Dooley Grades The Gators: Good enough again

Florida running back Lamical Perine looks for an opening past Kentucky safety Mike Edwards (7) during the first half Saturday in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

Offense B

First half: Let’s face it, the biggest play of the first half came when Kentucky forgot to cover Tyrie Cleveland. But 101 yards of rushing against that rush defense was pretty impressive.

Second half: After two bad possessions, Florida went to Luke Del Rio and the running game. The Kadarius Toney 50-yard pass was the spark that the Gators needed.

For the game: Florida had a lot of issues on offense, but it’s pretty clear that the Gators’ best chance to win the division again is Del Rio at quarterback.

Defense B-

First half: The Gators made a nice stand late in the half in part because Kentucky chose to throw three straight times, but the rush defense was a little shaky.

Second half: Florida had no answer early in the half, but recovered to make the big stops and get the job done.

For the game: This wasn’t one of the better defensive efforts for a defense that had played well early, but there were just enough stops to give the offense a chance.

Special teams C-

First half: A penalty ruined a great punt return, the punt coverage was miserable and Eddy Pineiro yank-hooked the opening kickoff. Other than that …

Second half: Another punt return for big yards made it pretty clear Florida might want to reconsider letting Johnny Townsend punt it as far as he wants.

For the game: Florida wasn’t the better special teams and there is a lot of work to do. But the kickers did great after the Pineiro opening kickoff.

Overall B

Whether those grades add up to a B or not or whether you want to give a team who did what this one did tonight an A is irrelevant. Florida won a game that looked lost and the streak is 31. Maybe the B stands for Botched Big Blue.


  1. Love my Gators and a great win tonight and last week, but I cannot understand for the life of me why the offensive coaches cannot fix the offense with all the talent that is on this team. But, clearly, Franks is not yet ready for prime time and Del Rio is a better leader and manager of the offense right now. But Corral is on the way, hopefully. He seems to have the innate skills, physically and mentally, to be a leader and a playmaker at the QB position, something Florida has not had and still does not have since Tebow. But Florida needs to ride with Del Rio for the rest of the year. He gives the team the best chance to win right now, unless the QB needs to throw a 70 year hail mary to win.

    • Rick, I hope you’re spot on about Corral. My worry is that he’ll get the training wheels put on for too long as well, and not get the chance to break out and play some big boy football either, aside from dinks and dunks and a hail mary once in a while. I sure don’t see other talented young QBs on other teams held back so much, and some of them are playing their guts out and winning games.

  2. Another nail biter….different guys seem to step up when needed but “luck” will eventually run out. A win is a win though and I am grateful……I just don’t understand why it took so long for the O coaching to use the run game more. It looked better from the beginning of the game. Del Rio was better prepared than Franks tonight.lets get ready for Vanderbilt…..Go Gators!

  3. Yes, they won, but so what. They played awful. If they play like this every week they are not going to win many games. Doing “just enough” to win is not doing enough to “play well”. They team will never regain its position as a national power playing “just good enough” to beat a team like Kentucky. I am sorry, but this is not acceptable.

  4. With the score 27-14, you can just see Stoops and the KY fans starting to panic and doing the math inside their heads, “oh oh yipes, 28-27”. Appears the pressure got to KY coaches and players all at once. Ky was the much better team really but best doesn’t always win. Does UF now ride Del Rio the rest of the season and start next year again with a QB problem?

  5. Good road win in the SEC! Go Gators! Played a great 4th quarter, but the Gators have NO defense. They’re terrible. Can’t blame it on the offense this week. Defense should get a grade of D for that effort (or lack thereof).

  6. There is no discipline on this team, no accountability. What happened to the tradition of singing the school song with the fans and band at the end of games? I only saw about 15 players doing it and they looked like walk ons.
    The defense is thin at linebacker but my goodness we go from an attacking style to rush four never blitz style of defense. Garcia is a walk on and played like one, no hustle and they always ran his way, i am not knocking him but we are the university of Florida and should not have a problem recruiting quality players. Mac needs to take some classes in personnel management, you train your staff and the players and if they are not producing quality then it comes from the top down. Go GATORS

    • Tommy, the mental notes I took from the first three quarters included that KY came out c passion and hustle, while the Gators seemed more flat and lacking spark. I also jotted down, “Do the Gators practice touch football? B/C that’s about all the defense seems to be doing”. But it was palpable how that changed by the halfway point in the 4th…..sure wish it had been there all along, probably would have been a much easier win. Agree c your point on discipline, also need to get some damn passion going as well before it’s almost too late.

  7. the comment about ldr being the quarterback we need to win the east may be true. certainly on 3rd down it is abundantly clear. franks has a better long ball, but that is like watching the rays hit home runs but lose games. LDR is to me a high leverage reliever in baseball, an elite closer. I say 4 qbs, toney, franks for the long ball, ldr for the tough moments and clock management, and I still want to see #8. I know if you have 2 qbs you don’t have any, but coach spurrier proved that not be to true.
    And if I’m one of the 10 guys that is suspended, ignore the lawyers, I need to go public, admit what happened, find a way to get back. opportunities in life are limited and fickle. otherwise quit and go to north Alabama or something. of course we have proven none of these guys are needed at this point.
    one more thing, with LDR around all the players have a good pipeline to the nfl. no excuse to not take advantage of that unless you just don’t care about the next level. LDR looks like a true captain to me, that can get the guys to produce. Franks can learn later.

  8. Way too high of a grade, offense at best a c and less in the first half. No consistent offensive flow. Defense the same, a few good plays a few blunders. Special teams D. Yes we won, but that is not good enough since luck eventually runs out while lack of skill remains. Bad coaching in many cases.

    • Yes, the offense is moving better each game. I think they are turning the corner but still have work to do. I think the offense looks a lot better when the defense didn’t have any pick-sixes this game like the past two games. While I’m not complaining about the pick-sixes, they do hurt the offensive stats since they essentially get one less possession to rack up yards. It also hurts the defense because they get to stay on the field for back-to-back drives which wears them out.