South Carolina Review / Appalachian St. Preview

Fool’s Gold

Any hope of the Gators having a very good season was dashed by a dismal performance at home – again – losing to the Lamecocks for the first time ever at the Swamp.

This game was a microcosm of what a disastrous season this has become.  After 2 weeks of supposed progress with the offense, it completely regressed to the pathetic performance level exhibited against Mississippi St.  Coach Addazio and the entire offensive staff came up with a miserable failure of a gameplan.  After all of the new wrinkles and personnel changes that injected some life into the offense, it all seemingly was forgotten and/or thrown away. 

You would think that the opening kickoff return for a TD would be the impetus for a big night, but the coaching staff seems incapable of putting together any sort of ‘coordinated’ offensive gameplan.  Coach Meyer asked for the crowd to come loud and intense, and they were……until the offense drained the life out of the entire team and stadium……tragic.

There is nothing good to say about the offense, and that applies to all positions.  That was the worst performance in over 20 years.  Carolina blitzed almost every play no matter the down, distance, or formation, daring Florida to execute, and they did……..themselves.

Brantley looked terrible – inaccurate throws, no pocket presence, and gave up early on many plays.  The Dazzler came up with the great idea of giving very few snaps to Burton, and Reed only saw a few plays until garbage time.  The Dazzler has no concept of offensive planning, and is incapable of making any adjustments.  No running game, and not a single deep throw – brilliant!  Another stellar effort from the OL as well……I wonder who coaches that unit?  Yeesh.

Dan Mullen and Billy Gonzales must be laughing their asses off right now.

On defense, Florida stayed in the game for a long while, but it became a dispirited group in the second half as it became apparent the offense had no shot at making it a competitive game.  Ahmad Black was a beast all night, making plays at the LOS and in the secondary.  Janoris Jenkins did a fine job of slowing down Alshon Jeffrey.  Unfortunately, they were the only twp playmakers on the defense, as they have been in way too many games this season.  The LB corps was invisible again, helping Lattimore control the game with 200+ yards rushing – inexcusable.  The DL was pushed around most of the night.  Jaye Howard tried to play through a bad ankle, but was visibly limited, while Omar Hunter only played on special teams – a huge loss.  The lack of pass rush was evident again.  The blitz packages have become stale and predictable.  Making Stephen Garcia into a winner takes a lot of work……from both teams……and Florida obliged.

The best players other than Black and Jenkins were Chas Henry and Andre Dubose on Special Teams.  Dubose is going to be a star (unless the Dazzler screws him up, too), and Henry is simply the best punter in America – what a weapon.  Of course, it took Coach Meyer becoming more involved with this unit for it to show any marked improvement.  D J Durkin has responsibility for the LBs and Special Teams, and both have struggled most of the year……..he may want to update his resume quickly.

It would be unconscionable for Urban Meyer to keep the status quo for 2011.  He needs to start right now in planning for next season, and he needs to implement an almost complete revamping of the coaching staff, which has certainly earned a failing grade for 2010.  I hear the comments being made publicly about how the Dazzler will be back for 2011, but don’t believe everything you hear or read at this point.

It’s on to Senior Day against Appalachian St., and there’s no way to guess how less festive the atmosphere will be.  A great group of seniors will be honored, but there’s some business to attend to as well.  The Gators have to find a way to establish something good before heading to Taliban City to end the regular season.  ASU has a great FCS program going, and can hang around with most FBS schools for a while.  I simply can’t picture the unimaginable happening this week.  Florida should be able to wear down and overpower ASU on both sides of the ball, and has the speed to counter their Spread offense.  I think the final score will be dictated by the emotional state of the Gator players.  After experiencing so much success for the past 3-4 seasons, this year has to be devastating.  We’ll see how “grown up” these guys are this week and next.  Unfortunately, I expect a lot of empty seats for this game – an indictment on the entire coaching staff.  And don’t think Jeremy Foley isn’t taking notice, either.

Prediction – Florida 38      ASU 14