Dooley Grades The Gators: Better in key areas, now on to Kentucky

1
1232
Florida running back Malik Davis runs Saturday against UT-Martin at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

OFFENSE B

First half: The passing game certainly was strong with the two bombs by Feleipe Franks and a lot of short completions. But the running game was pretty average with 83 yards and getting stuffed on fourth-and-2 was not good.

Second half: Franks kept it going and Florida was able to get some valuable playing time for the back-up quarterbacks. The Gators were able to score on their first three possessions to put the game away.

For the game: Florida finished with 541 yards in the game, but it’s hard to give the team an A grade because of the opposition. UF was able to get the run game going better in the second half with 148 yards.

DEFENSE A-

First half: Anytime you pitch a shutout it’s excellent and, other than a couple of wheel routes that Tennessee-Martin hit for big plays, the defense had a really sharp half. The Gators held the Skyhawks to 83 yards and sacked quarterback John Bachus three times, all of them coming on important downs.

Second half: Florida’s defense allowed only two first downs in the second half and Kaiir Elam got the only turnover of the game with an interception in the end zone.

For the game: Yes, a team can get an A grade no matter the opposition when it shuts out the opponent. Any opponent. Florida allowed only 54 rushing yards (five sacks helped) and avoided the dumb penalties that were a problem two weeks ago.

SPECIAL TEAMS B

First half: Evan McPherson made his only field goal attempt and Florida never punted so there wasn’t a lot to grade. Florida had three punt returns for only three yards, but the key was keeping those punts from getting deeper into Florida territory.

Second half: Tyrie Cleveland’s 34-yard kickoff return to the UF 49 set the tone for the second half. Tommy Townsend’s lone punt pinned the Shyawks back at the 3-yard line, but he was helped by a bad decision to field it by Terry Williams.

For the game: Special teams usually are not a big factor in a game like this, but it’s still important to do your job. The Gators did and even though the punt return yardage wasn’t great, Freddie Swain’s sure hands were.

OVERALL B

The two big injuries put a damper on a hot evening, but Florida did do things better in key areas than the Gators did against Miami. Of course, it was a different kind of opponent in a different kind of environment. It will be interesting to see how these freshmen hold up in their first true road game.

1 COMMENT