Dooley Grades The Gators: Stinging loss, but plenty of season remains

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Florida coach Dan Mullen walks on the sideline in the first half Saturday against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday. LSU won 42-28. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Offense B

First half: Florida had three touchdown drives of 75 yards. That’s pretty heady stuff considering the environment the Gators were dealing with. Florida’s balance was good and the Gators ran 43 plays, an unusually high number.

Second half: The offense was still there and the opening drive of the half was a beauty. But the Gators failed to finish in the fourth quarter with Kyle Trask throwing an interception and UF getting stopped on fourth-and-goal.

 For the game: Flrida’s quarterbacks threw four TDs and the running game was a little better than it has been. Kyle Pitts was ridiculous and Van Jefferson had eight catches.

Defense F

First half: Florida’s inability to stop the run set up the passing game of Joe Burrow. Florida actually didn’t allow a third-down conversion in the half, but only forced two.

Second half: Again, not getting LSU to have many third downs was a factor. LSU receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase looked like All-Americans.

For the game: We have praised the Gators defensively (like, just a week ago), but when you can’t stop the run or the pass it’s not going to go well for you. Also, the Gators were able to generate no turnovers.

Special teams C

First half: Evan McPherson did a good job with the kickoffs, but Tommy Townsend’s punts were less than stellar (37 yard average on a pair of them).  

Second half: Not much of a factor. There were a couple of punts and one kickoff and the Gators did do a good job on the one kickoff that was returned by LSU.

For the game: Because there was so much offense in this game (968 yards), special teams kind of took a backseat. 

Overall D

Florida obviously couldn’t handle the new high-octane offense of LSU, which was something of a surprise. Here’s the thing — the first UF road loss on Dan Mullen stings as does the end of the 10-game winning streak. But the season is really in the next four games. 

8 COMMENTS

  1. No Greenard and no Zuniga was big. On top of that, Grantham needs to go back to the drawing board on how to deal with an efficient, RPO offense because that is what Alabama and LSU are now running – the next evolution of offense in the SEC. Generally good job by Trask and the receivers. We really need to hit the recruiting trail for offensive lineman.

  2. The offense did good I think because of Trask’s leadership. The defense was another story. Florida has been flirting all season with giving up big plays and several on the ground and air last night did them in. If there is such a thing as an affordable loss, last night was it but change is needed on defense or they are in trouble. Go Gators!

  3. I am the first to condemn a badly played or coached game, but I believe it is unfair to blame either the Coach or the players for yesterday’s loss. It is like blaming a five-year old for losing to his 8-year old brother. LSU, like Alabama, Clemson and Georgia just have too much talent. And rather than faulting the Gators for losing to LSU, I believe they should be praised for having done as well as they did. The fact is that the LSU offensive and defensive lines are simply more talented; bigger and faster. The same is true about the LSU defensive backs who were in most cases able to stay with the Gator receivers and Trask, Jefferson and PItts should be complimented for how well they performed in a game where pressure from LSU was always on Trask, even if he wasn’t sacked much. The Gator defensive line put hardly any pressure on Burrow (who is a very good college QB) and gave him much more time to find receivers and kudos to his receivers who were able, on several occasions to catch balls that were practically on the ground, or maintain catches despite Gator defenders being all over them. Losing isn’t any fun, but LSU is the real deal, especially on offense. Perhaps Alabama’s defense would be a match, but we will have to see. I am disappointed but not ashamed and neither should the Gators be.

  4. The pick in the end zone on 3rd and a foot was unexplainable. Get the first down and then throw in the end zone all you want. The play calls at the end were awful. A low percentage play like that halfback pass and the option that didn’t fool anyone. The total lack of a running game finally caught up with us.

    • I too was disappointed with some of the ”play calls” in the 2nd half, caligator. Emory Jones’ Gator offense primarily consisted of Emory running around the end, like another half-a#s middle-school offense (see: Coach Mac). And I do expect more from Coach Mullen’s ‘O’ with a ”running QB.” And that Florida ”half-back pass” was just ”desperate times call for desperate measures,” in my opinion. I do think Florida’s ‘O’ can continue to improve with Kyle Trask at the helm. Last point, this 2019 Gator ‘D’ is good, really good, but NOT QUITE YET ”elite.” Go Gators! Just win baby!