Week 5: Gators post-game news and notes

By Adam Silverstein
October 3, 2010

After a slow start to the season, the No. 7/7 Florida Gators (4-1, 2-1 SEC) performed spectacularly against Kentucky last week, only to play their worst game of the season Saturday in a 31-6 loss to the No. 1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) on the road at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes.

SECOND-WORSE LOSS SINCE…ALABAMA

The 31-6 beat down by the Crimson Tide on Saturday was Gators head coach Urban Meyer‘s worst loss since his team fell in similar fashion 31-3 in Tuscaloosa in 2005. In addition to both games having been road contests in Alabama, each were the only times under Meyer that Florida has failed to score a touchdown in a game.

BURTON THE HERO ZERO; BRANTLEY’s FAILURES

No, freshman quarterback Trey Burton did not play awful. In fact, as a receiver he caught four solid passes for 33 yards. But one week after being absolutely everything for the Gators, Burton was comparatively nothing, especially when throwing an interception on the goal line on 4th and 1 to conclude the Florida’s first offensive series of the game.

He was not alone as, one week after the best starting performance of his career, redshirt junior QB John Brantley was also brought back to Earth. Brantley completed just over half of his passes for 202 yards but threw two costly interceptions including one which was returned for a touchdown to ice any chance of a comeback by the Gators. Brantley also injured his ribcage in the fourth quarter trying to evade pass rushers and gain a 4th down on a pretty inconsequential play. He is expected to be fine.

TIDE’s RUSHERS STIFF-ARMED

Florida’s defense made it their primary goal to contain Alabama running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, one of the few things the Gators actually accomplished Saturday night. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Ingram was limited to 47 yards on 12 carries, though he did get into the end zone on two short-yardage touchdowns, and Richardson rushed 10 times for 63 yards with a long of 30 that inflated his statistics.

BETTER BUT NOT IMPROVED IN SECOND HALF

Of note is that the Gators actually outplayed the Crimson Tide in the second half, especially when you look at yards gained on offense. However, Florida was unable to gain large chunks of yardage, had too many plays fail and made costly mistakes that did not allow them to take advantage of their improved play. Alabama’s only score of the half was Brantley’s interception return, and Tide QB Greg McElroy was held to 84 yards the entire game (though he did complete 11-of-17 passes).

MVP FOR HENRY

Filling in for injured junior kicker Caleb Sturgis (who was 2-of-4 this season on field goals), senior punter Chas Henry was perfect on the night knocking through both of his attempts. Henry kicked a nice 39-yarder to end the first half and a 21-yard field goal in the beginning of the third quarter. He also punted the ball three times for 187 yards (62.3 average) including a long of 75 and two inside the 20.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer’s opening statement: “We got beat by a good team and we didn’t play very well. Anxious to get back to work tomorrow. Sunday practice.”

Meyer on going for it on fourth down on the first series: “It was an aggressive call, something that we probably would do again. Matter of fact, I know we’d do it again. Sometimes you kick yourself in the rear end when you do that, but it’s kind of the way we play. We’re aggressive. We go on the road and get the chance to take a lead on a team, we’re going to try to go do that.”

Meyer on his team’s performance: “It was awful. We gotta get better. That was real disappointing. […] We just self-destructed: turnovers, red zone inefficiency. It was not good. We’ve never given up punt yardage. Last two weeks we’ve given up punt return yardage, too. We got some work to do.”

Meyer on Brantley’s performance: “I have to watch him on film before I make a comment on that. I think we all could have played better.”

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on the team: “I can only say that the scoreboard is what it is. But I like our team. That’s the best way to say it. The scoreboard says what it does.”

Austin on his unit’s struggles: “We really didn’t tackle well, but then I think we settled down. There were some things they did that were good and we didn’t react to them well early, but then we got it fixed. The biggest thing was when we had an opportunity to make a play [like] third downs early in the game, quarterback scrambles and dumps to the back, the back makes 10 yards and we couldn’t get ourselves off the field. We normally do that. When they have 24 points in the first half, we didn’t do a good job. We have to play better defense.”

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio on the jump pass call: “It’s what we practiced. Fourth and close on the goal line. We gave the call for the jump pass. […] He couldn’t get separation. It just didn’t come together. The play’s a little bit like that. It’s either really there or it’s not. It wasn’t.”

Addazio again on the jump pass: “[That was] our mind was set at that point, given the whole scenario. We felt good about what we called, obviously. It didn’t happen. That jump pass is like that. We felt it was the right time. We’d kind of been working on that, kind of waiting for this opportunity and it didn’t happen. Obviously if you had that one again, you’d call a different call.”

Brantley on if the team regressed: “There are some positive things we’ll see on film. It’s not a step back because when we watch the film, we’ll watch those mistakes we made and get better from there. […] Personally, I’m sorry, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s a team thing. I’m sure there’s some good stuff. There’s some bad stuff.”

Burton on the jump pass: “I had a feeling I could get it to him. That’s why I threw it at a little angle like that.”

Senior center Mike Pouncey on not taking advantage: “It was frustrating because we were down on the 1-yard line a couple of times, and we didn’t end up getting any points. We turned the ball over both times, and that is something we’ll look at on film and try to fix.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban on his team’s performance: “I was proud of the way we came out, not pleased with the way we finished the game. We’ve got to continue to understand how to play 60 minutes. It was something we came closer to, but still have further to go. We had a lot of bad field position in the second half and couldn’t get going, but those are all things we need to work on.”

22 Comments

  1. Scooterp says:

    “actually outplayed the Crimson Tide in the second half, especially when you look at yards gained on offense”

    Adam, do you think maybe that Bama knew the game was over at that point? I mean, we proved to everyone that we have no idea how to score once inside the red zone.

  2. GatorsFanLA says:

    let’s put last night’s game behind us, and focus on LSU. We’re fortunate enough that the tigers won yesterday and that they’re still a Top 10 team, maybe a LSU beatdown will catapult us back in the Top 10.

  3. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Not unless we beat them soundly, and demonstrate that we have the ability to execute ( or come up with a successful game plan) inside the red zone. Until then, expect narrow victories to cause us to possibly drop more in the ratings

  4. Adoozio says:

    If you look at it objectively the Gators have 2 glaring weaknesses..O line play and predictable play calling…And we all know who is in charge of both. When Kirby Smart is jumping up and down while doing a throwing motion with his arm before the jump pass debacle, you know you’ve been out-coached

  5. Andrew says:

    Outcoached two years in a row. It’s time meyer puts afdazio in his place as the o line coach. He is a pathetic o coordinator. And I’m so glad the media hyped up Trey burton. I guess they missed the memo that kenttuckys defense sucks.

  6. jond says:

    were supposed to have such a good offensive line why cant we run it in on the 1 yard line? or a simple role out? we had several chances to take the game and we got cute

  7. Will says:

    I would like to know what percentage of our plays (especially in the first half) were dive plays. Can someone get an actual number on that? I got sick of the play by play guys saying there’s the dive play. We do not have the personnel for the dive play. We do not have big bruising backs, or someone large to lead the way and make a hole. The dive play with our fast undersized backs is good for 2 yards on average, and 2 x 3 is still only 6 yards, not 10! Addazio needs to relinquish play calling duties to a skill position coach or Meyer himself. Who is the last decent offensive coordinator that was an o-line coach? Not to mention the pocket collapsed around Brantley pretty much all night long and there were several bad snaps AGAIN! Since when do we put an individuals draftibility ahead of the needs of the team, let Robey play and move Pouncey back where he belongs, he is not his brother.

  8. Capn Gav says:

    When will someone that coaches for the Gators address how horrible Mike Pouncey continues to be centering or hiking the football??? This throws everything off because of his inconsistency.

  9. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    What happened to Pouncey’s promise of no more bad snaps? That is killing this offense…the bad snap to Burton cost us a 7-3 lead and a chance to at least make the game a contest!!! Pull the plug on the experiment!!!!

  10. Oscar says:

    Adazzio sucks, plain and simple. For two years our offensive play calling has been so predictable…. dive play? dive play? Option play with Brantley? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?
    It wasn’t all on the offense however, the defense let the Tide score on 4 consecutive drives to start the game.

    We got beat by a better COACHED team, that much was obvious.

  11. Aligator says:

    Adam,

    I did not watch the game, but are you saying that we basically made adjustments in the second half and stopped the team?

    If so, why in the hell do we have to do that every week?

    Aligator

  12. Alex says:

    I hate to agree with Gary Danielson, but we need to throw the damn ball. I understand they know we’re going to be passing when we’re losing, but miniDemps is not going to gain yards up the gut when Dareus is throwing Pouncey back five yards off of every snap.

  13. UF_84 says:

    “actually outplayed the Crimson Tide in the second half ” Sorry, could not disagree more with that statement. I think Alabama could have put up 60 if they wanted to. It’s obvious they called off the dogs in the second half. I wasn’t sure if we could win this game, but I did believe we could at least play a competitive game.
    Their program has left ours in the dust for now, but hopefully they will have mass NFL defections and asst coaches leaving for well deserved head coaching jobs (Especially Kirby Smart) after this year.

    We need to forget this game and stay behind this young team while they work to get better. A win over LSU would make the sting of this one feel a whole lot better. Lets pack the swamp with a juiced up, rowdy crowd Saturday night and see if we can’t take out a little frustration on the Tigers.

    • UF_84, you left out the second half of that statement. Selective reading? Alabama most certainly did not call off the dogs. And if you heard or read what Saban had to say after the game, Florida did a very good job stopping their offensive attack in the second half (which is what I pointed to).

      Don’t forget, the only way they scored that half was on a pick-six, and Florida fumbled near the end zone. The Gators played much better in the second half but still couldn’t capitalize.

      Aligator- I wouldn’t say Florida “stopped” Alabama…considering the pick-six and the defensive pressure they continued to put on the Gators…but they certainly played a much better half, no question about it.

  14. Oscar says:

    From ESPN, the truth hurts:
    “We were pretty sure that Alabama was the class of the SEC going into Saturday night’s contest with Florida. Now, there’s no doubt after seeing the Crimson Tide manhandle the Gators 31-6 in a game that was never really close. After going up 24-0, Alabama toyed with Florida the rest of the way. The Crimson Tide were a more physical team, a more mentally prepared team, a more disciplined team and just a better team all the way around.”

    Alabama DID put slow down their offense in the second half. Saban can say whatever he wants, but it was obvious that they were less aggressive with their play calling after getting that lead. If he had wanted to make a point, he would have been able to embarrass the gators. And read the last sentence…. Alabama’s coaching staff had their team prepared and ready to play.

    • Ah, now everything ESPN says is fact. Though Saban is not the most truthful coach in sports, I’ll take his word for it rather than the assumption of a media outlet. But that’s just me. Truth is, either way, Florida played better that half.

      EDIT: Just got through watching the fourth quarter for a second time. There is definitley a sense that Alabama isn’t trying to shove it down Florida’s throats. That being said, they didn’t stop playing the game and the Gators’ offense was more effective in the second half even though it did not result in scoring mostly due to turnovers.

  15. will says:

    Would you comment on addazio’s job so far as oc? our numbers were down last year and this year our offense is stagnant for most of the game. how are we going to continue to recruit wide recievers to uf if the ball is not going to get thrown to them? urban even said that we would gear our offense around our talent like with leak but so far the dive play is all we have. can we please take the dive play out of our playbook? What do you think adam?

    • Will-

      I’m going to do a different version of OGGOA’s weekly grades on Tuesday. I will touch on the offensive play calling – not just Addazio – during that post.

      Basically I’m going to split it up offense / defense / special teams / coaching rather than position-by-position.

      Hope that helps.

  16. Timmy T says:

    Florida did indeed play better in the second half. What we saw Saturday night was an experienced team vs. an inexperienced team, and it showed. The Gators had their chances, and didn’t finish.
    I would really like to see Robey inserted at center, and move Mike back to guard, draft status be damned. I would also like to see a Gator WR streaking down the sideline or down the middle a few times a game looking for a bomb thrown by Brantley, and if I see us attempt an option run with Brantley again, I may vomit from the sickness.
    All that said, I figured we would lose this game, so no biggie.

  17. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I agree Bama called off the dogs…had it not been for our continual implosion we could at least kept it competitive!!

  18. ziggy says:

    Do the coaches not have a play to combat an aggressive blitzing defense? I know there are safety valves in place, but sometimes you just have to guess when they are going to blitz and throw the screen. I don’t know that I saw a designed screen pass all night.

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