Nothing changes. But that's fine: There were no jobs won Saturday at the Orange and Blue Game and there were none lost. This is in part because of UF's nagging injury situation and the volume of players Florida has coming back. There will continue to be question marks about who will take the tackle spots vacated by Jason Watkins and Phil Trautwein. But, Meyer has a room in the stadium filled with O-linemen who are 6-4, 320. None of them are proven (I'm looking at you, Matt Patchan), yet we should have confidence that the situation will be solved. I thought John Brantley was pressured a lot, but that is the difference between the quality of the defense's 2nd and 3rd units and the offense's comparable units. To be fair, I think Patchan was fine, but I think he can get beat inside by a quality end. Nick Alajajian is the other lineman who stood out. He seemed to handle himself well, but the 6-4 freshman needs to get bigger (he's listed at 288lbs and played like it). He layed a nice block on a reverse, but then got thrown down later by Earl Okine. On the bright side, I saw a few good looking girls wearing "ALAJAJIAN 58" tshirts, and that's always nice to have in your corner.
Jarvis Moss, Carlos Dunlap, Earl Okine?: At 6-7, Okine looks like a jacked LeBron James and follows a line of tall dudes in the Meyer Administration. His 274 pound frame could use some more weight, but not enough to sacrifice his quickness. Of Florida's defenders, Okine stood out the most because he was all over the place. Not just hopping around at the line like he was Simeon Rice, but the way he pursued the ball and moved up field. His throw down of Alajajian was awesome and a sign of the general badassness an end needs. Perhaps his Orange and Blue showing will energize him like Dunlap's did in 2008. Duke Lemmens (who, with a big season, can earn "The" in front of his name like The Major Wright) also played well. Meyer raved about Jon Bostic after the game, saying the early enrollee will get a chance to play in 2009. Dorian Munroe had a pick, but is stuck playing in a defensive backfield that could top the Carlisle Indians.
The best players from Saturday may not see the field: Frankie Hammond can run like a gazelle and has good hands. Too bad that only makes him the 5th or 6th receiver. Carl Moore looked good and Deonte Thompson will finally get a chance to play ball. Include those two with David Nelson (on the sidelines), Riley Cooper (injured in baseball), and Andre Debose, and it is hard to find a spot for Hammond. Munroe is in a similar spot.
John Brantley throws a pretty ball: I felt like I was Johnny Miller during the US Open with the way I was trying to breakdown Tebow and Brantley's mechanics. Throwing a ball is an unnatural motion, but not on Brantley. It's smooth. Tebow's motion is based on sheer strength and will. Watching Tebow, I couldn't tell if the motion was quicker or not, but in warmups, you can tell when he is fighting the old motion. It might even be that I want it to be quicker and more smooth, so I am trying to convince myself that it is. As for Brantley, he was dropping passes into waiting arms all day. He could win a Heisman and National Championship too. He is that good.
Gator Boosters finally hit by Florida's Depression: The announced crowd was 65,000, but I thought it was about 50k, which is still good. (And better than the 36,000 announced for FSU at Ron Zook Field.) However, a lot of the club areas and luxury boxes were empty. Not surprising, considering that the most expensive seats and boxes all over the country are going unsold as people either drop their tickets or move to cheaper ones. Starting today, UF is also selling 250 season tickets, but you have to donate $2000 to be eligible. Considering there are 7 home games, the cheapest way to get tickets might be to get several families or a large group of friends to pool some cash, then draw straws to figure out who gets the seats each game. I would do this, but I'm waiting until I establish the Alligator Army Memorial Scholarship Fund and Drinking Club before I get season tickets.
Adventures in Gainesvegas: Football players are just like you and me in that they have no social skills. I met a girl who told me that Chris Rainey texts her occasionally. This isn't surprising, considering she's an attractive white girl and Rainey has let us all know of his preference for UF's melanin-challenged females. But here's the thing; he's never met her in person. They are just facebook friends. What? Does Rainey not have any game? Perhaps I should be easy on Rainey, considering I started dating a girl after saying I'd "facebook her" instead of getting her number. I also saw a girl I know Friday night wearing the most ridiclous pair of boots I have ever seen. Not only did they not match her dress (tan colored, looked like a flight attendant, with black boots), they were as wide as Michael Crabtree's walking boot and to her knees. Here's how that conversation went;
Me: "What's with the boots?"
Girl: "Tim Tebow likes them!"
Me: "Tebow said he liked them?"
Girl: "He said they were crazy! Isn't that awesome?"
I've never heard anyone use "crazy" as a compliment about any female, so I highly doubt Tebow likes girls wearing awful boots. Also, I was very upset to learn Gainesville bars are 21 and up now, which prompted me to yell out, "You suck Bernie!" when UF's anti-alcohol President Bernie Machen was introduced at the game. Apparently, we've traded four National Championships under Machen for drinking laws from 1920. Machen should stick to making sure UF isn't bankrupted by the Florida State Legislature.