Sunday Blog is Back: Review of Saturday’s action in college football

Florida Gators defensive back Trey Dean III (21) tackles Charleston Southern Buccaneers quarterback London Johnson (1), Saturday, September 1, 2018 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators won 53-6. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent] 2018

The Sunday Blog returns and I know you’re happy not because it’s back, but because football is back.

  1. I get that Florida wanted to play a lot of guys once it went up 38-0 at the half and I certainly get how the Gators wanted to get the feet wet of their other quarterbacks. But the second half was not a lot of fun to watch. In the first half, Florida used its up-tempo offense to run 44 plays. In the second half, the Gators only ran 22 plays. But that’s what opening games like this are for, to get everyone a chance to get out there. Here’s a statistic for you that probably won’t hold up during the season, but it’s a nice stat stuffer — Florida leads the nation in pass defense after allowing only three passing yards.
  2. An under-the-radar game that eluded me Saturday night was Vanderbilt easily beating Middle Tennessee 35-7. The Commodores beat a team that was returning 16 starters and the game was expected to be close. But Derek Mason’s defense showed up, recording six sacks, getting two turnovers and shutting out the Blue Raiders after the first quarter. Vandy is a sneaky good team.
  3. We said there would be a lot of overreaction after week one (and it’s still not over), so here goes:

* It’s Will Grier’s Heisman to lose. Especially when you see Bryce Love get stuffed in his opener. We all know better. It’s a long season.

* Jim Harbaugh is on the hot seat. He has lost nine of his last 18 games. That’s a shame.

* The Pac-12 is in trouble. The league needed a win by Washington. It certainly didn’t need UCLA and Chip Kelly losing at home to Cincinnati and Arizona losing to BYU. Can an entire conference be eliminated from the College Football Playoff after one week?

* Alabama is going to win another national title and Nick Saban needs to lighten up on sideline reporters.

  1. Week one lacked some of the drama we hoped for with so many blow-out games. Here’s a Football Four-Pack for Saturday viewing pleasure:

* Georgia at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m., CBS: It feels like we‘ve been waiting for this one four months. The atmosphere is going to be incredible.

* Clemson at Texas A&M, 7 p.m., ESPN: OK, Aggies, let’s see if you really got tougher because you’re going up against an NFL defensive line.

* USC at Stanford, 8:30 p.m., Fox: These two may be the only hope for the Pac-12. Loser leaves town.

* Colorado at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m., ABC: Scott Frost’s debut didn’t happen because of weather, so this is our first look at the new Huskers.


  1. Pretty sure Gator fans weren’t waiting for USC vs UGA 12 months ago. Ole yeller was still in charge then….most of us were just hoping to see some offensive improvement during last season….and it never happened.
    Would be nice to see sc knock those dogs off their pedestal. One off their fans told me yesterday they weren’t gonna get tested until Auburn this year.

  2. Grier is a Man…I watched some of the game…UT appeared simple, not a good year. I got in trouble on FB for stating what a football stud Grier is. Yes, USC vs UGA is the first East playoff game. Lose it and your half done for the SEC race. Sorry, but Saban is a jerk..his body language shouts it. He is the success story of the ages, but no Bear qualities. Just wins with no real enjoyment. Sad. Like Meyer. Bet Hurt will leave before he accepts bench warmer duties for long. He can’t be as good as he was his first two years, playing part time.

    • DeWayne, I think Hurts will graduate from ‘Bama in December, so he will stay put through this season so that he can go the graduate transfer route and be eligible wherever he goes right away next season. He’s too good to sit on anyone’s bench.

      • I suspect this is probably what will happen too. He can’t play this year so setting himself up for one more year next year would be the way to go. I think Hurts is talented but he’s not a great “passer” and I can’t see him playing at the next level. But he could get another year at the college level if he wants.

        DeWayne….spot on. Saban is a jerk and a pain. GREAT coach. Meyer falls into this category too. Great coach, but a rather miserable human being.

  3. Jim Harbaugh being on the hot seat is far less than a shame; it’s really poetic justice. The guy defines the term, “arrogant jerk”, perhaps second only to Chip Kelly himself, and slightly more so than Joe Alleva. But honestly? He’s not on the hot seat by any stretch of the imagination. I’d say we’re at least 3 years away from Michigan coming to the realization that they were had by his press releases.

    • George, I don’t dispute that the Vols had a few bright moments, but they truly got a beat down for their efforts. I don’t think they’ll be good this year — they will show some promise — but that was a very, catastrophically so, athletic department when Phil Fulmer finally got control of it. Between Fulmer and Pruitt, they’ll be back, but I don’t think for a couple more years.

  4. george73. Regardless of the competition brought to The Swamp by CSU, the execution, the effort, and the discipline of the Florida offensive players was a major improvement over the last few seasons. Major improvement, and I am sure they revealed little of the offense to Kentucky during the game. Much more to come. Watch for it. And that defense was fast. Real fast. And aggressive. And again, little shown of the real defense to Kentucky. Going to get louder next Saturday night in The Swamp. Gator Nation is ready to have fun again. Go Gators.

    • heisman voters voted for johnny football after money for signature scandals, drinking scandals, and generally arrogant bad behavior. grier comes off as much more humble and recalcitrant over the banned substance issue, so no problems there. it wasn’t as if he was shooting up steroids. he drank the wrong energy drink.

        • Yeah, daz, I wish Grier the best, but it would be a worse gut punch to the Gators than watching Derrick Henry win it in 2015 after Muschamp, supposedly, didn’t want him as a running back, or watching Cam Newton win it in 2010 after the laptop fiasco. Six Heisman winners would put UF in the same rarefied air as Notre Dame and USC. Coulda, shoulda, woulda!

  5. About the second half. Playing the 2,3,4 line players almost as a unit isn’t a fair evaluation. These guys will likely never play as a unit during a game unless there is a blow out. They’ll rotate as needed meaning there will be first team players in at key spots. What I learned is they reseves are not ready as a unit to be starters. They did make more mistakes but the play calling was more subdued. Probably to not shake their confidence. And to not get anyone hurt at point where there was no reason to risk injury. We may need Trask,Jones this year, reserve OL,DL etc. Thought there plan was solid and will executed. I do think our 3,4’s could have won that game. Maybe not buy half a hundred but they could have won like we did last year struggling against lower teams with out starters. Kentucky liked better than I expected last weekend this will be a good test for where we are

    • I agree with your take about the Gators, 65, but from what I saw of UK, it didn’t look like they could throw the ball a lick. I didn’t watch the whole game, but it looked like their JUCO transfer QB isn’t ready for D-I (78 yards, 2 picks, 9.3 QBR), much less the SEC. Snell is an excellent RB, but the Gators should be able load the box to stop him without having to worry too much about the pass. If they can’t, that would put a major kink in the belief that the Gator D is “back”.

      • Didn’t see that game. Looked up game stats. They allowed more offensive yardage than I’d have thought. While agree with all our running game and the OL were lacking that may have been by design. Can’t wait to see what Mullen has in store. Gator football is getting fun again.