First half: Once again, Florida struggled with the running game, generating only 40 yards with half of them coming from Kadarius Toney on two Wildcat runs. Feleipe Franks made some nice throws, almost threw an interception and was hurt by five penalties against the offensive line.
Second half: There were a lot of screen passes again and Florida had to use a trick play to get into the end zone. But in a grinder of a game, the Gators had just enough offense to score just enough points.
For the game: It was a smart game plan to throw so many screens and negate the Mississippi State pass rush. Florida finished with 357 yards of total offense and Franks showed the kind of composure he needs to show every week.
First half: Mississippi State was able to run off a pair of long drives against the Gators with both ending in field goals. Still, Florida gave up only 159 total yards in a half that flew by. The three sacks were nice to see as Florida was able to get pressure at times.
Second half: The Gators put an end to Nick Fitzgerald’s running game by playing more physical and more disciplined. The Bulldogs only averaged 1.6 yards a play in the half. That’s elite defense.
For the game: Certainly, Miss State struggled on offense last week, but considering where this game was played and how beat up Florida is in the secondary, this was an awesome performance for coordinator Todd Grantham’s defense, right down to the final call of the game.
Special teams B-
First half: Trey Dean III was ejected for targeting on a fair catch in the first quarter, which kind of told you this might not be a winning night for special teams. And then there was the kickoff return from Freddie Swain that set Florida up on its own 10. Kickoff coverage, on the other hand, was excellent.
Second half: Tommy Townsend was asked to drop a lot of punts inside the 20 and he did a tremendous job doing so. Also, while it was a chip shot, another made field goal for Evan McPherson at a big moment in the game.
For the game: Special teams didn’t have the big play this week and there were some mistakes early. But the punting and punt return game gave the Gators a slight edge in that department.
You kind of had to be there to understand how intense the environment was. And Florida may not have looked pretty, but the Gators won back-to-back road games and get through September 4-1, which was all most people hoped they would do when the season started. Wins are wins, a wise man once said.