Dooley At The Half: Gamecocks with momentum

UF quarterback Feleipe Franks scores on a 10-yard run in the second quarter Saturday against South Carolina at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Staff photographer]

Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley takes a look at the first half of the Florida-South Carolina game:

1. It is amazing how Florida’s defense has regressed so badly in the last three games. South Carolina came out in the hurry-up offense much like Missouri did last week and went right down the field for a pair of touchdown drives that ended with uncovered receivers. The Gators look disorganized and missed a ton of tackles.

2. And then when Florida got the momentum back with two TD drives, the defense let South Carolina go 71 yards for another touchdown. On those three scoring drives, the Gamecocks had 13 plays of at least eight yards. The Gator defense gave up 14 first downs and 243 yards in the half.

3. Feleipe Franks was booed on his first drive and seemed to play with a lot more fire after that. After he ran 10 yards for a touchdown, he put a finger over his facemask and told the funs to basically be quiet. I’m cleaning it up here. Florida got back in the game by running the ball with 129 rushing yards in the first half. Franks also had a nice punt that Florida couldn’t down at the 1.

4. Once again, the east side of the stadium looked like a spring game at kickoff. And again, it did fill in some by the middle of the first quarter. But Florida’s awful start can’t be blamed on the crowd. You have to be better than that.



  1. 1) Florida has shown some fight. I don’t think they have enough, but they have fight. 2) Franks is almost the runner Dan Mullen needs, and not the passer he cannot be. If you take the offense out of Franks’ hands, you have a chance to be successful. Run every play, unless you throw a screen pass. It’s the only formula that will work for offense. 3) 3rd and Grantham is a real thing, as Georgia. There’s a reason he was run out of Athens and a reason he was accepted at Mississippi State. Mediocrity is ok there. Grantham may be coaching for his job these last 3 games. It also doesn’t help that Bentley can read blitzes and hit the open receiver. 4) Stay in the fight may be a rally call, but how much fight does Florida have? Missed tackles by Joseph and Reese and blown assignments by same have caused 14 points for Carolina. Can Florida win by running the ball on every play? That’s the safe bet!

  2. So if I were a space alien and just landed at the Swamp, I’d say if you spot ’em 14 then play like mullets, it’s usually all over but the cryin’. However, if you suddenly find your missing mojo and tie it up, only to lose it again, it’s anybody’s guess.

    I’m guessing the offense won’t be on the field much in the second half, but the defense will. That’s what the purple people eater told me, anyway. Much more of this, and Idaho is an uncertainty too. God forbid what FSU will portend to do to this team if it doesn’t get its head out of its ass right quick.

  3. Again it’s our side deciding the outcome. Now Missouri can’t even beat Vanderbilt. I have no idea what is going on with no these kids. But we have every advantage. There are no players on south Carolina very even wanted to recruit. We fired every coach they have. This is hard to sit through.

    • Grump…glad to see the gloom and doom cloud clear up. Think the sun popped back out in the 2nd half. Gators may win out and recruiting may start catching on fire. And the noise in the system will die down again…even the boo birds. Who can complain about a 31-14 comeback, even if Champ helped out with conservative offense after getting a big lead.

  4. Muschamp pulled defeat from the jaws of victory once again. It may take Mullen a while to get all the pieces in place, but he can outcoach Mullen 9 out of 10 times. 2 of the largest comebacks in Gator history this season. That is from sound coaching. Go Gators!!!