SIX BITS: Wrapping up Florida vs. Vanderbilt

By Adam Silverstein
November 8, 2009

1 » Florida Gators linebackers have accounted for seven of the team’s last eight interceptions. That’s scary for opposing offenses considering the Gators secondary is so strong. Throw it short or throw it long, Florida looks to have a good chance to come up with a turnover. A.J. Jones had two against the Georgia Bulldogs and one vs. the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Brandon Spikes grabbed one of his own against Georgia, Ryan Stamper took one away from Georgia and another this week against the Vanderbilt Commodores, and Dustin Doe picked one off at Mississippi State.

2 » Winning streaks, touchdown records and overall solid play have been the toast of the Gators this season. But one of the most overlooked accomplishments has been that of punter Chas Henry and the special teams unit. Having previously not allowed a single punt return yard all season, Henry and the special teams finally let up, allowing Commodores returner Alex Washington to gain six yards on Henry’s 58-yard punt in the first quarter. Six yards? We’ll let that go. Just don’t let it happen again.

FOUR more BITS including Urban Meyer on the offense, tight end Aaron Hernandez’s dominance and the Gators’ ravenous defense AFTER THE JUMP…

3 » In his post-game press conference, head coach Urban Meyer admitted he was concerned with the offense and “one-dimensional performance” from quarterback Tim Tebow. Saying the Gators lacked “home-run shots,” Meyer continued, “I have to get some production out of the offense.” As Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel points out, Florida failed to capitalize on Vanderbilt’s biggest weakness – covering the option. Even though the Commodores gave up 404 yards off option plays to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets just last week, the Gators only ran one option play (25-yard touchdown by running back Jeff Demps) in the entire first half. “We knew if we got executed, it’d be a walk in because no one’s left,” Meyer said. So why wasn’t it run more often?

4 » One of the brightest spots this season, tight end Aaron Hernandez had another dominant performance on Saturday. Sure, 64 of his career-high 120 total yards came on a single catch-and-run late in the fourth quarter, but plays like that show what Hernandez can do when given the ball in space and provided with a play-making opportunity. His seven catches tied a season-high, and Hernandez seems to be in a two-man rotation with wide receiver Riley Cooper as Tebow’s favorite target. “Obviously, Aaron Hernandez had a heck of a day,” Meyer said. Obviously, Hernandez has had a heck of a season. Hopefully for the Gators, he will continue to.

5 » Lackluster, anemic, boring, lame, predictable, mundane, routine, irksome, dull and flat are just a few words that have been used to describe the Gators offense at one point or another this season. Call it what you will, some will even resort to the absurd “complacency,”, the fact of the matter is that Florida is 9-0 and does not need to worry about games that have been played. Instead, they need to concentrate on the remainder of the schedule. Maybe the only important adjective used to describe the Gators right now is “undefeated.”

6 » An offensive performance leaving much to be desired seems to be a common story throughout the season for the Gators. Another common story? The absolute domination of Florida’s defense. Having only given up six defensive touchdowns through nine wins, the unit allowed Vanderbilt to put together a mere 199 yards of offense and just a single field goal on the day. While the Commodores may be the worst team in the SEC, they are still a conference team and have enough talented players that holding them to so few points marks another impressive performance by the defense.


  1. gatormiami says:

    You forgot the adjective I use to describe the Gator offense…..pathetic!

    You sound just like Dooley who graded the Gators at an overall “B+” & the offense at a “C”… Must not have watched the same game??? Without the interception & the punter’s screwup… what might the score have been? Just subtract 14 Gator points!

    Back to Addazio again(who Urban always promotes if anything goes right on offense)…Not bad enough that he is responsible for an anemic offense, but the offensive line is getting worse by the week. He’s not up to the job!

  2. gatormiami, I think you are failing to realize that what I posted above is not my opinion. In that particular paragraph, it is a PREVIEW to the Dooley article – which is what the link posted in that BIT will take you to. All i was doing was describing the article that I was linking to. Thanks.

  3. gatormiami says:

    My bad! I guess I haven’t read your opinion then….

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    Is it just me or is Copper really HOT or really COLD from game to game. Seems like he couldn’t catch a cold last night while in Jax, nothing was being dropped. I mean one catch for 7 yards leaves allot to be desired. Not to mention his multiple drops and the one through his hands for Nelson to mop up on.

  5. No problem. I do grades for each game in the late afternoon on Sunday. You can search “grading” in the box above to see them for the previous games. That will contain my opinions of the team’s performance this week. Hint: I’m not happy.

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