Whitley At The Half: Gators are saving Ed Orgeron's job

David Whitley
Gator Sports
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Florida quarterback Emory Jones is pressured by LSU defensive end BJ Ojulari in the first half Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Gainesville Sun sports columnist David Whitley provides first-half analysis of Saturday's Florida vs. LSU game at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.:

Well, so much for Ed Orgeron getting fired today. The way this game is going, he might get a contract extension. Until the last-play Hail Mary touchdown reception, everything was going wrong for the Gators.

QB questions – Anthony Richardson came in on the Gators’ third possession, which was no surprise since UF wants to get him some meaningful snaps. What AR didn’t get meaningful plays. Two handoffs went nowhere, then he was corralled for a loss on third-down option.

Question: Shouldn’t he have more of a chance to show what he can do?

Answer: Maybe not. In his next series, Richardson didn’t see a safety lurking and threw into coverage. The interception was returned 26 yards to UF’s 21-yard line and set up LSU’s third TD.

Turnover Trouble: When was the last time UF had interceptions on back-to-back plays? Richardson’s interception followed one by Jones, who threw a pass slightly behind Whittemore. It was deflected and bounced into the waiting arms of Micah Baskerville, who returned it 54 yards to set up LSU’s second touchdown.

The Saving Grace: On the final play, Jones heaved a 42-yard prayer into the end zone. There were three LSU defenders in the area, but they somehow lost track of Justin Shorter. He made an acrobatic grab to salvage an otherwise disastrous first 30 minutes for UF.

Tiger Stadium is known for its roar, but it’s not a full-throated one today. The upper deck is about half-filled and there are plenty of empty seats below. The stadium seats 102,000, but there are probably 75,000 people here.

That still enough lung power to generate a decent number of decibels, but so far the Gators haven’t had the snap-count issues that have plagued them the past two weeks. Good thing, considering all the other problems that are cropping up.

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