A few things to take away

One play, it’s all we got Saturday night. For a team, a program, a fan base that is starving for something good to happen, they got it in one play, and oh my goodness was it not enough.

But, with that in mind, there were some things to take away from a very long and unsatisfying Saturday night in The Swamp.

The appropriate guy...

How appropriate that the one guy in the stat sheet for the gators was named Showers? Valdlez Showers scampered 64 yards on a kick return and landed at the 14. It is still to be determined if the play will actually count or not, but given the game was called because of the rain showers and the damage they did to the field. He should be the guy toting the rock.

Good start for special teams…

Sixty-four yards per play. That is the stat average for Saturday, which would equal the most excitement per play in college football for the day. For a special teams’ unit that had a bad reputation a year ago, it was a good start when senior Valdez Showers went 64 yards to the Idaho 14 yard line in the only play of the game. It was a great start for special team’s coordinator Coleman Hutzler who may have found another weapon to use in the return game and who payers and coaches alike are excited to take over the duties from a year ago.

A hungry, hungry, hungry crowd…

Certainly there were thousands of folks that never made it to the first play of the game and headed home under the circumstances and time of night… totally understandable. But, dozens of thousands of people hung around to watch whatever they could. There was little doubt how hungry these people were to watch some football. They wanted to grasp onto anything that resembled a win, something they haven’t seen since early October of a year ago. When the ball boys and managers came out of the tunnel to prepare for the actual start of game they were welcomed with a huge applause and jubilation from the crowd ready for some football. A lone Idaho Vandal player entered out of the visitor’s tunnel and was cascaded with heated chants from fans ready to find a foe to take it to. When they finally lined up for the only play of the game and until that play was done, you would have thought the stadium was at capacity with the sound the crowd put out. It was an exciting time, even if it didn’t last long enough.

The staff continues to bring in big time prospects…

There were big time games all over the southeast this weekend, but this Florida staff in this year continues to bring in big time prospects to campus and giving them a chance to really finish strong for the 2015 recruiting season. We expected guys like 5-star defensive end Byron Cowart, and super receivers Javarius Davis and Ryan Davis. All of them showed and more. But so did 5-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson, 4-star linebacker Jeff Holland, and sought after defensive tackle Kendrick Norton. All of them were surprised visitors for the expected contest.

Embarrassing situation but decision had to be made…

Let me say this and get it off my chest. I think it is embarrassing that the game was actually called because of the safety of the field of play. Now, I am certainly no horticulturist. I almost majored in Agricultural Economics at Florida, but that didn’t work out… that is definitely as close as I come to any kind of expert in grass maintenance. But, The Swamp has had a grass field since 1990, when Steve Spurrier came to town. In all those years I find it hard to believe that they haven’t figured out a way to drain the field faster and keep the soil or whatever from becoming too loose and not safe to play on. I believe there are technologies that might cost a little money, but can keep this kind of thing from happening again. This is Florida and heavy showers are the norm and I think more than ever this year from my recent memory. The first hour of the delay Saturday there was hardly a drop of water that even hit the field. I don’t think it was even that much of a storm like we are used to seeing. Frankly I expect much better. If I am wrong, please someone correct me.

However, I do think once the powers-that-be looked at the field and determined it wasn’t safe, they have to take the health and welfare of athletes first and call it. My goodness we couldn’t handle another injury filled year like last year and a full game of sloppy fields would not be a good thing most likely.

Are we in a perpetual Hee Haw rerun mode?

With the long delay and then the eventual ride home after what didn’t transpire, it sure gave me some time to think about things. My mind wandered off to when I was a child and would watch Hee Haw on one of the only four channels that were available at the time. And the part of the show that they all sang and carried on about misery.

“Gloom, despair, and agony on me… deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

Truer words have not been sung about the Florida Gators for the last year and a half. All the injuries, the eventual 4-8 season and no bowl game, the coaching carousel on the staff… it really hasn’t been fin. After Saturday we are faced with a season that might lose a game, a game the gators were supposed to win big and get things going. A game in which the only play it looked like it might be the most fun watching the Gators since they really roipped Kentucky on the road a year ago. And then, it was all taken away. Hit it boys…


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