Furman prediction time

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Out of respect for the opponent, coaches facing an out-manned team usually will not reveal their plan to play multiple backups. This is where Will Muschamp is at heading into Saturday’s game against Furman. He’s been talking about trying to play better and win the game. He’s not talking about getting his young players playing time.

But it’s going to happen. Despite all the Gators’ problems with consistency on both sides of the ball, UF will have a huge physical edge over the Paladins on Saturday in The Swamp. The Furman offense is capable of challenging the UF defense some with its passing game, but other than that, the Gators should be able to do pretty much what they want to do in this game.

I’m not telling Muschamp how to coach, but if I’m in his position, I’d give John Brantley this week off and give his banged-up ankle time to rest and get close to 100 percent for the Florida State game. Jacoby Brissett has played enough to know the offense fairly well at this stage, and the Gators need to start getting him and Jeff Driskel ready for next season. My thought is the Gators should have no problem winning this game no matter who starts at QB. Let Brantley rest, let the freshmen play, and get ready to throw everything you’ve got at the Seminoles next week in a game that could salvage part of this season.

Let’s be realistic. The Gators face tougher competition in practice every day than they will in The Swamp on Saturday. No disrespect for Furman, but this is a team that was blown out by Georgia Southern 50-20 earlier this season.

I say play a bunch of the young players early and see how they respond. If they mess up, put some of the veterans back in until the game is under control.

Prediction: Florida 42, Furman 10.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I agree! We need Brantley to be in much better shape against FSU! Speaking of playing the young guys – we have been doing that all year, unless you are talking about QB! I’d like to see Rainey and Demps put up some big numbers; however, I don’t want them hurt! Maybe we’ll see Brown tote the rock a little!

  2. I am a UF alum who has watched every 2011 game in its entirety, and I’d like to share what I feel are some of the (many) problems my beloved Gators have. I’ll break it down into offense and defense and both sides of the ball. Many of these are issues that have been brought up ad nauseam by others, but please allow me to do so. If anything, perhaps it’ll be a tad cathartic. I need something, because I don’t see UF bringing me any joy this season. And no, a romp tomorrow over “mighty” Furman does nothing for me. I’m worried that the following Saturday our long stretch of games without being shut out will come to an end, at home against our state rival. Sigh.

    OFFENSE
    * In our last six games we’ve thrown three (three!) touchdown passes! Part of the problem is that we NEVER literally throw a ball to a receiver who is already in the end zone. My brother and I joke (sadly) that there must be some sort of invisible wall built at the goal line, because UF won’t pass into the end zone. We only attempt runs into the end zone or throw passes short of the goal line and hope our receivers can avoid tackles and run into the end zone. It’s ridiculous.

    * Our red zone offense is anemic. One example (of many): We had 1st-and-goal from the 2 against South Carolina, with a chance to make an early statement, so what do we do? First, we line up in a tight formation, with no receivers, basically eliminating the area near both sidelines and giving SC a smaller area to defend. Then we replace Brantley with Brissett, basically telling SC that a pass is not a possibility. Then we run up the middle for a loss of 4. Then we run for a loss of 1. Then, on 3rd-and-goal from the 7, we bring Brantley back in and throw a 4-yard pass. (See my previous point.) Then we kick a field goal from the 3.

    * Our offense is boring and predictable. One example (of many): After forcing a rare turnover, we had 1st-and-10 from the Georgia 13-yard line. Two minutes and 11 seconds later (and after a run for a loss, two sacks and a penalty), we were forced to punt. TO PUNT! When offenses are put in a first-and-10 from the opponent’s 13-yard line, I’d guess that 68% of them score a TD, 28% kick a field goal, 2% miss a field goal, 1.99% turn the ball over and 0.01% go so far backward that they are forced to punt. Only Florida. ☹

    * The 2011 offense is light years removed from the Fun ‘n’ Gun days. The Weis-led offense of today is so inept. One example (of many): In the second half against Georgia we had 32 total yards and one first down. Those numbers would be embarrassing and unacceptable if you were the worst Division III team, let alone the flagship university in Florida. (I hated Weis when he was in South Bendover, Indiana, and I still hate him.)

    * The vertical passing game has completely disappeared. It’s a combination of many things, I know (QB with a hurt ankle, poor O-line, receivers who can’t get open, lame play-calling, etc.), but facts are facts. We have no deep-threat passing. What we do have is…

    * … at least one completion (usually two or three) per game for negative yards! One example (of many): In the second quarter against Vandy, we had 2nd-and-1 on the Vandy 31-yard line and completed a pass to a WR … for minus-1 yard! Who completes a pass to a wideout on 2nd-and-1 and doesn’t get the first down?! We failed to get the first down on 3rd-and-2, of course, and had to attempt a field goal. We missed it.

    * The play-calling is questionable at best, completely inept at worst. In all my years of watching football at all levels, I can’t recall a team throwing short more than UF. And by this I mean short of the first-down marker or the goal line. If it’s 3rd-and-8, my brother and I assume the UF receiver will run a 7-yard out pattern. If it’s 3rd-and-2, UF will throw a 1-yard pass. You can’t always rely on the receiver to make yards after the catch. How about — gasp! — calling an 8-yard pass (or longer) on 3rd-and-8? Makes me want to pull my hair out!

    * In four October games we scored a total of three offensive touchdowns. Let that sink in. A big reason for this is that…

    * … we can’t protect our quarterback. In our last six games we’ve allowed 19 sacks. Jarvis Jones, the Bulldog who manhandled our inept O-line en route to four sacks, had three sacks TOTAL entering the game.

    * On the rare occasions Brantley does have time to throw, he is erratic.

    * On the rare occasions Brantley does have time to throw and is accurate, we have lots of dropped balls.

    DEFENSE
    * We put no pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In our last six games we’ve had eight sacks.

    * We have lots of missed tackles. One example (of many): In the second quarter against South Carolina, the Gamecocks had a 3rd-and-4 from their own 44. They completed a screen that should have been stopped for a loss of 1 or, at most, no gain. But the initial UF defender — sorry, I can’t recall who it was — missed the tackle and SC gained 3 yards. This may not seem like much, but because it was now 4th-and-1 from the SC 47, Spurrier decided to go for it. (And, of course, SC converted and proceeded to drive down the field for the game’s first touchdown.) Had the UF defender made the tackle, I doubt SC would have gone for it on its side of the field on 4th-and-4 or, at best, 4th-and-3. It’s plays like this that often go unnoticed but that make a huge difference.

    * Opposing ball-carriers always seem to gain an extra yard or two after contact. UF defenders never bring an opponent down in his tracks. Instead, they get pushed back.

    * We are terrible making stops on 3rd down, even when it’s 3rd-and-long. And on the rare occasions we do make a third-down stop, it often leads to the opposition going for it (and converting) on 4th down. We just have a terrible inability to get off the field when it matters most. Yet the UF defenders always get excited when they make a first- or second-down stop. Drives me nuts.

    * We hardly force any turnovers.

    THE ENTIRE TEAM (INCLUDING ITS COACHES)
    * We are the most penalized team in the nation. Many of the same penalties (by the same players — I’m looking at you, Xavier Nixon and Jaye Howard!) occur week after week. Many of the penalties come at the most inopportune times.

    * We often are forced to use timeouts early in the half. We’re not organized nor disciplined.

    * We never seem to make second-half adjustments (what the hell is halftime for?) and don’t seem to be making many adjustments as the season progresses. There are few if any signs of improvement, despite what the head coach says every week.

    * I don’t see much aggressiveness. (The opposition is always the more aggressive team.) I don’t see an attacking mentality. I don’t see a will to win. I don’t see any confidence. I don’t see any swagger. It’s embarrassing. It’s sad.

    * We have a completely new staff but many of the same problems.

    * The players and coaches are great at one thing: talking. Lots of talk about how things aren’t too bad, about how they’re learning a lot each week, about how things are getting better and better each week. As they’d say on Seinfeld, “yada yada yada.” Don’t talk. Do.

    * Brantley has been hampered by a hurt ankle. Sure, but I’m fairly confident we’d still be 5-5 (maybe 6-4 at best), and we’d still have all the same issues I’ve mentioned. “Oh, Brantley hasn’t been 100%.” That’s just an excuse. One of many. There are no excuses at UF. We have everything at our disposal to compete on a yearly basis.

    Bottom line: For the last few years it hasn’t been fun to watch this team, even when we do win. And that’s killing me.

  3. Yikes and Gadzooks!
    A pretend Rooferman stikes? Why you wanna be so lame and steal my name? I am the real deal and I say Bud is whack!
    Why Furman, silly rabbit, everybody knows we need a bye week before FSU, c’mon!
    Bring on Furman!
    Go Gators!

  4. In a normal season, we’d be howling about whoever scheduled a Div II (call me old school) team this late in the year to hose our BCS ranking…my how times have changed.

    I see the first team offense and defense playing at least the first half, hopefully without injury.

    Maybe NCIS Missing Persons Unit have found Gillislee and Brown and they actually get to play a whole quarter!

  5. No no…I am the real Roofermen. You steal my name. Go away! Bud is right. Muschamp needs to be a defensive coordinator somewhere. In fact, he can stay at Florida. Urban is looking for a new job. We could bring him back as head coach and let Muschamp be the defensive coordinator here. And we could let Weis get his all-time dream job as the cook at the Gainesville Chuck E. Cheese…

    Work with me, Rooferman, people…

  6. Aha! Busted!
    There is no doubt I am the real Rooferman. You refered to yourself as the real “Roofermen,” only an imposter would make that mistake. The devil is in the details, isn’t it, you imposter!
    Besides, there is no Chuckie Cheese in Gainesville. You Cad, cease and desist sullying my good name. Have you no shame, Sir? I support Champ & Charlie, and I’ll not have the likes of you speaking agianst them in my name.
    Idenity theft is a crime!
    Go Gators!

  7. WOW-I can remember when WE ALL TALKED FLORIDA FOOTBALL…now it’s ‘IDENTITY -THEFT’, and IT is slightly more entertaining than this years football team…FLORIDA FOOTBALL is down and hopefully -only 1 way to go from here- UP!! Here’s ‘HOPING’!

  8. Chuck E. Cheese!!!…ha ha ha…now that right there is just funny…I don’t care who you are.

    Thanks to Weis, I heard they had to install speed bumps in the Chuck E. Cheese buffet line.

    That boy is b-i-g….he went over to the beach and the whales started singing “We Are Family”