Dan Mullen got his first win yesterday night and it came at a big fashion. Mullen promised points and he delivered. Yes, it’s not the strongest opponent to brag about, but in recent seasons Gator fans haven’t had much to be happy about so winning in a big margin means a lot. The offense played phenomenally and the defense flexed its muscles, but let’s break down the good and bad Florida showcased in yesterdays win.
- I mentioned in the week preview that Franks was my X-factor for the offense, and he showed up big. In just his first game Franks threw for 219 yards,5 tds, and completed 66.7% of his passes all before halftime. The 5 td passes were great to see, just last season he only threw for 9 total. It’s only game one but it just goes to show how much of a difference Mullen makes.
- The wide receivers looked like playmakers. Coming into the season Florida WR group looked very promising. With grabbing two top transfers at the position and improving the players already on the team, WR coach Billy Gonzales has made a big difference for this group. Trevon Grimes, Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, and Josh Hammond all scored. Florida hasn’t had that many receivers score in a game since the 2015 Ole Miss showdown.
- The defense as a whole played phenomenal. Todd Grantham brought pressure from every gap at times. As a result, DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson finished the game with 5 tackles , 2 sacks, and 2.5 tackles for loss. The linebackers looked better in coverage, and the defensive line brought pressure. Not to mention the secondary only gave up 3 yards.
- Safety Donovan Stiner was my X factor on defense last week and he played a good game. It was his first start and he showed up in the run game with 3 tackles, and almost game away with his first collegiate interception.
- The special teams looked totally different from last season. They finished the night with two blocks field goals, and a score. They also brought tons of pressure on punts as well. Greg Knox has definitely made an impact so far this season.
- The running backs didn’t jump off the page game one and it came as a surprise. It could be due to the rust of Jordan Scarlett coming back from suspension, and Malik Davis coming off an injury but it was just surprising to see. It’ll definitely need to be fixed during this week of film study and practice.
- To counter off the running backs I have to put blame on the offensive lines run blocking. At times the line seemed to get no push which it made hard for the running backs to find holes to run through. Yes, the offensive line played better in pass protection. However, Charleston Southern’s defensive line is tremendously undersized when it came to Florida’s offensive line. The run blocking definitely needs to be fixed before SEC play.
Overall it was great to see the team come out score points, play with intensity, and ultimately have fun. Many players have come out to say it was the most exciting game they played at the Swamp since stepping on campus. As stated before, yes it was a cupcake performance, however, the season looks very promising.