Whitley Grades the Gators after the Georgia effort
Gainesville Sun sports columnist David Whitley passes out unit grades for Florida's contest Saturday vs. Georgia, a 34-7 loss in Jacksonville:
Gators Offense D+
Florida had 161 yards rushing, which was about triple what Georgia usually allows. But the Gators weren’t going to win by pounding the ball. Dan Mullen gave fans and media what they’ve been wishing for — Anthony Richardson, some trickery and aggressive play-calling in the final two minutes of a half. That blew up in everyone’s faces. Richardson’s fumble and two interceptions were absolute killers, though the high-risk approach was probably Florida’s best shot at an upset. A late TD extended UF’s streak of consecutive games without being shut out to 418 and ticked off the Bulldog’s defense. There’s your silver lining.
Gators Offense B-
Don’t be deceived by the 34 points Georgia put on the scoreboard, Todd Grantham’s up-and-down defense showed up. What it didn’t do was bail out the malfunctioning offense, though that would have required enough bailing to keep the Titanic afloat. Turnovers the iceberg, as Georgia twice got possession deep in UF territory, then the Bulldogs got a pick-six. Florida’s defense forced three turnovers against an offense that had turned the ball over only seven times all season. It held the No. 1 team to a relatively respectable 354 yards total offense. The Bulldogs’ longest play was a 42-yard TD run by Zamir White late in the game when all UF hope had long been lost.
Gators Special Teams D
The coverage teams and punting weren’t really factors. What remained a factor was field goals. Before the turnover meltdown, every point was precious against the nation’s No. 1 defense. Jace Christmann missed a 51-yard field goal in the first quarter. On the next possession from the same spot, Florida went for it on fourth-and-8 instead of even trying a field goal. To complete a bad day, Christmann missed a 23-yarder. He’s now 3-for-6 on the season. That’s a problem.