Dooley Grades The Gators: Hmmmm, better, but still fifth consecutive loss

South Carolina defensive back Rashad Fenton tackles Florida wide receiver Freddie Swain during the second half Saturday in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Florida 28-20. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Offense D

First half: It seems like Florida doesn’t start calling plays that could work until they get down in the game. Nine of Florida’s first 15 plays went for zero yards or less. That’s not good.

Second half: The Gators hit a huge play in the fourth quarter to have a chance, but Florida managed only 125 yards and five first downs in the half.

For the game: Florida finally put some points on the board (the most since its last win over Vanderbilt), but 12 first downs and barely getting over 300 yards was another dismal performance.

Defense D-

First half: The good news was that Florida had a pair of interceptions and both nearly were returned for scores. The bad news was that SC still had 263 yards of offense and faced little resistance.

Second half: Florida played better, getting a fourth-down stop and an interception to stop a drive. But the defense allowed more than 200 yards in the half.

For the game: Florida’s defense gave up 21 plays of 10 or more yards, continuing what has been a five-game slide. South Carolina became the third straight team to rush for more than 200 yards (220).

Special teams C-

First half: Well, Florida finally got its first fumble recovery of the year when a punt hit a South Carolina player. But that was after Brandon Powell muffed another one and was benched as punt returner.

Second half: The best thing for Florida was that it never had to try to return a kickoff and started every drive at the 25. And Eddy Pineiro only had one kickoff returned.

For the game: Johnny Townsend was solid, but Florida again struggled to cover punts, allowing a 22-yarder by Chris Lammons. The mistake on the punt return actually didn’t hurt, but it still happened.

Overall D-

The Gators made it a game when it looked like another blowout was about to happen. Considering how few scholarship players they have (56 traveled to Columbia), there’s something to be said for that. But it was still a fifth straight loss in a lost season.



  1. I grade this team today…..comic book level. They do not deserve a letter grade for all the comical stunts they pulled on the field today. Talent and effort is worthless without basic common sense and simple field awareness, which this team has little to none of. Looking forward only to the announcement of the new head coach, the hiring of all new assistants (other than maybe the running backs coach who really has done a great job this year), and the start of spring practice. Thank god this team is not going to a bowl game this year. What an additional embarrassment that would be.

    • Sunday afternoon now, just got back from the Tulsa Gun Show over the weekend (well worth the drive even if Florida would have won)…..and I’m sorta glad I missed the debacle. I opine that even if offered a bowl, assuming they finish 5-6, the Gators should opt out. The final humiliation would only serve to destroy what’s left of next year’s class. // Rick, I swear to God you need to have your own column on this site.

  2. And to those that think Franks has a great future, please go watch the passing play late in the game where he stood in the pocket at 6’6″ tall and drilled his own offensive lineman in the back of the helmet with the ball. Comical. Sad. Embarrassing. And then threw the ball right into the hands of the defensive lineman standing right in front of him on the line of scrimmage that resulted in the INT that ended the game. You cannot teach one common sense and awareness, even if one has been gifted with one of the best arms in all of college football.

    • Little Ricky. Once again, there has been ZERO coaching. Why blame and mock the collegiate athlete? Place the blame where it belongs – Mcelwain flipped him from LSU and went after a high school back up in the same class with Trask. One must ask why was no other QB signed or sought after. If you and I can see how much growth Franks needs, why didn’t mcelwain notice. He and Nuss darn sure have provided no coaching for him. Mcelwain and his EGO we’re absolutely lost at UF as a head coach and we are seeing now how lost he was.

  3. All true! the poor kid looks lost in a 2 minute drill, which I blame to a large extent on coaching. But as you said, the instincts and awareness just aren’t there in addition to the inabilities to respond positively to increased pressure situations. Our 2 minute offense is nothing short of keystone cops quality. The intangibles just don’t seem to be there for the young man. Not trying to bash him, but I’m not sure that some things like responding to pressure and situational awareness can be taught. I did think the team as a whole played hard today but was just snakebit for luck and for that I am grateful ( not quitting )..

  4. A little too harsh in some places not harsh enough in others. The muffed punt was very costly, and the stupid SC touching was mostly luck. Defense was pretty good in spots, considering how many were hurt or suspended. Why Eddie continued not to kick the ball out of the end zone is another puzzling thing. Much better effort, yet still a mistake filled loss. The stench of our ex coach continues.

  5. Not even worth grading this team as they have so many unforced errors. At least the defense was more aggressive as opposed to playing punching bag every other game of the season and probably contributed to turnovers and forced errors by USCe. Might as well throw the ball every play on offense and see what happens. I think fans would be thrilled if the coaches just went for broke at this point considering there is no end season prize for any of them. But the coaching staff is just so entrenched in their failing ways. It says a lot when your 2 best and most consistent players by far are both kickers.

  6. Guys there’s almost no point in complaining about this season anymore. Most of us in Gator Nation were unfortunately happy that we only lost by 8, instead of by 40. This is a new low. Did you hear the interviews on the Gator Radio Network? Every player, almost to a person, spoke about how things were going to be better next year, not this year. They have already mailed it in, it’s what millenials do when things get too tough. Do not expect another win this year. The coach who comes in here has to change the culture. Thanks Jim McElwain for all of your great work. Your 2 SEC East Championships with Will Muschamp’s players will be remembered for, well, minutes. In fact, did you actually win the East? I can’t remember because our program is so bad and broken I am not sure what you did here other than pi** a lot of people off.

  7. The thing that killed us was the penalties and the fumbles (on the almost pick six and punt return). Right when our offense started to click and gain momentum…you guess it Zaire injured. I think if he plays and we run that QB off tackle stuff, USC couldn’t stop it. But that’s the type of year this has been. At least they didn’t quite like Mizzou game.