The last curtain has fallen on Dancin’ Danny’s Theatre of the Absurd, with another embarrassing loss to an inferior team. The good news? There will be no curtain call.
Florida lost at Missouri 24-23 in overtime, mucking around on offense the entire afternoon and finally losing on a throw-back 2 point conversion throw that easily should have been defensed. Of course, it never should have come to that, but Mullen seemingly pulled his Kentucky game plan out of the trash can and thought, “Hey! It’ll work this time!”. What a buffoon.
The offense threw away a ton of points. Emory Jones again missed open receivers and also struggled making correct reads on option plays. You could see the physical toll the season has taken on him, as he has been asked to run way too often by Mullen. The O-line was disorganized and soft, and even the RBs had a bad afternoon, missing holes and slipping on the field for some mysterious reason. The WRs looked good when given infrequent opportunities. In all, pretty much the norm for what Darth Mullen shoved down the throats of Gator Nation in 2021.
The defense actually looked competent for 3 quarters – they played the run lanes very well, and shut down the passing game. Until……the 4th quarter, when some bad habits crept in and they started getting gashed in the running game, which was inexcusable as Missouri has NO passing threats. That, in addition to the ridiculous wheel route TD allowed to the TE on a 1st-and-25 play in the 3rd quarter, were enough to beat a Gator offense that looked out of sync trying to execute a trash game plan.
Then, after the game, Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz clowned Mullen with his “May the force be with you” barb, and Gator Nation just has to sit there and take it.
Welp, at least Gator Nation won’t have Dan Mullen to kick around anymore. He will dance off into the netherworld of coaching jobs with a $12 million termination package, and Florida can look for a competent, professional coach that is hard-working, recruits his ass off, can put together a professional and organized coaching staff and recruiting office, and doesn’t embarrass the school every time he opens his mouth in a press conference.
And now……unbelievably, it’s a bowl play-in game back at the Swamp against a bad F$U team. Greg Knox for some reason will be the interim head coach, but thank god he’s not calling the plays – QB coach Garrick McGee gets that opportunity. It appears that Paul Pasqualoni and David Turner have taken a lot more control of the defense, as they have shown some life the last 6 quarters of play.
The Criminoles come in at 5-6 as well, and seemingly with momentum. But the ACC is even worse than usual this year, so I’m not putting any real stock into that. Their offense pretty much starts and ends with the arm and legs of QB Travis Jordan – he’s fast and athletic and can extend plays, but is still an inaccurate passer when forced to throw, and the Gator defense has to put him in situations where he has to do just that. I would not be surprised to see McKenzie Milton play as well, but he lacks mobility after his horrific knee injury suffered 2 years ago while starting for UCF, and Florida’s team speed could prove problematic for him. F$U’s O-line is as bad or worse than Florida’s, and the Gator front seven has to dominate them and own the line of scrimmage. Jashaun Corbin is a very good RB, and is tied for the team lead in receptions as well with 22. F$U has no real threats at WR, so the Gator secondary needs to shut them down on their own and allow the front seven to wreak havoc.
I’m not sure what to make of Florida’s offense coming into this game. Jones incurred an ankle injury in practice on Tuesday, so Richardson has been taking all of the 1st team reps. For now, it appears that he will start. If so, that means more big plays……but will they be for or against the Gators? He has to play better – and smarter. The O-line needs to control Jermaine Johnson, who leads F$U with 10.5 sacks. A solid performance by the running game would go a long way towards a win. AR also pushes the ball downfield more, and I believe the Gator WRs have a decided advantage over the Criminole secondary – if given the chance.
It’s Senior Day, and a rivalry game. Plus, the team, I believe, plays with some enthusiasm and juice with Mullen’s hang-dog attitude no longer around. It’s a shame the Gators are playing so poorly and with little confidence, because if they were sitting with even 7 or 8 wins at this point, I think they would roll F$U by at least 2 TDs. It could be another sloppy game by both teams, and another 4th quarter play could decide things. It would be such a nice change to see Florida actually come out fast for once and get F$U in a hole early, as I don’t believe they have the team nor talent to recover from that scenario. But that’s why they play the games.
Prediction: Florida 27 Florida $t. 24