Sunday Blog: Good news, bad news on defense
The Sunday Blog comes at you after a Saturday of cancellations, postponements and just enough football to make things interesting.
1. There are two ways to look at Florida's defensive performance against Vanderbilt. I will let statistic do the talking:
The good: Florida held the Commodores to 2.6 yards per rushing attempts, had two sacks, five tackles for a loss and an interception. Florida also only allowed Vandy to score once in its last six possessions and 17 points for a game isn't going to beat this Florida team.
The bad: UF allowed 21 first downs, 319 yard passing to a freshman, 7-of-15 third down conversions and 14.5 yards per completion.
This is your defense, Gator fans. It has a difficult time getting started and always seems to give up an ill-advised score just when you think the game is over. But I think we're beyond the point of believing it's going to get better. It is what it is.
2. It appears that Georgia found its quarterback in JT Daniels, but let us not forget that Mississippi State was playing with only 49 scholarship players, generated zero pass rush and still gave the Bulldogs everything they could handle. Daniels threw for 401 yards and gave the Bulldogs the deep passing game that has been lacking. Which, I'm sure, is making Georgia fans ask why they kept him in the garage under a tarp until Saturday night. "Maybe the question should be, ‘man, aren’t they glad they got JT here, when nobody thought we needed him?’" coach Kirby Smart said. "Would I have loved him to do the same thing against other teams? Absolutely. But the decisions we made we made on giving us the best opportunity to win.” OK.
3. Chris Doering knew it was coming, but there was a touch of sadness on the set of SEC Now when DeVonta Smith broke the record Doering shared with Amari Cooper for most touchdown catches in SEC history. Smith caught his 32nd and 33rd TDs against Kentucky to break the mark of 31, but it is impressive that Doering stopped playing college football 25 years ago and the record held up with all of the pass-happiness that has infected the SEC. Let us also not forget, Doering was a walk-on.
4. The first reveal is Tuesday night and there should not be an surprises in the top four for the College Football Playoff, but it will be interesting to see where the committee has teams such as Cincinnati and BYU. If the committee votes along the lines of the Associated Press poll, Florida will have its highest ranking since the College Football Playoff ranking system began. The previous high was No. 8 during Jim McElwain's first year. In his three years as the Florida coach, Dan Mullen has been ranked as high as ninth the first two years.