Odds and Ends

Eighteen minutes into Florida's game with The Citadel, it was clear just how out of hand things had already gotten. With the score 35-0 Florida, offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and assistant coach John Hevesy strolled onto the Gator sideline. When any play you call works, there's really no need to be upstairs in the coaches' box.

How dominant was Florida's offense Saturday? The Gators scored touchdowns on their first six possessions and piled up a preposterous 398 yards in 20 minutes of gametime before going to wholesale substitutions on both sides of the ball. While that slowed things a bit, it didn't come close to stopping the onslaught. John Brantley led a touchdown drive on his first series and then Urban Meyer declined to attempt to score despite having the ball inside Citadel's ten before halftime. That was the only time Florida failed to score a touchdown when they had the ball until Chas Henry finally punted with just under six minutes left in the game.


Florida's departing seniors were honored before the game. One of the highlights was Cornelius Ingram. The preseason All-SEC tight end, who has missed the entire season recovering for a torn ACL in his knee suffered during the first days of fall practice, was introduced last. He dropped into a sprinters stance and ran approximately 30 yards to hug Urban Meyer.

It was clear a priority was put on getting some seniors involved in the game more than usual. Tailback Kestahn Moore got early carries and wound up with two rushing touchdowns. Defensive tackle Javier Estopinan not only saw time as a blocker on offense but even got a touchdown run from one yard out. Estopinan even wound up with a kickoff return for six yards.


Florida has scored 42 or more points in their last six games. They are the first school in SEC history to accomplish that feat. They also expanded their recent run of first quarter dominance, expanding the tally to 122-0 Gators in the opening quarter of the past seven games.


The Gator youngsters took advantage of their expanded opportunity to shine in the game. Will Hill had a second consecutive game with a spectacular interception. The safety made a one handed grab while racing to his right (stealing the INT from teammate Joe Haden in the process) and returned it 23 yards to set up Florida's fifth touchdown. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins also picked up his second interception of his career, snuffing Citadel's first attempt at a drive. Tailback Chris Rainey was Florida's leading rusher and Deonte Thompson added a touchdown catch as well.


There are a couple of things likely to concern Urban Meyer coming out of the beatdown of the Bulldogs. Citadel kickoff returner Asheton Jordan was able to get outside for several lengthy returns. While that proved inconsequential Saturday, it could prove a much bigger issue against FSU and particularly outstanding Alabama returner Javier Arenas should it continue the next two weeks.

The other potential trouble spot for Florida is the health of defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh. The starter went down on the first play of the game and had to receive assistance to leave the field. Initial reports indicated a sprain of his left knee. While it was the only injury of the game, to lose Marsh for any amount of time would be a significant personnel loss.


The game was the final scheduled appearance of George Edmondson, Florida's most famous supporter. Mr. Two-Bits is a former Citadel student, and began his cheering for Florida while attending a game against his old school in 1949 while attending the game with a friend.

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