The Sunday Blog, Week 11: Gators pound the rock

Florida running back Jordan Scarlett with the carry in the second half Saturday against South Carolina at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators beat the Gamecocks 35-31. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

The Sunday Blog comes at you after a terrific night of eating junk food (Cubans, wings, Buffalo chicken dip) and watching a ton of football. I love noon games.

  1. So if you had told me that Florida was going to rally from a 17-point deficit by running the ball, I might have questioned your sanity. But the Gators knew that South Carolina had some injuries and kept pounding the rock. Had Florida lost it would have been the first UF team ever to lose to Missouri, Kentucky and South Carolina in the same season. But that is an irrelevant stat. Here is one that is relevant — Florida is now 39th in the nation in rushing. Didn’t see that coming before the season. Florida is also 70th in total offense and while that’s middle of the pack it certainly is an improvement. Florida is averaging 398.4 yards per game so the chances are pretty good they will climb over 400 against Idaho.
  2. I wanted to pick Tennessee to beat Kentucky because the Vols are improving and the Wildcats were dealing with a triple-shot of Patron hangover. Didn’t have the guts. And then Tennessee manhandled the team that is known for its physicality. Something I was unaware of — Kentucky has now lost 17 straight in Knoxville. The last time they won there was 1984. Here’s another stat for you — Kentucky is now 113th in the nation in offense. After the game, Mark Stoops said seven times (I counted), “It’s on me.”
  3. Of all the scores from Saturday that crawled across the bottom of the screen, the real stunner was Minnesota 41, Purdue 10. Since beating Ohio State and storming the field, the Boilermakers are 1-2 and suffering from the young man’s malady of thinking you are better than you are. Meanwhile, a team that lost to Akron (Northwestern) will represent the Big Ten West in the championship game. Isn’t college football wonderful?
  4. The SEC is basically taking the week off to play revenue games, but there are some interesting games to watch. Here’s your four-pack: Harvard-Yale from Fenway, noon, ESPN2; Notre Dame-Syracuse from Yankee Stadium, 2:30, NBC; Duke at Clemson, 7 p.m., ESPN; Cincinnati at UCF, 8 p.m., ABC.


  1. its time for college football to do some experimenting. times are changing. heres a few more ideas.

    1. the english premier league in soccer will kick you out if your program doesnt meet a certain standard. im for that in the sec football. then you could replace teams that are not a draw like south carolina, charleston southern, idaho, and colorado state with ucf, usf, and miami and we could resume the rivalry with auburn and or georgia tech. usf would rather play is than cincinnati in twelve degree weather. stadiums are expensive and need to be full.

    2. the fan experience, particularly on the east side, would improve by a nice cloth sail over the top, for rain, heat, and a few ceiling fans to keep it cooler. a sail can be rolled back, and could be aesthetically pleasing if done right. not that expensive i would think. plus it would be cutting edge, or at least worth a try.

    3. if the students dont want the tickets, then a reallocation could be done to swap for better seats for those that show. it might be more orderly and safer to tarp out the nosebleed seats in games that arent a big draw.

    4. im wondering if we ought to do like the nfl and just hire a sports psychologist. i know champ could use one for the number of games he has let get away, including yesterday. maybe a sports psychologist could find out why at least once a year and ofter times more, the guys just dont seem to want to be out there. i know they are 20 year olds, but some of them might want to play in the nfl, and not playing full speed will get you injured and out of football. maybe they do already, or maybe its someone other than a psychologist. i could use one as a fan for watching this sometimes, although a little help from jack the best i can do.
    im sure these ideas are dumb, and i know cdm etc are doing all they can, but some of this they need help from the athletic dept managers somewhere, maybe someone has some things that will work.

    • Not dumb at all, mveal — somebody’s got to think outside the proverbial box rather than just complain. I have some familiarity with the notion of a sports psychologist, however. Good idea, but since they come in all stripes and there’s no post-doctoral fellowship in the field that I’m aware of, much less board certification (again, that I’m aware of), and therefore anybody with a PhD can probably call themselves one — getting the right person can be a real challenge. Once you have him (or her, I guess), it can do wonders for a program, however. So not a bad idea, the way things seem to be in this bedeviling post-modern world!

      On another topic, I responded to a post you made on another story that is now probably OBE and thinking you probably didn’t see it. In it, you seemed to think that next season may be somewhat of a letdown (if I was reading it correctly). Now, I was tracking with your previous assessment some weeks ago that you expected that to happen in the 3rd year before things really took off — so I was wondering (again, if I read correctly) what, if anything, might have changed in your mind. Not a criticism, I just tend to take your comments seriously since I realize that you put a lot of thought into them……

      • Thanks for the good conversation, and the articles plus the comments are just a lot of fun for us all, always lets keep the conversation.
        My theory about team sports is that leadership is huge, and look at the leaders and you will see what your team will be. when a guy gets himself suspended, to me, a good leader wasn’t there to at least keep the guys behaving well enough to be in the game. so the georgia game, i saw no leadership in the defensive backfield. that’s a recipe for disaster. and for 3 weeks, our secondary just isnt dbu. i thought they would do better. i know next year we have wilson coming back, and everyone is older, and new recruits, but that stung, i just thought we would be better. defensive backs are like centerfielders in baseball, if they can cover the range reliably everyone else has an easier job.
        we are losing some good players to the nfl soon too .
        i could be wrong, it may just be an overreaction to the fourth quarter of georgia, the entire missouri game, and the first 3 quarters of the south carolina game that i didnt care for. i had us at 8 and 4 this year, and we will outperform that i think, but there might be some reversion. the vols and fsu will be better next year.

        • Roger that, and I know from history on here that you key in on the leadership aspects. I also said 8-4……still do in some moments……and that inconsistency is what is driving me mad this year. Still, 10-3 and a great recruiting class are well within our grasp regardless of how discouraged I may be at any given moment. All I have to do to snap out of it is think back to last year!

          As to FSU and the Vols being better next year…..I kind of thought that’s what you were getting at (although you didn’t actually come out and say it, hence the question). Funny in a way, because I pretty much knew that was a basis for your earlier prediction of a little slippage in Year 3. Lots to take into consideration any way you slice it for the out-years — recruiting, strength of schedules, whether or not Georgia will be on probation, how quickly Pruitt and Fulmer can actually get Tennessee back to form…..makes the head hurt.

          Anyway, thanks for the answer — I’m taking it one game at a time like you are, but am also impatient about the future. Damn I love Gator football, even though my Mom didn’t paint my bedroom orange! (she couldn’t anyway, we always lived on Army posts and they frown on things like that)

    • ”…the fan experience, particularly on the east side, would improve by a nice cloth sail.” -mveal2006. While that sounds great, and I really do enjoy you, mveal2006, and Gator-6’s posts and banter, I gotta’ say that a ”cloth sail on the East side” of the stadium would do very little to block the sun since the sun is constantly setting in the West for very long. Because an East side stadium fastened cloth would, literally, have to be draped down to the ground to be effective. And the problems that would create are obvious. But like I always say with life’s problems: ”Feed the tuna fish Mayonnaise!” And, ”Go Gators!” (B.T.W., props to the movie, ”Night Shift”, and the sorely missed actor Michael Keaton -who is NOT utilized enough lately by the ”elite Hollywood” writers & producers.)

      • Michael Keaton — the Kaderius Toney of Hollywood!

        Like I always say about life’s problems too: “There’s not a single problem in life that a little more napalm can’t solve”.

        Seriously tho, what do you think about using sports psychology, GI? Interesting idea, although I’d be the first to tell you that Psychology Psucks! 😀

  2. The offensive line needs to get some love, and I have not seen our backs run that hard in a long time. Frank’s realizing that he is 240 pounds of muscle and running like a monster helped as well. USC had to account for hm and that opened things up. It was great effort and a high five for Savage as well because our guys were relentless and strong in the fourth quarter while South Carolina turned to… Can’t help myself…. Mush. Their defense looked as soft as Muchchamp’s belly.

  3. Neither here nor there but I really had a lot of respect for how the team responded Saturday. I said before the game that “character” will determine the outcome. If they showed it, they could win, if they didn’t…well it wouldn’t have been pretty.

    I’d say this team showed a LOT of guts and character yesterday.

    I also have a lot of new respect for Feleipe Franks. He’s not Tom Brady…. but who is, other than Tom Brady and maybe Aaron Rodgers. Franks continues to progress and played with a lot of heart. And he is coming along as a team leader. Obviously we have no downfield passing game still, and that is something that Franks needs lots of work on. Also…have a lot of respect for the improved offense and Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perrine. Those guys busted their butts yesterday.

    This team has been entertaining this year and fun to watch. Thank you Coach Mullen and your staff…. and thank you Gator players. Very proud of your turnaround this year.

  4. Super effort from the team getting that comeback win. Warts and all, I still want to watch every play. The Gators still don’t have a star qb. And we don’t have that (1) STUD running back. But rb looks like the deepest position on the team. The o-line has been better this year both at pass protection but especially run blocking. I wonder how much the heat got to So. Carolina or if was just the Gators relentlessly pounding the ball. But their defense looked gassed at the end.

    I continue to be appalled by the number of penalties this team takes. They were better at the beginning of the season. But now it’s back to levels that were normal under Muschamp and McElwain. This team’s not good enough to just ignore this problem. Coach ’em up, Dan. Go Gators.