Dooley Grades The Gators: Plenty of work to do to catch up to Georgia

Florida coach Dan Mullen yells at a referee about a pass interference call Saturday against Georgia at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]


First half: The Gators had no running game, which was a problem. In reality, they didn’t have enough plays to gain any kind of momentum. Florida had only four possessions in the half, and penalties hurt half of them.

 Second half: Kyle Trask had an excellent fourth quarter when Florida was trying to fight its way back into the game. The Gator offense struggled in the third quarter when it barely had the ball.

 For the game: Well, 21 rushing yards isn’t going to cut it in a game like this. The Gators continue to look more like Washington State than anything and eventually you’re going to make a mistake.


First half: While Florida did a good job of stopping the run early, Jake Fromm was able to make the Gators pay in the passing game. Third downs were a bit of a joke with no pressure on Fromm.

 Second half: Florida did some good things, but allowing Georgia the final third-down conversion kind of summed up the way the defense played. The secondary was porous and the pass rush without merit.

 For the game: Florida’s secondary hasn’t played well since the Auburn game. Getting the defensive ends back helped the defense, but it wasn’t the answer. To give up 12-of-18 third down conversions is embarrassing.


First half: Evan McPherson scored Florida’s only points and Tommy Townsend did a good job on his two punts. Florida didn’t do a great job covering the last kickoff of the half that set up the Georgia field-goal drive.

 Second half: A short punt by Townsend and not much else to show for the second half. Not sure what the goal was on the final kickoff of the game, but it certainly did not work.

 For the game: Florida has two really good kickers and has put an emphasis on special teams under Dan Mullen. But there hasn’t been a whole lot special. The Gators could have used a big play from the kicking game


As Mullen said, nobody clinched the SEC East on Saturday night, but one team got a lot closer. That’s three straight losses against the Bulldogs and if Florida is going to be an elite team, the Gators have to figure this game out.


  1. Come on man. Your grading is and has always been so amateurish. Offense a C, ok. Defense a D. They didn’t play great but they stuffed the run and held UGA to 24 points. They couldn’t stop 3rd and long and the secondary isn’t great. But that isn’t an F. Come on man. You can do better than this crap. Try putting a little thought into what you write.

    • Patrick, one gets the feeling that this was written before the game, presuming a possibility that the Gators would come up short by some margin to justify it. That’s probably a bit unfair of me to say, but there does seem to be more glee behind the words than is probably merited by the final score.

      Honestly, even tho they performed well at times, what is really needed is an offensive line. We’ve known that all year and still hoped for the best. This is, however, Year 2. We’re not there yet. A 10-2 season with a good bowl win for 11-2 is still within our grasp. With that trajectory, we’re going to win another National Championship. Hard to be patient, but that’s our task.

      LSU, I think, is better than Georgia. I’ll double down on that if LSU beats Alabama next week. I can’t remember what the saying is in Scotland, but over here in the colonies it’s called being close enough for guvmint work. Neither one is that much better than us at the present time. Can I get a Roger That?

      • I actually think there’s misery in Dooley’s words from having attended his 44th (?) FL-GA game, starting with ’66, which means he’s suffered through more defeats than he’s celebrated victories.

        Be that as it may, I’ll certainly roger your assertion that we need an offensive line, that 11-2 is still attainable, and that LSU is better than UGA. Go Gators!

    • How much difference is there between a D and an F? The Gator D gave up 67% on 3rd downs! That’s a “G” if there is such a thing. They put no pressure on Fromm, and the result was the Gator O only ran 21 plays in the first half. They only ran 54 for the game, and almost half (26) of those came on the final two drives. I don’t see any reason to quibble with Dooley’s grades unless you think he was too lenient.

      • Yes, the defense is disappointing. I understand that. I was frustrated with them on third down too. But we did hold them to 24 points with the offense struggling. We didn’t get blown out, so I don’t think and F is appropriate. However my response was probably too severe and quibbling over a D vs an F is kind of stupid. I’ll blame it on excess beer and being kind of pissed off about the game.

        Sure, we expected more of this defense going into the season. I’m certainly not sold on Grantham being “the premier defensive coordinator” in the country, as Mullen has said. There is an inconsistency with the defense.

        • I get where you’re coming from, Patrick. It’s a tough, frustrating loss, and we all pick up on different aspects of the game as the reason(s) for it. You see it as the defense holding Ga to 24. I see it as Ga doing what they wanted to do and controlling the ball and the game. Who’s right? Both? Neither?

          It doesn’t really matter, since the game’s over and there’s still a lot to play for. As 6 points out, 10-2 and a New Year’s Six Bowl is still attainable. Go Gators!!

          • Yeah, well we can both agree that we aren’t happy how the defense has performed. Imagine if Mullens offense (good but not great) had the defenses that McElwain had for his first two years? Go Gators!

  2. I won’t argue with the grading. There was a lot to be frustrated about, be it the third-and-Granthams, a certain cornerback’s tackling (or rather, lack thereof), the complete absence of a running game until Georgia dropped into a prevent D, the poor protection of the QB (we really need to upgrade a certain tackle position), the Trask running play in the fourth quarter, etc. That said, stepping back and taking a deep breath… It’s great that this has become a game that once again matters. Mullen is a competent coach who is putting the pieces together. We need to recruit the heck out of the OL and as much as I love Trask, it will put a lot more pressure on opposing defenses when we have a QB who can run (looking at you, Mr. Jones). Let’s finish strong and beat the bleep out of FSU to win the state title. Go Gators!

    • PVB,
      I don’t think Grantham called a bad game, their O-line no matter if there was a blitz or not killed are D. Jake had all day (everyone is talking about beers in this thread so I guess I will chip in, had some beers and brats in the backfield) except a couple times but those times we couldn’t tackle him behind the line.

      • Sam, I don’t know if he called a bad game or not, I defer to folks like you who understand this game much better than I do. “Third-and-Grantham” was just my way of referring to our inability to get them off the field on third-and-long. Very frustrating.

        • PVB, your football savvy is just fine…’re referring to not only failing to prevent third down conversions, but convert ourselves when we really needed to. That will lose football games for a team every time, the mighty Gators included.

          Reading thru all the strings today, some are saying that we have a long way to go. Really? That’s hard to believe, this being only Year 2. Most of us believe, and with good cause, that we are “danger close” to getting there — that being an old redleg term for the enemy being within 600 meters of your position when you call for fires. In this case the enemy was us. It won’t always be, and we are nearer than we have ever been in the seven years preceding Dan Mullen to bringing the Gators back to elite status. Hard to see that sometimes thru the fog of disappointment, but it’s true just the same.

    • PVB, you put your finger on another “detail” the Gators have to sort out as they solve their glaring OL problem in the off-season. As much as we all like Kyle Trask at QB, we should now acknowledge, based on his body of work, that he has two deficiencies he cannot improve. He can’t run like Jones and doesn’t appear to have the arm strength to throw the deep pass like Franks. Note that just as CDM didn’t call medium yardage passes over the middle when Franks was QB, he’s not calling deep throws now that Trask is QB. There are reasons he sees in practice for CDM’s play choices.

      Jones, on the other hand, has that raw athleticism, but hasn’t YET gained CDM’s confidence passing the ball regularly whenever his number is called in critical games. Obviously, that may change with more practice reps, but until CDM calls for throwing passes off RPO when Jones is in the game, opposing defenses won’t respect his running.

      • Well said StL. Who in that stadium didn’t know that Jones was going to run on that play. You may be able to make hay with that with a dominant OL, but we’re not at that level. This will be a fascinating off-season. My guess is Franks transfers and we may see something of a Chris Leak / Tim Tebow or Doug Johnson/ Noah Brindise scerario in 2020 with Trask and Franks.

        • You’re right about Franks transferring out after spring or summer practice next year. He won’t regain the starting job. As for your other prediction, it remains to be seen if Jones finally gains CDM’s confidence in him efficiently running the full offense.

  3. Well for the second time this year (first was LSU) Mullen screwed up a good Trask drive by putting Jones in at QB for one play, completely screwed up the flow for only two yards. Against LSU the next play after he put Jones in Trask threw the interception in the endzone. If he has to play Jones some let it be at the first of his own drive.

  4. Extremely disappointed with the lack of pressure on Their QB. Whenever there was minimal pressure, I noticed some errant throws. The third and long conversions by Jawga was absolutely disheartening to me. When you’re stuffing runs and get a team behind the chains third and 11, third and 14 and numerous third and longs and they convert most of them, something is wrong. I’m concerned about our coverage schemes in those situations. Hope this loss don’t turn into several.

  5. Does anyone understand the apparent complete lack of confidence to let Jones throw the football when he comes in? The coaches talk all the time about his ability to throw but we insert him into a game, the opposing team loads the box expecting run, we run for 0-3 yards. What am I missing?

    • Cool Joe, you nailed it! Emory comes in and only ”runs around the end” against stout ‘D’s like LSU, UGA, etc.. I called it before the play happened. My girlfriend asked me how I knew. I said, ”Because that’s all they do with Emory anymore.” Like a boys club offense when he’s in the game, sadly and PREDICTABLY!
      Go Gators! Just win 10, again, baby!

  6. Overrated secondary….Marco Wilson, what has happened to you?
    Offensive line….very offensive
    Emory Jones….you’re not being treated right
    Trask….don’t let the coach ask you to run straight ahead with poor blocking
    Where’s the play action?
    Where’s the blitz?
    Where’s the fake blitz?
    My oh my!!

  7. ”…the Bulldogs and if Florida is going to be an elite team, the Gators have to figure this game out.” -Dooley.
    Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen!
    And oh, Amen! And ‘IF’ D.C. Grantham stays another year, he better not get BURNED BY FROMM, yet again! And Florida has a few ”elite players” (Grenard, Zuniga, etc…) but that’s NOT enough to beat UGA. Amen!

  8. Chili McChicken Wing is upset merely because it’s now obvious that the “thumbs-up” from he and his sidekick is the kiss-of-death to the Gators.

    Please revert to form and pick UF to lose out.


      • 6,

        After watching Corso pile on with his UF pick at the end of Game Day, I almost didn’t watch. I knew it would not be a good day.

        On a positive note out here is the land of fire, the hummus-eating Fightin’ Prophylactics are one step closer to hiring He Who Shall Remain Nameless On This Board But Without Whose Initials the Word “Scum” Cannot Be Spelled, as they were drubbed by the Mighty Ducks of Oregon. So that made my post-game pizza and hazy DIPA go down a little better, anyway.

        On to Vandy! Don’t let one bitter loss turn into two (or more…). GO GATORS!

        • Lane Kiffin? 🤡 He does want the job, but if FSU falls for that they are more dysfunctional than even I suspected.

          Urban will never go near that place in a million years. So look for him to sign a contract any day now! 🤪