Surely this is one of the more questionable things Mark Bradley has ever written:
… Say what you will about Meyer, but the man can coach. His work against Ohio State in Glendale, Ariz., in January 2007 was the greatest coaching performance the BCS title game has ever seen, and his work against Georgia on Saturday was no less inspired. In Jacksonville he took the demonstrably lesser team — anybody see an A.J. Green or a Justin Houston or even an Aaron Murray or an Orson Charles among Gators? — and wrung 450 yards and 34 points from it.
Did he miss Chris Rainey? How about Jeff Demps?
If we’re really supposed to believe that the Gators were the “demonstrably lesser team” yesterday, what does that say about Meyer’s inability to develop what many observers would say have been the most talented recruiting classes in college football over the past four seasons? Isn’t that part of coaching, too?
The stupidity/dishonesty on display there is too bad, because Bradley has a valid point about Richt not having his team ready to play.
Anybody notice that we saw a helluva game yesterday? The crowd at the game sure figured it out in the fourth quarter – that place was energized. Considering the tomb-like conditions we saw the previous two seasons, it was great.
Small consolation, I know.
Anyway, back from the game, here are a few things I saw from my vantage point in the end zone.
- After the game, Aaron Murray described himself as “a little amped up”. He was being modest. He played early like he’d shotgunned a couple of Red Bulls a few minutes before kickoff.
- A.J. and Aron White didn’t give Murray any help on the first two interceptions, that’s for sure.
- For all the talk about Florida’s stellar recruiting classes, I was surprised at how even the overall talent levels of both teams were.
- Florida’s defensive strategy was aggressive to the extreme. As far as I could tell, the Gators blitzed every time Georgia lined up in something other than the I-formation and shoved at least one safety up when Georgia ran out of the I.
- Also, once the Gators got the lead, A.J. was facing a corner-safety bracket at a minimum when the Dawgs played out of a three-wide set. That left other receivers open all over the field.
- King and Ealey are good running backs, but they lack a certain explosiveness that you see in great backs.
- Demps, however, is the definition of explosive. It’s breathtaking to watch him in the open field. Too bad he goes down with a good push.
- Yeah, Rainey’s return definitely made a difference. Just ask Trey Burton.
- Grantham did a great job with adjustments coming out in the second half.
- One thing Murray is going to see when he reviews the game film is how many open receivers he missed.
- On the other hand, that TD throw to A.J. simply couldn’t have been any more perfectly placed.
- I’m sure I’ll get some vehement disagreement on this, but Bobo called a pretty good game. He dealt with a passing game that was in the ditch early on because his QB was wired and his receivers weren’t giving much support as best he could. He used Florida’s focus on A.J. to open up the rest of the passing attack. He did a masterful job with his screen calls and he got Orson Charles’ best game of the season. That was a great call on the successful two-point conversion.
- As for Georgia’s series in overtime, I can’t put much of that on Bobo. On the first play, they got the matchup they wanted, a safety in single coverage on Durham, and tried to take advantage of it. Murray’s throw wasn’t good enough. The pick was on Murray – that’s a play he’s got to recognize when it’s not going to work and throw the ball away.
- I still hate the )@#*^% wheel route.
- That leaping catch A.J. made in front of Jenkins may have been even better than the Colorado TD catch.
- I don’t know what Branden Smith was thinking when he fielded that punt late in the fourth quarter, but I had momentary visions of the game ending on the stupidest safety in the history of college football.
- Brantley didn’t overly impress me, but that throw and catch to convert the third-and-nineteen at the goal line was clutch.
- The defense badly needs a presence in the middle of the line that can either consistently penetrate the opponent’s line of scrimmage or tie up offensive linemen.
I can’t say I’m surprised by the comments in the wake of the loss calling for the game to be moved from Jax.
That doesn’t mean they make any sense.
If there was something about the locale that caused the game to play out the way it did, I’ve missed it. The team didn’t quit in the second half. The atmosphere in the fourth quarter was electric.
The end result yesterday wasn’t any different than what we saw in the Arkansas and Colorado games. And that’s the real problem with this team. Home, road or neutral site, these Dawgs don’t know how to win a close game.
You live with the talented freshman quarterback, you die with the talented freshman quarterback.
A more dominating presence at nose tackle wouldn’t hurt, either.
I don’t believe Georgia is going to win today – I have too healthy a respect for that 3-17 streak to go against it until I see a change in the outcome – but I will go on the line and make two predictions that I think will make this a better game than what we’ve been subjected to the past two seasons (I know, talk about setting your low bar).
First, Aaron Murray is not going to be a turnover machine against Florida. Just keeping the Dawgs away from some terribly negative turnover margin number will make this game significantly more competitive.
Second, we won’t get that sickening feeling we got last year watching the Gator offense (which, if you’ll recall, had been pretty anemic up to that point) cut through Georgia’s defense on their first two series like a warm knife through butter. Grantham’s charges are going to hold up. In fact what I’m hoping to see… well, do you remember the Battle of Stirling scene in Braveheart where the Scots rip into the British infantry with complete fury? Something like that, except without swords and severed limbs, of course.
Let me know what you see and think in the comments section.
Earlier in the week, Chris Low posted some impressive stats and streaks working in Urban Meyer’s favor today.
Here’s one he didn’t mention, though – Meyer’s record in SEC games without Tebow on the roster is 7-6.
Interesting quote about Florida’s defense from David Greene:
“I remember, especially my redshirt freshman year, that they gave me some different looks early on,” Greene said. “One key that Florida does every year on their defense is that they really like to roll their safety down weak. If you see a lot of Georgia-Florida games, we always hit that backside seam route. We do it every year.”
If that Florida defensive approach holds tomorrow, I hope Bobo keeps doing what he’s been doing well these past three weeks by mixing his formations. Staying in a max-protect I will play right into the Gators’ hands if they push aggressive safety play. Going three-wide plus a tight end is going to create some advantageous matchups for Murray, if he can find them, even if Florida decides to go with Jenkins in single coverage on A.J. (and that should be something else to watch).
You don’t have to be a Gator fan to enjoy this message board post, just a fan of the Cocktail Party.
Haven’t done one of these for a while, but here’s a tune that been buzzing around my bonnet lately, John Lennon’s “Instant Karma”. (For some reason, it seems strangely appropriate for tomorrow’s game.)
And while I’m on the subject of Lennon, here’s a bonus tune – Frankie Miller’s cover of “Jealous Guy”. If you’ve never heard of Miller before, I’m not surprised. He’s an obscure Scottish pub rocker who decided to channel his inner Otis Redding one day and the result is one of the most remarkable efforts you’ll ever hear. Basically, he ditches Lennon’s sorrow and self pity for something completely different.
That’s not just a great cover of a Lennon song. It’s one of the greatest covers period. Every time I hear that ending, I get chills.
The Orlando Sentinel has thoughtfully provided an overview of the Gators’ offensive playcalling on the season here (h/t Team Speed Kills). There’s even a database, if you want to look at that, too.
I’m sure Grantham’s already got the data, but it’s nice for us to be able to read along with him.