Gators won’t fool me twice

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I fell for it last week. I fell for all the talk and all the predictions in and around the program that this would be a much-improved Florida team. I fell for it and then went ahead and picked UF to win in a rout last week.

Of course, we all know what happened. The Gators stumbled their way through an uninspired win over Bowling Green — and looked very much like last year’s UF team in the process.

Now, this week, there’s new talk, a new positive spin being spun in and around Florida football: After not showing anything on either side of the ball last week, UF is going to reveal its true identity against Texas A&M. The offense is going to be much more open and effective. Passes will be thrown down the field and completed. There will be some really cool trick plays pulled out of Brent Pease’s playbook. The defense is going to fly around and create turnovers and make plays, and look like one of the nation’s potentially dominant units.

Sorry, but I’m not buying it, not falling for it.

Think about it. Going back to the first of October last season, the Gators have not played well or looked very good in any game. As the former head ball coach used to say, they have a track record. They are what they are. The same team that played so poorly, and, looked so poorly coached last season, showed up again to start this season last Saturday.

Mind-numbing stuff, really.

Until the Gators play well, and actually beat a quality opponent, I’m not falling for the weekly theme/spin that this team is going to be better.

Prediction: Texas A&M 24, Florida 13.

62 COMMENTS

  1. Robbie:You should move to Tallahassee you would fit right in..why don’t you quit and go to work for a team you like or do some research..the Sun should fire you. Last weeks game stunk to watch..but not showing our hand was a good decision..the defensive coordinagtor for Texas A &M came from Boise State and any surprise advantage we can muster will be welcome..

  2. I agree with Robbie, we stink! Point, blank, period. I do not think that the offense will look any better this week, no matter who the QB is or Offensive Coordinator. The entire program needs to be revamped. I love UF will all of my heart, but if we play like we did last week offensively and defensively, we will be run out of Texas!

  3. What’s he saying that’s not true? I don’t buy that we played vanilla to truly reveal ourselves this week. Give me a break. We aren’t that good. I hope we win this game, but I don’t see it. Too many penalties, no offensive play-makers, save M.Gilly. The only other games that we should win comfortably are the patsies in November.

  4. I think Robbie is dead on. I don’t understand why some say people are traitors when they say we stink – when we stink. So should Muschamp go coach for another team when he calls out the team or a player for not playing well? The ONLY game we have played well in the past 2 years was against Kentucky (pointed out by my brother Pierce). That is pretty sad. I hope they turn it around this week but it sounds similar to the current President of the US claiming all the changes are taking place and things are better but the proof says otherwise.

  5. Totally agree. I did the spin thing for years under Zook, finally after Mississippi State I said I was done with it…. a day later, Foley was too. Not saying that is were we are headed, but just need to see it before I believe it.
    6-6 this year unless we play clean, disciplined, balanced, and the O-Line protects and pushes back the other team this weekend. Yes, THIS weekend. This weekend does matter.
    Just not believing it, not falling for the coach/ player speak about being together and being tougher. Just not believing it anymore. Winning solves that. Bye the way, I am not being a hating homer. Just dealing in reality. This is year 3 of mediocre football. I hope we are headed in the right direction.

    Perhaps if we had more access to practice in the spring and summer we could at least gauge our hopes better instead of buying a spin each week.

  6. gatortraker,

    Totally disagree with you here. We did not show our hand, that is true. Yes, we could have scored maybe one more TD if we passed on 3rd down and kept drives alive. I get that, but lets be realistic. Did you really see our O-line push back a weaker MAC team’s D-line? Did you really see the team being “together” when Dunbar came back to the sideline after Driskel missed and he vented to Brissett? Did you really see a disciplined football team headed in a different direction than last year with 10 penalties in the first half? Many of us love the Gators, but we did not see those things and thus have altered our expectations for the year. A week ago at this time? Yes, I would have said pencil us in for 9-10 wins. Now, after that evidence pencil me in for 5-6. I would love to be wrong and embarrassed on this, I love the Gators more than my opinion. Just having to go off what I see. No access to practice so all I have is the games.

  7. Muschamp is not a motivator and he has his players playing scared. Its like golf, if you’re uptight, how does it effect your game? If you have a coach that looks like he want to kill you if you jump offsides, guess what? You will jump offsides. Pease looked similar to Muschamp in the booth. We have a bunch of 18, 19, 20 year old kids that are nervous and uptight. UNtil they can relax and play loose, they will struggle. That may mean getting a new coach. And yes, we need to make a statement at the line of scrimmage. Go Gators!

  8. Jordan Reed had multiple offsides and played all game. Backup converted DL, now a TE, gets one offsides penalty and Muschamp blows up on the guy as he comes to the sidelines. He is new to offense and the position, but Jordan Reed knows better coach. You better dish out your anger evenly, or you may risk losing the respect of all of your team… and fans!

  9. I can’t see a single reason to criticize this article. The facts speak for themselves – just as Robbie said. In fact, I think it may be the most objective thing he has ever written. Like all Gator fans, I hope there is a sea change coming – quickly, but there is nothing wrong with saying “they are going to have to show it at this point”.

  10. I saw the look on Muschamp’s face after the first few penalties. He was rightfully pissed and blew up on the offenders as they returned to the sidelines. Then after about five dumb penalties in the first have, he just looked dissapointed. Kinda like a bad teacher who gives his student a book to read, a place to study, an ill prepared test and then when the student fails, they just look like Muschamp did all game long… dejected. Poor teachers are like bad coaches, their students/players do not learn.

  11. Amidst a basically disappointing game last week, two plays in particular stood out and made me wonder if this team has a future. In the first, the BC’s 180 lb running back after he was basically stopped then pushed what seemed to be the entire D-line into the endzone. I can’t imagine how that could be physically possible. And then it made me worry, despite all that talk about the amazing off-season weightlifting program the Gators followed. The second play made we wonder about the coaching staff. On third and long around the BC 40, Jeff Driskel is ordered to do a pooch kick. OK, it didn’t work well, which happens, but in what universe could such a call make sense? Go for the first down and if you don’t make it, bring the punter in to aim for the corner or to get it downed near the goal line. But a pooch kick? Why?

    A weak D-line (how often did they pressure the passer?) and dumb play calling. I hope the A&M game shows these were just blips, but they may be signs that this team is fundamentally flawed.

  12. Everyone needs to back away from the cliff. If this was game 3 or 4, then I’d be right there with you. But it’s game 2 and we finally have a starting QB that’ll move the chains with his arm and legs for the first time Timothy Richard. Oh and we’re playing the Big 12 version of Tennessee. All tradition, all bluster, and no results. So a A&M win = a UT win. Until they prove me wrong, I’m booking a December hotel room in the ATL. GO GATORS!

  13. So many fair weather fans! Sounds just like FSU all over again. They only are fans when they are winning. I thought we were Gators, you know, thru all kinds of weather we all stick together? I want to win too. But my gosh, how do you think these players feel and these coaches feel knowing their fans have no confidence in them? I believe WM is going in the right direction and will bring us back to contention. It doesnt happen overnight. I would hate to work for many of you. Give them a chance. They have only played ONE game. We will win tomorrow. Go Gators!

  14. I fully agree with Dan Dixon….Give the coaches and players a chance..if we even think of changing coaches you will set the program back at least 5 years at best..He has hired good coaches, good trainers, and recruited two solid classes..It takes at least three years to turn Urbans mess!!

  15. 5 Years! It took Meyer 2 to win the NC. I’m not saying that’s the measuring stick….but we don’t look AT ALL improved and just played probably the worst game I’ve seen in 20 years. I CANNOT BELIEVE that I am going to say this but I think Muschamp was a mistake. The man is not ready to run a big program. I say go get Charlie Strong back here. We had great defenses with that man and he will let the offensive coordinator do his job rather than be a stubborn jackass about it. I also bet you we wouldn’t be getting over 100 yds of penalties a game. If we have another 7 win season or worse, I hope Foley puts his foot down sooner rather than later. I haven’t seen anything that makes me have hope that Muschamp can cut it.

  16. cool aid drinkers
    i too bought into the new and improved but all we got was same ole stuff. funny if muskrat would not treat the fans and media like he was building the next a bomb (secrets) then maybe i would give him so latitude but he chose the path he went down. was a season tkt holder 25+yrs and am a 30+ yr alumni of uf but they wont see another $ from me . poor product on the field, below average opponents (only 2-3 games worth going to) and prices going up every year finished me off

  17. Too many of you gator fans just cant stand to be wrong! I eat sleep and breathe gator football! But the bottom line is this gator program is behind alot of other programs! Lets face it, if vandy gets that pass interference call last year we probably lose that game! im very dissapointed in the lack of discipline and desire! I will bleed blue and orange for life, but its hard to watch these guys!

  18. I am disgusted by you fair weather fans. I bet none of you attended UF or has ever had season tickets. Why don’t you fools go pull for the Semis?
    WM took over a broken program (Meyer’s words), and has coached exactly one game into his second season. Give the man a chance to do his damn job!

    PS….Robbie, I won’t be fooled again by reading any of the BS you put out. It is painfully obvious you are acting like a spoiled little girl that has her feelings hurt because she wasn’t invited to the party (no access). Instead of pouting, have you ever thought of working harder? Guess not.

  19. Wow Robbie, you are either a real homer or do not know football that well if it has taken you this loing to admit that this team is poorly coached. Regardless of whether the program was broken, the talent, etc. etc etc., it is easy to discern during a number of games whether a guy can manage the game as a head coach or is toally inept at it. Stats and Records do not define that per se. The quality of play and the decisions WM makes during games is painful proof that the guy is lost and not head coach material at a major D-1 level. Great coordinator but not a head coach.

  20. Here we go again, Andreu has written another worthless column. The Gainesville Sun is wasting their money and time and resources on a writer that continues to down grade The Florida Gator Football Team. Now he picks Texas A&M over the Florida Gators. I wonder if Judge Andreu is turning over in his grave?

  21. Robbie: base on the way Florida played last week you are totally correct in your assessment. It won’t be popular but somebody had to say it. That was the worst football game I have seen a Florida team play in a long time. However, I believe there
    is a chance we can get better. This is the biggest game of Muschamp’s career. The whole country is making a huge deal of this game. If we go out there and stink it up
    this season could be lost.The negativity will take over the program and the season will
    be a slow downward slide. Will has to get the boys to wake up and play smarter. We have tons of talent all over the field but it is in the mental part that we are struggling.
    A team feeds off it’s coach and right now Muschamp needs to be a stronger,smarter more confident leader or he is going to end up being a bridge to the next coach.

  22. I just want the Gators to win. I don’t give a flat fart whether or not the entertainment value is up to my ‘standards’, whatever that means. I’ll buy into the Gators every Saturday for the rest of my life regardless of what the boobs at the Gainesvill Sun say (Zach excepted; He appears to do actual research for his articles).

    Go Gators! Hell or high water.

  23. I think the glory days of Florida football are gone for a while. We have hit a snag in the program. We need to get back to where we were during the 1990’s and have an exciting offense and hard hitting defense and can have a lot of yardage on offense and score a lot of points. I tthink Urban Meyer left us with no depth at running backs and wide receivers. We will beat Texas A&M 24 to 17 and will have better quarterback play this week along with some turnovers on defense because Texas A&M has a quarterback who has never played. GO Gators!!

  24. Can’t blame Robbie for being skeptical that this team is better(although Dooley apparently believes it really IS). We haven’t played good football consistently in 3 years, and Muschamp’s biggest win is vs. VANDY, for crying out loud! I’ve about forgotten what it’s like to see the Gators dominate a decent team and to celebrate a meaningful win.
    Tomorrow we play a team with a new coach, a new QB and in their first game. If it is UF, not Tamu, who looks like the above team, undisciplined and not making plays(again), it will be cause for TRUE concern about whether this coach can do it.

  25. Our offense appears to be what we feared it still was. It’s a perfect storm of penalties, inexperienced QB, inconsistent line play and no trusted receivers. We desperately need the Jackson and Gaffney families to start having more children. Also shouldn’t the Greens, Hilliards, and Anthonys have some kids to play WR by now? At least we should get son of Taylor. Then again, February is a long way away.

  26. Penalties and bonehead plays characterize the Muschamp era. Maybe the talent level is down, but there simply is no excuse for 14 penalties against Bowling Green. The “potty mouth issue” is also ridiculous and unacceptable. The coaches and players are representing all of Gator Nation. To be caught by ESPN using the “F” word and then explaining it away by saying his “Mom” called him on it (Pease) is not what I want to represent UF. Quite frankly, I am disappointed in Foley for not making a statement on that. Muschamp had the same issue last year. This coaching staff has done NOTHING to instill any sense of hope or confidence in where we are going. Hopefully I am wrong on this.

  27. You cant keep blaming UM. Defense was fine when WM came in and is regressing now . Bigger, stronger and faster, and still do not dominate. The most impressive player was a true freshmen DF.Where are the fundamentals.

  28. Doug Dickey comes to mind as I have watched last year and the first game this year. Hopefully I am wrong. Even though Dickey was not a bad coach he was not what the Gatornation was hoping for when he was hired and did not produce any chanmpionships. Time is needed but the biggest disappointment to date is the lack of development of young QB’s who when recruited were some of the best in the nation. Something is missing, a big disconnect somewhere!

    Hopefully we will all be pleasently supprised by today’s results against Texas A&M!!

  29. Happy to be wrong, they turned it around and proved themselves. That was huge for those guys, a real confidence builder! Very proud of the way they fought back. That is a team you can enjoy and be proud of!

  30. I agreed with you Robbie, before Saturday, and I still believe FLORIDA has much to prove! I am not expecting FLORIDA to look like Spurrier’s 90s Gators, as that was a ”once in a lifetime” perfect storm – Florida was passing, the League was running, L.S.U., and ‘Bama were different teams.
    But this ERA of Muschamp’s is HIS AND THE PLAYERS TO WRITE THEMSELVES, and after yesterday’s game…well, they have a “DRAFT”. A good, hard-fought, disciplined effort that doesn’t QUIT will usually pay dividends! This team has much to improve upon before any of us can talk ATLANTA, but the Gators showed me that they can FIGHT, and they CAN be disciplined and WIN A CLOSE GAME! Yesterday, the 2nd half for the ENTIRE TEAM (Coaches calls, players, and even Dr. Pete were busy and effective) was spectacular! This team is going to have to be tough, physical, and yet be creative on Offense to continue to win in the S.E.C., and that ain’t nothing NEW! JUST DO IT GATORS, and yesterday, they DID just that! Well done! GO GATORS! And, keep up your honest and forthright articles Robbie, not all of us fall for SHALLOW NAME CALLING (FOOL,IDIOT, etc…) Keep ‘keeping it’ real, ROBBIE! GO GATORS!
    ~gatorgi70x7

  31. When you all are going to call ROBBIE, rude , degrading names, due to his HONEST OPINONS, like we all ARE ENTITLED TO in AMERICA…add your REAL (FIRST AND LAST) NAME! ….BE A DAMN MAN AND OWN YOUR INSULTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Robbie, I had the same feelings you had about the Gators facing A&M. It is good that they proved us wrong. At least Robbie has the guts to have an intelligent guess before a game. Not like Dooley, that likes to write the “I told you so”…after the game has ben played. Anyways, it is a first big game against an adopted SEC team, but we still have to beat the real SEC boys (sorry A&M I still see you as Big 12).
    Keep up the good work Will Muschamp, I will be a true believer when you start beating GA, Bama, LSU and FSU. Ah, Not to mention that we have UT lurking on us next week. Congraulations on your first SEC win for 2012.

    Go Gators!!!

  33. I didn’t feel the heat at A&M until we were in that 1st half…everything we did in the second half was near perfect (considering last year). But the REAL purpose of this game was a CONFIDENCE booster. Now we KNOW we can go on the road and win. Also we know we can go on the road and win the 2 nd half. Just what this team may need to play with the swagger we’ve been missing.

  34. Tell it like it is Robbie! I felt the same way after the Bowling Green game, & the 1st half of the A & M game we were getting bitch slapped around the field. I like to read your stuff Robbie, keep on telling it like it is & to hell with all these “I told you so” gator fans.

  35. Robbie I have to totally agree with your assessment prior to this game. As I said last week they showed us NOTHING to believe they would be better than 4-8 this year. So they were “Challenged” and stepped up and in the midst of that they found themselves. Now they have an identity and know who they are and what they are capable of. The Gator Team grew up on Saturday and made us proud. Keep up the good work team and beat Tenn!!! Go Gators!!!

  36. I agree, Robbie sounds like a person who just ate sour grapes because he can’t go watch the practices. I guess he doesn’t like spending time with his family. However, he is a writer, and is paid to write his opinion. So, lay off. Feel free to write your own opinions, everyone, which you always do. Just don’t degrade other people for their opinions too.
    My opinion is our lines are not any stronger than last year, but we do seem to have a good attitude on the team. I also think they will improve throughout the year and the offense will continue to expand and get better. Be patient Gators. The future will be better.
    Also, whoever pointed out UM won the NC in year 2, well, he did that with mostly Zook recruits. Saban couldn’t have won with what Meyer left at Florida, so give WM time to get his players in the system. 4 years; if it doesn’t look better by then, you can look elsewhere. I like what I see him doing. Still needs to learn game management, but what first time head coach doesn’t need to learn that?

  37. Good win on Saturday, but LOTS of work still needed. Eight Sacks given up!! Another dropped TD pass. Driskel lookd good, but many of those 8 sacks are on him; have to be decisive. Loss of Powell for the year will hurt, as Gators still gtting little pressure on the passer. Obviously Debose will not be much of a factor with the new kick off rules. Need to find a way to get him the ball on offense. Surely he has learned the playbook by now! This can be a good team, but the league has continued to get much better, and Gators are not keeping pace.

  38. I’m somewhat disappointed in you Robbie. Though I agree the BG game was much closer than it should have been, to make that kind of blanket decision to write them off after just 1 game, especially when you knew they were looking ahead to the big name the next week, is pretty unrealistic. I’ve always thought you were better than that! Hopefully this is just an aberration since I think you are a pretty fair reporter in general. You got to admit it was pretty encouraging to see the Gators go into half at TAMU and make effective adjustments that totally turned the game around. It’s also been awhile (post Tebow) since we have had some clutch plays that closed out a game. This performance has made me cautiously optimistic about this team and I hope it has at least started to make you want to give them the benefit of the doubt until we get a bit deeper into the season.

  39. Down7…agreed it needs to be strictly objective regardless of the state of the team, but unfortunately was not; especially when you call out the HC numerous times, call out a player, and cast a wide net of nothing but negativity and ‘doom & gloom’ one game into the season.

  40. Brr-bon Phil, sorry that you think factual observations are “sad commentary. As to the “little boy” comment, I’v been following Gator football for over 50 years, so I believe I have a pretty good grasp on the game, no brr-bon needed.