HB: What I Liked and Didn't Like

Not many can say they saw it happening quite like this - 63-5 against any team in the SEC is something to be proud of. This Kentucky team is not a bunch of world beaters, but they did come into the game tops in the SEC in scoring defense. They left Gainesville no longer that way. There was a whole lot of positive to take away from the game, and a little negative.

We won't waste any time just like the Gators didn't...let's get started.

What I liked…

The crowd…

I don't know if the "Mr. Two Bits" dedication had something to do with it, but The Swamp was excited and loud from the very beginning. George Edmondson was honored for his part in Gator lore about 20 minutes before the start of the game. The 12:30 p.m. kickoffs are usually not as enthusiastic as far as the crowds are concerned, but Saturday was the exception. No doubt the two early blocked punts helped, but it still seemed like the crowd was in it early and often on Saturday.

Passes to the running backs…

Everyone will remember the short crossing pattern by Jeff Demps that went 61 yards for the touchdown, but there were also a couple of other passes I have wanted to see the Gators utilize more in the offense. Tim Tebow threw a couple of passes to Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps on flare routes from the backfield and hit them in stride. It is just another weapon for this offense with so many weapons to take advantage of.

Spreading the ball around…

The Gators caught 13 passes on Saturday and only two players caught the ball more than once. Jeff Demps had four catches on the day and Louis Murphy had two. Seven other players caught the ball on Saturday.

Saving Harvin for the stretch run…

I am the first one that jumps on the bandwagon to put the ball in the hands of the play makers as much as possible, but in this season that has a chance to be special, I say let Percy Harvin rest for now. Harvin only touched the ball three times in the game, but came away with 55 total yards and two touchdowns in those three touches. We all know what he can do and he knows the offense as well as anyone, save him for when he is needed.

John Brantley looked comfortable…

Although I thought he got in the game a couple of series too late, John Brantley looked very comfortable as the back up quarterback. He stood tall in the pocket, showed no ‘happy feet' and delivered a few strikes. His 38-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson was a beautiful pass over the middle of the field that hit Nelson in stride and allowed him to carry his momentum into the defender and force his way in for the score.

Brantley also looked nifty running the ball although he did get caught dancing on one run. Still, he ran the ball twice on designed quarterback runs and accumulated 16 and 6 yards on each run.

Will was a thrill…

Will Hill led the team in tackles against Kentucky with 11 and has been a menace for opposing teams on kick coverage and especially today. Meyer made it a point to address Hill to the media after the game saying he is now starting to become part of a three-man rotation at safety and Hill seemed to play well when inserted into the game at safety as well.

Backup linebackers saw a lot of action…

In blow out games like this one it is usual for a lot of the backups to get a lot of playing time. In this game, linebackers Lorenzo Edwards and Brandon Hicks saw a lot of time on the field and finished tied for third on the team in tackles in the game with six each. Edwards got steam rolled on one play, but came back in the next two and stopped the Wildcats on consecutive plays to end the series himself. Hicks continues to play well in space and solid play from both should bode well for the future at the position.

Joe Haden was oh so close…

Sophomore cornerback Joe Haden was so close to making three interceptions on the day. Three balls hit him in the hands and on two he just couldn't hold on for the pick. On the third, a deep pass in the back of the end zone, Haden was trying to keep his feet in bounds but couldn't quite make it happen. When asked after the game if he was due to get one, Haden responded in the affirmative.

Three and out and the lights went out…

It was thought that Kentucky would come in trying to move the chains on Florida and just keep it close. The Gators were likely going to have to step up and make some plays even though the Wildcats weren't going to let them do much of it. That was the only way Kentucky had a chance. The Gators held the Wildcats to three plays and out on their first five possessions. By then the score was way out of hand and the Gators were substituting liberally on defense. There was no bend in this defense on Saturday.

Block party…

I think there is little doubt that Florida has the best special teams in college football. The Gators blocked three kicks Saturday, two punts and a field goal all in the first quarter of action. All three blocks led directly to scores and the three tied a Gator record for most blocks in one game. Meyer's Gators have blocked 14 punts in his time at UF and six of those have come on the opening drive of the game. To me, this is about schematically drawing up something that works. Of course it helps having all of that speed on the field.

Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks gave Florida a lot of credit on the blocks. "They probably had a pretty good plan," Brooks said. "Our rules are fairly simple…You have to give them credit for good design and good execution and give us an ‘F' for execution."

Sturgis bazooka leg appears…

We saw freshman Caleb Sturgis' powerful leg appear in the game and kick the ball deep in the end zone for touch backs. Some of us have been waiting on that all season… although it showed up twice in a big wind at Arkansas. Something tells me that Meyer was respecting Kentucky's return game and decided to have Sturgis boom it for a change.

Of course there are always those moments or things even in a blowout win that just aren't good in the minds of some. Here are the things I don't care for.

What I didn't like...

Tebow in the game too late...

To have your Heisman Trophy winner in the game when the score is 42-3 is a little crazy to me. Tebow doesn't need to run the offense any more than he has, he was hurt in this game a year ago which led to a poor performance and a huge change in game plan against Georgia last season. It was a game they lost and would keep them out of the SEC Championship game. Tebow should have never seen the field in the second half, and instead, almost played three full quarters.

Tebow had his errors...

On the first play of the game and then later in the game Tebow made a couple of mistakes that stood out to me. On the first pass of the game, he waited entirely too long to get rid of the ball and almost threw an interception when he was hit as he threw it.

On the interception he did throw Tebow looked like he was trying to place the ball instead of just winding back and throwing it. He did this in the Ole Miss game and it cost the Gators and since has been very effective in just taking his drop and firing the ball.

Overall he had a good game, but these are two mistakes that can't be repeated if the Gators want to finish the goals they want to accomplish.

Not a huge pass rush...

The Gators had a sack on the night and there were times when they got to the back field and harassed the quarterback, but I thought there were a lot of times when it just wasn't quite enough pressure. One thing that has to be considered is the defense did not blitz much at all on the night, but they wanted to rely on the front four and while there was some push, there was not a lot of real pressure screaming in at the quarterbacks today.

Kicks out of bounds...

The game was basically over and maybe it was just a lack of concentration. Twice late in the game the ball was kicked out of bounds on a day when kickoff coverage was at its best of the season. The penalties resulted in Kentucky getting the ball on their 40 where through the first five kicks they never started beyond the 20-yard line.

Overall it was a very positive game and while there could be a dozen single plays to point out in the negative, the positives in this game far outweigh the negative maybe more than any game in recent memory. This game, two weeks after a blow out against LSU certainly shows the Gators are playing at a different level than they were earlier in the season.


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