I thought it was a gut-check win for the Gators. UF proved it could make enough adjustments to give themselves a chance to win. The defense and special teams continue to be the strength of this team and once again they delivered for the Gators. Florida changed its philosophy on how it ran the ball based on the success Arkansas had against Georgia and that was a good coaching move. This team has shown it can win a fourth quarter game and it's always nice for the Gator Fans to celebrate a win over the Dogs in Jax.
Brady: Why did the offense work?
The offense had early success because Georgia had not seen UF run it on tape at all. The Gators used the bye week effectively and gave themselves just enough to win the game. The run game worked downhill versus an aggressive, fast defense for the Dogs. Dan Mullen was able to use the Dogs speed against themselves by running lead plays and counter plays with DeShawn Wynn and Markus Manson. Having Manson in the game was the perfect change of pace to Wynn. Florida's offensive line did a good job of protecting Chris Leak and he did not get hit at all in the first half.
Brady: Will UF continue to run this offense?
The Gators will use two backs when they play FSU and possibly in the SEC title game. I think they should be able to open it up the next two weeks with some one-back spread stuff. Florida has had trouble protecting Leak and used the two-back formation over 20 times in the first half. I think the run game should stay the same down the stretch and look for the Gators to try execute better.
Ack: Did Urban Meyer earn some points for being able to change his offense?
I think he showed that winning is more important than anything. I know he is still not pleased with his offensive production. It's tough for coaches to change during the season and it will be tougher for UF to implement anymore drastic changes now that they don't have anymore bye weeks. This game set up good for UF with the bye week and Georgia having no passing game. Give Meyer credit, he understands the bottom line.
Brady: What about the perception that Charlie Weis is doing a better job than Urban Meyer?
Fans love offense and Weis has had plenty of it for the Irish. He almost got the upset against Southern Cal and that really impacted the voters. However he has lost two games at home and did lose to Michigan State, which is a three-loss team. UF has beaten two top five teams (although Tennessee is not very good) and lost to two top ten teams on the road. I think UF would be 6-1 with Notre Dame's schedule and the Irish would be 6-2 at best with the Gator schedule. Maybe UF can win out and get to the SEC title game and make the BCS and settle it on the field with Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl!
Brady: What about the Gator defensive performance?
The Gators played great in the first half, shutting down the run game and harassing Tereshinski. Florida did not record a sack but had five tackles for loss and did pressure Joe Tereshinski throughout the day. Marcus Thomas, Reggie Nelson, Brandon Siler and Jeremy Mincey played outstanding. The Dogs have a good offensive line and got after UF in the second half but the Gators only gave up 10 points and held another opponent under 300 yards. I would like to see more blitzing this week against Jay Cutler and Vandy.
Ack: Can UF win out playing this style of game?
I think they can because the special teams have been really good. Eric Wilbur had four punts inside the 20 and the fake was once again a great call by Meyer. Defensively UF has been very good in all games except for the Alabama first half. Combine good defense, strong special teams and good field position … that seems to be the formula for UF right now. They must expand the passing game to beat FSU. Florida has two games at home which is good and they have the old ball coach up in Columbia. One thing that will help the offense is the fact that the next two defenses are not as strong as the last two that the Gators faced. UF's margin of error is not as great as you would hope at this time of the year and they must continue to stick to Meyer's plan to win.
Brady: What's at stake for UF against Vandy?
The Gators will look to continue their home win streak which is at six games. The first rule of coaching is win your home games and Meyer is 4-0. I also think they can get healthier on offense and in the passing game. Florida cannot afford to overlook the Commodores who are playing for the bowl game lives. More of Markus Manson could make this a real fun game to watch this week.
Brady: Any game balls to go out?
The offensive line deserves one for dominating the first half of the game. I thought the guards really played well and set the tone in the first quarter. Give Manson and Wynn a ball also with Billy Latsko for the running game. I mentioned the players on defense early but give another one to Marcus Thomas, Jeremy Mincey and punter Eric Wilbur.
Brady: Any thoughts on what bowl game UF might go to?
I think if Georgia beats Auburn then the Gators could be headed to the Capitol One bowl or the Outback Bowl. If UF wins out but Georgia beats Auburn, the trip to Orlando is a real possibility and would make UF 9-2 facing either Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin or Penn State. The Big Ten probably won't get two berths in the BCS so it will be a quality opponent. A loss down the stretch brings the Outback Bowl into focus and if USC beats UF then the Gators may be headed back to the Peach Bowl or the Gaylord Music City Bow