Andreu’s Answers: Gators don’t complete plan to win

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Florida defensive lineman Adam Shuler tries to block a pass attempt by Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm in the first half Saturday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Doug Engle/Staff photographer]
Before every Florida game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 9:
1. Can the Gators hold elite running back D’Andre Swift to less than 120 yards rushing?
The Gators certainly executed this vital part of their defensive game plan, holding Swift to just 86 yards rushing and 3.4 yards a carry. That was a winning effort. The problem was they failed to execute the second part of the plan, which was put pressure on quarterback Jake Fromm in obvious passing situations and force him into making mistakes. There was no pressure, and Fromm killed UF with his arm, especially on third down.
2. Will the deep and talented UF receivers, including tight end Kyle Pitts, be able to make plays against a sound Georgia secondary?
The receivers did their part to help keep the Gators in the game. Eight different receivers caught passes, led by senior wide receiver Freddie Swain, who had one of his best days as a Gator with eight receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Four receivers produced explosive plays — Swain (23 yards), Kyle Pitts (29), Trevon Grimes (27) and Van Jefferson (23-yard TD catch). The Gators went to almost an all-pass offense in the second half and the receivers responded. Maybe coach Dan Mullen should have gone to that approach in the first half.
3. Can the UF offensive line protect Kyle Trask and also get some push in the running game?
Yes on the first part, a big no on the second. Trask was sacked twice, one a devastating 19-yard loss that killed a scoring opportunity early in the third quarter, but for the most part, he stayed on his feet and was able to go through his progressions and move the offense with his arm. As for push in the running game, it wasn’t there, which comes as no surprise because that’s the way it’s been all season. The Gators finished with embarrassing numbers: 21 yards rushing on 19 carries for a 1.1-yard average. Can’t win with that.
4. The Gators have lost the turnover battle in each of the past two years, both loses. Can they win it today?
This was a wash — no turnovers by either team. The Gators did a nice job taking care of the ball, but the defense, playing on its heels for much of the game, never came close to a takeaway.
5. What kind of impact will Florida’s returning stars — slot receiver Kadarius Toney and defensive ends Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga — have on the game?
Having Greenard and Zuniga back definitely had an impact on the Gators being able to set the edge and prevent Swift from piling up a bunch of yards on the ground. But UFs two leading pass-rushers never even came close to sacking Fromm, who was comfortable in the pocket throughout the game. As for Toney, he’s clearly still not 100 percent coming off a shoulder injury. He played little and had only one touch, gaining zero yards on a jet sweep in the first half.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or robbie.andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.

Saturday

Who: Vanderbilt (2-6, 1-4 SEC) vs. Florida (7-2, 4-2)
When: 12 p.m.
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
TV: ESPN
Radio: 103.7-FM

13 COMMENTS

    • You know 6, to say the Gators “had the ability” gives short shrift to their miserable running game all season and lack of a pass rush when facing the best line of scrimmage (LOS) teams in the SEC, like LSU and UGA.

      They MIGHT have overcome their lack of a running game IF they’d gone to 75-80% passing from the beginning of the game. However, there’s no way the Gator D going to pressure Fromm with our undersized DL against THAT mammoth, athletic and well coached OL.

      So, the problems caused by those long, time consuming UGA drives was not going to be avoided by THIS Gator D. The best outcome we could’ve hoped for was a shootout with no more guarantee of winning.

      The solution is sticking to CDM’s plan of signing 5 talented OL and 4 talented DL recruits EVERY YEAR and turning them over to Savage for a couple of years of intense S&C. It’ll start to pay dividends next season.

  1. A very wise man once said, ”…for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and you are being humbled to prepare you for being lifted up.” -C.H. Spurgeon.
    The Gators need to honor God, instead of G.D.’ing all over the practice field. Yea, I watched ”Inside Florida Football” or whatever its name was, and some of the coaches love to ”G.D.” this and that. Point is, ‘3’ Heisman Winners at U.F. all had 1 thing in common besides being Q.B.s. Figure it out Florida Football!
    Go Gators! Just win 10, again, baby!

    • GI, I suspect that you’ll take some heat for coming out and saying that — but maybe not with the crew we have on here now. But I for one admire you for saying it. Christians, and not the ones who are believers one day a week and live like the devil for the rest of the week, don’t have it any easier than anybody else — but they try as hard as they can to walk that straight and narrow, yet bumpy, path. You might say that they know how the story ends and do their utmost both in private and public to live accordingly despite their human flaws, so that they won’t be an example Gandi had in mind when he uttered those chilling words, “But for Christians, I would be one myself”.

      We all know the rewards that come later, but sometimes they do manifest for some in the immediate moment too and those three are fine examples. Two take heat in other areas, but not in football. One doesn’t talk much about it and probably not many people beyond those who know him realize his conviction of faith, but it is there regardless. No wonder so many of us admire these men of honor, good works having flowed from their faith instead of the other way around.

  2. Not so sure Gators had the ability to open holes for the running game. Note: Toney had only 1 touch for the entire game. The rushing offense has been a work in progress this season. It does look like the OL–all of them–will be back for the 2020 season. And the Gators certainly don’t have the problems of FSU. Hahaha. There is NEVER a positive about a loss, no matter how you spin it, but the good news is that Semi-holes are in HORRIBLE shape for the remainder of 2019–and then some.

    • The answer to that is quite simple. Our current coaching staff considers all games to be equal, no one game is above another. Until Dan Mullen realizes we have rivalries this will continue. Steve Spurrier hated Georgia, he hated Tennessee. Mullen does not, his cavalier statement of “If you can’t get up for this game you don’t need to be here” is wrong. Spurrier and Meyer as well as Muschamp knew Georgia is a different animal, you better come ready, you better come prepared and you better come ready to hit. Saturday we did none of those things. The very first series when you have to call not one but two timeouts shows how totally unprepared you were for this game. I will state one more thing, Florida State is down this year they have had some horrible games but you can bet every dollar you have when they show up in Gainesville they are coming loaded to the gills. This game WILL BE their season and if the team that showed up in Jacksonville shows up for that game Florida WILL get beat. I don’t care what you say about talent or anything else. It IS a rivalry game and they will come prepared to knock your head in.

    • Still haven’t heard any reason for Toney disappearing after one play? Just speculation that he might not have been 100%, but the coaches should have known that before kickoff. He was a wasted weapon that the Gators needed in that game. Still burning over that blown call on the alleged reception by Ga. At no point in that play did the receiver ever have any kind of control of the ball. You could plainly see the nose of the ball on the ground and as he rolled over he was bobbling the ball and never did get a hold of it. How the zebras couldn’t get that right with replay is just pure incompetence.

  3. Sounds like UGA had too many weapons and we picked our poison. We contained Swift by setting the edge and dared Fromm to beat us with his arm which he did. There was a reason the preseason poll ranked him the second best quarterback in the SEC. Credit him for making the plays when he had to against a pretty good UF secondary.