Dooley Grades The Gators: A flawed team

LSU running back Derrius Guice leaps in the air as he gains some yards against Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

Offense D

First half: Other than the one 70-yard drive to a field goal, Florida’s offense could do little right. The other possessions resulted in 65 yards of total offense.

Second half: The Gators had two really nice and very important touchdown drives that should have tied the game. After that, Florida managed only one first down the rest of the game.

For the game: The offensive woes continue for a team that looks good at times and then just awful at others.

Defense C-

First half: The Gators looked as if they had never seen a speed sweep before. LSU ran the play seven times and gained 89 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown.

Second half: Although LSU went right down the field to take a 17-3 lead at the start of the half, Florida’s defense did not give up any more points.

For the game: In the end, allowing only 17 points should be enough to win you a game. Florida still lacks creativity and maybe we saw why when the one trick play ended up as an intentional grounding penalty.

Special teams F

First half: Kickoff return game continues to be one of the worst in college football. Is anyone coaching it? At least the punt coverage issue seems to be solved.

Second half: Again, the punt coverage was really good. The wind seemed to play havoc with LSU’s punts and Brandon Powell battled all game.

For the game: Sorry, but when you lose a game on a missed extra point, you get a failing grade. The truth is that Florida’s not getting much from its special teams this season.

Overall D-

Forget the Troy game. That had nothing to do with any of this. Florida’s a flawed team that can’t afford mistakes if it is going to win games no matter where they are played.




  1. It is not a flawed team. It is flawed coaching. And, in particular, a very flawed (horrible in fact) offensive coordinator. No other OC in the country calls the plays he called on that last Gators possession with just over two minutes left and 90 yards to go. And a run up the middle on the first call. Right then, I knew the game was lost because of Doug Nussmeier. Corral cannot succeed in this offense if Nussmeier is calling plays for him. God, I want to scream in Nussmeier’s face. Not really. But that is how I feel about him.

    • I said the same thing to my wife after the “run up the middle” with 90 yards left!! So so so stupid! In my opinion, a big part of mess UF is in goes back to the Will Grier fiasco. Mac thought he was smarter then everyone and hitched his ride to Del Rio and let Grier go! Mac is doing the same thing with Nussmeir in reverse. Nussmeir clearly needs to go but is holding on to him for some crazy reason!! Pride or arrogance I guess!!

      • Joel. Spot on observation about Grier and Mac. Grier left because Mac would not guarantee he would return as the starter but would have to get acclimated to the team mid-way through the season and compete with Del Rio and Appleby before any playing time. Now, Grier is throwing for 350 yards a game for West Virginia. Gators will be lucky to have a 6-5 season at best.

    • It is a flawed team. And that is still on the HBC. We have USF or UCF talent on a team that should always be one of the 3 or 4 best in the conference. I am tired of giving our kicker a pass. Bad snap or not, an extra point in college is a 20 yard field goal. If the ball is set on the ground, you should make that. Piniero has a cannon for a leg, but just because he came after the worst kicker in the history of college football (Austin Hardin) does not mean we should give him a pass for missing 20 yard field goal. For those of you think this is just about coaching, I will ask you to wake up. Many of our starters would not start on any of college football’s top 10 teams. That is about recruiting. One way or another, this coaching staff needs to perform next year, or be shown the door.

      • Bingo CJ……recruiting….recruiting….recruiting. When a team has gone from elite to an established, years long now, record of “run of the mill, irrelevance”, it cannot expect to recruit at the same level as before. And that’s the cycle we’re in now.

    • I disagree, it IS a flawed team. Led by a coaching staff that has allowed 10 suspensions. We now have multiple injuries and a QB that can’t run the full playbook. We have a OC who’s play calling is so predictable my 10 year old was scream at the set “UP THE MIDDLE, REALLY, AGAIN?” He said “the entire stadium knew the play he was going to run, the entire stadium!”

      If this does not make a flawed team, I don’t know what does. And to that:
      If anyone was wondering hoe Mac pulled out a “Top 10” recruiting class at the last minute, now you know how. The “4 star” players he picked were on the vine for a reason, they had character and academic issues. They were good players, but the other teams had filled their roster with the BETTER 4 star players without the baggage.
      Here’s our season guys:
      BIG-LOSS vs TA&M
      BIG-LOSS vs 5 UGA
      WIN @ MIZ
      WIN-LOSS @ SC (I’m calling an upset)
      WIN vs UAB
      LOSS vs FSU

  2. Agreed this loss was inexcusable the ad has to go i want no one associated with Jeremy foley in that dept next hire a big name coach give him 100 million whatever I don’t care about girls softball! God I hate foley

        • What has foley done to receive all this high praise ????? billy Donovan one hire and that was a total dart in the dark got lucky , zook muschump this whatever this coaching staff is they basically are 1-4 year 3 they’ve gotten worse we lag behind on recruiting facilities we just aren’t good at football anymore . As for all his other sports most of that again nothing to do with foley Olympic sports they got to train year round Florida makes it ideal for Olympic athletes to work on their track field swim whatever the climate and a well funded flagship state university that attacks all our championships in various sports I don’t care about I want football ! I don’t want zook I want a big name big recruiter a winner foley has failed us basically this has become a lost decade thanks to his arrogance and stupidity it’s time to go get a coach that can bring in a top tier offense with 5 star recruits

        • Hire Chris Peterson or chip Kelly or patrino or super agent jimmy sexton he’s the one running all this crap cut the middle man out bring in talent like we used to have some of us want the resources going to upgrading our football program rather than girls ping pong and Olympic swimming .

          • With the condition of the football program now no top name coach will touch the program. It is going to have ftp be a young coach that maybe will save the day.

          • Beating around the bush, they should have got Charlie Strong when Urban left. Recruiting would have been Amazing, but we know why that hire wasn’t happening.

    • Gator-6. For next year, McElwain has to replace or change:
      1. The offensive coordinator (Nussmeier needs to go now in my opinion, or at least take the play calling duties away from him. He is just a horrible play caller).
      2. The TEs and special teams coach. Tell your holder that you do not have to spin the ball on extra points. Only long field goal tries. If he just puts the ball down on the ground, the game is tied. But then again, that is about poor coaching and there is way too much poor coaching going on with this team on the offensive side of the ball.
      3. The offensive scheme and bring this offense into the 21st century. Even Georgia was running light speed plays today with a true freshman QB. But our redshirt freshman QB is taking all the time in the world to get a play off with two minutes left in the game. It is just a mess, the Gators offense. Sad situation.

  3. Sorry Team. Sorry Coaching. I guess we got spoiled when Coach Meyer and Tim Tebow were here, wow, since then we have had the “3 Stooges” – Zook, Muschamp and McElwain…………………..I wish had I a solution, but I don’t. I do wish the team, and coaches well, but some reason, I sure am note hopeful.

  4. Sorry Team. Sorry Coaching. I guess we got spoiled when Coach Meyer and Tim Tebow were here, wow, since then we have had the “3 Stooges” – Zook, Muschamp and McElwain…………………..I wish had I a solution, but I don’t. I do wish the team, and coaches well, but some reason, I sure am note hopeful.

  5. It is easy to pile on someone when we are down. HOWEVER, I felt Nussmeier’s play calling was unimaginative and predictable.
    It bothered me to know end when there is a favorable questionable call and we do not line up quickly and get the ball snapped (like LSU did on that long pass that should have in an interception by Dawson).
    If Nussmeier is left in place Mac will have to be held accountable.

    Again, we are down 12 scholarship players, which is the same as being on probation, but that is when you NEED imaginative play calling.

  6. Where is the coaching grade? That group gets an F-. When you get out-coached by Bobby Boucher’s daddy you should send back your paycheck. The fact that Mac gets the wages he does is an absolute crime. The fact that he won’t get rid of Nuss is even a bigger crime. This team could easily be 1-4. And would Mac think it’s “pretty neat ” then?

  7. And we can’t recruit. And we are losing our defense we were once so proud of, fast. And we can’t recruit. Do we even have a 5 star recruit on our roster? This middle of the pack staff is doing the best we will ever see from them. We are the middle of the pack.

    • Where are people coming from with this recruiting crap? 90% of the teams in the country would have taken the recruiting classes we have had the last couple years. And we have another strong one coming in. Look at the great young players we have brought in the last couple years. Cleveland, Toney, Malik Davis, CJ Henderson, Marco Wilson, David Reese, Vosean Joseph, etc. Those are the type of players anyone in the country would want. Who cares if some recruiting website has 4 or 5 stars next to their name. People like Nick Saban will tell you that those rankings mean nothing.

      • Then why does Bama have the no.1 recruiting class every year if stars mean nothing? he recruits and gets more 5 stars than anyone! yes,sometimes the stars aren’t always telling of how good or bad a player is. but, more often than not they do! every elite program(for the most part) recruits 5 star talent. bama,Ohio state,Mich etc. what makes KY and Duke great in basketball year in and year out?5 stars. my point is that if Saban really believes that, then why does he not just settle for 2 or 3 star talent? he doesn’t and he won’t. and to your other point,yes Florida has recruited well, but that means nothing if talent can’t be utilized to the benefit the teams success. that’s the coaches job. when a coach is hired it is HIS job to do what he is being payed to do. if he doesn’t then like any employee not doing their job he should be fired. it’s just that simple. Gator fans as a consumer have a right to bitch,they are spending their hard earned money on a product,Gator Football,and like any consumer,it is your right to complain when you feel like your not getting what you pay for!

  8. Houston Gator. You are being kind with that grade. The offensive production of this team just never gets better under these coaches, especially under our poor OC who just seems lost when calling plays most of the time.

    • Bill – Of the 4 games you mentioned we have a chance to win only 1 – USCe. UGA blows us out this will not be a game. fsu will no doubt find a way to win in the Swamp as MacTard cannot even score against them. And they are getting better while we are looking like constant crap. So tired of this garbage from this staff. The only way to change it is to fire them and start over – hopefully with a winner this time. Mac will not be backing into another azz-beating in Atlanta this year, and thank goodness for that.

    • Then cinch up your spurs, Bill. TAMU is playing some big boy football right now and played a good game against Bama last night. South Carolina has got some offense going, and while FSU is down right now, they’re still playing better football than we are. Georgia? I’m probably going AWOL that weekend.

  9. Terrible just Terrible. The OC never calls anything more than 8 yards. He calls this conservative Big Ten offense, you see where that got you in Michigan. Want to be like Alabama, well Saban has evolved the dynamics of his offense. He now has a game managing QB that runs the ball and throws it deep down field to keep the D from stacking the box. Stop playing catch up to Saban and be more innovative. We stink and it’s because either you are holding back the offense or your play book is about as Rutgers winning streak (1 page). Need new plays or new coaching PERIOD!!!!

  10. Clearly, we missed Cleveland’s play making ability and having a go to guy. Needed to stretch the field but didn’t have that threat. Schwartz must be licking his chops to get on the field. The running game was decent. There was a reason we were very heavy with the number of run plays.

  11. We need a new offensive coordinator. It’s the third year of watching this guy and it is like watching Steve Addazio again … where any couch-potato football enthusiast can predict 90% of the offensive plays before they happen. And if most of us can do that, just imagine what a high-paid defensive coordinator who studies
    the game daily can do to stop us. Nuss needs to go to Pop Warner football where his offensive play-making mind can be relevant and where he can make a difference. We have the talent on this team. We just do not have the right offensive coach. Give these players a better coach so we can be competitive with Alabama and other top 10 teams again.

  12. This team is loaded with talent. The coaching staff is in over their heads. It shows on the field. Mac was a mistake hire. This is not acceptable. Mac will be out at the end of the year. Bring in somebody that’s proven. No more Zoom, Muschamp or Macs

  13. Nussmiere needs to go, his play calling is horrible, no, really horrible. So hard to watch the whole game. Mac, don’t think you are immune to this crap. It’s crap. Period. Empty seat are in the near future unless some LARGE changes.

  14. This is Gator football. Spurrier and Meyer didn’t spoil us. They built a legacy. Whether as a coach you want to have an explosive offense at Florida or not, is not your choice. It’s a REQUIREMENT.
    I came home. Saw the 3 first-half points. Turn off the TV and went to bed.
    I’m tired of yelling at the pathetic offensive play selections. Didn’t we do this already with Muschamp.

    • Where are people coming from with this recruiting crap? 90% of the teams in the country would have taken the recruiting classes we have had the last couple years. And we have another strong one coming in. Look at the great young players we have brought in the last couple years. Cleveland, Toney, Malik Davis, CJ Henderson, Marco Wilson, David Reese, Vosean Joseph, etc. Those are the type of players anyone in the country would want. Who cares if some recruiting website has 4 or 5 stars next to their name. People like Nick Saban will tell you that those rankings mean nothing.

    • Yeah!!! Exactly!!! That’s the answer! The coaching staff needs to read comments on the Gvill Sun website from random people who don’t know a tenth about football as the people they are criticizing! Brilliant!!

  15. What do you expect from a “Team” of Felons? Coach said earlier that he will “do what is right” by them ( the FELONS, convicted of MULTIPLE credit card stolen charges, etc) – hell of an example, huh? Add that to all the injuries, no star QB, my God, they are lucky to have the wins they have…………but…….that Luck is running out, and soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks like the “3 Stooges” out there on the playing field!!! Shit, I’d rather watch “Pop Warner Foozeball!!!”” (More Talent)!!

  16. Pat, quick question(s) for you, and I will keep it short since I agree with your assessment that this is a flawed team.

    Do you have any insight or gut feeling as to what goes on in the Gators locker room during Halftime? In most of our games this year thus far we have come out of the half on both sides of the ball. Particularly concerning are the TD drives to start the 2nd half, this is becoming a trend.

    What is going on with these Gators?

  17. Dooley had piece about this game opening up the gator offense? Just opened up a can of a PATHETIC offense!
    Please someone find us a coach that has intensity and desires perfection on offense. This team is unraveling.

  18. This performance should not surprise anyone who is able to objectively look at this team. It has been and continues to be poorly coached and managed. Little or no discipline on or off the field, and a bunch of apathetic juvenile delinquents/criminals have infiltrated the team. Coach Mac is out of touch and can only offer poor excuses and platitudes to explain all the problems. He is overly protective of the coaching staff and therefore is unable to take meaningful corrective actions. This will ultimately result in his demise as head coach, it is only a question of how long the AD can stand the heat. Once the affluent alumni donors begin to withhold the dollars, the axe will fall. It is a pity a once strong program had come to this. But, it is the inevitable result of a poor hire.

  19. You are so right ralph t., coach Mac is on borrowed time. I knew we were in trouble when he disembarked the plane when hired in his flip flops. He is a loser.. i am tired of Dooley covering for him as well.

  20. As great as Foley was—-McElwain was a BIG Mistake. We should focus on convincing Scott Stricklin of that fact. McElwain was a big mistake and the other mistakes (like Nussmiere) followed the Big Mistake. Muschamp’s great defense is now gone. And McElwain’s lack of discipline (Calloway should have been kicked off the team over a year ago—-as Muschamp did with Jenoris Jenkins) has resulted in 9 lost scholarships this year.
    The poor coaching has Greatly added to the problem. Replacing McElwain is Step No. 1 toward solving this problem. Soon rather than later.

  21. Is there anyone here who really thinks we are going to beat A&M? they gave bama all they could handle,putting up over 300 passing yards on them and lost by only 8! oh,and by the way,all of this passing was done by a 18 year old freshman quarterback for A&M!

  22. Just before LSU made their first touchdown, we had a 3 and out on defense, except #7 decides that he must hold a receiver and then run over to LSU’s sideline and execute a “Conductor’s Bow”. What was that; heck, I would have flagged him also…Additionally, I noticed when he returned to the sideline no one addressed his play or behavior. Things like that should not go unchecked. Go Gators.

  23. First of all bad coach you see that quarter back is shit he want run he want do shit u sure have took his ass out he had a lot of time to run that missed fields goals you seen the ball wasn’t stable you sure have call time out are got a delay of game I was very displeased with this today was your day home come i am very mad hurt this shit was watching high school and long is Frank in there we got many games we are gone to lose are you the coach one

  24. Wow, not a sunshine pumper on the board. Everyone sees the storms and clouds except the AD, HC, and OC. But then again, what do we know about football. Enough to turn the tvs off. Hopefully the Bull Gators understand.

  25. Anybody read that article with Les Miles? He talked about LSU’s recruitment of Franks and how Franks was a solid commit for 1.5 yrs and was going to be the cornerstone of his class, and lost him because of rumors of his (Miles) firing. He said Franks was a great “dual threat QB”. Duh, was he talking about another guy with the same name Franks!

    • No Jasper….he was talking about the same guy. Mile’s expectation was to develop the kid into what he was capable of, not treat him c kid gloves and limit his abilities. I know you know that, I just wanted to get that off my chest!

  26. To be honest we have problems on both sides of the ball. Granted the defense is young but we’ve had a young defense in past years that’s been more aggressive than this group. Randy Shannon depends on the front four to get pressure but when that doesn’t happen you have to Blitz at some point in time to put pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback. I also noticed doing the LSU game when we did Blitz it wasn’t disguised well and picked up. As far as the offense goes bad play calling to throw the ball on 3rd and 4th down when you’ve been running the ball successfully all evening. Franks doesn’t completely grasp this offense at all he looks very confused at times. I think they’re telling him to throw the ball away once his first option isn’t open and that’s not going to get it done. At least give Malik Zaire or Jake Allen a chance. Go Gators.

  27. McElwain is an idiot. 15 precious seconds left in the 1st half with one timeout and he runs out the clock. Throw a bomb and hope for interference or a catch and go for a field goal. End of game: need 3 yards for a 1st down and calls a pass play down field with 4 LAU defenders. Brilliant! I’ll say it again. He SUCKS as a game day coach.

  28. Dawson, Jr., #7, should be permanently benched for being a first class idiot. And Gator coaches with their finger up their oriface instead of bitch slapping right to the bench. Maybe Florida needs a dose of SMU for lack of institutional control. Debit card SCAM should have been immediately caught and dealt with.

  29. UF lost to an Aweful LSU team. It is absolutely clear that this coaching staff aside from a few position coaches, has no effing clue. Nussmeyer is atrocious. A pee wee football coach could game plan against his offense. Shannon does not either watch tape on the other team or he chooses not to adjust ever. Any qb they play looks like a stud when they have 4-8 seconds every play to throw there bud. Gardner didn’t miss everything like Helen Keller attacking a pinata again, which was a nice suprise, and the LBS look decent for the first time this year. Dawson will continue to get burned but he’s their ‘veteran voice’ back there. Sooo can’t replace him. Unbelieveable. Enough has been said about the offense. Its a broken record that Mcelwain will continue to play over and over…. Hes in over his head, cannot develop a qb, and continues to let pathetic nuss call plays…maybe he does not take over play calling himself because hes even worse? That’s the only thing that makes sense at this point. The wrs and rbs look great as usual, just nobody to get them the ball. 30 year gator fan who cannot stomach to watch this football mockery and ineptdidude and idiocy take place with my beloved gators anymore. They have squeezed the fun outta watching them play. So ya got that going for ya. 6 loss season at best. Mcelwain will continue to say ‘we made some strides today, we usually have 6 completed passes but we has 8 today…and almost 150 yards of offense which is nice.’

  30. One thing about it, you never have to look very far to find a Gator fan that’s a total retard. Especially after a loss. They are everywhere. Idiots on here talking about firing McElwain and calling him “ MacTard”. How childish and how very, very, Gator fan like. When the season started most people, including the author of this article had us going 8-4. If ou had told us when the season began that at this point in the season that we would lose to Michigan and have a one point loss to LSU, nobody would have been surprised. But in the ultra retard world of Gator fans, once the season begins, all signs of realistic and logical thinking disappears. I’m so ashamed of being a Gator fan. The last few years have really turned me against our fanbase as a whole. The only thing worse than the offensive playcalling around here is the fanbase. Most of the people on here get what they deserve. A team you are disappointed in, because too many people around here are disappointing fans. I know there are a handful of good fans around here. But they are drowning inside a sea of retards.

  31. The regional and National media that covers the Gators and the SEC is seeing the same thing that the “negative” fan base is seeing and emoting about. There is no disagreement among the media about the ineffectiveness of Nuss’ null offensive play calling. That being said in both college and NFL football coaching careers have been made or broken by QB decisions. Muschamp went with Driskel instead of Brissett and it cost him dearly. Mac chose not to assure Will Grier that he would start in 2017 and look what happened? A QB like Grier can overcome even the deficiencies of the OC. Quarterback play can determine the destiny of a program. The apparent failure with Franks can open the door for immediate playing time for Matt Corral in 2018. Hopefully it all works out.

    • That’s not true, Key. He wasn’t available is all, timing is everything. But living here in Texas, about 45 miles north of Austin, I will say race did figure into Strong being behind the 8-ball before he even signed the papers at UT. That, plus having a white wife, really set the $$ boosters off. I will also say that Strong tried to clean up the mess he was confronted with by doing things the right way, no short cuts or expediencies. As far as his coaching ability, I don’t think there’s a Gator out there anywhere who would dispute that, and it would be hard to find a finer man than he virtually anywhere as well.

  32. It’s not that we throw are hands up every time there’s adversity. We’re just tired of losing. It’s been 8 yrs we haven’t been a legitimate sec contender nor NC contender. I’m not satisfied with mediocrity, when FSU is a legitimate contender every single year. Georgia is a contender most years. We’re losing to an Lsu team we shouldn’t have lost to. Two straight defeats against Alabama. 4 straight to FSU, soon to be 5. Georgia is gonna beat us. Struggling with Vanderbilt. 3 straight losses to Michigan. Losing to ARKANSAS last year. Losing to Georgia Southern at home in 2013, division 1-AA team.

  33. LT ,Obviously Franks still needs more work with the play book and pre-snap reads are an issue with him. I guarantee Gator fans will be screaming to get him out of one of these games to come.Teams will continue to blitz us every chance they get knowing that Franks is not your most elusive quarterback. Malik Zaire gives us a better chance at Texas A&M because he is a true dual threat quarterback(Watch Alabama vs Texas A&M) You can’t judge his performance against Michigan because then our offensive line couldn’t block the average high school football team then. Plus he can keep plays alive and get positive yards with his legs in short third down situations. Mark my words before it’s not going to get any better with Franks at quarterback and in some point in time they are going to have to play Zaire if we want to make it even to a bowl game.