The Sunday Blog comes at you after getting to the Dooley Dome at 1:30 a.m. (I knew it was late because there were two deer in my driveway) and then staying up to watch the DVR of the game. I don’t think I’m going to make Sunday Night Football.
1. After watching the game again, two observations about my favorite subject — officiating. Florida snapped the ball on its fourth-down touchdown in the first overtime after the clock hit zero. No doubt about it. I’m sure Mark Stoops is still seething about the play. He should be. The crew on Saturday night had a really bad game. I do think it probably evened out, which is what you have to hope for with SEC officiating. The worst call of the night was not the play clock, but the late hit on Kelvin Taylor in the first quarter. I believe the crew that called the game should be suspended for a week. At the very least, the three officials looking directly at Taylor on the ground almost ready to get up when he was speared (penalty), hit helmet-to-helmet (penalty) and hit late (penalty) by Regie Meant should be suspended. You could read Will Muschamp’s lips as he told an official, “If he’s injured, that’s on you!” You can’t miss a call that obvious and go back to work next week.
2. Jeff Driskel has to run the ball. I don’t care if they are trying to keep him healthy. He’s more likely to get injured standing in the pocket behind an average offensive line than he is running the read option. As the season moves forward, you would think Florida would utilize all of its weapons (hello, Andre Debose) instead of just limiting touches to one receiver and two tailbacks. Where was Treon Harris onSaturday night? Brandon Powell? Does Florida have a reverse in its playbook? Or any kind of trick play? OK, now that I’m done with that rant, let’s move forward. The next five games are going to define this season. There’s no reason to hold anything back.
3. College football is so danged unpredictable. From one week to the next, we have no idea what is going to happen. Take USC, please. The Trojans looked so formidable in their win at Stanford. Then they are outrushed by Boston College 452 to 20 in a bad loss for the Pac-12. Virginia Tech looked so good one week at Ohio State, then so bad against East Carolina. Don’t try to figure it out. Just enjoy it. And memo to myself — never underestimate the Head Ball Coach.
4. Alabama will be without safety Nick Perry for the first half of the game against Florida because he was called for targeting against Southern Miss. Meanwhile, Nick Saban just cracked a smile thinking about blitzing Florida. I’m not going to be like so many fans who feel like this UF team is in trouble. Let the season play out. But I do go back to what I wrote a month ago — the people who were saying Florida would be good on defense simply because they always have been under Will Muschamp needed to study the personnel a little better. Florida has one guy who can cover and one guy who can rush the passer. The Gators have to improve a ton in the secondary and on the defensive line if they are going to navigate this brutal five-game stretch.