Dooley grades the Gators: Key win to season

Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller (51) attempts to bring down Kentucky tight end Drew Schlegel (46) during the first half Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Lexington, Ky. [Timothy D. Easley/The Associated Press]

Offense B

First half: Florida’s inability to run the ball certainly isn’t making it easy for Dan Mullen the play-caller. The Gators hit some big plays in the passing game and were again helped by Kentucky forgetting to cover Freddie Swain.

Second half: The running game was still nothing, but backup quarterback Kyle Trask was able to take advantage of Kentucky softening its defense with a great fourth quarter, including a rushing touchdown that gave Florida the lead. 

For the game: Trask is the guy now and he’s not going to fare much better than Feleipe Franks did if the running game doesn’t get cranked up. It’s totally an offensive line issue. (Or maybe they should give the ball to Josh Hammond more often). Still, Florida finished the game with 436 yards.

Defense B-

First half: The Gators did a good job against the run, limiting Kentucky to 40 yards rushing. But two drives were killers. On the first one, Kentucky converted on third-and-21, third-and-8 and third-and-9. For the half, the Wildcats were 5-of-7 on third downs. That’s unacceptable.

Second half: The two big picks by Shawn Davis were big parts of this game and David Reese played like a maniac. The defense only allowed 22 yards rushing in the second half.

For the game: The defense played at a high level at times, but struggled to cover the pass and had the obligatory pass interference penalty on the biggest drive of the game. And Kentucky finished the game with almost 400 yards.

Special teams C-

First half: A missed field goal by Evan McPherson, his third career miss and second against Kentucky in two years, was the most obvious mess-up. Other than that, special teams weren’t much of a factor in the half.

Second half: McPherson redeemed himself with the third-quarter field goal and Tommy Townsend had a huge punt late in the game that pinned Kentucky inside its own 10-yard line.

For the game: Despite a missed field goal, the special teams for the most part did their job even though they weren’t much of a factor. What could have been a factor was Dan Mullen going for two after a touchdown pulled UF to within five. We’ll leave it at that.

Overall B

It was a huge win for this team and it deserves credit for going on the road again and finding a way to win. It sets up the rest of the season even if this is a flawed team now relying on a backup quarterback.


  1. Looks like Kentucky has done a better job lately recruiting linemen on both sides of the ball than has UF, but our guys showed how to win with heart. A little luck at the end didn’t hurt either (missed field goal with a minute left). It looks like Mullen’s going to have to beat the bushes and snag players like back in the good old days with the Pouncey twins to get the Gators back on top again, because the SEC seems to turn on trench warfare and, to borrow from Marvel, “incredible hulk”. This year we’ll find out if heart can overcome hulk.

  2. Rushing was nonexistent with Perine at 14 carries for 27 yards, 1.9 yards per carry. He had one 8 yard run which really was a pitch from Trask on a read option to the uncovered Perine for a touchdown. Line of scrimmage rush was 13 carries for 19 yards or 1.4 yards per carry. Pierce has 2 carries for 8 yards which was actually just one 8 yard carry. Did anybody notice how Perine tipped toed up to the line of scrimmage all night Rarely running with any authority but looking for openings that were not to be found.I like Perine but we need someone to step up and pound the rock, hole or no hole if we expect to have any chance against Auburn, LSU or UGA. We have four capable backs Coach Mullins so let’s put all of them in there and see which one is tough enough to pound the rock or Trask and Jones are in for some hard times without a ground game. PS will some coach please step up and challenge the O-Lines manhood. Really, they have to play physical and so far the Gators have no one with the alpha male, junk yard dog mentality.