let him catch it in stride. The major problem on the next play was a blown assignment in the offensive line.

    • So from the Sunday comments section that was just…,but now to the Tuesday comments section where, hopefully, it’ll be a bit calmer.

      Look, I’m not here to win friends or be part of a party. I’m not going to sit in a hippie pot circle around a fire and sing Kumbaya. That just isn’t me. Unfortunately, it IS most of Gator Nation. In my opinion, that’s a small part of why our football program is the way it is. I voice my opinion on this message board because Gator Boosters doesn’t give a rip about my opinion. They only care if the check clears the bank.

      Yes, I have been an ardent opponent of Dan Mullen. His record in no way shape or form supported him being a head coach at the University of Florida. I still stand by that as his permanent record from Mississippi State shows. A losing record in the SEC does not qualify you to take over the UF program. That said, last Saturday I celebrated and congratulated him on a victory over LSU. As was the Kentucky game, LSU as well, is only one game. I still think the only team they’ll lose to coming up is Georgia, but we’ll see. Each game is it’s own.

      I want this football program to be the best. Actually, I demand it! I demand the best from our administrators, our coaches, and our players. Florida has not gotten the leadership it deserves or that I demand in the last 16 years! Our facilities are shamefully inadequate and the decisions by administrators are highly questionable and have cost us dearly in $$$. This is a new time and new administration, but the work needed is LONG overdue. I thought most of our issues in football were coaching related. Quite frankly, it looks as though we’ve had no problem getting defensive talent to Gainesville. Offensively though, we’ve struggled mightily.

      To get the talent we need at Florida is going to take a lot more than coaching. It’s going to take money for facilities, time in recruiting, and a commitment from the University to get the athletes needed into school. This is the part of the issue at UF that has the everything school moniker. Well, I have some news for you. You need to dump the everything school. There has to be an alpha male. There has to be a big dog. And, that big dog has to eat first from the bowl. If you don’t let the big dog eat, he won’t be the alpha male anymore. Consequently, he’ll start to starve and weaken. (see the metaphor?) Football is the big dog at Florida. The Football Program’s needs have to come first.

      With respect: keep politics and religion out of the comments. That’s beneath all of you (I hope). If you don’t like what I have to say, or what I believe about the Football Program, so be it. You have your thoughts and I have mine. Go Gators!

    • This season feels a lot like Muschump’s second season where we went 11-2. Lots of turnovers especially at critical points in the game. The offense sputtered the whole season behind a sophomore qb. The defense made huge plays and spurred the team to several victories.

      A couple differences between Mullen and Muschump/McEloser are: (1) Mullen is more concerned about winning than losing, (2) Mullen believes in all 3 phases of the game(offense/defense/special teams) as opposed to Muschump who only believed in 2(defense/special teams) and McEloser who only believed in 1 maybe(defense). Not really sure he even believed in that as last year we pretty much played prevent defense all year. Muschamp/McEloser were always more concerned about losing so played conservative.

      Our last 4 coaches all had names that started with an “M”. Weird.

      • 6 the playoff is going to have to expand at some point. I also feel that if schools want to be independent they should be excluded from the playoffs. Either you’re part of the program or your not. Going to a playoff was the best thing to do to end some of the year end discord of who deserves to be 1 or 2. Another idea would be 8 team playoff top 2 from committe remaining 6 selected from conference champions selected by committee. Must be in a conference to play.

    • The offense might not be much better number-wise this year, however, they are coming up with critical drives at the most important times. The response to LSU when they went up 20-14 was very impressive, but the drive at the end of the game that started at our own-4 was something this team would never do last year. In fact it is exactly why we lost to A&M and LSU last year. If they had gone 3-and-out, they would’ve handed LSU a game-winning field goal. Instead they drove 30 yards in 9 plays and burned over 4 minutes off the clock. LSU also burned timeouts. Special teams came out and boomed a punt and covered it well. LSU took over at their 12 with just over 2 minutes left. Our rested defense comes out on the field and a few plays later…interception, touchdown, 8-pnt lead.

      • Orlando good assessment. Last year we had nothing when pinned deep in our own territory. Stat wise we might be in the bottom of the conference in some let areas, but we are playing like a cohesive group. If they can keep growing waiting and playing with that relentless effort those figures will get better. The guys that were here last year wouldn’t have known how to do what they are doing now with the new coaches. Now they are learning how to win.

    • Seems simple enough.

      Seems logical.

      Let’s see….. must win your conference first….

      Nah, it makes too much sense. The NCAA would never go for it.

    • Pat, I think the difference from last year and this year is simple. You are correct in that the offensive stats don’t really paint much of a difference. But the reality is, from top to bottom it is evident even to us uneducated fans that much has changed. The stats are similar but the on field product is not. The play calling the past three years just made you want to run head first into your big screen TV, repeatedly, and then go out and mow the grass. Now….well, it speaks for itself.

      The difference from last year to this year. We now have hope. Make Gator Football Great Again.

    • ”…but I think there is just a different vibe around Florida football and a lot of it is because fans feel like things are going in the right direction.” _Dooley.
      That’s ‘IT’ in a nutshell, Pat. And I am so dang happy and proud to be a Gator right now. Although I always have been, win or lose. But this just ”feels different.” It feels like the ‘9 years’ of wandering around the SEC desert is FINALLY OVER! Thanks be to God!
      And the ‘Bama fans know, deep down in their ”crimson hearts” that their ride with Saban is on its last leg. Not much time left for the Tide to dominate, in my opinion. ”All good things come to an end.”
      But for Florida Football, they’re starting up again! GO GATORS! Sink the Commodores!

      • GI agree that something feels right. They are getting their swag back. Chuckie doll went down Gator walk deservedly. I don’t mind a little yeah talk as long as its clean. I’d bet they don’t say much without approval or reprimand. I watched a team walk in that game loose and confident. My gut has had a good feeling for this since CDM was hired. Gators are gonna swamp the Dore’s.

    • Anybody hear anything about Dameon Pierce. I don’t see his name anywhere on stats or don’t recall him making any plays on special teams. Usually he’s good for a tackle or two. I don’t recall anything pre game and maybe I just missed it.

    • I want to give some love to our DC Mr. Todd!!. He has figured out a way to use our speed on D. This group is very disruptive despite not being the largest / strongest group. I really like the way they go to the ball. Our DBs are maturing rapidly. Having the D give the O short fields, and to score plays with pick6s and safeties is simply a huge step above where this team was last year. Todd deserves some real praise.

    • Let’s not give stats more importance than what they deserve. Winning requires that you use your bullets at the right moment. So maybe we aren’t that bad on offense. BTW Mr Grier that is the model for QB vision everyone likes just threw 3 picks against Kansas. I am behind Franks…he is a good QB.

      All the jawing aside, I read the recruits comments after the game on CBS sports. Most were stunned at the atmosphere if the game the quality and noise of the fan base and all of the peripheral things as well as how well we played. There is not a long list of places that can compare and the word is getting out. So hopefully my enthusiasm is helping. Are there reasons to be grumpy…I guess but I’m too blinded by just having gator football back to be lost in how well the backup guard who is starting as the other guy heals etc. Just happy right now but we better get busy and focus on vandy…a win here would move their coach right up there in the progression and he is a very good coach that will have his team playing much better than they did against Georgia.

    • Was he talking to you, or Grumpy? The indents don’t seem to mean much anymore.

    • Disagree with your disagreement.

    • Just to note: The pre-season experts had Florida winning just 4 games, possibly 5 this season. None of them saw a winning season (247 Sports, Vegas Insider, USAToday, CBSSports, etc.). This team is ahead of schedule. I did see one 6-6 prediction and an invitation to the Poulan Weedeater Bowl in Shreveport.
      PS: That 302 yards Cronkrite ran was against UMass, the 128th worst rushing defense in Div. I. 129th is UConn.

    • Yeah, my son did. He played Dback in college and saw 3 LSU players around the receiver. He screamed “Throw it away.” Franks didn’t hear. I know in the heat of battle it’s tough to make the quick, right decision. That’s what makes the great ones. Franks right now is only average at best.

    • Tampa, I get that. For sure. And if the stated objective is to have the best four college teams in a playoff, then I get that too. As for lengthening the season/post season by expanding the playoffs, I’m not for that. As a fan I’d love it. But the demands on these “student athletes” is already unbelievable. I personally know a few D1 athletes and I can tell you that the demands on their time from their sport would shock many of us. They couldn’t hold a part time job if they wanted to.

      But my lament is that if you play at one of the 120 or so FBS schools outside of the usual top twenty or so programs, you have almost no chance from day one of winning a championship, other than your conference. So, maybe the solution lies in there somewhere by creating yet another level of college football so that EVERY team has a legitimate chance to win a championship. All that said, its not my biggest beef and not a hill I’d die on anytime soon.

    • Amen!

    • GS he did inherit a mess but it wasn’t so much the talent as lack of coaching and conditioning. These guys had skills even if the way they were recruited piecemeal. Raw maybe but talented. Mullen and co have taken that talent and turned it into a functioning team. Not ideal as there are positional mismatches for his ideal offense but no one gets 100% of what they want. What makes this fun and good is he can adapt to what he has and make it work, admit when he’s wrong and fix it. There are Rao games ahead if the players lose focus. But we are good enough to win every contest ahead. I don’t think we will but we can.

    • Gatorguy with you 100%. Facilities are nice and flashy but no replacement for training, coaching and conditioning. Recruiting Young impressionable players is easier if the “flash’ is there. Sad that so many are that shallow but true to a large degree more and more these days. But the facilities comes down to marketing which a good coach with a winning program can sell to a degree. Then comes selling them on the program which a good coach can also do. This will work and continue to work as long as the product is in the top 20%. Recruiting will also improve as the record improves. Yes flashy facilities will draw but talent in coaching will make something of them. Quality staff and coaches produce.

    • I appreciate your point. It’s always easier to just toss the last coach under the bus. Coach Mac did well with what he had until the bus backed over him a couple of times.

  • The Sunday Blog comes at you after what I thought would be wild night at home, but everybody was too pooped to party.

    One thing that continues to be impressive about this Florida team is that the Gators […]

    • This is a huge win for Dan Mullen and the Florida Football Program. Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham have shown they know how to coach. Our defense may be young, and may give up some plays, but they have shown their effort is at an elite level, and they put the game away for good after the offense made a drive to win the game! Defense can win championships, but offense has to win the game. That unfolded yesterday. There’s a lot of work to be done for sure. There’s recruiting elite athletes to take this program to elite status all around. But this win, the win over an undefeated #5 team, begins the process. Other than Georgia, there isn’t a team on Florida’s schedule they cannot beat. From a losing season to a New Year’s day bowl game. That’s the turnaround we’re all paying to see. GO GATORS!

    • Gatorguy, with respect, I do not think Taggert was ever on our radar. There was some publications that listed coaches, but do not think our admin ever mentioned him.

      Sooo, subtract those three wins, get it to Frost and Kelly, and you have zero.

    • Tampa, we won, but I HATE the three man rush. They had three drops at the end that had they been completions, could have made a difference.

    • Franks is getting better, demonstrably, BUT, that pick in the end zone really sucked the life out of us for that quarter.

    • Tampa, you think Grumpy is a nole troll moonlighting here?

      • “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion”. –Prov 18:2 (ESV)

      • I just thought he was “Grumpy”.
        But certainly I do not appreciate nole trolls, and I am taking (perhaps too much) glee in the fact we are trending up and they (noles) are trending down. When I look back on the last three head coaching hires, we may have a winner, someone (CDM) who has a winning pedigree in the SEC. Loved Muschamp, but think he is perfectly suited as a DC. Prior to coming to UF, he had no head coaching experience. And MacElwain, no HC experience in a power 5 conf. Mullen made MSU into a winner, and he seems to be tooling us in that direction. He’s doing this with mostly players he’s inherited. Imagine when he starts recruiting his own!! He needs to start keeping the local talent home, and screw Urban Cryer.

      • Reminds me of a song from the early 70’s…..”you’re so vain, you think this song is about you….”. But if you are one who reads hidden meanings into benign remarks, persistently is unforgiving of perceived insults, or reacts to perceived attacks on his character that are not apparent to others — I suppose your asinine remarks make sense. In the final analysis however, I’ve already spent far too much time attending to your snide and snarky ramblings — so I’ll close and perhaps you should do the same.

      • I’ve got to ask, did you get beaten up a lot as a kid? Give it a rest.

      • 😢

    • I love this team, I have a slightly different view than some of the commenters. I thought the tampa grump thing was an attempt at a joke, if not I definitely want to stay out of that.
      1. my evolving view of franks is that expecting him reading a progression is kind of football from a different day. the offense isn’t really built like the nfl of the 1990s, there isn’t a lot of time. that’s not even on the offensive line. defenses are built that way now, everyone wants to get to the qb. we do. LDR had the best tweet about Franks when he said ” this guy can take hits that I couldn’t”. he also said those hits don’t exactly get shrugged off during a game, they linger.. and that he was impressed that a couple of hard shots franks took didn’t take him out of the game, that would have taken out most qbs and third, he was impressed when franks got rid of a ball with 500 pounds of LSU tigers jumping on his back trying to get rid of a ball. I call the guy Wayne Peace all over again, maybe not pretty but the game is played to win, and Franks does winning things. I hate watching him sometimes, but I know I am wrong to feel that way.
      2 the defense is good but there is film out there that this defense doesn’t like hurry up and doesn’t like a switch from shotgun to back under center. we adjusted so its not a big deal but there is a good chess game going on at the coaching level, which is good for the team and the fans.
      3. I hear all of this grier for Heisman stuff and I have to wonder if he would be doing as well against real SEC defenses. his 5 good quarters at florida weren’t against the best defenses and I’m not sure he can walk away from the blunt force trauma that Franks can which is part of it. also, I would say LSU would have been better with franks than burrow. not by a large margin but qb in the SEC requires superior toughness, which I think is where franks has the edge. those last 2 interceptions by burrow is exhibit A.
      4. I saw the ole ball coach and les miles on espn…what a wonderful time to be a gator fan. pat had to work! since Kentucky lost the path is now pretty much there for this team, survive and advance. afterwards we can determine whether we are 8 or 15 or 22 or whatever. no one cares until the last poll.

    • Yes, I’m loving our D. Need to stay focused for Vandy, so we can be 6-1 heading into UGly game.

    • I hope you are correct. Time and again I’ve seen the three man rush fail to contain.

    • The polls always flummox me. We did beat LSU, so being ranked behind them makes no sense. However, the pollsters have a thing about moving any team up TOO much. The Gators did move up 8 spots (AP), so that’s pretty cool.

      Let’s lay this out, would any Gator here have killed to be 5-1 at this stage? Pretty sure the answer is a resounding yes.

    • One last thing… We sure look like dbu to me not LSU. McWilliams had a shaky game and LSU dropped a couple of passes. But we didn’t drop our interceptions.

    • A few more comments as I sit back and reflect….. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has come a long way. There were times last year when I thought he’d never make it due to tackling and physical issues. But he really seems to have stepped up and is not afraid to engage this year. And he does seem very much like a team leader. This team has desperately needed leaders.

      The secondary has made me nervous at times this year, especially when Marco Wilson went out. And while they have taken their lumps at times, I know its just part of the learning curve. DB is a tough position. But it is fun to watch the progress and I agree with Tampa that I think Trey Dean will be a big-time gamer before all is said and done. Many of the DB’s have had nice moments this year.

      The DL and LB’s seem to driving this train….as they go, so goes the team. And they have been a disruptive force since the KY game. Getting back Cece and Reese surely helped but somehow Grantham found a way to turn up the motors of Zuniga, Polite, Moon, and Joseph.

      I love the focus on the third element of the team…special teams. I keep waiting for a big blocked kick but I know that will happen at a key moment later in the season (Jacksonville?). In the meantime, kick coverage and punting have been HUGE assets for the team.

      If anyone thinks coaching doesn’t matter….this team is living proof that it does. 2017 vs 2018..what’s the only difference? A few recruits and a new coaching staff. Night and Day.

      On offense there are a lot of skill players. Each week we are seeing them get worked into the mix more and more. A little Perrine, a little Scarlett, a little Toney, a little TE here and there, Josh Hammond steps up, Freddie Swain steps up, Van Jefferson with a GREAT catch last night.

      I’d say right now, this team is SPECIAL. The rest of the season holds promise to be even more special. I’d really enjoyed watching so far and I can’t wait to be sitting in the Swamp on Nov 3 vs Mizzou. Go Gators!!!

      p.s. Gator6 and Tampa…..PLEASE make up and play nice with each other. I love both of your comments…..when they are about Gator football.

      • I’m have been trying my best to back out, Rog, and what set him off this time is a mystery unless he took a quotation as being about him — which he frequently does.

    • What happened to the other freshman running back yesterday, Pierce, are they planning on red shirting him, how many games has he play in?

      • Unless I just totally missed it, Ray, he didn’t get in at all. I could have sworn he’s appeared in more than 4 games.

        • Gator-6: You are correct.
          Although he didn’t get a carry or catch a pass, running back Dameon Pierce participated in the LSU game, per UF, which has the freshman having played in all six games.

      • I have no insight as to the plans, but I think he didn’t play against KY and LSU. So he’s played in 4 games this year.

        • Does any team in college football besides the SEC play defense anymore?

          USF/UMass–100 pts.
          Ala. Arkansas — 94 pts. ( i think). /Wait. both these teams are SEC.
          Look at the total points of some of these other games. Tex vs. Okla. What was it 93 pts? I can’t count that high. I think about 72 percent of the games went over–easily. Ohio State puts up 63, passing for a TD late in the game with a 40 point lead. Oh yeah, I remember when SOS would do that against ANYBODY.
          A Florida team scoring 31 points will win 99 percent of its games.

    • I remember the days when I couldn’t hear myself yell in the student section because it was so loud. Yet, I continued yelling, perhaps in vain while my voice got hoarser.

    • Does anbody play defense in college football anymore (outside of a few SEC teams I know).
      Look at USF/UMass: 100 pts. and former Gator RB Scarlett gets 302 yds. rushing. My son could get 300 against UMass. and he’s 5-10 and 150 and played RB in HS. Look at the other totals. 92 in the Tex/OKLA game? 96 in the Alabama/Arksansas game? Can’t remember numbers more than 49 but there were PLENTY. So many games about passing. And the targeting penalties are getting too subjective. What is a target and what is NOT a target? I don’t know anymore after watching some Saturday games. Hope Vandy is not taken as a breather.

    • Tampa Gator: I saw that. He threw into 3 LSU DBs who had the receiver covered like wax paper. I thought it was strange he didn’t just throw it out of the end zone cause it was first down. Oh well. They won.

    • Don’t flatter yourself.

      • I’ll address you directly here then. Are you sure my post was about you? It’s far too much fun now to let on, given your paranoia, but might it have been in response to someone or something else? Of course, your vanity automatically informed you that it was referring to you, and being oblivious as you naturally are, you of course lashed out.

        Be careful when accusing others of lying. But I like your solution just the same as long as it applies to you as well.

    • Thanks Dan — it is what it is, I guess we all could use a good old fashioned distraction once in a while. Go Gators back at ya’, bud.

    • Rog replied 2 weeks ago

      I agree with you about Perine and Scarlett. They ran the ball hard all night but that drive late where we were pinned deep and they ran for two first downs….may have been the highlight of the game for me. That was SEC football. We had to have it…and the offense delivered. I love Scarlett and it’s great to see him getting his mojo back. I’ve always been a Perine fan as he just flat out runs hard and gets tough yards consistently.

      I’ve been touting Townsend all weekend on these pages. He is a weapon and that 70 yarder was a thing of beauty. I watched other punters in other games Saturday and no one else seems to take the “art” of punting as seriously as Townsend does.

      Regarding the pick six…..yeah the right thing to do would be to go down at the one. I remember Mac last year making a similar post game comment about a similar play. But dang, how hard would it be for Stewart or any other player with a chance at a pick six….especially in that situation to take a knee. The kid surely made the Sportscenter Highlights (is that even a thing anymore?) and the play will be remembered for many, many years. Until it costs a team a game, I suspect coaches will have a hard time getting that point across to any player.

    • We have apparently become co-conspirators. Who knew?

    • Amen Daz. Wish Gators were playing Kentucky this week. Oh well. Beating Georgia will be tough and let’s hope Vandy does not sneak up on the team as they did a few years ago.

    • Let me tell you Gators out there. LSU is a darn good team. I watched their blocking schemes, defensive mixes, coverages, etc. And Burrow was a starter at Ohio State. To beat this team (I know it was Gainesville but Gators won 16-10 in 2016). was a major boost for this team. I’m not sure Gators will be in the CFB this year, but they should make 8 or 9 wins and get a Jan. 1 bowl. Gator pass defense is really good in this day and age where college QBs routinely throw for 300-400 yds. a game. That was Burrow’s first 2 interceptions and his lowest passing yardage of the season.

    • Rog replied 2 weeks ago

      This was EXACTLY the kind of game needed to assist recruiting. If a recruit doesn’t sign after being in the Swamp last Saturday, he never will. (Don’t worry, I understand there is a lot more to signing a recruit than stadium atmosphere and game results).

  • Dan Mullen was soaked, but this time it wasn’t from a celebratory Gatorade bath like he received in Starkville. Instead, this was sweat soaking through his untucked shirt and turning his regular slick coif into a […]

    • Not to bring up a bad memory but if I even hear some nut opens up a website can we have the thing delisted. I thought it was ridiculous ten years ago and who knows maybe it shied Mullen from coming back. No normal person should get that treatment. Mullen has been the best thing in ten years for this place. It’s not the genius trick plays or the method of communication..its just slways something every minute of the game where a punter or an injured linebacker makes a play to lift up his teammates…I love where the fifth string tight end threw a big pass back to the QB..and seemed more happy to get Tim tebow s autograph than anything else. Where else can you go and have this much fun..

    • “We’re built different,” Joseph said
      I’d say, every time Joseph got hurt, I thought, ”Oh no!” And then later on, he was on the field playing again.
      The Gator ‘D’ is balling. The whole team is being coached-up, and it shows. U.K. showed they’re human against A&M Saturday, and Auburn lost to Miss. State… what’s it all mean?
      The SEC ”it just means, MORE!”
      And want ”MORE” Orange & Blue W’s baby! Go Gators!

    • Perine and Scarlett. What a nice dilemma.

    • Mac was always missing something. Always! I want on here then to have an opinion but the team was much different. I never saw us going to NC with Mac. This has been beaten to death here. Muschamp was to young in his coaching career for or program. He may end up being a good coach but it will be quite a few years.

      Today’s AP poll. LSU 13th Fla. 14th Kentucky 17th.
      Who votes in these polls? Daffy Duck and the 3 stooges?

    • You’re not the only one saying that, LT — better than half the sports media is too. Despite the obvious similarities though, you really don’t see the differences between this team and those? Ye Gads Man! I’m all for independent thinking, but that’s pretty far out there.

    • Pretty succinct, and accurate too DeWayne. Good thoughts.

  • Offense C
    First half: The offense had its struggles, running only 11 plays on its first three possessions. But some hard running by Lamical Perine and a beautiful pass from Feleipe Franks to Josh Hammond allowed […]

    • Who saw this coming four weeks ago? Some of us did and said so. But that isn’t really important now, we’ve got more to do. No traps.

    • You could nitpick the plays and decisions that didn’t work well… but my oh my, why would you want to. This team simply put, is fun to watch again. I told Mrs. Rog, that even if we wouldn’t have pulled this out, it was still fun…and entertaining. I haven’t been that anxious watching a Gator game in a long time.

      Lamical Perrine is such a solid player. Scarlett had some great tough runs. The defensive front 7….really the entire defense…what a heck of a job. And Townsend is such a weapon. Lots of credit to go around for a hard fought win, but let’s start with Coach Mullen. Great job Coach!!!

      • I get so anxious over these games that I skip my 1800 blood pressure check! What’s the use? Even if we’re winning it’s going to be thru the roof until the last down is played.

    • Again I agree with Pat. But if he starts back up with how good south Carolina is I will blow a gasket. They should have sportswriter malpractice insurance for ever letting those kinds of statements get printed.

    • Let’s look at your logic Pat. You give the defense a grade of A- and they gave up 19 points. You give an offense that scored 20 points a grade of C. See a disconnect there? Yes our offense is still a work in progress and yes our defense, even with a very young secondary is excellent. A fairer grade for the offense would be a B or B-. What didn’t you like about the special teams? They played very very well, A-. Overall I agree with your grade, just not how you got there. How about them Gators!!

    • Amen brother.

    • I’d agree with that Corey. The offense probably deserved a B. We still don’t have a reliable downfield passing game and the TE’s aren’t truly a factor, at least the way I think they would be in a Dan Mullen offense. The interception made me crazy because our guy was wide open and the throw wasn’t anywhere close. Maybe you are right and Franks was hurried….I didn’t see it that way….I just saw a poor, poor throw.

      But, the offense played their guts out against a tough, tough defense and the running game was pretty amazing. Who runs for over 200 on LSU? The OL, in spite of a couple of false starts had a pretty gritty game. Coach continues to show that play-calling and game planning, matters (I can think of a certain OC from last year who should be taking notes).

      Yeah, I’d give them a B.

    • It was the perfect wake up call and teaching moment for this Gator team 🙂

    • Pat you gotta give Franks a break. He was up and down and the INT was a potential disaster…I can agree with that. Overall he was better than average, though. He mad several very good deep throws and he kept cool and the O together the entire game. After taking some painful hits in the second half, he gritted it out and made some throws. Your comment about “having that going for him” with the catch is a low blow to a growing talent.

    • I was not a Dan Mullen fan. I did not believe he was qualified to be the head coach at UF. But, yesterday’s game was a changer. No matter how you scale it, grade it, or review it, Florida beat an undefeated LSU team ranked #5 in the country. That’s a huge win. The work isn’t done. It’s going to take at least another 2-3 recruiting cycles. But Dan Mullen along with Todd Grantham have shown they know what they’re doing and they know how to win games. From an elite defense, to a great kicking game, to an offense that is what it is, Florida put together a football game that was good enough to win. GO GATORS. Now, off to the range and make some noise!

    • Not so Daz…..go back and review the posts. While it looked dim at times, especially after Kentucky, some saw the potentials even before 01 Sep. Nobody can predict the future sans prophecy from God, you’re right about that, but to “see it coming” is an entirely different thing. Surprised you used the reference to BS…’re better than that type of stuff.

    • We’ve missed you, Eugenio !

    • Seminoles lost to UM. They are crying.

  • Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley takes a look at the first half of the Florida-LSU game:

    LSU hit eight plays of longer than 10 yards in the first half, but after their opening drive that went 75 yards in 10 […]

  • The 2008 team that will be honored at halftime of today’s Florida-LSU game is special to current Florida coach Dan Mullen for a number of reasons.

    The obvious one is that it won a national title.

    The s […]

    • Unplug your TV this afternoon and go sit in the penalty box until tomorrow morning.

    • I’m on the same sheet of music, DeWayne — especially with regard to college ball versus the NFL. Always have been, actually. I’ll go you one further tho — move Auburn to the East, where they belong, and Mizzou to the West, where they belong. Wahla! We get them every year again, there is no longer a disturbance in the force, and all is right with the world.

      • Hello can of worms 🙂

        Rog agrees that further geographic realignment is needed….but it would make too much sense in the TV age where the only thing that matters is how many TV sets can we reach in our conference.

        • By jove, you know it’s game day, or close to it, when Rog refers to himself in the first person singular! 😁

    • Uh, no. Negatory good buddy. Timmy is a Gator through and through!!! Thanks for playing.

    • Pat…. this is off topic, but how come there hasn’t been any mention of the Equipment Truck fire. Just saw the story on SEC Nation and that’s the first I’ve heard of it. I’d think this should’ve been mentioned in these pages this week?

    • That 1984 team was the TRUE National Champ that year. Galen Hall was the best game day coach, maybe ever. He could flat call plays and make adjustments!

    • I was too BC, but with the help of Gator65 and about $300 worth of WindowsWhatever, now not only can I do emojis, but I no longer sit alone in bus stations soiling myself!

    • Not old Trooper, just well seasoned! But brother, that really WAS a long time ago at that.

    • With W.Va in the Big12, I guess anything makes sense anymore. To somebody, anyway — just not me. Might as well put Boston College in the PAC12.

    • Yeah, duly noted…..might as well pack it in…..NOT!

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