South Florida prediction time

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I’m having a hard time getting a feel for this game — mainly because I have no feel for this Florida football team at the moment.

Were the Gators as bad, especially offensively, as they looked a week ago? Will this start to look like the team we thought it was going to be if all the bad snaps and mistakes are cleaned up this week? Is this team going to be a contender for championships? Or a contender to lose four, five or even six games?

No one knows for sure right now. After what we saw last Saturday, this season, this team, could go in either direction — even though I’m inclined to think the latter (four, five or six losses) is not going to happen.

One thing we do know for sure: If the Gators play like they did against Miami (Ohio), the Bulls will run them right out of the stadium Saturday. That’s pretty much a guarantee. The Bulls have the talent (especially dual-threat quarterback B.J. Daniels) to make the Gators pay dearly if they repeat their opening-day blunders.

I have a feeling the offense will be much better — and take better care of the football. Mike Pouncey and John Brantley say the snapping issues have been taken care of this week. We’ll see today. With the return of starting offensive guard Carl Johnson (and possibly starting left tackle Xavier Nixon), the line should be much more effective, which would do wonders for Brantley’s confidence. And it would to get some of the other wide receivers involved, including Frankie Hammond Jr. (who returns this week) and talented redshirt freshman Andre Debose.

So, the prediction here is the offense will be more efficient (how much more, who knows).

On defense, the Gators have to contain Daniels and prevent him from breaking out of the pocket and making big plays with his arm and his legs. If they lose containment a whole bunch, the Bulls will have a chance to sprint up and down the field and score a bunch of points.

Overall, USF is a very demanding test for this Florida team, a challenge that will give us a better idea where this season is headed for the Gators.

Prediction: Florida 28, South Florida 24.

26 COMMENTS

  1. I think the bad snaps were a big (so basic) part of the problem last Saturday, but let’s not forget that our offense stunk in every way: Deonte’s perfect pass from Brantley dropped, Gilleslie and Moody’s fumbles, Stturgis missed field goal and extra point muffed! I mean, these guys looked as if they never played football before.
    Time to play like men Gators! Come on! Enough babysitting for you guys. Or do you want us to miss Tebow and Percy forever?
    Just play football!

  2. Lets give Deonte a break. The Miami DB slapped Thompson’s right arm when the ball arrived. Dooley should look at the replay as well based on his comment earlier this week. More of a nice defensive play instead of a dropped ball. Beautiful pass by Brantley for sure.

  3. I agree–it’s hard to say how much trouble this offense is really in. It will have to be a LOT better to beat the Bulls this week. I have a bad feeling about this team, at least in the first half of the season. The talent, speed and depth (as time goes on and they get experience) is there; maybe the players (especially the underclassmen) AND the coaching staff (especially the Head Coach–I think he’ll have to step in and take firmer hand, be more involved than “I didn’t know he didn’t get in…”) require shock treatment. Hope not, but it may be on its way.

  4. Simply put….. it’s time to put someone in charge of the Gator offense who knows what he’s doing. I watched a superior Gator unit underperform all last season, until they were finally embarrassed in Atlanta. And now the offense bombs vs little more than a highschool team. Addazio has to go!

  5. Mullen knew how to attack the weak areas in opposing defenses and went after it. It seems to me Addazio is just sending plays in. He’s been with Meyer a long time so it’s going to be hard to make a change at OC but if the offense continues to underperform then this team is going to lose 3 or 4 times this year. The learning curve for Addazio should have been over at the end of last year. He needs to start getting the most out of the talent he has or the Gators need a new OC. 2 years of this nonsense is way too long.

  6. Come on now, the Gators will be fine! It is a new season, new era, and new ideas for the Florida Gators, (Players & Coaches). That is football! I know we had a shaky first game but hey, guess you got to get the butterflies out early right? My prediction for the second game against USF is; Florida:36 USF:17. I do remember the defense being pretty dominating the first game. Offense wins games but defense, well it wins championships. I cannot wait till Saturday, Go Gator!!!!

  7. I agree that this one is tough to call. Our offensive woes go deeper than botched snaps. Although it was the first game, the product on the field (offensive side) was the worst I’ve seen in 30 years and as a fan, you couldn’t help but wonder why we had a bad performance with all the talent. I don’t think getting rid of our OC is the right solution. You can certainly tell when the coaches are worried because the play calling is conservative. I think that is part of Meyer’s “play to win” philosophy. I’ll take a “W” any day – ugly or not.

    Perhaps some fans thought this team was going to be better, but I never thought this team was a national contender this year and still hold on hope that we can win the East and play in the SEC Championship Game. There is talent on the field, but the learning curve needs to excel. Most of these guys on the field played little in the past few years, probably weren’t 100% bought in, and possibly even have much to learn in real game experience. This may be more of the year of patience than championships. My prediction for this game – close – UF by 6 in the end.

  8. Right on, Robert. Early expectations were through the roof for this team. It seemed everything — SEC East championship, possible SEC championship and possible NC contender — was based on a best-case scenario. The defense should more quickly round into a cohesive unit than the offense, which will keep us in games. But I see a number of close contests, in which our youth will win some and lose a few. Buckle up, boys. This will likely get hairy. But, damn, that’s the fun of college football.

  9. I think we will be a Jekyll and Hyde team all year because of our youth mixed with talent. Some games we will look unstoppable and other games we will look awful (last week for example).

    Miami (FL )last year was a perfect example of how up and down a talented young team can be.

    With that being said, I hope a good team shows up this week because USF would love nothing more than to beat the Gators, ad they are catching us in a rebuilding year. Expect them to come out hungry and fired up.

    I think the gators can win because last week was a good wake up call for both the coaches and players. I think we need to whether the storm early and then use our talent advantage to wear them down in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Here’s hoping and GO GATORS!

  10. The Gator Defense played OK, could be better, but it will be the defense that shines this week. Brantley still needs time to adjust to the helm, but where are the receivers? Someone must step up and catch the ball. Remember catch and secure the ball first, then, run like Hell!

    Go Gators.

  11. Gator Nation does not know… They will soon. USF is 11-2 vs FL Schools. These kids all went to HS together. SPEED? Its everywhere in this state. HOLTZ has them FOCUSED, something that Coach Jim L could never do. GO BULLS! MAKE US PROUD GREEN AND GOLD. Win or Lose!