Dooley Grades The Gators

Florida running back La' Mical Perine scores from five yards out during the third quarter Saturday against Michigan in Atlanta. [Mike Stewart/Associated Press]


First half: Well, 228 yards is not a bad half, but Florida’s struggles in the red zone were an issue. The Gators only got field goals out of drives to the 3-yard line and the 9. Florida only threw for 100 yards and 41 came on a deep ball to Van Jefferson.

Second half: The Gators got off to a slow start and then really cranked it up tp score three offensive touchdowns in the half thanks to some brilliant play-calling. Feleipe Franks was the model of efficiency and Lamical Perine’s two touchdowns allowed the Gators to win going away.

For the game: Franks had 170 yards passing and 74 rushing and no turnovers so it was a pretty strong day for the sometimes-beleaguered quarterback. A tip of the hat to the offensive line as well, who helped the Gators go over 400 yards again.


First half: The hardest thing can be playing defense when a team has had a month to look at what you like to do. But Florida had a good half other than a couple of back-shoulder throws. Michigan did convert 4-of-9 third downs.

Second half: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was the big story with two second-half picks, one he returned for a touchdown. The defense didn’t let Shea Patterson hurt it with his legs and Florida limited the Wolverines rushing game to 20 yards in the half.

For the game: Florida’s defense did dodge two bullets when two Michigan touchdowns were overturned on reviews. But they were the right calls. The Gators gave up 249 yards passing, but only one touchdown.


First half: There was good and bad for Tommy Townsend. The Gator punter had a 66-yard punt and then took too long to get one off and it was blocked, the first block of this season against UF. That’s three straight games in Atlanta Florida has had a punt blocked. Weird.

Second half: OK, that’s four blocked punts in Atlanta. Townsend didn’t have his best game after a boomer to start the game. The last block that went for a safety didn’t influence the game.

For the game: But you can’t give the special teams a high grade when they had two punts blocked. There also was Kadarius Toney’s return of the second half kickoff for only 14 yards. All I’m saying is that it wasn’t perfect.


Even though Michigan was missing some important players, let’s not forget that Florida handled a team that was one game away from the playoffs. This was a huge win for coach Dan Mullen and his staff to keep the momentum headed in the right direction. And it was even bigger for the players who had gone through the 2017 season.


  1. I cant really argue with the grades. Quick trivia: name the last team before today that won the game after having TWO punts blocked?
    Overall for the season: Grade A+++++

    It’s great to be a Florida Gator!!!

  2. The Gators get a solid B+ for Mullen and staff in their 1st season at U.F.
    And today the team gets an A! What a great Gator win today! Congrats and thanks to all the coaches, and the players. There were some really special moments this year. And one helluva a way to finish it out. Thumping Michigan, a team that was a Final Four pick for most of the season. It’s truly great to be a Florida Gator! Chomp-chomp!

  3. After what they were handed after last year, I give Dan Mullen and Staff an A+. This month of prep and game result should have built a firm foundation. This team was hard to figure out prior to FSU. Hopefully, the remaining 4 & 5 Stars will want to be part of the fun and success.

  4. On SEC goaline they said Mullen convinced a bunch of his recruits to skip the camps where a lot of evaluating is done, meaning no one had seen them and considers several of them 5 star players who came in under the radar.

      • No Swampy. They said what Jaws wrote. I was watching the same program. They said that Mullen told them during the week when asked about his recruiting class that Mullens said he told some of his signees to avoid camps and that is why they were not rated 5 stars. They said that Mullen told them several of his recruits were 5 star types.

    • Jaws, assuming what SEC Goaline reported about Mullen’s advice to recruits was factual, why would ANY recruit agree to take advice that would diminish his fame and value in the recruiting market? We’re talking about kids at an age when they crave peak attention from everyone, 24-7-365.

      At least on its surface, that advice doesn’t make a lot sense. It sounds like “fake news” to me!

  5. Jaws. The SEC officials do seem hesitant to make close calls and often consult before making the “wrong” call almost every time in the Clemson/ND game. They certainly could do much better. Good thing they do review their calls because every single one of them has been overturned.

  6. A 10 win season, and a top 10 finish in the ranking,WELL DONE. I had alot of fun watching the Gators play this year. I look for them to have a better season next year. We finally have a coaches that can actually coach. Now if we can get the remaining recruits we want to sign with us. It’s going to be a long wait till next season, as least softball will be playing shortly. I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year. Good Day……………..

  7. What a great game experience! Gator fans were sky high. Michigan fans acted as though they would rather be home shoveling snow. From my perspective, the stadium was 2/3 Gator fans. The PA announcements were extremely annoying throughout the game.

    UM’s staff must have seen something on tape regarding our punt formation. We were lucky to only give up 5 points off of the blocked punts. We stuffed their running game. Pat and Robbie told us that UM would over power us with the ground game if I’m not mistaken. Wrong again St. Augustine boys!!!!

    Overall great game to finish a great 1st season for Mullen and staff. So proud of the football program. We man handled the No. 7 team in the country. The future looks bright Gator fans!!!! At last we have a coach…Go Gators !!!!

  8. Bypassing grades. The Domers are getting a ass whoopin with their superior draft classes. Does that make them a top 4 team? By the managing their getting I think the committee whiffed on this one. Unbeaten or not. I’m not saying we should be there just saying ND should not. Join a conference to play for titles.

    • Gator65. Notre Dame’s classes are NOT superior to Clemson’s draft classes. And Clemson has recruited a lot more five-star players. Therefore, the arse whooping from Clemson. Georgia should be playing in that game vs. Clemson and no arse whooping would be going on because they really have had superior recruiting classes. Even Ohio State, with much better recruiting classes than ND. But you guys keep on thinking and posting differently. Does not change facts. Just creates alternative facts that some people will believe more than real facts.

      • No sir not saying that. ND was talked up like they were all that. And i didn’t say or claim their draft class was superior but by the stats you posted they should have been closer matched. My feeling was they were undefeated beating teams by close margins that did not warrant them playing in the top 4. I don’t think they would have made it in the SEC, ACC or any of the power 5. Hence they should bring to a conference or be left out of championship consideration. But it was brought up about their superior recruiting. Being the reason they were unbeaten. I think most of the teams in the top ten could beat what I saw tonight.

  9. Reading afterwards, it does seem like a lot of juniors are leaving for the NFL. I am shocked shocked that Joseph is leaning now towards jumping to the NFL. He needs another year, I think. But money is likely talking and needed. Likely starters for next year with juniors LB/DE Polite, LB Joseph, OT Taylor, RB Scarlett, RB Perine, and WR Jefferson likely jumping to the NFL:

    QB Franks
    RB Pierce/Davis
    WR Grimes
    WR Hammond
    WR Toney
    WR Pitts
    TE Gamble/Krull/Zipperer
    LT Forsythe or Couriage
    LG Heggie
    OC Buchanan
    RG Banks or Bleich
    RT Delance or Moore
    P Townsend
    K McPherson
    OLB/DE Moon/Chatfield
    NT Campbell
    DT Schuler
    DE Zuinga (if he stays) or Carter (if not)
    LB Reese
    LB Burney
    CB Henderson
    CB Wilson
    NB Dean
    S Stewart
    S Taylor or Davis

    Havesty has a lot of work to do with the offensive line before next season starts. Looks to be a weakness with four of the five starters on the OL leaving. But surely looking forward with a very positive attitude to spring practice and next season. And I hope this win helps Mullen and the coaching staff close with a bunch of highly rated recruits still on the board, as well as some that currently are not on that board but will be now because of this big win in Atlanta.

  10. ND is a joke. One of the easiest schedules, they are the ncaa darlings hoping for the old glory days. Once again they are being exposed as frauds. It’s not really their fault, it’s the fault of the committee and writers for ranking them so high. This butt whipping won’t matter, the love affair with ND is sickening and the same crap will be repeated again next year.

    • ND benefits from its history, tradition and great support in the sports media. An undefeated ND could NOT be left out of the CFP field by the committee and still retain its reputation for impartiality.

      ND had the 10th best 4-year composite recruiting class, good coaching and benefited greatly from a schedule that looked a lot tougher than it really was. They beat several teams ranked in the preseason top 10, including Michigan, Stanford, USCw and FSU. Too bad for UGA and OSU, none of them turned out to be all that good by the end of the season.

      Come next August, the sports media will have forgotten what Clemson did to ND in the Cotton Bowl yesterday and rank ND in the top 5 in preseason polls AGAIN, maybe even ahead of Clemson! THAT is why I root for two teams every Saturday, our Gators and whoever plays ND!

      Go Gators!!!