First half: Florida came out pitching and catching and doing both pretty well. Feleipe Franks put up some gaudy numbers in the half, including 274 yards and three touchdown passes. The Gators only ran it 13 times in the first half.
Second half: Emory Jones did have a nice touchdown drive, but fumbled away another chance to score in the third quarter. Florida was playing with few starters in the second half and it especially showed on the offensive line.
For the game: After Florida ran for more than 300 yards last week, Idaho challenged the Gators to throw and throw they did. UF needed only 4 yards in the fourth quarter to go over 400 passing yards for the first time since the 2010 Sugar Bowl, but fell a yard short.
First half: Florida only allowed five first downs and 123 total yards as it used speed as a major weapon in harassing quarterback Mason Petrino. Florida forced six punts in the half and only allowed 38 passing yards.
Second half: There were guys on the field we hadn’t seen in a long time or at all and the defense had some busts. Still, most of the yards Idaho gained came on scrambles by Petrino, who finished with 87 of the Vandals’ 154 rushing yards.
For the game: Florida’s speed and physicality forced Idaho to punt nine times and the only touchdown came late with reserves playing. Plus, the Gators scored twice on interception returns, so the defense outscored Idaho 14-10.
Special teams C+
First half: Tommy Townsend should have had to pay to get in as he never came close to trying a punt. The only times the Gators had to cover a kickoff (twice) they did a good job limiting the Vandals to 13 yards a return.
Second half: Townsend must have heard me because when he finally got his chance he shanked a 24-yard punt to set up an Idaho field goal. Seeing freshman Jacob Copeland out there returning a kickoff was one of the highlights of the second half.
For the game: The Gators didn’t need special teams to do anything special in this game and there weren’t many opportunities, The kickoff coverage was strong and the kickers were perfect on their extra points. The one negative was a coaching miscommunication on a punt that sent Dan Mullen into a fit.
We’re not trying to kid anyone into believing Idaho is any good, even at the FCS level. But the Gators took care of business, built some confidence and came out of the game healthy. That’s eight wins for a team that Vegas had at 7.5. So if you had the over, good for you.