Ultimately, Saturday’s 37-27 win at Vanderbilt wasn’t pretty, nor was it anything to write home about.
Yet the win over the Commodores, which gave the Gators a 6-1 record heading into a much-needed open week, revealed the full potential their offense when they strike a harmonious balance on offense.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Feleipe Franks set a new career-high in passing yards and then some, and the Gators had two running backs eclipse the 100-yard mark in Nashville.
And the skill position depth that was harped on in the 10 months prior to the 2018 season? It made the trip, too, as Franks’ 19 completions were spread among nine Gators.
When the 60 minutes had run its course, the Gators had gashed the Vanderbilt defense to the tune of 576 yards, despite turning the ball over three times for the first time all season.
And to top it off, Florida’s offense led UF to a tie of the largest comeback on the road in program history.
For a team frequently dubbed a one-dimensional defensive power by those outside the program, the victory over the Commodores revealed the Gators as a team more than capable of tearing up opposing defenses.
“There’s always things that you’re going to be correcting and getting better at. Overall, I’m pleased with the running backs, the (offensive) line, tight ends, and the receivers did a really good job today getting open, as well, blocking on the perimeter,” Franks said Saturday. “Everybody did a sound job.”
Franks stopped short of saying what many are thinking: the 18-point comeback likely wouldn’t have been possible under the previous regime, and that’s a testament to not only coach Dan Mullen’s arrival, but UF’s improved ability to adapt.
In Florida’s lone loss this season, the Gators struggled to respond when faced with adversity, resulting in a more-monumental-by-the-week loss to Kentucky. When the going got tough, Franks and the offense drifted away from the game plan, instead looking to beat the Wildcats with big plays.
Florida’s comeback against the Commodores featured a team more than willing to trust the plan in place, however, and one willing to remain patient before it came to fruition.
“Being a resilient team, that’s something that Coach Mullen always stresses. No matter what the point deficit is, it doesn’t matter — you just have to keep going out there, playing each and every play,” Franks said. “You never know what play is going to be the difference in the game. You just got to play every play independently. That’s what we did today.”
It is what the Gators did — once the team settled in to the early kickoff, that is. Mullen said the Gators continue to struggle with trusting the pre-installed game plan when faced with adversity, and the early 21-3 deficit may serve as evidence.
But if there’s one consistent aspect the head coach was pleased with, it was the sense of urgency the offense brought to each drive. The tempo is a reflection of UF’s growing confidence each week, and it was a welcome sign for Mullen.
“I liked our tempo. One of the things we wanted to do was come in the game, play with some tempo. I thought we played with a little bit of tempo this week,” Mullen said. “Got up on balls, went quick, we were able to do that. We ran 92 plays. That’s more what I’m used to.”
For now, however, it’s something the Gators must continue becoming accustomed to. With a critical week of rest ahead before facing Georgia at TIAA Bank field in Jacksonville, the Gators offense will get a breather before it’s back to running 90-some-odd plays in a contest that will have lasting implications in the SEC.
“Maybe we’re a little tired from those three (previous) games. But I don’t think physically tired. I think just emotionally, mentally a little bit. A little bit exhausted from those three games. So for our guys to battle through, I mean, a good team can beat anybody every once in a while, but great teams find a way to do it every single week. You’ve got to find a way. You can’t slow down,” Mullen said. “We got a bye week right now, everybody gets a chance to catch their breath. Then we come back, we got five in a row. So we got to get rested, and then build our mental toughness for those next five.”
I think we have to be a little careful about reading too much into the offensive performance. With the exception of Felipe, I admit the offense looked pretty good at times. He still takes too long to make a decision and the ball often is thrown a half-second to a second late. While I did like our persistence, it was clear that we wore down the ‘Dores defense in the second half. That was a big part of being able to move the ball so well in the second half – Vandy’s defense looked like us the previous few years. Survive with a few key turnovers but in the end just get worn down
HBGator. Florida had almost as many yards of offensive during the first half of the game against Vandy as they did during the second half. The difference was no turnovers in the second half of the game. And Franks, other than the INT (which was actually a great read and play by the Vandy DE and not a bad throw by Franks) and the fumble (which was really bad at that point in the game), Franks played a great game, getting the ball out on time, accurately, and he made really good decisions all game long. I am perplexed by what you think you saw during the Vandy game. Not what I saw at all.
I agree with this. One of the things about the performance of Franks that struck me was his ability to get the ball out more quickly and (usually) on time. The TD pass to Jefferson was put where it needed to be, when it needed to be there, I would say. And this timing was more the rule than the exception. Franks is improving significantly over the course of this season, a sign of very good coaching.
And a sign of a coach-able and willing player……
Yep, agree. If you eliminate Alabama what other QB in the league would you take above Franks. Auburn QB looks awful, Mississippi looks good against poor teams but really bad against even average teams. The UGA QB looked bad at LSU. USC ‘s Bentley has had problems all year. Fitzgerald was looked terrible against the gators. The KY QB was bad against A&M. The gators destroyed the TN QB as have most teams. Maybe the Mizzo QB would be better but I am not seeing much from the other QB’s in the league.
A&M’s Kellen Mond moves a little better than Feleipe. But overall their skills and knowledge are comparable.
Lock, Shumer, LSU QB, Maybe Hurts, and Fromm as of right now. Frank’s is getting better, can’t believe I’m saying this, coaching makes a difference.
Jonzee. No way would I take Burrow from LSU or Shumer from Vandy over Franks. Not even sure I would take Fromm over Franks anymore. Hurt from Bama, maybe. That is how far Franks has come under the coaching of Mullen and Johnson. And Franks has two more years to get way better. Exciting to think about. Trask now likely graduate transfers at the end of the season.
McElwain the QB whisperer … who came up with that anyway?
Probably Jim McElwain did. Now he is known as the wide receiver whisperer up in Michigan.
George, I’d take Trask over Franks, that’s who. And several others in the SEC I can think of. Hey, I’m glad Franks is a Gator, and I was rooting to see him play last year, but very soon formed an opinion that hasn’t really changed. Choosing a QB is not like choosing a starting track sprinter or shot putter, where you just measure the fastest time or distance. There’s many variables in a team sport, especially QB. I see no reason why Mullen can’t provide some rotation, given all of Franks issues that I won’t repeat. I still think there’s a stubbornness of not wanting his decisions questioned. Still am a Mullen fan, but this one sticks in my craw, cause I believe the offense could potentially really break out.
I think you and Daz share that opinion about stubbornness, 84. We’ll all go with who Mullen picks, I don’t think that’s in question at all, but I’d sure like to get a little more than a glimpse of Trask as well too. Guess that’s why my lifetime earnings probably fall a little short of what a top notch head coach in the SEC makes in a year! 😜
Thou shalt not question The Six Million Dollar Man. But I think all good coaches have a little stubbornness to them. Probably the bad ones, too, though. I think SOS cost the Gators a chance to be competitive against Nebraska by sticking with the 5-wide with DW under center to run most of his passing offense in that game. It took FSU nearly killing Danny before SOS moved him to the shotgun.
Agree. Their depth was not there to continue to have an offense run 90+ plays on them. We have issues with both side of the ball but the one thing that stands out to me is that we would have been a 2-4 win season right now if butter teeth was the coach. CDM and staff has brought one thing to the table and that is heart. We still have a lot of football left so now, we will see about our mental toughness with the heart. The team sometimes feel like they want to play their own game instead of the planned game and it shows when they just run around like they are in little tykes football. They better stay hungry to show that they do and are in fact for real! Ga. has more talent than we do, but sometimes it is not talent but heart. Do we have the bigger heart?
We certainly had a bigger heart against LSU than Georgia did. I’m still trying to figure out where all that talent went against LSU. Bad coaching or overrated talent? I guess we’ll find out soon.
I think the Dawgs have the talent, but maybe not as much last year. At the moment, they seem discombobulated, esp. offensively. Hope that continues for a couple more weeks.
Make that: … not as much talent as last year.
It is fun to be a Gator fan again. It is good that when we are in a hole, it doesn’t feel hopeless. Yeah, we might not win the East (it is possible though) but at least we did not devolve into Tennessee. Go Gators, whup the Dawgs!
We have always had talent, what we didn’t have was coaching to bring out the talent. I agree that Franks is getting better each week. The guy takes a beating not only on the field but from Gator fans also. I’m as guilty as anybody about getting down on Franks, but no more. He IS the quarterback for the Gators. Does he make mistakes, yes. There is no quarterback who’s perfect. Having a Lot of fun watching football again. No matter what happens the rest of the season, we are back in the thick of things. Good Day…………….
We have a very good trio of backs. It appears to me that Perine is the best of the three in his ability move outside and use his strength up the middle. Mullen has done a good job of balancing carries among Perine and Scarlett, as well as carries by Pierce. I just feel that Perine is just a little better than the other two and should be the guy we hand it to with the game on the line.
Tempo is great when it works but awful when it doesn’t. Still any time you put it on film that it’s a weapon you have it’s a good thing. I hope we can see more of it and we will need it in some of the big games.
Not exactly sure where this delusion comes from that the last “regime” was so much worse than this one. This comeback likely wouldn’t have happened under the last regime??? Really?? I remember being down 13 pts in the 4th qtr at Kentucky last year!! Kentucky is a little better than Vandy and a 13 pt 4th qtr deficit is much tougher than a 18 pt first half deficit. And can I remind people that McElwain had basically the exact same season going as Mullen does this year in his first season also? McElwain gets a raw deal from delusional Gator fans because most of them didn’t like him. Mac took this program and won the East two years in a row then was fires a few games later. McElwain never finished a season where he wasn’t the East champ. Remember that.
Just realized you were a complete idiot LT. Thanks for enlighting me. If you think McElwain is anywhere near the coach that Mullen is, you’re probably still happy your Noles hired Taggart 😁
Not sure this is worthy of a response but we’ll give it a go anyway….If you are going to try and make your point using the Kentucky game last year (and I don’t think any other game would even come close to supporting your argument) then you need to remember that Kentucky basically gift wrapped that win by defensive lapses where they forgot to cover receivers…twice. Kentucky should’ve won that game last year.
And credit for the 2015 and 2016’s East Championships should go to Muschamp’s defense, not anything the Mac and his staff did. Mac and Nuss, the offensive gurus were anything but and did a great deal to keep this program down.
But feel free to go right ahead in believing that Mac and Mullen are coaching equals. I’d say 98% of Gator Nation would disagree with you.
Rog. I think even Sly, the biggest McElwain supporter ever, has flipped to Mullen now. So I would up that percentage to 99.9 percent.
I’m with you LT.
Tampa – I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t flip. I still believe criticism of McElwain is vastly unfair and shows lack of appreciation for what he was able to accomplish with the hand that he was dealt. He exceeded expectations both full seasons he was at the helm albeit not with a sexy offense. Was he perfect? No one is. Did he make mistakes? Everyone does. Was he the best fit for the job? Probably not. Every fan is entitled to an opinion but when the vitriol boils over to incessant criticism and name calling, that’s over the top. It deserves a rebuttal, if not a rebuke. I do think everyone, present company included, need to move on from the unpleasant past. I have always been supportive of Mullen while taking the wait and see mode. He’s done and said all the right things since he’s been here so I like him. The person I have been critical of is Stricklin because he (1) fired McElwain midseason pulling the rug out from under the team who had worked so hard to overcome the adversity of losing many of their teammates due to suspensions (2) tried to weasel out of the contractually binding payout on a technicality (3) pursued a coach who was slapped with a show cause disregarding UF’s culture of “winning with integrity” and (4) delayed building a much needed stand alone football facility by a few years in favor of first funding the baseball and softball projects.
Sly…you are prob the most sensible poster here IMO. Although I do believe McElwain was not the guy and benefitted from probably the weakest period of talent in the East, with the major players being down at the same time. Maybe it’s me, but LT writes errily similar to soneone else that has several aliases and wears School out West gear.
Sly. Thanks for being a level headed fan instead of acting like the internet thugs on here calling me an idiot. People seem to be super bad asses when typing. Lol. I’m not trashing Mullen or even saying he won’t end up being more successful than Mac. I’m simply saying at this point in their stunts at UF, Mac was doing just as good or better than Mullen. People were praising Mac and trashing Muschamp. Now we see the exact same thing playing out and people want to ignore the facts. They are letting their feelings and intellectual deficiencies show. At this point in Macs first season, his team flat looked better than the 2018 team. They had smashed the#3 team in the country and their only loss was a close road loss to LSU. Mac rolled in to the FSU game 10-1 and with national championship hopes. That’s even with losing his starting qb while the team was still undefeated. People around here forget history and ignore facts. They fall back on subjective statements like “this team is obviously better” and “you don’t know football” instead of actually taking the orange and blue glasses off, taking the pacifier out of their mouth, and looking at the facts. Mac was considered to be the savior around here at this point in his career. Now it’s Mullen. I’m just saying before we crown Mullen the next great Gator coach, let’s see how things play out.
Smith – Thanks man. I can agree with that. While McElwain was dealt a bad hand, it seemed everyone else in the division also hand bad hands. Sometimes it just takes the high card or a pair of deuces to win. As for the resident troll, he’s always been about negative recruiting. He jumped at every opportunity to criticize McElwain, Shannon, and the direction of the program as a whole. I don’t see that theme with LT. It’s been refreshing to not have to read the troll’s posting daily since Fisher left FSU or so it seems.
LT – Again, I’m with you. I already know how the fan base will react if Mullen loses games he shouldn’t have or loses to our rivals (UT, UGA, FSU, LSU) in 3 consecutive years. As I have done with McElwain, I will be here defending Mullen when that happens. I’m all about maintaining continuity and allowing the coaches time to fix the problems.
Fair enough SLy. TRUST…I realize how insane our base is, but all SEC bases that have won titles are the same or worse. Mullen IMO “smells” different in the in game management, adjustments, player buy-in, etc. McElwain….I soured on him but wasn’t really one of those all over him at the time due to the East titles, something Champ couldn’t do. With me, it’s more of an overall observation of his time here…the lack of offense, and he like Muschamp trying to be Alabama Jr….when that’s just not our bag IMO. We historically at our best tend to have more speed to counter the size and we went away from that especially on the offensive side of the ball with skill positions. Wil Grier definitely hurt him…Treon took MAJOR steps back under his offense as well. He seemed overwhelmed with the pressures of Gator Nation and seemingly quit..JMO. I def gave him support while here…and will give coaches more than 2-3 years like most to right the ship.
Mullen is by far a superior coach to McElwain but, you cannot cherry pick plays to make an excuse for winning a game because it will come back and bite you. If the MSU WR’s had have caught 2 passes right in their hands we probably would have lost that game. Same with LSU. In fact we have had several games where the opponents dropped passes saved a drive from scoring. Thats called football and plays in the game and you cant make excuses for a win and not apply that same reasoning to mullens wins.
Instead mullen is a better coach because his defense isnt playing up to the standards of the DBU’s under Mus or mcelwain(not that they had anything to do with it) yet they are still winning with better offensive play than under both of those coaches and SUPERIOR play calling , which we CAN credit directly to Mullen. BTW I’ve never liked the 3-4 defense because it leads to big plays occurring thru out a game for the offense(and we know just a few big plays is all it takes to make the difference in a win or loss) and requires alot of blitzing rather than the ends pressuring the QB in a 4-3. That blitzing has cost grantham several games, like the lost to bama at the end of the game last year. Its a very risky way to play defense. Quinn, Durkin and Collins had awesome defenses because their 4-3 relied on the ends to pressure which left more men in the backfield for pass coverage and catching a runaway RB. Wow we had some awesome defenses under them that kept us in the game while we struggled to even score!
Rog. You need another example of a McElwain team coming from behind to win?? How about down 13 pts to Tennessee with 9 minutes to go?? Anything else?
Kentucky gave up 14 on two uncovered receivers. Ijs
LT. I think it is time for you to go help Willie T. coach some football. You would be a big help to him. Maybe two clueless people can combine to make two and one half clueless people.
Tampa Gator. Anyone can talk trash on the internet. I see mental midgets like you can’t handle facts. You act like I’m trashing mullen or something. I’m simply pointing out the TRUTH which is at this point in Macs stint here, his team looked just as good or better than this one and people thought he was the second coming of Christ. People were doing the exact same thing they are now. Trashing the last coach and talking about how the new coach was obviously better than the last one. It’s the exact same situation
LT – don’t know if you’re serious or just stirring it up. If you’re serious I am
shocked that the visible differences aren’t obvious even though the records at this point are the same. IMO the Gators simply never played good, solid, football under McElwain. Plenty of people saw the possibility for the beatings that unfolded at the end of 2015. Same can be said for 2016. Offenses were ineffective. Teams were undisciplined. Game planning was weak. In-game adjustments invisible. Player development, esp. qb, was terrible (could easily argue that the players regressedmin their performance. Strength and conditioning was terrible as we’ve been told by Mullen and several players who were part of those teams. Mcelwain was abrasive in a goofy kind of way to boot when the re-engagement of the fan base was/is so necessary and required for sustained success (as Mullen keeps
saying). I actually could go on and on but my thumbs are getting sore so I’ll stop there.
Not sure why in God’s name you think I’m a FSU fan. Lifelong Gator fan. And good job of being an internet loud mouth by calling people idiots for simply pointing out facts. After that ignorant post, the next time you want to see an idiot, look in the mirror.
Gator1. I’m dead serious. I see all these people saying that the team is obviously better and Mullen is soooo much better than McElwain but people were saying this EXACT SAME STUFF at this point in McElwains first season when comparing him to Muschamp!! It’s the exact same scenario! I’m not saying Mullen won’t be successful here but to say at this point in his stint here that he is obviously better than McElwain is nothing more than people getting caught up in the moment and forgetting how good of a job McElwain did his first two seasons. Does anyone even remember McElwain dismantling the #3 team in the country 38-10 in his first season?? McElwain simply was not liked by the fans. I wish people could actually shed their feelings and look at situations like this with some perspective
LT – your response suggest that everything I said in my counterpoint was all said in hindsight. I can assure you it wasn’t. Everything I mentioned in my post sans player development and conditioning was visible in the moment. Those two aspects became more visible with time, I acknowledge that. Now…maybe not all fans noticed it because they blow with the W-L record, I’ll give you that. But if you were watching the football and not just the result, it was there to see.
Gator1. We will just have to disagree. I remember the hype Mac was receiving going in to the Georgia game his first season. People were talking National championship, not deficiencies. After Mac beat Georgia, it only intensified. Going in to the FSU game Mac was God from hearing the fans talk. One year later they wanted him fired.
Gator1, you make thoughtful, reasoned comments on here, so I’ll appeal to your sense of reason now. When you speak of lack of QB development under Mac, in 2015-16 you can’t ignore the challenge he faced after the Grier suspension. I’m going to agree with LT and Sly that with Grier at QB, the ’15 offense was progressing. After the suspension, Mac was left with Treon Harris, who is now a WR at an FCS school. That tells you the lack of talent he had to work with at the position when Harris can’t even play the position at the FCS level. Of course one could see potential problems ahead with Harris as the Gator QB. When Del Rio went down in ’16, you basically had another situation where Mac had to work with a scrub QB. If you want to criticize Mac for not developing Franks in ’17, I see that point.
Other posters have discredited the two East titles Mac’s teams won by saying the East was weak and that it was Muschamp’s defensive players that won the games. Maybe, but somebody had to win it, and nobody else was able to do it with their choice of a starting QB, much less scrubs like Mac had to work with. If Muschamp’s players were the key, why didn’t Muschamp himself win a title in that weak East division? To say the defense won those titles for the Gators is fair, but only because of the QB problems that were not Mac’s fault. Those defenses were very good statistically, but they had problems getting off the field at times. Most disgruntled fans simply blamed the offense for keeping the defense on the field too long, but at times the defense had lapses in the first quarter when fatigue was obviously not the issue.
I completely agree with your comment about Mac being abrasive and goofy. I hated hearing him talk in circles and say nothing in press conferences and sideline interviews. I’m not trying to say he’s in Mullen’s class as a HC, and he wasn’t the right fit for UF, but I still think he get’s more than his share of criticism. I also cringe at all the “yellow teeth” and “butter teeth” name calling. BTW, I think LT’s first reply to you was probably intended for Tampa or someone else, because I don’t see where you suggested that he was either an FSU fan or an idiot.
Actually Joe, I think LT and I are much closer to agreeing than disagreeing. I just decided to let it go because I got the impression he wasn’t buying.
As for your comments, yep, I think I agree with most if not all of them. And I vehemently agree with you about the persistent name calling of mcelwain and muschamp. I wish we all had better things to do.
But here’s where we split. LT and perhaps you (I’m not sure) want to
put me in a box (“what I say is true, and therefore what you say cannot be true”). I don’t see it that way.
My comments in my first response to LT reflect how I saw it at the time despite the fact that I agree with you guys on so many points. IMO there simply were clear indications of McElwain not doing many of the things that Mullen is doing now. But to LT’s point, was I celebrating the wins even though I wasn’t ready to drink the Kool Aid? Yep, I was. I’m a Gator (started UF in the 0-10-1 season just like someone else who posted recently; simpler times, we enjoyed the tie!).
For me, it all comes back to whether you are looking only at results, or are you looking at the entire program. I’m a big picture guy, always looking at the overall view. It is in the overall approach and leadership that Mullen appears to be head and shoulders above McElewain and Muschamp.
To take it one step further, I would say that the largest distinction for me is based on what Mullen has done and shown; not what McElwain or Muschamp didn’t do; if you follow my distinction. Mullen has shown that he is cut from a different cloth, and win or lose, I like it. Peace.
Can’t really find anything to disagree with here, Gator1. I’d rather have you outside the box than confined inside it. It’s much more interesting that way. Go Gators!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Good one LT
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, any head coach who allows a strength and conditioning program that Mac allowed, where over 30 players were injured in a 2 year period, is a horrible head coach plain and simple. Your program will only go as far as the strength and conditioning program will allow it to go, and Mac failed miserably in the department. Yeah he won the east twice, but give me a break, was anyone as confident in those teams as they are now? Does anyone truly believe this team would be dominating second halves like they are now if Mac was still in charge? I can go on and on with the differences, but I’ll leave it at the most glaring one. If you really believe Mac is as good a coach as Mullen, then you clearly don’t know much about football.
Joe. You are what your record is. You can say others don’t know much about football but you clearly don’t seem to understand that the only thing that matters is wins and losses. We’re people as confident in Macs teams as they are Mullen’s team??? YES!!!! At this point in Macs career, he had the same record as Mullen, his team actually looked MORE dominant than this team, and the only game they had lost was a close road game @lsu just days after Grier was suspended. Gator fans thought that team was a national championship contender that year!!! How fast people forget! Wow.
LT yes guys teams looked dominant. Let word looked. Watch the SEC game in Atlanta. Showed the east was weak. Also showed Muschamp was a decent recruiter. Fully exposed a lack of coaching ability. By year 3 we were losing it. Individual production down, team production followed. S&C problem surfaced. People compare people to people that is human nature. The thing that really does some of the weaknesses we had are the improvement in the eastern division. Too many close games yes we won some but as in the classic title For Whom the Bell Tolls time was up. As in everything time will tell who was better. If in two years we’re here having this discussion enough time would have passed to say who’s better.
Gator65. I’m not saying Mac didn’t falter in the end. I’m saying what facts are being presented that indicate Mullen won’t do the same thing? People are saying his team is obviously better. But when you look at where Mac was at this point, that’s simply not true.
Gator65. Also, I don’t see why people think that Mac was squeaking by winning close game but don’t think Mullen is. Miss st was very close. We were losing to vandy in the fourth qtr. LSU was beating us late. Seems the same to me.
Gator65, I respect your opinions, but to point to the two SEC CG’s against Bama as an indictment against Mac without also acknowledging that he had to face them with scrubs at the most important position on the field borders on intellectual dishonesty.
It’s about time you followed up, LT — I wasn’t sure about you and neither were a lot of folks, even those who don’t come to hasty conclusions replete with name calling. Sly has felt the same way, probably for different but similar reasons, and he has articulated that point for several months now. I can see both sides of the argument but I will say two things: (a) Mac bashing (and Muschamp for that matter) is getting old and we all need to move on from previous coaches; and (b) aside from the surface similarities there are major, distinct differences between Dan Mullen and previous coaches since 2011. Will he be successful? Meaning, will he be able to restore Gator football to an elite, nationally relevant program? Personally, I think he will. But not having a crystal ball, I can’t really predict the future better than anyone else can.
But now that you’ve identified yourself as a Gator, just one thing: Most guys on here, Joe, Gator1, et al, are not your enemies. Just sayin’. Post often — we sure as hell don’t need group think on here.
Gator65. Glad to see there are some opponents of group think on here. However I don’t spend a lot of time posting stuff on the internet so my posts will be sporadic. I agree with you that Mullen will be successful. I just take a more measured approach to my optimism than most simply because I’ve seen this before. I saw it after Macs first season and I saw it after Muschamp spanked FSU and finished 10-2 in his second season. I feel both of those guys are good coaches, not great, but good. And how they were treated by our fans was atrocious.
It irks me that our fans turn on our own the way they do. Mac, Muschamp, Driskel, and even Franks last year are perfect examples. It gets exposed on this website even more. If you post an honest opinion, backed with facts to legitimize it, and the fans here don’t like it, they call you an idiot, etc. I grew up proud to be a Gator. Back when fans didn’t boo the coach in the biggest recruiting weekend of the year and didn’t cheer when the qb got hurt and fans actually showed up for the games. Anymore, I’m more ashamed to be associated with Gator fans than proud. Tampagator and some others on here tarnish our name. I never said anything negative about Mullen, the players, or the Gators in general and all the sudden boneheads come out of the woodwork calling me names and saying I’m an FSU fan. Ive seen tampagator do it to many people during the limited amount of time I’ve soent on this website. Tampagator and a few others on here are simply douchebags.
I’ve agreed with you in the past and I’ve disagreed with you too — but I don’t think I ever called you a troll. Wasn’t sure sometimes, but you’ve never followed up like you did today either. I’m glad you did.
I know the oxygen gets sucked out of this room frequently, but as for myself I’d like to encourage you to post more often. On the main, a great group of guys — like Sly, Joe Shiver, CO, Rog, Smith, Gator65 and on and on — you won’t be called out by them and most others for saying anything as long as you explain yourself like you just did.
Looking forward to better dialogue!
“…his team actually looked MORE dominant than this team…”
With props to Little Feat, “Don’t bogart that j*int my friend, pass it over to me…”
Redonda. Go back and look at the facts. That team beat the#3 team in the country by 28 points. This team hasn’t looked anywhere close to that dominant. I deal in facts. You seem to deal with childish comments about drug use.
Yeah, but Redondo has a good point about joints just the same…..as long as they’re Romeo & Juliettas or better!
If we didn’t spot them a 21-13 first half it would have been a great game. But there are things to take home. We were behind and we didn’t give up and kept fighting. I think someone said it about being emotionally drained and maybe that was it and they came in soft off a bad week of practice after taking down LSU. The offense seems to be finding their mojo. They need to be able to hit the ground running from the gun and keep the pedal down. LT there is no denying Mac got us to the SEC game twice. And Twice we looked like we had no business being there. I was at those games on the 45 about 20 rows from the field. We came out of the half with NOTHING! A coach that had this UHH DUHH look and no plan of how to regain the lead. So yes he got us there on Muschamp recruits who’s skills were diminishing by the day. Look at the players that are here now that he recruited and look at their performance. I see night and day differences. Oh and after that KY win went 2-8 on the season 1-4 with Mac. He was not a good leader, not a good speaker (still scratching my head trying to figure what he was saying at times) and the coaching team he assembled was falling apart. I was at the Michigan game in Orlando final was 41-14 not us and again he had no plan. I am not saying Mullen is great though I think the potential is there but I am saying he will have a plan, a plan b, c,d,etc. I am also not saying we will win every game but I think Mullen believes he can win every game and if our players believe we will always be in the game.
“always be in the game” thats all we as fans can ask for.
Daz, would it be nice to go undefeated forever? Of course but that is not the reality in football. But “always being in the game” is what makes great teams great and great coaches great. Getting beat by someone in a hard fought game you were in it to the end is what makes football fun and keeps us wanting a rematch.
LT thank you for that laugh!! Had KY covered those receivers we dont win that game. You must compare a Mercedes Benz to a Toyota and actually think they are the same. Frank’s other than a few plays looked poised and confident, the Defense had struggled early but overcame those struggles and the special teams were still pretty solid. Overall, I believe Florida did what any great team does, adapt and overcome!! I am impressed with how they have played so far this season. The next 5 games will define how much further we have to grow before we become that juggernaut CDM spoke of and it all begins in 2 weeks!!! Gooooooo Gators!!!!!
Adapt, improvise, overcome. Exactly. Character matters, and team character matters most. That’s my biggest take-away this season, aside from the excellent coaching of Dan Mullen.
David, you have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not Cleveland or Swain (I think) would’ve been able to beat the coverage had the UK DB’s been in position. The game winner was only an 8 yard pass as I recall. The Gators, with Del Rio at QB, drove the ball down the field for the winning TD, completing passes even when the UK defense was in position. The claim that UK would’ve won the game based on just having a DB in position on those two plays can’t be proven in any manner.
However, I will agree with your optimism about this year’s team, and I’ll see your “Go Gators”!!!
Wow, that’s funny, I never thought about us making those td’s if the db had showed up. Like others I have read from, I Assumed we would not have made them. Thanks for the input
The ‘18 UGA model does not have the twin turbo tailback engine it had last year or the anti-lock breaks at LB.
Shapes up to be an epic battle for the East.
Need all hands on deck
We need to punch ‘em in their mouth like we did the Bayou Bengals
Dan is the Man
Thank the Lord people listened a year ago!
The targeting rule is a disgrace to red-blooded American football.
Doof. Without the targeting rule being implemented into organized football, football as a sport would probably be sued out of existence. So, no, it is not a disgrace. It helps prevent serious injuries to football players and will likely allow them to play the game and live much longer and healthier lives after they stop playing football. Not having the targeting rule, knowing what we now know about head and body injuries from jarring hits to the head and to unsuspecting and defenseless players, would be the disgrace you mentioned.
Tampa What you’re humanely saying is that the brutal sport of football is too brutal and we must readjust our understanding of the game. The rule’s definition of a defenseless player also includes any receiver who catches a pass or lateral before he has control of the ball and is in position too run with it. So, when dbs or lbs try to forcibly hit a receiver with everything they have to jar the ball away after it touches his hands that is targeting. Or when they do the same after he fails to catch it. That’s targeting too. But you don’t see that being called much if at all. But soon it will be. The rule is noble, but it does change the way we think of the sport. Hard, jarring hits that awe fans and players alike are going to be eventually very limited and sensibly so as you say.
Football was the modern version of the gladiators in the coliseum. The spectators desire for blood then is the same fan desire today of brutal hits and smashmouth play. We see the same in other sports like hockey and Nascar. Human nature hasnt changed for the most part just our litigious society. Perhaps in football it is for the best for the sack of the players future lives. Take too much away though and fans will go elsewhere for their gore lust.
Franks still struggles with accuracy on the touch passes. Other than that, I have seen noticeable improvement each week from him. I still think he’s behind in processing speed but some of the reads and throws he made were not ones he would have made last year or even against LSU last week.
I hope he can keep improving because he’s still not where we need him to be for the offense to be consistently good but I am extremely impressed with his progression this year. It’s very clear that he is working hard and is allowing Johnson and Mullen to coach him.
“revealed the full potential their offense when they strike a harmonious balance on offense.”
“he victory over the Commodores revealed the Gators as a team more than capable of tearing up opposing defenses”
This win did nothing of the sort. This was a win over VANDY! They are a weak team with a even weaker defense. Sure its easy to look good playing a weak team. See how our offense looked playing Charleston State, Colorado state and Tenn, all weak teams, we blew them out! That’s NO test, as evidenced at UK and LSU who had much better defenses. Those are the teams you judge how good your offense is! Its easy to run 200+ yards and look great on the O-line against a weak defense. Does the writer just type this up for fun because he obviously didnt think about what he wrote!
The LSU game was our BEST example of what kind of offense and just how good they were. Its an offense that can do just enough to win if they have help from the defense and Special teams.
Ga lost to LSU because LSU had homefield advantage. Anyone who knows anything about SEC football knows what an advantage “death valley” is for LSU; they win alot there! Plus they won because they stopped the RUN! and made Ga one sided!
Sorry Daz, but I’m not buying that LSU won because of home field advantage. Maybe just maybe UGA isn’t as good as everyone anointed them to be. If they had lost by single digits, then maybe you could claim home field advantage, but they were thoroughly dominated right from the start. If they were as great as everyone thought and were the actual “Bama East”, then they’d win no matter where they were playing. Hell a terrible UF team went into Death Valley and won a couple years ago. The better explanation of what happened is what you said in the beginning of your comment. UGA looked great playing a bunch of weak teams. The real UGA finally showed up as soon as they faced a good team.
Mac had a good quarterback, a real sleeper surprise . He also inherited a stacked defense. DBU in full swagger. Mullen is not blessed with the same. To compare them is insanity at it’s best.
I think Mullen inherited a pretty good situation, better than at UCLA and Nebraska. Chip Kelly and Scott Frost aren’t as lucky. Not saying Mullen is a bad coach. Just saying that the other coaches who most Gator fans thought of at least as highly as Mullen not too long ago haven’t had as much success. The only explanation I can come up with points to what each inherited, not their coaching ability. I think UCLA and Nebraska will make some noise once Kelly and Frost puts their programs in place. We give coaches too much credit (or discredit) depending on how their team is doing presently when the formula is much more complex than just the coach.
I am on the completely other side of this opinion. I think the person in charge makes ALL the difference. Permeates everything in good times and bad.
Quick background: worked in a few small firms out of school for 10 years. The person in charge drove everything – tone, culture, work ethic, etc. Joined a multinational after that. Figured the CEO was just a figurehead sitting in some ivory tower somewhere. Quickly learned (and have since relearned many times over) that even in a global organization with over 100,000 people worldwide – the person in charge makes all the difference. I would suggest the same is even more true in a college football program grooming young adults and teenagers.
Let me pose this question for you to ponder: do you believe Saban or Meyer (even though I’m not a huge fan of either) are just lucky?
Over the long term, I would agree with you. For the short term, you could put Saban or Meyer in Nebraska or UCLA and I doubt they would have much success.
I think Sly was more pointing out the complexities in modern day football, as opposed to over-focus on just one component (in this case the coach). But you are spot on, Gator1 — good leaders are usually good managers too, but a good manager is not necessarily a good leader. That’s because a leader by definition influences the action about him, often employing such intangibles as inspiration, motivation, and frequently sheer force of personality to get people to do more than they simply have to by job description. And I agree too — college football is an excellent example of the basic principles you refer too.
Well put Doc.
You guys need to get off Felipe’s case. He improves every week and has by far the best arm strength of any QB in the SEC. His teammates respect him and will go to the mat for him. For the first time since arriving at UF he has coaches who can call an offensive play and make adjustments as the game progresses. He’s our QB, for Christ sake, he’s working hard to get better, and let’s get behind him. Sit back, watch him improve, and enjoy the ride. No doubt they’ll be bumps in the road but he’s a keeper. Go Gators.
Nice debate, sans the name calling, over which Coach is better (or worse) than the other. However, the debate hasn’t included the main points for why the Program hasn’t been competing for SEC and NC titles. The CEO is the AD, period. They decide the resources to be given and the coaches to be hired. Foley made the decision to not follow Alabama’s lead into the arms war that has become college football. Instead funds were diverted into the spring sports. No football coach hired was going to be competing at an elite level with no indoor practice facility, football complex or analysts. Florida fell behind (even with Kentucky). It is now playing catch-up. Don’t think for one minute that the recruits are not paying attention to the resources provided to them when they pick a school. Hopefully Stricklin has learned the lesson of a dwindling season ticket sales, Football is King and pays for all the other sports. Invest in your money making product.
Sly – yep, I agree with you about rebuilding at UCLA or Nebraska. Sometimes leaders need to fix things first. In fact, Mullen has been telling us that about what is required at UF since day one (he also just so happens to be winning, which is the only thing many people pay attention to).
6 – imo you are right on the point. It’s really about leadership. I think almost every D1 coach knows the sh*t out of x’s & o’s. At the end of the day, it’s football man. If you’re a capable, motivated person and apply yourself you can learn it. But leadership and mindset matter (someone was commenting on Muschamp’s defensive mindset, I can’t find it now, but I agreed with the premise. You have to play to win).
Mexi – yep, the AD absolutely matters. I think the football coach can develop a sub-culture within the football program, but that doesn’t undermine your point. Both the AD and Coach need to be doing the right things and showing good leadership for excellent, consistent results.
This entire conversation goes back to the debate with LT – what floats your boat about a coach – W & L’s only, or the overall pulse emanating from the program (which if it’s good leads to W’s).