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September 5, 2010

Rewind: Looking back at Saturday's game

The good, the bad, the ugly. Here's a look back at Florida's 34-12 win Saturday at home over Miami of Ohio:

THE GOOD
Some good things actually happened for the Gators on Saturday. Seriously.

1. Game-savers: Fact is, the Florida defense played reasonably well, holding Miami to 212 yards and four field goals. And let's face it, the offense put that unit in some dicey spots. The Gators intercepted four passes, one of which by cornerback Janoris Jenkins gave Florida its first points of the game. Do the Gators win if the defense doesn't come through big? Maybe not.
2. Holding the line: The Gators didn't have that great of a pass rush, but all in all the defensive line, playing without injured tackle Terron Sanders and not having tackle Lawrence Marsh at 100 percent, performed reasonably well. Miami rushed for only 4 net yards on 22 carries.
3. Safety net: The Florida secondary was an opportunistic bunch, recording three of the team's four interceptions. Jenkins' returned his 67 yards. Strong Safety Ahmad Black brought his back 40 yards to the Miami 3.
4. Young guns: The Gators played 15 true freshmen, and some performed quite well. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd had three tackles, including one behind the line; offensive tackle Ian Silberman was an extra lineman on Jeff Demp's 72-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run.
5. They won: Don't think that means much? Try telling that to Ole Miss.

THE BAD & THE UGLY
Out of sympathy, we'll stop at five

1. The snap snafu: How many bad snaps did center Mike Pouncey actually have? Honestly, like most of you, we lost count in the third quarter. You've got to feel for Pouncey, a veteran player and returning All-American, but the bottom line is he simply didn't get the job done.
2. The play calling: The coaches say the players simply didn't execute the gameplan (see snaps), but the bigger question is this: What exactly was the gameplan? More plays went sideways than forward. Basically, it was '80s day at the Swamp.
3. Suspension City: Two key players -- offensive guard Carl Johnson and free safety Will Hill were deemed "not ready to play" by head coach Urban Meyer. Neither was hurt, so read between the lines. This is more than a little disappointing. Both have talked during the preseason about being leaders. Not a good way for a "leader" to start the season.
4. The injuries: Florida was without two of its best six offensive linemen -- tackles Xavier Nixon (knee) and Matt Patchan (wrist) -- Saturday and it showed. The run blocking was awful for the first three quarters. The good news? Both could be back soon. The bad news? Starting cornerback Moses Jenkins injured his elbow and his status is unknown.
5. Preparation F: Coaches make big bucks to have their teams ready to play. Florida, quite frankly, was not. Afterward, which is common in sports, the players received most of the blame. But the fact is, the staff has to look in the mirror after this one. Meyer's group has a track record of excellence, and this did not meet their standards. It's these guys' responsibility when players lack focus.

FIVE STATS THAT STOOD OUT
Or will give you a headache.

1. Got a quarter?: Florida had 25 yards of total offense after three quarters. How is that even possible?
2. Eight is enough: The Gators fumbled eight times. Cut that number in half and it's still far too many.
3. 4.52: That was quarterback John Brantley's average yards per attempt. He threw 25 passes, completing 17 for a whopping 113 yards. It seemed like at least a third of his passes were thrown to receivers at the line of scrimmage.
4. Seeing red: Because of bad snaps, fumbles and other troubles, the Gators had only 99 net yards of rushing, which included an astounding 87 yards in losses.
5. Et tu?: You know it's a bad day when even Chas Henry, arguably the best punter in school history, struggles. His one kick went 27 yards. Ouch.

FIVE GOOD QUOTES
Anything is better than, "We'll get it corrected." Oh wait, that was said a lot, too.

1. "Stuff happens and you've got to bounce back from that. I think that's what we learned today … how to bounce back when stuff's going bad." -- Brantley.
2. "We [weren't] embarrassed … we just knew we had made a couple mistakes. I don't think we'll play that way next week." --Demps
3. "If we do this next week [against South Florida], we won't win." -- Pouncey
4. "Ever since I've been here when the offense struggles sometimes, we have to step up, And usually that motivates the offense to play a little bit better. We knew we had to cause turnovers, and our plan to win is cause turnovers." -- Florida safety Ahmad Black
5. "I don't remember the Florida offense ever looking this bad. Ever." -- Longtime Gator beat writer in the press box Saturday.

FIVE FINAL THOUGHTS

1. You can't snap your fingers and make your problems go away. But you can solve many of your problems by making better snaps.
2. If the Florida offense took what the Miami defense gave it (as coaches claim), how come the RedHawks were still always in position to make the play?
3. This is why the Gators open with Miami of Ohio and not Miami of Florida.
4. Anyone else glad we can't watch practice?
5. This will help Miami (of Ohio) more than you will ever know.


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