The No. 22/22 Florida Gators (4-3, 2-3 SEC) lost their third-straight game on Saturday, falling 10-7 to the Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2 SEC) on homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.
“WE’RE NOT VERY GOOD RIGHT NOW”
A handful of times in his post-game press conference, head coach Urban Meyer uttered the above phrase, and based on Florida’s performance over the last three contests it is quite obvious that sentiment is true. For the Gators, it all starts with health and execution, two things the team has been severely lacking lately.
“Obviously we got to get a lot better, Meyer said. “When you’re dealing with health issues, that’s part of it. We are going to have a chance to reflect a little bit here on the bye week and make some adjustments.” His biggest disappointment right now? “Finding a way to win a game. We’ve won a lot of games around here as guys made a play here, made a play there. You find a way to win a game. If you look back there’s been some big time wins around here where guys stepped up and made a play. We just have to do that. Right now we’re not.”
INJURED RUNNING BACKS SPELL DOOM FROM GET-GO
Prior to kickoff, Meyer was told “we were going to be without a tailback” by the training staff. That is one of the reasons Florida spread the ball five-wide to start the game and attempted to run the offense through the air rather than on the ground. “We were going to come out throwing, it just wasn’t real successful at it so we had to find ways to create movement, move the ball,” he said.
That proved to be difficult for the Gators as some of the running backs, who may not have been playing in different circumstances, got injured again as the game went on. “We were down to zero backs at one point today,” Meyer said. “[Junior starter Jeff] Demps came out, [redshirt senior Emmanuel] Moody had a thigh strain, [sophomore Mike Gillislee] had a sprained ankle. I thought there were some guys who made some spark plug plays like [freshman quarterback] Trey [Burton] and [sophomore wide receiver] Omarius Hines.”
“We even ran Omarius on a couple counter plays because it’s tough to get the run game going. We had a couple direct snaps to [Burton]. Even on third downs because we were misfiring a little bit too. I thought [Burton] provided a spark and he’s one of our only runners. [...] Omarius is a good runner. Barebones now.”
DEFENSE CAN’T STOP THE RUN
Mississippi State was successful in milking the clock in the second half by running the ball on 27 of 28 plays in that period with their one non-run being a shovel pass. An astounding 26 of those 27 runs gained positive yardage. In fact, on their final offensive possession, the Bulldogs wasted almost six minutes of precious playing time before punting the ball and leaving Florida on their own four with just two minutes remaining.
After the game Meyer noted that MSU succeeded by always being plus-one (having an extra blocker) and chipping away a few yards at a time – something UF used to do routinely when they had a power rushing quarterback and strong offensive line.
INJURIES CONTINUE TO PILE UP
In a game Florida entered with apparently no healthy running backs and plenty of other injuries, the Gators had four more players hurt – three early on in the contest. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose went down with an ankle sprain on a kickoff return, redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins suffered a concussion while playing defense and redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard also hurt his ankle at some point in the first half. UF even lost their kickoff specialist during the game.
QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 7: Gators post-game news and notes