It was not the most impressive win in the Swamp Saturday but nonetheless it was a win. Ron Zook said it best when asked if he was concerned that is was not more decisive - "we will be judged on how we do against Tennessee". Well, it is Tennessee week and the Vols are at home. They have a big dominating offensive line and an experienced secondary. Plus, they are coming off a bye week. This will be a tremendous challenge for the Gators.
Quarterback: C Rex Grossman did not play very well overall. It seems every throw has to be a great one and some look like he is forcing them. I do not know if it's the receivers, scheme or Rex, but one thing is for sure, he does not look like Rex of 2001. He is staying positive and did make a great play on the option to Earnest Graham for a touchdown. If he just eliminates the dumb throws like the first interception he will be fine.
Running Back: B Earnest Graham struggled because of the line blocking but he did put one ball on the ground. Ran Carthon is a "mudder" and did a great job with 50 yards.The Gators had 4 rushing touchdowns and 163 yards on the ground including 11 first downs out of 22 rushing the ball.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C Taylor Jacobs, of all people, brings this grade down, but for the most part I thought the WR's/TE's played well. Matt Jackson and Vernell Brown shined , while the tight ends continue to perform with the touchdown by Aaron Walker. Carlos Perez made a nice catch down the middle of the field as well. No receiving touchdowns for the wideouts (not tight ends) for the second straight week. That has got to be some kind of record.
Offensive Line: C- Almost lower if they had not run the ball well. Shannon Snell and Max Starks gave up the sack. Early in the game the lineman did not exchange and switch their responsibilities well versus the odd front. Mike Degory is the one constant and he did have one bad shotgun snap. The right side of the line is a "hogpods" of several guys in which none have separated.
Defensive Line: B They made some mistakes and Dontrell Jackson had some nice runs but Ian Scott and Clint Mitchell played really well. They still get out of their assignments some and unlucky for them that seems to create a big play for the offense. Ohio had 2.9 yards per play.Ian Scott had 8 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and Mitchell had 2 tackles for a loss.
Linebackers: B After a slow start at the middle spot Bam ended up with 11 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss. He was getting cut in the option attack where this week it will be more like Miami with the Vols trying to butt him up. Todd McCollough had 5 tackles and Mike Nattiel had 6.
Secondary: B Ohio did not pass it but four times the entire game. Robert Cromartie had 6 tackles as did Todd Johnson. Hard to grade this position, but the defense in general failed to cause a turnover and that has to change against the Vols.
Special Teams: C Well it still has some issues and the conditions were not good. Morton did a nice job averaging 40 yards a punt and Ratliff had a big day on the return game. Florida committed only 5 penalties in the game but one negated a long return by Ratliff.
Snippets and Tidbits...
Tennessee had the week off and will provide a strong running attack against the Gator defense. So much has been made about the linebacker play but look to see if Ian Scott and Tron Lafavor don't have a little hop in their step this week after last year's outcome. This could be the week for the Gatos to run the 3-3-5 that Thompson used last year at Arkansas to hold the Vols to 13 points. That said Travis Stephens did go for 211 in a defensive run type game. This could be a week that Ratliff gets some work on offense. He will draw Kelley Washington who is not as shifty as Andre Johnson. Florida's two tight end formation could be a focal point of the offensive attack this week. Special Teams will have some tricks up their sleeves this week that could be unleashed as well. It appears the redshirt may stay on Kenneth Tookes and Reggie Lewis as neither got in the game Saturday and Zook said the situation did not call for it. This is a huge week for the Gators and Zook and once again regardless of what problems many of us on the outside choose to see, Zook continues to point to the positives....