The plan is pretty simple and straightforward:
1. Play Great Defense
2. Excel on Special Teams
3. Protect the Football
Well if that's the Gators plan to win it's easy to figure out why Florida lost a 31-30 stunner to Ole Miss. The Gators could add "catch the ball" to that list and they would have a fourth area of failure against the Rebels.
Play Great Defense ----- Florida played good enough defense in the first half, limiting Ole Miss to 112 yards and one score in posting a 17-7 lead at intermission. In fact Ole Miss' only scoring drive was aided by a fake punt. But in the second half Ole Miss was able to score every time it had a chance. They almost doubled (213) their first half yardage. Additionally a blown coverage let the Rebels hit an 86-yard scoring pass for the decisive score. A defense that allowed just 26 points in the first three-and-a-half games gave up 24 in the final 30 minutes.
Excel on Special Teams ----- Florida's best unit in the first three games let the team down in this one. There was a bad omen early on when Brandon James juggled the first punt that came his way. James did end up with a couple of decent returns, but the Gators let Ole Miss do more damage in the return game than we have seen previously. The Rebels averaged 28 yards on kickoff returns and their only punt return went for eleven yards. The Gators also allowed a fake punt, leading to the first Ole Miss touchdown and, of course a blocked extra point ended up being the difference in the game.
Take Care of the Football ----- Florida gave up its first turnover of the season in the second quarter when Aaron Hernandez was stripped of the ball, but it did no real damage. However the second half saw back-to-back Florida giveaways that completely changed the game. Leading 17-7 Florida got the ball first to open the second half, but Percy Harvin had the ball knocked out while spinning for extra yardage and Ole Miss had the ball on the Gator 34. Florida's defense allowed a first down, but forced Ole Miss to settle for a Field Goal and the score was 17-10.
The very next offensive snap Tim Tebow lost the ball and Ole Miss was on the 18. Three plays later they were in the end zone and Florida's lead was gone. And they would never lead again.
We'll see if any adjustments/additions to the plan to win are forthcoming.
So Much For The Plan To Win
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