Quarterback Chris Leak put up some impressive numbers, but wasn't especially sharp in doing so. He was seemingly a little too pumped up to get the season started. The sophomore strong armed many of his passes, throwing high or off of the mark on several attempts. Sadly, some of his best passes were dropped by a group of receivers that were often open, and at times, too excited for the opportunity to run full speed, against players who weren't wearing Orange helmets on a practice field for a change.
Joe Wickline rotated his offensive line at will, and for the most part, he has to be pleased with their effort. There was plenty of hustle from Hand, Butler, Degory, Mitchell, and company.
The special teams play looked solid. Wilbur, Matt P, Leach, and Casey Griffith got the job done.
Defensively, the Gators did not get enough pressure on Eastern Michigan quarterback Matt Bohnet. Sure, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong put up the vanilla sign from the sideline, refusing to reveal the Gators blitz packages keeping the film from falling into the hands of Smokey and company. But, with the speed and athleticism on hand, Florida should've had more hands in Bohnet's face. They expected to have more hands in his face too. The Gators recorded one sack in the contest, courtesy of Steven Harris in the fourth quarter.
Cornerback Dee Webb mysteriously lost the handle on a pair of sure INT's. He was also torched during the Eagles first drive as Bohnet found Eric Deslauriers with a step on Webb cruising down the left sideline. Webb made an attempt to get a hand on the ball, but mistimed his jump. Webb knows that he shouldn't have been a step behind him in the first place. Reynaldo Hill also dropped an INT.
Turnovers will be critical for this secondary. They can't afford to drop balls or miss strip opportunities.
The 64 minute lighting delay didn't help either.
Hurricane's Frances and Ivan have certainly kept the team from completing timely practice sessions. The result of which has seemingly been a loss of timing and continuity. Regardless, this team is a long way from Knoxville.