Andreu’s Answers: Good Gators start ends with poor finish

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks breaks a tackle and makes a 79-yard run against Texas A&M at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. The Aggies beat Florida 19-16. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Before every game, veteran Sun college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week Six:

1. The Gators put an emphasis on starting fast throughout the week in practice. Will they get off to one tonight or not?

We can’t really call it a fast start, so we’ll go with steady, which was a good thing and led to a field goal on UF’s first possession of the game. After Eddy Pinero’s 29-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, the offense stalled for most of the rest of the first half before the offense came to life with a touchdown drive late in the second quarter that gave the Gators a 10-3 halftime lead.

2. UF is also planning to go with a quicker tempo on offense tonight. How does that work out?

It worked out very well on UF’s opening drive, which was scripted. The Gators got lined up quick and kept the A&M defense somewhat off balance with an unpredictable mix of the run and the pass that led to a field goal. The offense got into a nice rhythm and moved steadily down the field on the 12-play drive. When the Gators went off script from there, things slowed down a little, but UF still was getting plays called and run quicker than a week ago. The Gators had 41 offensive plays in the first half. They had only 54 for the game in the loss to LSU.

3. Will the Florida defense go a fourth straight game without coming up with a turnover?

The drought finally ended with sophomore safety Jeawon Taylor’s interception on a deep throw midway through the first half. It was the first interception of his career, and the first turnover for the defense since freshman cornerback CJ Henderson’s pick-six in the Tennessee game. The Gators, who have not recovered a fumble all season, forced one late in the second quarter, but could not come up with it.

4. Will the Gators produce any explosive plays in the passing game?

With Kadarius Toney out with a separated shoulder and Tyrie Cleveland limited with a sprained ankle, UF didn’t have much in the way of options downfield. Rather than waste downs looking for something that wasn’t there, the passing game consisted mostly of short, safe throws. Feleipe Franks took a deep shot early in the second half, but Josh Hammond could not secure a catchable ball.

5. Can the Florida defense contain dual-threat quarterback Kellen Mond?

The Gators did a great job of keeping him in the pocket and contained in the first half. He had three carries for only one yard. But they let him escape big-time in the second half and he took the game over with his legs — and his arm. His 18-yard scramble set up his 9-yard TD run that tied the game at 10-10. Then, he converted several critical third downs during the Aggies winning rally in the fourth quarter.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or Also check out Andreu’s blog at





  1. As for “explosive” pass plays, two plays were pointed out by the TV crew(one was the Franks INT into double coverage) where a wide open WR or TE were there for a TD pass, but not seen by Franks, who locked in on his first choice, covered or not. Same old same old.
    Then the TV crew said be patient with Franks, he’s just a FR. But he’s a FR who’s been here almost 2 years now, unlike Mond, who is a TRUE FR that outplayed Franks. And then there’s the true FR we will see in Jax in two weeks, ugh.
    Mac better hope Corral is the real deal, our first capable QB since 2009.

  2. The Gator’s QB sucks! What else is new? McElwain doesn’t have a clue, and UF’s offense is worse now than when Muschamp was in charge. Don’t use the injury or suspension excuse, either. UF’s offense sucked when Callaway and Scarlett played as well, and the rest of the suspended players weren’t anything to cry about missing. Now there’s some folks who bemoan the loss of Del Rio. They seem to forget that McElwain chose Franks, not Del Rio, to be UF’s starter this year. That’s just another glaring example of McElwain not having any idea what he’s doing.
    It’s not going to change, either. McElwain sees nothing wrong with having an offense that is always in triple digits. He makes it very clear that he sees nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with the way runs this offense. He made that abundantly clear when he said the “plan” was good and said that UF will keep doing the same things thay always do before the Georgia game.
    Doesn’t a third straight year of a triple digit offense mean anything to this guy? I don’t think so, and, anyway, why should it? After all, UF gave hin and Nussmeier huge raises and extensions after a second straight year of sucking on offense. UF is that dumb, so maybe he thinks that him and Nussmeier will get another raise after this season.
    I laugh, loudly, at the folks calling for Nussmeier’s head. The head coach, not the assistants, is the one responsible. But, I suppose, there’s not many people around today that know what being held accountable for your actions mean. The A.D. has already shown that mediocrity is rewarded when he gave an extension and huge raise t Nussmeier.