The Sunday Blog, Week Five: UF’s blitz bonanza

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Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is tackled for a loss by Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph during the second half Saturday in Starkville, Miss. Florida won 13-6. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The Sunday Blog comes at you from the road again, this time at the Atlanta airport where it is not as much fun as I thought it would be watching the Ryder Cup.

  1. The safety blitz that finished off Saturday night’s game is going to be one of those highlights you see a lot this week. What was especially impressive was that Florida also sent linebacker David Reese, who occupied a blocker and allowed a free run for Donovan Stiner. Defensive back Brad Stewart also came on a soft blitz from the outside. Certainly, it was risky, but as anyone in my family or any of my friends can tell you, I’m a big believer in pressure in pressure situations. The three-man rush should be outlawed. Hey, everyone has their beliefs. Anyway, Florida is now tied for 14th nationally in sacks with 15, eight fewer than it had all of last year. That’s what sending extra rushers can produce.
  2. You have to wonder where Mississippi State goes from here. The Bulldogs are 0-2 against the East with the next three games against Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M, the latter two on the road. Is it possible Joe Moorhead will make a quarterback change? Florida forced Nick Fitzgerald into throwing the ball downfield and he was 11-of-26 for 98 yards with six sacks. Another problem for MSU is that tailbacks Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams carried only 12 times in the game because the Bulldogs were fixated on the quarterback runs.
  3. Every game has a winner and a loser and some games have coaches being questioned for their decision making. The goat of the week has to be Louisville’s Bobby Petrino, who had the win over FSU wrapped up before asking his quarterback to throw on first down from the Seminoles’ 21 with a little over two minutes to go. ESPN had the Louisville probability of winning at 98.8 percent at that point. I’m all in favor of aggressive play-calling, but you have to know when to pound the ball and drain the clock. Just dummy.
  4. There will be plenty of attention on the Florida-LSU game, which is a 3:30 p.m. game that the Gainesville businesses love. Unfortunately, it means we have to miss some good ones. Here’s your four-pack:

Oklahoma-Texas, Noon, Fox.

FSU at Miami, 3:30, ABC.

Kentucky at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. ESPN.

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m., ABC.

31 COMMENTS

  1. ”FSU at Miami, 3:30, ABC.” Man, ”back in the day”, what a game to watch. It really was some nasty, straight-up future NFL Hall of Famers, smash-mouth football. And that’s coming from a Gainesvillian Reptilian.
    But, like millions of others this Saturday, I will watching L.S.U. @ FLORIDA on CBS at 3:30!
    Chomp the Tigers!

  2. I’m totally will you on outlawing three man rushes! Good blitz plays must be carefully designed/called to fit the moment. That last one was a perfect call. Fitzgerald is all fast balls. Especially bad in pressure situations. This coaching staff appear to be good game managers.

    • Cool, Gator-65, represent for those of us watching on T.V. Now IF only the ”student-section” can get their faces out of their cell phones, get over that the U.A.A. hasn’t and can’t magically push a ”WI-FI” button, and load up their side with actual GATOR FANS, then The Swamp may be a SELL-OUT! 1st of the year, I think.
      Go Gators! Beat the Tigers, like a damn drum!

  3. My Three Things: 1. For the first time in several years the Gators controlled the clock when they had to. 2. A lot of players had to play to play and the all played well. These coached are to be commended for getting this year’s players to play at this competitive and improving level each week.

  4. this week some of us wanted to fire everyone at the newspaper, for predicting the gators would lose, but that should be ignored imo. the newspaper gave us a nice piece of wisdom (“apply more pressure in pressure situations”) to consider. that’s good stuff. who cares about predictions. predictions really tend to mostly be at least somewhat wrong anyway. I say ignore what the newspaper thinks is going to happen, but look for quality content like this article.

  5. Va Tech surprises the hell out of Notre Dame and Touchdown Jesus watches the golf channel instead.

    TAMU wins in a squeaker over Kentucky, life as we know it ends in Lexington.

    Miami destroys FSU, but suddenly FSU is ranked and Willie Taggart is nominated for ESPN Coach of the Year.

    And finally, as if anyone cares, Oklahoma beats down Texas and the Longhorns petition the PAC-12 for instant membership.

    Oh, and win or lose, the Gators make LSU know they were just in the fight of their lives; Ed Ogeron speaks English in a post-game interview for the first time in his life.

      • Why, certainly Rog……I’m having……uhhhh……I’m having…..wait a minute, it’s coming to me…….I’m having…………..

        Tell you what, I’ll let you know after my nap/new exercise program. (this is where I make sure to roll over twice while napping)

    • How does he coach his players when they can’t understand anything he’s saying? Closed Caption on the scoreboard? Translator? Do they take a special 3 hour credit class called “Orgeronian” (Also so they can pad their GPAs)?

      It’s like he played that game we all did as kids of “How many _________ can you put in your mouth” but he’s never spit them out afterwords.

      • Good point Dallas! But since many of the players are from the same place, I guess it just works out? For the ones who are not, I guess they just nod their heads in the vertical plane and then do what everyone else does. Hell, that’s what I always did when I lived down there!

  6. I think TAMU will beat UK.

    Texas is hard to figure out. The Oklahoma game is often close though u wouldn’t be surprised if either team won

    If UF can figure out a way to beat LSU they could be backbone n the thick of things in the east race. I think UK will lose to TAMU and quite possibly Georgia but that’s probably it.

    The gators will need to figure out some ways to get big plays and score this weekend. Maybe break out some trickeration. They probably need to take some chances here and there.

    • Tailor. A&M is going to play against two very strong Kentucky lines of scrimmages, and they are not going to like it very much. Nor will Mond like Allen very much. Kentucky 37, Texas A&M 24. And Florida 23, LSU 20, with the Gators scoring the game winning TD with just a few seconds left in the game. And The Swamp goes insanely crazy after being wildly crazy all afternoon.

    • 1-Msu will lose to Auburn and LSU but will beat Texas A&M(TAMU) because they arent that good, but neither is MSU , so who knows.
      2.I dont call throwing a pass on 1st down aggressive play calling, I call it normal, especially if you know you need to keep getting 1st downs for the 2 minutes remaining in the game, so the other team doesnt get the ball back. Nobody expects an INT everytime they throw the ball or else no one would use passes, thats like expecting fumbles everytime you call a run play so you pass instead! Thats ridiculous, I think it was just bad luck on Louisville’s part, period! Everybody wants to second guess you when the players make a mistake but your brilliant if they succeed!
      3.TAMU isnt going to beat UK. TAMU just struggled to beat Ark which is one of the worse teams in the SEC. I know they came close to beating Clemson but I watched Clemson yesterday and wasnt all that impressed as they almost lost to Syracuse who also wasnt very impressive. Of course Ala. beat them but they did score 23 on them. Their scoring on bama compared to the Ark game are incongruent but Im going with their last game as to what shows up against UK. UK is playing consistent and getting better. Right now the spread is -6.5 for Tamu so it looks like that might be a safe one to bet on UK since they can lose by 6.5 pts. Just like UF I think they have this one backwards and it might be another one to win big on. I made over 2K on UF since they were supposed to lose by 4 pts! and I KNEW they had that one backwards! I maxed out the moneyline and the points. BTW I dont gamble, but I will bet! I once bet everyone at work I could run 9 miles in 90 minutes. It was around the River Run time. We all met at a local trak after work , I ran and they drank and I cleaned up!
      4. Tampa I agree, as you can see about UK but theres no way this offense beats LSU. If the team that just played MSU where the defense and special teams dont score like they have the other games and its left solely up to the offense and Mullen doesnt call any deep passes like against MSU when thats what he did every other game and is what Franks does BEST , then we wont win. This looked like a Muschamp team, all defense and very little offensive scoring. This isnt the team we have seen all season. Sure this was the 1st time franks was able to sustain drives but that is no reason to stop calling deep pass plays, we had guys open deep, I dont know why Mullen did that. He only tried it once & it was called back for holding. This is Franks greatest skill and why we scored so many points before. Even if we play like that again I still dont see this offense winning. Wish I were wrong.

  7. I enjoy the perspective of Pat and Robbie. Does anybody want to hear the Lou Holtz version and pick the Gators every week even when A drunk knows we probably won’t win? After Kentucky, who would think the LSU game would be winnable with the Tigers ranked in the top five?? If this makes the readers angry then pike on Vegas too. FYI, we are underdogs again this week. With our turnaround, at least we are not getting double digits from LSU.

    I’m going to the game and hope the student section has a working alarm clock so they can make kickoff. Work ‘em silly Gators!!!

    Awesome win for the Gators. Let’s stay positive and “fake it ‘til we make it” as this thing is turning around.

  8. 1-Msu will lose to Auburn and LSU but will beat Texas A&M(TAMU) because they arent that good, but neither is MSU , so who knows.
    2.I dont call throwing a pass on 1st down aggressive play calling, I call it normal, especially if you know you need to keep getting 1st downs for the 2 minutes remaining in the game, so the other team doesnt get the ball back. Nobody expects an INT everytime they throw the ball or else no one would use passes, thats like expecting fumbles everytime you call a run play so you pass instead! Thats ridiculous, I think it was just bad luck on Louisville’s part, period! Everybody wants to second guess you when the players make a mistake but your brilliant if they succeed!
    3.TAMU isnt going to beat UK. TAMU just struggled to beat Ark which is one of the worse teams in the SEC. I know they came close to beating Clemson but I watched Clemson yesterday and wasnt all that impressed as they almost lost to Syracuse who also wasnt very impressive. Of course Ala. beat them but they did score 23 on them. Their scoring on bama compared to the Ark game are incongruent but Im going with their last game as to what shows up against UK. UK is playing consistent and getting better. Right now the spread is -6.5 for Tamu so it looks like that might be a safe one to bet on UK since they can lose by 6.5 pts. Just like UF I think they have this one backwards and it might be another one to win big on. I made over 2K on UF since they were supposed to lose by 4 pts! and I KNEW they had that one backwards! I maxed out the moneyline and the points. BTW I dont gamble, but I will bet! I once bet everyone at work I could run 9 miles in 90 minutes. It was around the River Run time. We all met at a local trak after work , I ran and they drank and I cleaned up!

  9. The Bad: I losing my mind with the Muschampish boatload of penalties. That “targeting” penalty in the 1st period was complete BS. The ball was loose (for a moment) – the guy was diving at the ball. The false start penalties? Totally legit – over and over and over. That’s something the coaching staff has clamp down on. Also, why did the Gators not spy Fitzgerald? Why not play him as run first on any play other than a straight drop back? It was too easy for him to run and they didn’t put enough big hits on him to discourage that behavior.

    The Good: The defense got better as the game went on – peaking in the 4th quarter. I could feel the frustration for MSU offense and coaches just oozing thru the television. Good job Gators. More of that please.

    The Ugly: Why is it MSU is allowed artificial noise makers and NO OTHER fan base (not even uber-privileged Notre Dame) allowed them? I say every road game for MSU should include an air horn give-away to the home fans. Or maybe the SEC should put a stop to the stupid cowbells once and for all.

    • Mark, speaking of targeting, does anybody really know what it is anymore, if they ever did in the first place? Can’t remember which game on Saturday, but I saw a DB get ejected for shoulder to shoulder contact to a WR. The clueless announcers insisted it was a good call, but the initial contact was, as I said, shoulder to shoulder. The WR’s head did snap forward on contact and hit the DB’s helmet, but the fact that the initial contact was to the shoulder seems to me to be a clear indication that the DB did not target the WR above the shoulders. The replay official upheld the call, but it seemed obvious to me that there was no targeting by the DB. He did launch himself slightly, but by my understanding, that alone isn’t enough to draw the flag without contact above the shoulders or leading with the crown of the helmet. I understand the safety concerns, but if this keeps up, the only legal tackle will be where the defender grabs the ball carrier and drags him down without an actual hit. Defensive players will be paralyzed by the possibility of being thrown out for the slightest contact.

      • Joe Shiver – I was sweating out that last sack that ended the game because of just what you described. Fitzgerald took a straight strike to the chest, THEN his head snapped forward and there was helmet-to-helmet contact. An aggressive, CLEAN, football play could easily have been whistled for a targeting penalty.

        And can we at least acknowledge the word “targeting” is wrong? Targeting means picking out a specific spot/zone and intending to strike there and only there. That’s not what the penalty is or how it is called. The offensive player frequently affects this outcome by ducking, twisting, slipping, jumping, etc. The refs end up playing the outcome. Call it helmet-to-helmet contact (either intentional or unintentional), but stop calling it “targeting”.

        I actually think hockey does the best job with this. Any shoulder to shoulder contact is pretty much jake – even if the follow thru blows a guy up. If a guy drops his head and gets ear-holed? Judgement call. Often times a penalty, but not a sure thing penalty. Lead with an elbow? That’s going to be a penalty. Where hockey has a problem is player size disparity. Someone HUGE like Zideno Chara (6’7″ + skates) takes quite a few “unfair” penalties because he’s so much bigger, the strike zone for his (non-raised) elbow is above the shoulders on a lot of guys. He doesn’t “target” the head. But he cracks a lot of heads just playing hard and clean.

  10. Recipe for not having to miss any of the games you wish to watch:

    1. Set DVR, being sure to extend the end times by at least an hour in case of OT.

    2. Eye discipline! No peaking at the crawler on the bottom of the screen.

    3. Remote close at hand to flash to non-football channel during studio updates.

    4. Plenty of (fill in preferred snacks and beverages here).

    5. Banish all family members not interested in football from the viewing area for the duration.

    VOILA!!! The perfect Saturday!