The talk of the team this week was mental toughness and leadership. It didn’t show during the first 3, quarters of play being down 31-14, however as the 3rd quarter came to end the talk began to finally show. The team came together and scored 21 unanswered points. The running game along with the offensive line lead by example and it created enough momentum for the team to mount a miraculous comeback.
Dan Mullen was in his bag: Feleipe Franks is very limited, Homer or Hater there’s simply no denying that anymore. Mullen’s game-plan today was based around that and it was damn near fantastic. The run game was the best Florida’s had vs a meaningful team since the miraculous upset of Georgia in 2014. Franks himself had arguably his best rushing game of the season with two touchdowns and key runs on short yardage situations. While The variety of different runs with Scarlett and Perine who were on fire all day took the pressure off The passing attack which was mostly quick game and screens. The best wrinkle was the use of Kadarius Toney, The Twitter coaches have been calling for him to get more touches the entire season, Today they got their wish. Despite muffing a punt in the third quarter Toney’s impact in the run and pass game made up for his mistake.
The Secondary needs a change in Personnel: The Gators secondary was bad for the third week in a row. This isn’t on Todd Grantham as he inherited a mess and lost his best corner in week two and has had his best safety out two of the last three weeks. However, something needs to be fixed. Due to how bad the safety play has been recent, moving Trey Dean to the back line might not be a bad idea. However, then the problem becomes who takes Deans spot outside? CJ McWilliams is borderline unplayable and a liability in coverage. So that leaves Brian Edwards who has been on a milk Carton since Mississippi state as literally the only other option. With Reinforcements on the way for 2019, it might be worth starting the Dean at safety Experiment early.
This team has Heart: After an emotional loss and a mental hangover loss followed by an awful start down in a 14-0 hole with very little signs of life. It looked as if the breaks were about to fall off. Almost any team we’ve had over the last 7 years quits and gets blown out, Yet this team is different. Coming back to tie it in the second quarter while later overcoming a 17 point deficit in just over 10 minutes this team didn’t give up and was literally silencing all the doubters wrong. The comeback win today with a glorified scrimmage vs Idaho next week will likely give the Gators momentum walking into Doak Campbell Stadium to take on the Seminoles. Don’t let the Georgia game fool you, Mullen’s teams have come to play in Big games and when their backs are against the wall. Today validated that even more as Mullen tries to change the culture at Florida.
Mullen is a great offensive mind: Give credit where it’s due gator fans. Mullen has inherited a inconsistent group of offensive players. He was left with scrap, and besides the game last week against Missouri he continues to show why he was the right man for the job. 367 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on the ground today by this offense was very impressive. It took a while due to turnovers on special teams, and the defense getting routed at the beginning but Mullen found a hole in Muschamp defense and it exploited it. I mentioned in our preview that if Florida won the run game would have to have a big day, and it came true. Also, offensive line coach John Hevesy coached a hell of a game today as well, the o line pushed the Gamecocks d line around all 4th quarter. It just goes to show that the players on offensive really trust and believe in this staff.
The defense continues subpar play: The defense continues to give up big chunks play to opposing offenses and it’s becoming hard to watch. Grantham doesn’t deserve all the blame the players need to be held accountable as well. Known for being “randy specials” on the Twitter timeline some of these players look lost in coverage, and over pursue heavily on run plays. With only 2 regular games left and a bowl game on the horizon, the defense has to find a way to limit the mistakes on defense. It’s too late to mix around players in different positions in my opinion. It all comes down to players continuing to watch film, and trust one another to make correct plays on the field.
The future is bright: If you’ve watched Florida football the last few years you’d would’ve assumed being down 31-14 the game was over. Even I thought the game was out of reach, however the players put the talk on the field and made gator fans proud. Keep in mind this is the same team that went 4-8 just year ago. Mullen has inherited a mess, but unlike other first-year coaches around college football, his players bought in the offseason message. Relentless effort has been shown all season from this team, the players didn’t let go of the rope. Big name recruits were on campus yesterday afternoon and it was great for them to see. When Mullen gets his players the SEC and the rest of college football could be in for a big surprise
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