South Carolina Review / Furman Preview

Same as it ever was……

This nightmare season continues to be a broken record, as the Gators find ways to lose, not win, against a ranked opponent. This year’s team is simply not good enough to overcome turnovers, stupid penalties, mental breakdowns at critical times, and a lack of SEC talent on the OL and at DE. The Gamecocks are nothing special, which makes it even more frustrating to watch Florida let another win slip away.

The Gators are a bad football team right now.

On offense, the Pistol formation seems to be the best bet to help Brantley’s effectiveness. The running game was actually pretty good, as Chris Rainey had a big day. However, it was puzzling that neither Burton or Joyer got a chance to pound the ball near the goal line, and no Wildcat formation was used in short yardage situations. The inability to score TDs in the red zone is just another indicator of a bad team. The passing game was only good mostly for short, quick throws, as the OL continues to be a sieve. Jordan Reed is showing some progress at TE, but the lack of pass protection negates any real chance of deep passes, making Debose a non-factor. Another poor game from Nixon, and Wenger needs to be benched. What a mess.

Again, I am having some difficulty understanding some of the personnel packages Coach Weis is choosing to use. He does not seem to have definitized the roles of Burton, Joyer, Leonard, and some of the WRs like Dunbar and Hammond. I like bringing in Brissett to take snaps under center in short yardage and near the goal line, but the seeming lack of play-action passes, bootlegs, and running play variations may simply be an admission of poor OL play that seemingly can’t be overcome. Stunning.

The defense once again played well enough to get a win. After struggling to stop the QB runs the entire first half (bad coaching/preparation by Quinn), they controlled the second half except for one long pass to set up the last FG by Carolina. The one huge failure was not stopping the Gamecocks from basically running out the clock at the end, as a dumb penalty by Easley allowed the drive to continue. The poor play of the LBs continues, as no one seems to fill the holes to consistently stop the run, and they can’t seem to shed blockers. There were some nice short-yardage stops, but then the collapse in the 4th quarter when Carolina was simply playing keep-away. The secondary did a solid job controlling Alshon Jeffrey and the short passes to the RBs. Overall a solid effort, but because of the struggles of the offense, this isn’t enough.

There is almost a sense of knowing that good teams see that they just have to play it safe and conservative, and wait for the Gators to make the mistake that will lose the game. It’s a sad state of affairs right now, but it’s going to take another 2 years to re-build the talent base and establish the kind of style this staff wants. Patience is not the staple of most fan bases – especially in the SEC. The frustration among the players must be a difficult thing for the coaches to address each week.

The hits just keep on coming for Florida. Marcus Roberson is out for the rest of the regular season with a neck injury, which is a huge loss for the F$U game. Easley is banged up, and Brantley is still playing on one leg. Hopefully JB4 sits this week and heals up for F$U. Brissett and Driskel can handle Furman with little problem, and get some more reps for the future. The only concern about playing Furman is……NO MORE INJURIES. The Gators need to just muddle through this game, clear the bench, and start preparations now for Florida St. It’s hard to fathom that it will take a win against Furman to become bowl-eligible.

Prediction Florida 38 Furman 10