Dooley Grades The Gators: Fans, fun on point

The Florida Gators enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for Saturday's Orange & Blue Game. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Offense B-

First half: Some of the scoring was manufactured (Lawrence Wright and Travis McGriff each scored TDs), but there was still some decent offense and Kadarius Toney looked like a real receiver.

Second half: The first drive with Emory Jones at quarterback was nice, but after that there was a running clock and a lot of guys playing you won’t see in the fall.

For the game: The offense wasn’t bad, but it hardly resembled what Dan Mullen needs it to be for the Gators to get out of their almost decade-long malaise on that side of the ball.

Defense B-

First half: There was a lot to like, especially the play of the linebackers on both sides of the ball. The Gator defense cut back on its blitzing in the second quarter to let the offense feel better.

Second half: Florida’s defense got its only turnover of the game when a deflected pass was picked off by Jahim Lawrence. But again, there weren’t a lot of possessions because there was a TV window to fit into.

For the game: This defense is going to be fine, but it definitely needs to improve on what was an issue last year, which was a lack of turnovers gained. Still, this was not a 35-30 game.

Special teams I for Incomplete

First half: Florida did not do any live kicking or punting, but the rusherless kickers did fine, especially Jorge Powell making a 45-yard field goal.

Second half: Good punts, no fumbled fair catches and all extra points made with nobody playing defense. So the special teams had that going for them.

For the game: Tommy Townsend may not have his brother’s leg, but his kicks were deep and hanging. What we really need to see — and did not Saturday — is how this team will return and cover kicks.

Overall B+

Here’s why the grade is higher than the sum of the grades — Gator fans were called to arms and they showed up with great enthusiasm. The game itself was typical of the spring, but there was something different about the whole day in a positive way.


  1. You were obviously not at the game. Toney is going to be a playmaker and if the WR transfers can actually play this year this receiving core has the chance to be special. This is all good as long as the QB has some protection and doesn’t stare down his targets.

  2. The spring game was not spectacular ,but it did show some good progress and it was fun. I believe Gator nation has to be realistic as well which is hard to do with an impatient society. Coach Mullen is having to rebuild this team from a terrible year last season. I don’t think Trask has played enough football to be able to make the big throws down the field like the game winners Franks made last year. I believe once Franks learns more how to manage the game and not try to force things we will be in good shape. Go Gators !

  3. After watching the game, I am more convinced than ever that Franks can’t play. And his interview at the end of the game, I think, really established that he has no leadership ability whatsoever. He merely recited stock phrases. I can see that Mullen has to say nice things about them all to ensure that their confidence is not totally destroyed. I think that the jury is still out on Trask. I was impressed by Jones. He may not have his accuracy down but he made better passes and had much better timing. I would bet that he will be the starter by the middle of the season. Until then, I hope that the defense really plays well because I don’t see the Gators scoring a lot of points. Good luck Dan. You’ll need it this year. Hope you can find some other QBs.

    • Agreed about Franks. His incessant rambling during the post game interview was hard to listen too. He simply doesn’t have “it.” If he is the leader of the offense this fall we are in for a long season. Franks needs to work as hard in the film room as he has on that ridiculous patch of hair on his chin.

  4. It was a fun day – even watching on TV. Both the QBs had some good and bad things, pretty even I don’t think one outshined the other, except for Franks having a much better line protecting him. The Orange D was on Trask like white on rice he had about 1/2 the pocket time Franks did. No big questions were answered today, other than we have a much better coaching staff than the last gaggle we ran off. Not looking for greatness this year, but we’ve got a shot to be respectable and build for the future. Dan’s the Man.

    • Roger that tunaboat…..I know you were watching the respective O-lines as I was. Hard to really come to a conclusion with all the pulling of punches, etc…..but I did see enough to make me think it has more “moxie”. God, I hope so…..that will be the key to the offense.

  5. Nothing good, or bad, was learned today. The Gators still look the same. There’s still some silly fans that see something that doesn’t exist, though. I remember the exact same comment about Toney after last year’s Spring game, for example. But Toney did nothing last year. That should be a reminder that what happens in a Spring game, almost always, is meaningless.
    What is meaningful is that no one said they would commit. FSU, Clemson, and others are still dominating Florida in recruiting. Mullen never has been known for his recruiting. The only hope is that he’s a better coach in real games.

    • Mike Winter (aka Tebowcurse and all the other multitude of trolling IDs you use on here). Were you the lone FSU fan wearing that dumb looking FSU cap in the stands yesterday? He sure looked like the troll I imagine you to be. And stupid for showing up at a Florida spring game with your FSU hate on your thick head.

    • Let me guess Mikey you came out of watching the FSU Spring game and think they’ll be in the playoffs right? FSU’s the only team whose Spring game isn’t meaningless? Taggart, who in 8 years of being a head coach has won more than 8 games only once and is a consistent 7 win coach, but he’s suddenly going to morph into Saban and win 10 straight national titles? You sit here and try to compare stuff that happened in the past with an entirely different coaching staff and act like nothing’s going to change, but will argue tooth and nail that FSU is suddenly going to be better than the 6 wins last season with an unproven power 5 coach. Funny thing is if Mullen and Taggart were put in front of you at the beginning of the coaching search and you had to choose which one you’d rather have, you’d take Mullen 100% of the time. Mikey you’re a joke and everyone can see right through your charade. The days of FSU’s dominance are over and you know it.

  6. One thing is for certain, the social media ‘dis’-information is an intangible that most coaches of the Gator past NEVER had to deal with. Two of the ‘dis’-informers are here on this site right above me, and it’s obvious who they are.
    Honestly, the offense looked better than I expected, even though they started out slowly.
    The player makers are there. Some positions, the depth may be a concern. But health is always a concern for every team. It’s how well people handle adversity that matters most. This 2018 team could be better than some of the commenters here project. I was there, and it was my 1st ”Orange & Blue game” since Muschamp’s days. And I was impressed with the excitement of the fan base. And even the very last play was a T.D. pass from the 4th or 5th string Q.B. Enough said! GO GATORS! DON’T BELIEVE THE NAY-SAYERS! Piss them off and win the East, BEAT U.G.A., and go the NEW Georgia Dome.
    But it starts now: in the film rooms and weight room!

    • To be impressed with the last T.D. is a sign that you don’t have a clue about what is important in football. The entire second half of the scrimmage was a complete joke and, frankly, I was a little dismayed because all we have heard from Mullen is things like “relentless”, “competing”, etc.
      I don’t expect Rome to be built in a day. Florida has been awful on offense for nearly a decade, so it’s not reasonable to expect a sudden and dramatic change. But I didn’t see any reason to believe that there will be any improvement and, most importantly, nothing that fits the description of “relentless”
      There had better be a huge change over the Summer or this team could be worse, not better, than last year. Instead of squeaking by Kentucky and Tennessee, for example, this team could easily lose from what I saw Saturday.

      • Off your meds again?
        Did you see Dr Metzger yet? It could be life changing if you would just make the appointment. I know being kicked off Warchant didn’t help with your depression but it’s curable when treated.

      • Mikey I don’t know what’s more pathetic, you being on Gator websites every day all day, or you having so little of a life that you’re sitting at home on a Saturday afternoon watching and analyzing every second of the Spring game of a team you don’t like. You probably sat there taking notes on what to write on every gator message board the second it was over. I’ve never seen a more pathetic excuse of a human being in my life. Get a life man! Get out of the house and socialize and maybe meet a girl or boy, whatever you prefer and have a little fun. It really is a shame how sad your existence is. Your life will be much happier if you just step away from Gator websites and get out of the house more often.

  7. We fans can get as excited as we want and Mullen can coach like Steve Spurrier, but that won’t help Franks see the second and third receivers before running away. I think we still have to pray that the defense is great and that the offensive line lets our guys run like hell because they aren’t going to do it by passing until maybe Trask or Jones (even better) gets some experience. Franks is never gonna cut it. If he can’t make the plays in the Spring Game, how can he make them when the other side is really trying?

  8. Thank goodness for Gator fans like you George Barnett who are actually using common sense and being realistic. Take off the orange and blue glasses people. Just because some of us choose to see things for what they are, it doesn’t make us any less of a Gator fan. I’ve been a die hard one since ’83. But there’s no amount of coaching that’s gonna fix the numerous problems Franks has. And most of them are between the ears. Terribly low football IQ, no pocket awareness, stares down receivers, poor decision making, and makes excuses after games instead of holding himself accountable. Those are just a few of them. Time to get real. GO GATORS.

    • This is funny to me how many people I’m seeing say oh it’s the same ole Franks and he’s not going to change. Of course he’s the same Franks. They’ve only had 2 weeks of practice, most of which were spent implementing a new offense. How should anyone be expected to suddenly morph into a completely different player that quickly? You talk about taking off the orange and blue glasses, maybe it’s time you, George, and every other person criticizing him take off the overly critical expecting miracle glasses. Maybe save the criticism for after the first game when he’s had an entire offseason conditioning program and Summer of practices to get comfortable in the new offense. Trask and Franks didn’t look much different to me other than Franks looked like the much better runner. Mullen seems to have some confidence in him and thinks he was pushed into playing before he was ready. I’m going to defer to the expert on this one. Based on how Mullen talks about him, it’s pretty safe to say he’s going to be our QB, so maybe we should do our part in helping to build his confidence he lost playing too soon, instead of always beating him down.

  9. I know its the spring game, but overall they appeared “organized”. That’s as positive as I can be at this point. Sorry, but Franks looked like the same guy. I just kept saying to myself Hmmmmm???. 7-5 to 5-7.

  10. It was an unusual but fun to watch Spring Game. A personal highlight was Duck … Duck … Goose, just watching the players having fun. Worst take away is that Franks is the same ‘old’ Franks. Like to think he’s a nice young man but IMHO he’s not a SEC caliber QB at this (late) point. He still can’t process his options in the 2-3 seconds he will have in a real game. Want to give him the benefit of the doubt & really hope he improves between now & football season.

  11. The knock on Franks not going through his progressions is just not accurate. Not in this game, anyway. His problem was taking too long to deliver it there. Trask had better touch on the ball and did a decent job of putting the balls into tight windows, hitting receivers in stride but he has to recognize when OL containment breaks down. He would’ve been sacked 5-6 times in a live game.

    The real concern is the Orange DL absolutely whipped the Blue OL. Not sure if the D front is that good or OL that bad. Probably a little of both. Also, didn’t see as many dumb mistakes i.e. false starts, holding calls as in the past.

    It’s still just a spring game and we weren’t going to know much more about this team anyway. I think DM was using this more to engage the fan base and embrace former players than sort out any pecking order on the roster. We still have another Savage session and 28 days of fall camp to figure that out.

  12. Nothing. Absolutely nothing, from the spring game, can be deemed as persuasive in one direction or another as to what this Florida Gators football team will look like and play like next fall. The work and preparation for that begins today and these players will be different physically and mentally in many ways by the time foot meets leather for the first time in September. But, from what I saw in the stadium yesterday, this team is bringing more attitude and effort than they ever had under McElwain. And the offense looked like an offense that had imagination and options, something that totally did not exist under McElwain and Nussmeier. Something for sure to look forward to if you are a true Gators fan and not a FSU troll. Go Gators. Now, let’s watch some baseball and softball for a while.

    • You are either dumb or blind. Nothing happened in the scrimmage that showed ANY more “imagination and options” than under McElwain. The offense is still just based on passes that are thrown behind the line of scrimmage or barely past it with a rare chuck downfield that is rarely successful. The offense still looks EXACTLY the same. You’re right about not nothing concrete should be taken away from the scrimmage, but thinking you saw ANYTHING different from the dumpster fire of the past EIGHT years is ludicrous.

    • What’s “ludicrous” is someone making a statement that is only based on fantasy. It’s similar to what we’re subjected to from the moron in the White House. Perhaps I’m wrong and you could explain what was done differently from any recent Spring game. I only saw the same incompetence on offense going against a much weaker defense than was the case when populated with Muschamp’s players. Actually the offense looked better a couple of years ago hen Del Rio was the QB. But, even then, it was the same dink and dunk passing attack with power running.
      I don’t think there’s any difference and you’re, like the President, just making up more nonsense.