Mississippi State prediction time


I missed another pick last week with the Florida loss. But I did get two big predictions right that I made in the office. I called the South Carolina win over Alabama (a prediction my co-workers laughed at when I made it). And, I won a Diet Coke from our basketball beat writer and Miami alumnus, Kevin Brockway, by taking Florida State over Miami (I predicted a comfortable FSU victory, by the way).

So, hey, maybe I’m back, maybe I’m feeling it again.

Let’s give it a shot:

Every week, I keep thinking the Florida offense is going to put things together and have a breakout game where they go up and down the field and score a bunch of points, but it just hasn’t happened. Here’s why I think this might be the week: MSU’s defense isn’t all that great (although they can cause problems with all those blitzes), and I have a feeling the Florida coaches are going to make a concerted effort to put the ball in the hands of the guys they now know can make big plays — Jeff Demps and Andre Debose, in particular. So, if Demps plays and is 100 percent, and the coaches give Debose an expanded role, the Gators are going to get on a little bit of a roll Saturday night.

My biggest concern is the Florida defense, which seems to have regressed in the last two games. Hey, any defense that can make LSU’s offense (and those quarterbacks) look good has to have problems. It was amazing how efficient the Tigers were a week ago. This was an offense that was falling all over itself coming into the game. But the Gators could not get LSU off the field. The defense was off balance for most of the game. My prediction here is the Gators are going to have similar problems with a Mississippi State offense that looks like it is really starting to come into its own. The Bulldogs rushed for more than 400 yards against Houston last Saturday and piled up close to 600 total yards.

So, it’s going to be another tough, tense night in The Swamp.

But this is the night I think the Florida’s offense finally gets cranking.

Prediction: Florida 38, Mississippi State 28.


  1. The Gator O had it’s “breakout game”, v.s. Kentucky, then regressed back into a complete mess the next two games v.s. Bama and LSU. Yet, I agree with you Robbie, Florida will win Saturday night and get back on the right track. For one, the talent gap is a lot in Florida’s favor and both teams will run offenses the other D is familiar with. Anyway, I believe Meyer is just too good of a HBC to allow this offensive incompetence to continue. No, he won’t be able to nip it all in the bud in one week of practice, or the rest of the season even, but Meyer can make adjustments during the season to alieve some of the problem and be able to take care of it at season’s end. The biggest adjustment he could make is to scheme the offense to play to Brantley’s passing abilities and not force JB to run a more option-heavy spread scheme. Lets understand this though Robbie, these offensive problems will remain if Addazio is kept at OC. Leopards cannot change their spots, and SA won’t either. After the season is done, Meyer meeds to search for and appoint a new, EXPERIENCED OC who can be adpatable in this system, and demote Addazio back to full-time OL coach.

  2. Todd you are a genius. SA has been horrible for a yr and a half, if it takes you a year to change your errors then u don’t deserve the job. I love my Gators but Mullen will outcoach us just like Bama & LSU but we have more playmakers so we’ll win despite that sorry a** excuse for an O.Coordinator

  3. Watching the WVU/USF football game Thursday night I was surprised that their version of the spread included Ryan Clarke, a 247 pound tailback. He is just pounding the ball right at the Bulls and is picking up first down after first down. “He’s just running over everybody,” is how one of the ESPN commentator describes his play. That is the thunder that Florida lacks. We did have it when Tebow used his 235 pounds as a fullback. Gillissee, Demps, and up and coming Howard are great to have in the backfield but having only lightning doesn’t always cut it. What is so gol darn wrong with having a big power back? Even the TV hosts said that most spread teams don’t have power backs.
    Power and speed do not have to be mutually exclusive and can be in fact, complimentary.
    Also I am wondering about back formation in the spread. With retro football all the rage now (the wildcat looks eerily similar to the old single wing) why not take a look at some old backfield sets?
    Brantley is a pocket passer. Maybe the T or a spread Wing T would be an option. With one or two backs lined up right beside Brantley he could either drop back to pass and have that extra blocker in the backfield, hand off/lateral it quickly to the back, or one of the backs, for a quick strike run. Just thinking, Coach Meyer gets the big bucks to run the operation and hopefully he will always be the boss. He won 2 national championships so there is absolutely no question of his excellence. That doesn’t mean that we can’t think out loud. Go Gators!

  4. How ’bout Carl Moore and Omarius Hines being playmakers? Carl in particular has shown good stuff, and Omarius had a good game and then disappeared in the offense. If they all come with their head on straight, we will win.

  5. I think Addazio is spread too thiun: he coaches five different positions (compare to Austin with cornerbacks, Heater qwith safeties), game plans and calls the offense. Good coach, too much on his plate. Next year make his associate HC and OL guy only, name Loeffler or someone new w/experience OC, and move ahead. This team lost 11 to NFL and good back-ups. We’ll get back on track. Meantime, this week will help: Gators 28 – MSU 24. Then two weeks to prepare for UGA and we’ll beat the Dawgs, too.

  6. Mark is onthe mark (no pun intended). There’s no reason in my opionion why one of the numerous good linebackers the team has that one couldn’t be inserted at fullback and used mostly as a blocking back. Most of them had HS experience handling the ball so why not try it????

  7. Robbie, your a total Gator Honk, as well you should be. Your the conservative scapegoat guy on the staff to keep things even keel, to not upset the mighty Jeremiah Foley and Coach Urb.

    You do a good job, but your a role player.

    With that said, dude , John Brantley can’t play a lick. Similar to the days Gator fan couldn’t see it was the players around Danny Wuerfel, that guy would’ve gone 6-5 at South Carolina. How else to explain Shane Mathews getting 10 yrs worth of checks and Weurfel is in town last week trying to drum up some $. Danny is an awesome guy, Gator fan created his fantasy of playing in the NFL.

    Now here we are with “Johnny”. A decent QB in the SEC. Frangie over in Jax picked him to win the Hiesman in 2011, dead serious on the radio.

    So here we go again, Gator fan not realizing what Johnny brings to the table vs. the kid who put up 6 TD’s from 2 yrds out against Kentucky.

    Not sure about this Johnny set up for Gator fan the next 2 yrs. from what’s been revealed so far. He hasn’t got alot of help for sure at times, but I don’t see all the pre season hype he got, NFL arm this, that.

    Reality check Robbie and Gator fan.

  8. Todd, right on again man! I plan to watch a live college soccer match first and then be on time for the second half of the UF-MS Game since that’s when the Gators really start playing… The least I see those dive plays by Addazio, the least upset my stomach will be.
    Go Gators!!!

  9. Wileymac,

    Right on. You just can’t discount what SA did when UM thought he was dying. He totally held this team and recruiting class together.

    He needs less responsibility, that’s for certain. It looks like someone else needs to be given the opportunity to install the gameplan and call the plays. In his defense though, I don’t think this team has been any more than 75% healthy since day one. Were the walking wounded and if not for marginal officiating we’d be 5-1. This feels a lot like 2005 (Wrong QB, young but talented D, the “right” QB playing high school ball in Oveido). So if 2011,12,13,14 are as good as ’06-’09 I can live with all this.

  10. So now Andre Debose is some kind of proven playmaker? Come on Robbie? I see you are hedging this prediction with a lot of if Demps does this and if the coaches do that……. When are you goiing to get that head coaching gig that you are so better qualified for than the actual coaches, you know, since you know better than them?

  11. Wileymac, very good points. Loeffler may not be the answer, or may be… we’ll see. Personally, I would like to see him made official co-OC with Addazio and have override power over SA in the redzones. I personally believe after Meyer heard all the rumblings from disappointed visiting recruits at the LSU game this weekend, he spent the first few days of this week running damage control, and trust me, recruiting is a passion of Meyer’s and he takes it personally. He will not allow this ineptness to continue on offense because he won;t allow it to sabotage all the hard work he’s done in trying to sell UF to these young kids. IMO, SA will not be retained as OC next season, and that Meyer will do his homework and find the right man to run his system in 2011. But right now, this is a matter of getting enough heads on the offensive staff together and trying to find a formula that works and get this O back on track.

  12. I honestly believe the defense gave up! Their performance, last week, especially Janoris Jenkins, was telling! They had little to no fire in them. They simply ran off and on the field with no emotion! Hopefully, someone will get them back on track. Lacking a leader, like Spikes, has cause the guys to wonder off toward the abyss and if they aren’t turned around soon, it’s going to get uglier! Is Will Hill being disruptive? He sure isn’t playing with passion and geez, look at the mistakes he has made. Let’s hope there’s a little fire still burning somewhere inside them and

  13. Sorry, much as I see the regression of the overall offense under Addazio, I also don’t understand the love for Loeffler. He was brought in 2 years ago as the guru from Michigan who would transform Tebow into a poilshed passer. Result in my view was that Tebow actually regressed under Loeffler, and I have not seen any magic from Brantley that would cause me to want to annoint Loefffler the new OC and savior of the month. If Meyer truly has the fortitude to make the call to replace Addazio in the off season, my fervent wish is that he take Jeremy Foley’s lead and find the best coach he can , from anywhere, and not settle. Uf has reached the point where it should never “settle” for a coach.

  14. Tebow was an spread/option QB in CFB, and lets understand that he IS NOT John Brantley’s skill-set, who is a natural pro-set passer. I played QB in high school and I get this. The criticisms aimed at Loeffler are not really vaild as our coaches didn’t even try to change Tim’s throwing motion until his senior year, which is something that should have been done early in his career. There’s a big difference in timing and deveopment Carolina.

  15. Gators sucked it yet again. What in the world are Meyer and Addazio thinking by continueing to run Brantley in the option. When he can not run it from the shotgun, he sure as heck can not run it from under center.

    STUPID Play calling!!!!

  16. Robbie,
    I once met Ron zook with you as an Advertising Acct’ Exec. at the Sun…And I remember THINKING TO MYSELF HOW MUCH RON CARED ABOUT WHAT YOU AND PAT thought of him and the FLA FOOTBALL PROGRAM…
    And now 6 years later I cannot help but WONDER what is going on in ADAAZIO’S (SPL???) head…He tells all YOU (REPORTERS) ~ “WE’RE ALRIGHT…”
    What in the HELL IS ALRIGHT with 25 yds of OFFENSE in the 1st qtr?
    What is ALRIGHT about a 4th and 1 call THAT BRINGS IN JOHN B. TO RUN THE SPREAD-OPTION and not get the 1st?
    gatiorgi70x7 (Greg)

  17. Clearly, sir, you have not been paying attention to MSU all season. You comment, “MSU’s defense isn’t all that great “. Really?! Have you not seen the stats all year. Miss State defense has been palaying lights out all season. They are the only team to hold Auburn to 17 pts. LSU could only manage 25 points (5 field goals) with state turning the ball over to them 5 times and giving them an average starting position at the MSU 45. Our defese is outstandig and we proved it again in the swamp sat. night. 0 points for fl in the first half, and only 7 for the game, which blew your prediction of having a good game and a win right out of the water. Might want to do your homework next time before you start predicting wins. OH, by the way, fla fans, the problem with your offense isn’t talent…yall miss Dan Mullen, plain and simple.

  18. Can coaching be the problem???With all the highly touted talent we have and this is the best we can do???? It’s time to examine this football program from the top to the bottom. Still proud to be a Gator!!but this is making it tough.

  19. Hey JACK, it’s always easy to smack-talk AFTER the game, Where were you before the game? If you can’t put your neck on the chopping block before the games, don’t bother with the playground drive-by stuff. How are you? Ten?

  20. I absolutely LOVE to watch the Gaytors and their childish, arm slapping fans LOOSE!!!! Ohhh such sad faces on the rude girls and boys as they watch their football players cry. Boo Hoo Hoo!

    Georgia is going to slap the Gaytors down to the lowest depths of humiliation this year. I can not wait! Urban Cryer will finally lose it on the field and will have to be sedated.

  21. Well, I can’t speak for Jack, but I was in the Florida student section proudly sporting my purple and gold during the LSU game. No, I wasn’t just being a jerk, my seats were there. I’m usually there cheering the Gators on but LSU is my alma-mater and nobody comes before them.

    So, thanks, Florida, for making our W look like a w.

  22. Robbie,

    Perhaps we should all start predicting the Gators will lose. Maybe that would start a new trend and make the Gators angry enough and thwy will start wining again. All of the sudden the lowly Georgia Bulldogs have a chance to play in the SECCG. I remember Pat making fun of them… We better be ready for them in 2 weeks.
    Go Addazzio Go!!! Run more Dive Plays!!!

  23. I heard something interesting yesterday. We were actually two plays from being 6-1. The 4th down fake FG from LSU and the run by Demps into the end zone against MS, due to a penalty. Things sure would be sounding differently at this point.

  24. @ Chris. That is interesting, but spin that out further. Take away the muffed punt by LSU and we do not score then and there is no need to fool our COACHES on the fake field goal. And if Demps scores, MSU opens it up a little and scores again. UF was pitiful Saturday night. MSU shut it down knowing 10 points would be enough. MSU knew how bad our offense was playing, they protected their lead and took one from us. We are not a 6-1 team. Need proof?, go back to Miami of Ohio: Everyone was healthy, Rainey had not been arrested, the COACHES had all summer to get the OL and QB ready. (For that matter the COACHES had three YEARS to get our QB ready), etc. Did we look 6-1 to you that day?

    Folk point to the win over Cincinnati (sp?) as proof our coaches can get it done, really? One win over a “flavor of the month” powerhouse? That lost their coach to Notre Dame?

  25. Robbie,
    You are an excellent reporter. You are thorough and thoughtful, with lots more insight than “it’s a season of the weird”. But I ask you–why are you wasting your time and your readers’ time making these predictions? The point spread is the best prediction out there–period. If anyone was better, they’d be rich through sportsbetting. So stop with the predictions. Go out there and do more reporting. Think hard about what the offensive coaches have done to last year’s football team and this year’s football team. What have the coaches learned from the past two years? Is UF football turning into UF basketball when Calathes was on the team? There are so many interesting questions to write about–picking games, particularly if the predictions are so wrong, is just a waste of everybody’s time.

    Thanks! Please keep up the good reporting.