Running off at the Keypad....
Florida played well enough defensively and in the special teams area to win this road game in Oxford. But they lost the turnover battle, and like Auburn one year ago, that spells doom for victory. Rex Grossman played bad and whether it was play calling, protection or receivers, the bottom line is he made throws you just cannot make. For all the problems the offense had Saturday, if Zook's track record is any indication, then it will get fixed and it needs to if the Gators want to win the SEC East. That's right, the Gators are still in control of their own destiny in the East.
Quarterback: D The only reason this is not a failing grade is the great throws on the 98 yard drive at the end of the second quarter. He also showed great toughness, but his decision making and his game management was not good. Too many times he wanted Taylor Jacobs to bail out the series instead of maybe picking up some underneath completions.
Running Back: C Not much room to run and only 95 yards rushing. I like the way Earnest Graham and Ran Carthon attacked in the first half, but as momentum switched to the Rebel sideline, they were unable to make big plays and seemed tentative.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: D Carlos Perez had a great first half but disappeared in the second half. Jacobs was not utilized in the form he had been used the last couple of weeks. It seemed as if the Gators were content to let him be doubled on the outside in which they should have flooded that side of the zone with other receivers. Matt Jackson had a nice day.
Offensive Line: C- Shannon Snell got injured and David Jorgensen did a nice job filling in at left guard. Too many crucial penalties, and in conjunction with the backs, did not recognize the pressure in the second half. The left side did not play well in pass pro when Snell and Starks were in their together. The Gators did out rush Ole Miss on the road.
Defensive Line: A They gave up 37 yards rushing and had 3 sacks and hurried Eli Manning all day. Bryan Savelio and Clint Mitchell were outstanding. Ian Scott, Mojo and Bobby McCray made plays as well. Hard to fault this unit. They could have made a stop on the last series to at least give UF a hail-mary chance. Don't forget the penetration on the goalline stand.
Linebackers: B Mike Nattiel and Bam Hardman played well. Dwright Jackson did pretty well in his first extended action in filling in for Todd McCollough. There were a couple of plays where the unit made mistakes - the touchdown run by Pearson and the last series would have like to see a stop.
Secondary: A- No interceptions - the only blemish for this unit. They held Manning to 154 yards and Keiwan Ratlff had a sack and several nice tackles. No touchdowns for the first time in Manning's career. This unit was very solid and matched up well all day with the Rebel Receivers.
Special Teams: B A missed field goal was only bad mark for the Gators. It may have cost the Gators the game. The fact that they have to attempt 4th and 12 is indicative to the confidence they have in kicker Matt Leach. Ingle Martin and the coverage teams were exceptional.
Snippets and Tidbits....
Shannon Snell was injured during the game but told the coaches he would be ready for action against LSU...Todd McCollough dressed but did not play much as Dwright Jackson saw most of his duty. Jackson had two tackles and is now listed as the starter.. Jarvis Herring also saw duty and played well in nickel situations recording 3 tackles and a tackle for loss. Keiwan Ratliff led the secondary with 7 tackles an a forced fumble along with a sack and a tackle for loss. Clint Mitchell had 6 Big Plays while Ian Scott had 4 big Plays. Ole Miss came into the game averaging 144.2 yds per game and had 37 yds on 33 attempts. Once again Florida was outscored in a conference game in the third quarter, this time 15-0. They have been outscored 73-29 in third all season long. This was the most penalized game so far as the Gators had 11 crucial flags. Florida is only converting 37% of the time on third down, last season they converted 45% of the time. Grossman now has 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was 34 and 12 last season. No SEC team has scored a touchdown in the first half this season. Florida's streak is at 209 consecutive weeks in the top 25 as they were ranked 16th in both polls this week. Look for Rex to bounce back with a much sharper week of practice.
HOOPS... Midnight Madness is coming Friday night in the O'Dome. Billy Donovan's team has been ranked as high as number 2 in some polls and most certainly will be ranked in the top 10. The young players will be fun to watch as all 4 can really shoot the rock. Anthony Roberson is a big time player and will see significant time at the point. Take a long look at the more confident David Lee because this could be his last year on campus. Plus the new and improved James White, Brett Nelson as a bona fide number 2 and the Machine Matt Bonner.Mario Boggan,Bonell Colas and Adrian Moss will battle in the post as well. Should be a lot of excitement around the Gator Hoops squad this season.
LSU is up next for the Gators and their defense has been rock solid in a 4-1