Hollywood Bob' s Likes and Dislikes - Game 1

There isn't much to dislike in a 62-3 victory against anyone and certainly a lot to like in a season opener with that kind of score no matter who the Gators played. But, we will take a closer look at what we saw from the game and maybe some small nuances that stood out to me. This will be a regular post game feature here on FightinGators.com.

Let's get right to it...

What I liked on Offense


First we will start with the quarterbacks and Tim Tebow had a great night. He never threw into coverage, and most of the time made the right read to get to his receivers. He was 10-15 on the night and three of the incompletes were dropped passes. He managed the up-tempo offense very well in the first time handling it. He managed five touchdowns in six drives and the one drive that resulted in a punt had a dropped bomb that would have gone for a touchdown. Not a bad night against air really.

John Brantley faired very well also. He went 8-12 for 67 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't get to hit on the long ball Saturday night, but he was really crisp on the out routes and the flat routes out to the backs and short receivers.

The thing I liked the most out of Brantley was his running. Urban Meyer commented that he wanted Brantley to be more aggressive with his running, but to me the big key for Brantley in this attack is his ability to run the read-option. I think he read the crashing defensive end correct every time and kept the ball quite a few times instead of handing off to the running back as he ran for 44 yards on six carries. He doesn't have to be a great runner like Tebow, he just has to be a smart runner ala Alex Smith at Utah, to really make this offense work.

Brantley ran for 44 yards in just over a half, I understand the competition, but if he can do that much in a full game for 14 games, you are talking close to 700 yards. Alex Smith ran for just over 700 yards in Utah's undefeated season.

Running Backs

All four guys were near perfect from what I could tell Saturday. 21 carries for 292 yards for four backs on the night is a great night against anyone. Watching Jeff Demps cut at light speed really makes me want to see him more at the "H" mostly manned by Brandon James. I know that is coming more, but that cutting ability at that speed is hard to defend.

Of course everyone loved the one carry by Chris Rainey, but it was Emmanuel Moody's play that probably got the most attention on the night. Moody ran hard and through tackles when he got a chance. He showed elusiveness and plenty of speed to top all of that. When healthy he is a very good back in any offense in my opinion.

Freshman Mike Gillislee was great finishing with 41 yards on six carries.; He also was a blur on special teams. He will be a big weapon later when he learns more of the offense.

Receivers / Tight End

Riley Cooper stole the show for the receivers with his 105 yards. Tebow now has two go to weapons in Cooper and Hernandez, a great combination from the inside and outside. However tome the biggest thing that happened at receiver was guys like Omarius Hines and Justin Williams stepping up. This was one of my keys to the season and the gators need a fifth and sixth receiver to emerge.

I also liked Frankie Hammond when he caught his single pass and looked ultra quick heading up field...he did the same with a kickoff return a little later. T.J. Lawrence looked faster than I ever knew on his kickoff return and it was good to see another player that knows to run north and south on kickoffs to make a big play.

We really saw only a glimpse of Aaron Hernandez, but when all is said and done, he should lead the Gators in receiving this year.

To a man, this is the best blocking receiving unit in the land and they will never get enough credit for the long runs by the backs.

Offensive Line

The backs should be patting these guys on the back as much as they can, because these guys pounded on the out manned Charleston Southern team. I just think that the staff has their guys in place now and these guys are road graters across the board from tackle to tackle. In a Zone blocking scheme your best scenario is to have all five linemen that can move and maul. Of course, you want your tackles to also have long arms and strength and lateral quickness to get outside on big defensive ends when they have to pass protect The Gators have the best of both worlds.

They created huge holes i the running game and there were times when you could draw a perfect half circle with a TV telestrator when they formed a passing pocket for Tebow and Brantley.

The competition all the way across for the starting five is an absolute bonanza for the staff as these guys will go hard all the time and get better every day. It really sounds like they may rotate James Wilson and Matt Patchan in and change that left side from time to time.

Five freshmen offensive linemen played Saturday and they looked like they all wrote the play book themselves. You didn't see many breakdowns at all. Even on Brantley's sack,he rolled out on the play and probably rolled a little too far and into the defense. These guys were going to dominate Charleston Southern also, but to see then have so few miscues was a great thing.

How about this for a change up? Much of the media was focused on a large number of penalties, but I actually think the penalties were a great sign with how few and far between they were, especially on offense.

The Gators had eight penalties for 43 yards on the night. The offense committed six of the eight penalties and so you are thinking I have lost my mind. Consider that of the six penalties, five of them were committed by freshmen and sophomores. Also consider, that a number of them happened because of the new up=tempo offense that was installed and they just have to get used to it. I think you will see rapid improvement in these things as we move forward.

What I didn't like on on Offense

If I had to be critical of Tebow it would be on the long pass to Riley Cooper that was slightly under thrown, although he came back and laid it out perfectly for Deonte Thompson a series later. He also missed a wide open Cooper later when he threw underneath and had another drop that would have been a first down. Honestly, there wasn't much to complain about with Tebow.

Brantley either missed receivers or a few times dropped back and didn't have anyone open. I'm not sure if maybe they weren't on the same page, but he sat in the pocket a few times for a long time and probably longer than he should have had. He did look poised doing so.

Three drops is too many by the receivers. Deonte Thompson's drop was the single most disappointing thing to me and I think the head coach. I truly think it is an aberration, but I wish they had made it a point to get him the ball again before the night was over.

What I liked on Defense

Defensive Line

It was a quick passing team,so sacks were going to be few and far between. As it turns out, the gators had none. The one guy on defense that probably impressed me the most was Jaye Howard. He was disruptive from the outset and really too quick for anyone they had in front of him. Howard should be that play maker that was lacking on the inside of the defensive line until Torrey Davis stepped on the field last year. He only had one tackle on the night but harassed the quarterback quite often

I thought Omar Hunter and Terron Sanders both looked active inside but only Sanders finished with any stats and three assisted tackles. I really didn't see much at all from the outside


Two middle guys stood out to me at linebacker. Brandon Spikes played in four series and had four tackles,.1.5 tackles for loss and a pass break up. He is just a man among boys. True freshman Jon Bostic led the team in tackles with seven and it was noticeable how he just flew around out there.

I need to point out that Jelani Jenkins also seemed to be everywhere and looked like he flew around as a true freshman outside linebacker.

I think UI counted three times where all three starting linebackers were in on the same tackle in the opening four drives. That tells me those guys are all flying to the ball.


Major Wright stood out at safety. All three of the main characters in Ahmad Black, Will Hill, and Wright did some things that let you know it will be a battle for the starting spot for the rest of the season.

Wright's play on the interception was something he hasn't done much of. Nine times out of ten he is making the hit on the guy instead of breaking on the ball and stealing it out of the air. If he keeps doing that, he won't come off the field.

Black came on and as usual is the sure tackler of the bunch. Hill had the big hit forcing the drop on the sideline and made several others think twice about catching the ball.

Dee Finley also looked impressive and it was good to see him and fellow true freshman Josh Evans on the field at the same time at the end of the game.


Joe Haden was everywhere and had six tackles on the day. He was asked to do a lot of things in this game because they were going so vanilla on defense. He responded quite well, even though it didn't look like he was doing his job at times.

Markihe Anderson also played well and finished with four tackles on the night. That is the same number of tackles that freshman Adrian Bushell had and Bushell seemed like he was everywhere on the field, much like Haden. Meyer pointed him out on Monday and it appears as if Bushell will start to get more playing time.

What I didn't like on Defense

I was going to say I didn't like the production out of the defensive line as a whole,but as it turns out, they finished with 21 of the 74 total tackles on the night. Still, I would have liked to see the ends do more as Carlos Dunlap, William Green, Justin Trattou, Duke Lemmens, Lerentee McCray, and Earl Okine combined for12 tackles, no tackles for loss, no sacks, and only one quarterback hurry on the night.

having three starters missing in Jermaine Cunningham, Lawrence marsh, and Janoris Jenkins didn't help with continuity on defense. Combine that with last year's starters in Ahmad Black, Terron Sanders, and Dustin Doe not being in the starting group at least for this first game, you could see where things may have been a little different and not as cohesive as they should be. I was really disappointed that Cunningham and Jenkins were not allowed to play.

If there is one thing that will get Black on the field maybe ahead of Will Hill it is his attacking ability. For all of Hill's strengths...his instincts when the ball is in the air, his size, his speed, he certainly doesn't tackle like Black does and missed a couple on Saturday. This will be interesting to watch as they move forward.

Wondy Pierre-Louis has great recovery speed, but isn't the best at jamming the receivers on the line and gets himself in trouble with really quick receivers. We saw that Saturday.

Again, I feel like I am knit picking with a defense that held their opponent to three points, but that's my job I guess.

The special teams were great minus one kickoff that I know Caleb Sturgis would like to have back and one extra point that Jonathan Phillips would like to have back. Brandon James is the man.

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