Dooley Grades The Gators: Needed win

Florida Gators wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland makes a catch during the first half Saturday against Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Cleveland later caught the game-winning TD. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

Offense C+

First half: Florida did some things well, but not enough of them. The backs need to learn how to pick up blitzes.

Second half: After a miserable third quarter, the Gators picked it up in the fourth and then, of course, there was that last play.

For the game: Florida’s offense is still a work in progress, but it’s pretty clear that there is no question who the quarterback is for the Gators.

Defense B

First half: The defense played well until the late 38-yard run that almost cost UF three points. Until then, the Gators had limited Tennessee to 13 rushing yards.

Second half: The defense probably got worn out, but the Gators had no answer for John Kelly in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, Butch Jones is Tennessee’s coach.

For the game: The defense did plenty, scoring a touchdown again and playing great in the red zone. That’s five picks in two games for UF.

Special teams B+

First half: It appeared Johnny Townsend was purposely punting short to avoid big returns. Kickoff returns, again, seriously. Why bother?

Second half: OK, that’s why you bother. Tyrie Cleveland’s 46-yard return set up Florida’s first offensive touchdown of the season.

For the game: The Gators need to get better covering punts if they want Townsend to use his leg to the fullest. Nice game for Eddy Pineiro.

Overall B

There were a lot of things to pick at, but any game that ends like this one does will be remembered until we are all gone. The Gators needed it for their record and for their psyches.



  1. Cases of Aw Shucks’ “Low Rent Sauce” just went on sale for $26.20 a case. Get ’em while they last. “Taste the Opportunity!”

    I cannot believe that sorry non-offense, and idiotic 2-minute drill. Glad he recruited Franks, but this is unacceptable.

  2. I’m tough on the “flip flop shoes coach”, but I’m going out a on a limb and say there was overall about 10% offensive improvement. D would be 25% better with a better O. The mistakes just seem to be low rent none adult leadership issues. Just looking at Mac’s post game interviews, I don’t think I’m looking at a “Lee or Jackson or Saban or Bear or Ole HB”.

  3. It was almost a dramatic loss and luckily they pulled out a dramatic win. Enjoy it, and then get back to work. The O-line missed so many blocks on the outside that there was at least 50+ yds. of rushing and YAC left out there. I know the defense was tired by the end of the 3rd quarter, but this might be the worst tackling defensive backfield we’ve had in a few years. Too many times there was just ducking of the head and diving at the legs.

  4. Defense B Offense C+? Pat, what game did you watch? The defense was on the field the entire second half. They were exhausted. They e the offense for lack of support. Defense A Offense F. And Nuss, one lucky play changes nothing.

  5. C+? Give me a break. Giving them a D would be an improvement over the last game and giving them credit for the hail mary at the end. To up them to a C+ is stupid and just shows that Dooley has no idea what he is talking about. How do you go from ranking the offense F to C+ when they still had no offensive touchdowns until the final second of the game, which was gained by simply lobbing it into the end zone? Glad we won, and give credit to the players for pulling it off, but the coaching still sucks. Great to still be able to beat the Vols under these circumstances.

  6. Who is in charge of clock management and time outs ? How do you let 20 seconds run off the clock when there were only 32 seconds left and you have TWO TO’s left in a tie game ! Bailed out by a lucky play but I would like the staff to acknowledge how they let that happen .

    • Coach Mac thought, LIKE I DID WATCHING IT AT HOME, that it was a 1st down (which STOPS THE TIME CLOOCK). And at the very least, Mac thought the refs would MEASURE THE DISTANCE (chain gang come out, etc…). So, Coach Mac gets a pass from me, as I was screaming, ”what the hell, refs?” It wasn’t the coaching staffs’ fault, but in an environment where everyone wants ”perfection”, it is what is… A WIN AGAINST U.T. …and in the closing seconds, AGAIN!
      So, please deal with it Gator fans, a Gator great victory!

    • Mr Jay,
      The previous spot was the 25. That play was maker down at the 35. Should’ve been a 1st down. Coach Mac did not want to burn a time out when we were due one because of a first down, Refs should’ve called time-out for a measurement, but they didn’t. Officiating was the cause for confusing.

  7. bottom line. coach mac has to go. back’s nerver block. can’t handle the blitz at all, don’t even know what to do, but just stand there and watch qb get sacked. bad coaching??. to help the offense more, need to get the ball to tony more. qb not mobil at all. can throw, but can’t move very well. use zaire in backfield as a back, and use run or pass option. play calling is there biggest problem. they have great player’s, but don’t know how to use them. bottom line, bad coaching, need changes.

    • I’ve heard a lot of suggestions Frank, but I have to disagree with placing Zaire anywhere in that backfield. That kid reminds me of watching Pop-Warner football.. Dude can’t set his feet to make a pass if his life depended on it. Just my $0.02

  8. McElwain was bailed out with Hail Mary at the end, because it’s likely people will forget about his terrible clock management, by not using a time out to stop the clock on the last drive. I honestly don’t know which coach is worse, Butch Jones or McElwain. Neither guy has a clue, and Florida’s offense is still predictable and horrible, because they have absolutely no identity whatsoever. With the exception of Saban at Bama, the coaching in the SEC is flat out horrendous. As long as McElwain’s the coach, FLA will continue to beat the Kentucky’s, Vandy’s, South Carolina’s of the SEC, but when they play other elite programs with real head coaches (e.g. Alabama, FSU & Michigan), they will continue to get embarrassed on the field. This team is just flat out poorly coached, way too many dumb penalties, too many off the field issues, and the O.C. isn’t worthy of coaching the offense of my 5 year old son’s football team. Do not be fooled by Florida’s back to back appearances in the SEC Championship game, simply because the SEC Easr is full of bad teams and coaches who shouldn’t be Belgrade coaches in the SEC. Please pick up the phone and call a quality head coach when the McElwain error ends….I hope it’s sooner than error. Hey, Chip Kelly is currently on the market, and I’m sure that won’t last long Coke next season. I know it’s not going to happen, but FLA is going to miss the train on a good coach just lie they did a few years ago when they kept MusCHUMP a year too long.

  9. GREAT WIN FOR THE GATORS!!! Offense showed improvement…identifying new playmakers in Toney & Davis with Nuss calling a much better game. Still lots of work to be done with execution of plays..offensive line,tail backs,tight ends and receivers need to block much better.

    Defense Strong thru three quarters before tiring…Can be one of the best D’s in country with continued Offensive improvement! GO GATORS!!!!

  10. Simple put, Nussmeir is a joke! Southern Miss please call his name again. Horrible playing. He does not take advantage of the miss matches. To much talent on this team. Mac put him in the box to protect him. How long will that last. Attack the defense, instead he is holding players back. What a joke for an OC!

  11. Another of Macs “pretty cool, huh?”……..I want to see the Gators win (and I’m happy they did) but we were lucky…..lucky……lucky, his coaching isn’t improving and whenever they play serious competition this is exposed. The Gators have some talent (especially on defense) but the O seems to be a work in progress. Hopefully they will continue to improve as Georgia, LSU, FSU, and maybe a couple of others are still to come…….I’m concerned but still urge them on……..GO GATORS !

  12. Bad news from noted pro scout Chris Landry. He said Mac should have had this offense fixed by year 3, but he hasn’t. No playmakers at RB, only 1 at receiver, none at TE, poor line blocking, poor route running and poor running backs./ That’s Chris Landry who scouts for the NFL as his profession. He thinks it’s going to be a rough year at Florida unless people step up. The defense is not as good as the past 2 years, he said, because so many frosh are playing. His words, not mine. But I agree I have seen nothing in this offense to give Gator Nation hope. I think GAtors are in for it at Kentucky.