Andreu’s Answers: Struggles continue for Gators’ offense in third straight loss

Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks gets pressure during first half action in Jacksonville. [Alan Youngblood/Ocala Star-Banner]

JACKSONVILLE — Before every game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 7:

Will Florida’s struggling offense have any sustained success against a tough UGA defense that is giving up only 12.6 points and 252.6 total yards a game?

The final score tells it all. Other than a couple of good drives on the ground, the offense was outmanned for the rest of the game until the late, meaningless TD drive led by backup QB Malik Zaire. Feleipe Franks, the starter, had zero pocket presence (as usual), protection was awful and receivers were failing to get open. The result was an anemic passing attack that gave UF no chance to challenge the superior Bulldogs, who smothered the Gators in the decisive first quarter and again in the second half.

Can the Gator defense slow down the two-headed terror at tailback — Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?

The Gators showed in the second quarter that they could, indeed, make the going tough for Chubb and Michel. By then, though, it was too late. Chubb and Michel busted loose big-time in the first quarter and helped the Bulldogs rush to the 21-point lead. Chubb scored on a 6-yard run on UGA’s first possession. Then, on the first play of the ’Dogs’ third possession, Michel burst through an enormous hole in the middle of the defense and sprinted 74 yards for a touchdown. Michel broke free again for a 45-yard TD burst midway through the third quarter.

Florida has not recovered a fumble this season. Does that trend continue?

Nothing new here. When it’s hard even getting your hands on fast, elusive running backs, it’s impossible to come up with hits hard enough to jar the ball loose. So, yes, the trend continues. UF is the only remaining team in the nation without a fumble recovery.

Can the UF defense put the Bulldogs in some obvious passing situations, then put pressure on the quarterback?

Thanks to the success of Chubb and Michel in the running game, true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm found himself operating in a perfect world. UGA found itself in a lot of third-and-manageables. As a result, the only time Fromm was touched came at the end of a designed quarterback run in the third quarter.

Will the Gator special teams be their usual unproductive selves?

Almost predictably, nothing positive happened here. Punter Johnny Townsend was his usual reliable self, but that was about it. Nothing in the return game. Nothing in the kick-block game. Nothing in the punt-block game. So, unproductive as usual. The Gators seem to lose the third phase of the game every Saturday.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or Also check out Andreu’s blog at


  1. Hindsight is always 20-20, Robbie. I prefer to live with the delusion that we won this game, and Coach Mac should be nominated for Coach of the Yeah. But then, I’m totally psychotic by now, and deeply depressed.

  2. I know you guys have got to do your jobs, but nobody cares about a recap or game grades for this one. It was self explanatory. The “is there cause” issue is burning up the FB. Too late for game analysis.

  3. I knew we had no chance to win this one so I am not psychotic. The last “meaningless” touchdown was not meaningless at all , it kept the no shut out streak alive which is the biggest thing we have going right now. I was impressed by Zaire making 2 third down passes and 2 good runs to setup the score. I think the fire Mac people have lost all sense of perspective and have no replacement in line.

    • Frank I agree on Zaire. I haven’t forgotten the Michigan game where he was awful but today he looked better. Yes, no longer was the first team D in for UGA but he just looked serviceable whereas Frank’s is terrible. I am hoping he gets the call for Mizzu.

  4. What a joke. Millions of dollars for a coaching staff to produce this? Jeremy was always looking for another untested head coach to be successful. He failed big time. This program is a joke. Please spend some big money and bring Florida football back to the elite programs in college football. I’m done watching until then.

  5. I’ll say it again. If a coach can’t improve a team on the side of the football that made him famous, what good is he? Mac is bringing nothing to the table and his teams have actually gotten worse during the second half of each season he’s been in G’ville. The talent says we should be much better, but the coaching is falling short.

    • I think Florida actually can win out with Zaire as the QB and Shannon as the Interim head coach. They likely will lose out with Franks as the QB and McElwain as the head coach. Both are just awful at what they do. Franks simply does not have a feel for the QB position on this level, and McElwain clearly is not prepared to coach a team on this level. Change is badly needed at QB and at head coach. Now. Not Monday. Now.

  6. Franks is not good, but has had zero coaching so as Mac the QB Whisperer would say “it is what it is”. What it really is: MacElwain needs to be fired now, immediately for cause with no buyout due to his death threat psychotic rant. He did not receive death threats, and he is too stupid to realize his falsely accusing Gator Nation of death threats will not get him sympathy – it will get him fired. Fire him tonight, Saturday night 10/28/17 and let’s begin to pick up the pieces of this broken program and beat fsu.

    • Tunaboat. The program is not broken. The coaching is. The program is a top tier program and deserves a top tier head coach and assistant coaches. The players are talented and the base for recruiting is solid. Coaching, not the program.

      • Rick Gillmore. What the heck do you think I was saying? Quit nickel-dimeing definitions, and yes, the damn program is broken right now. Recruiting is still below Florida standards – a result of poor recruiting, a result of poor coaching. What talent we have is going to waste, as every program with crap coaching can say. But there is light here – Mac and Nuss will soon be gone. The challenge will be to get someone in there that can pick up the pieces for the first time in 8 long years. Overall, the new coach will be faced with a program-wide challenge.

        • The only reason they should fire Mac now is if he has mentally checked out and is looking for a way out. If he is actually willing to keep working then firing him in the middle of the season is a bad management decision.

  7. I like everyone else want to see a coaching change. Been watching since 1968 and I don’t know if I have seen an uglier game. For the first time ever I quit watching at the end of the 3rd quarter. There is no leaders on this team. But, jimmy crack corn and I don’t care, I’m still a GATOR!!!!!!!! And I always will be.

  8. 1st it’s absolutely obvious this team has zero confidence in Franks(kentucky game), I saw passes dropped, I saw no enthusiasm except for the running backs, and the defense had no confidence that they would win. Not blaming the game on Frank’s entirely. Another thing if I was Zaire I would acted hurt, no way he would put me in the game 35 40 to nothing, let Frank’s have it. This team is broken I knew when Del Rio went out the season was over I almost cried. So from this point forward I’m done bashing and try to support the team better luck next year.

  9. What we really need on this team, the most important core value, is LEADERSHIP. Does anyone believe that 9 scholarship players would be involved in a grand larceny scheme of stealing credit card numbers from citizens and cashing money? Those players must have thought they were safe because there was no leadership, no understanding of orientation and consequences. Mind-blowing for me that Mac’s players got anywhere near this open criminality using UF facilities to carry it out. Does anyone believe that Kirby Smart’s UGA team would be caught doing this? The new coach needs to come in with a tear-down/build-up mentality because the Mac experiment has allowed all discipline to go down the hole.

  10. At some point, some of the finger pointing needs to be aimed at the players, they are the ones who must execute, and they just aren’t getting it done. I realize suspensions and injuries are a big part of the lack of offensive production, as well as poor play calling and game prep, but when you watch this team and then watch other programs, it appears the talent level is way off. Coaching changes are only one part to turning this program around. Also, the Gator fan base is spoiled beyond belief, thanks to Spurrier, Tebow and Urban, the Florida fan base is now a bunch of whining children.