Dooley Grades The Gators: Good enough considering atmosphere

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports
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Vanderbilt cornerback Elijah Hamilton (15) breaks up a pass intended for Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes in the first half Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.


First half: The Gators decided to eschew the run game for the most part (only 13 rushing attempts) and stick to the pass. It wasn't smooth as Kyle Trask struggled, but he had a good finish to the half and got Florida into the lead with a TD pass to Tre Grimes. Florida only had 13 first downs, which is a small number for this offense.

Second half: The Gators didn't have to punt in the half and — other than a drive halted by a fumble — had their way with the Vandy defense by scoring three touchdowns. Trask seemed to be feeling it a little more in the second half. 

For the game: This was the fewest number of points the Gators have scored in a win and there were some issues. But the Gators still managed to get 586 yards and 29 first downs and certainly enough points to win the game.


First half: It was awful early. The Gators were confused on defense and missing tackles. It got better after the first three possessions as Florida finally put pressure on Ken Seals and seemed to settle down. Still, Vandy ended up with 209 yards in the half.

Second half: Just when it looked like Florida had put the game away at 31-10, the defense allowed Vanderbilt to go 75 yards in three plays. The touchdown included two terribly missed tackles. The defense kind of summed things up — it was good, then bad, then good.

For the game: Or we can look at it this way, that the defense finished the game off with Kaiir Elam's end zone interception and only gave up 17 points. At the same time, allowing 406 yards and letting a winless team run 68 plays is not championship football.


First half: We know that Florida won the punting battle in the first half, as the Gators got good field position because the Commodores were trying to avoid Kadarius Toney and Jacob Finn averaged 44,5 yards a kick with no returns. Evan McPherson also had a 33-yard field goal that tied the game.

Second half: Toney almost broke a kickoff return and McPherson continued to do his job with kickoffs that were high and deep enough that Vandy didn't really want to take the chance of a return. 

For the game: It was a win for the special teams mainly because there were no mistakes and both kickers got to show off their legs. 


OK, Florida won by 21 points. But it was clear that the lack of atmosphere and the unusual situations surrounding the game might have been a problem (like not going into the locker at halftime). As Dan Mullen said, you're never going to be upset with a win, even over a team that has yet to record one this season. 

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