Takeaways from the LSU game

Well going into the game I gave LSU the slight advantage because of playing at home and having a veteran QB, but I thought the things that might cause Florida problems was penalties, special teams, and turnovers. I thought if we could win those statistical categories we would have a great chance to win the game. But those areas really weren't what decided the game for the Gators, while defensive and offensive penalties definitely didn't help, I don't think its what lost the game for the Gators, and the turnover margin ended up being +1 in Florida's favor anyway

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. So what was the problem for Florida today? Well I think the most obvious problem was the lack of offensive production for the Gators, while the defense got gashed a little bit in the first half, they still managed a takeaway, and kept Florida's offense well within reach all game, only giving up one field goal for the rest of the game after giving up 2 touchdowns early on in the first half. So these are my takeaways from Florida's loss today at L.S.U. -->

. Offense-C- offense started out pretty well, their first drive was good, they drove 60 yards in 14 plays and got a FG, with strong running from Jones, and a couple of nice plays by Murphy. My only problem with this drive, was how it ended, 4 rushing plays in a row, which ultimately stalled out the drive and forced a FG. I get that Florida wants to impose their will running the ball, but the fact is, they aren't that strong up front to be a power running team right now, and they have to balance it out more. It almost seems like they are trying to downplay Murphy and keep everything right in front of him, and all safe passes. Well that might work against the lower tier SEC teams, but against the better teams, you have to have to keep the defense honest and play more balanced, at least taking a couple of shots on first down and trying a couple of passes to stretch the field. LSUs defense has been scorched all season by opposing QBs so I don't understand why Pease didn't take more shots downfield, this is something I thought they had turned the corner on with the improved play at receiver, but obviously Pease doesn't have enough confidence in the pass game still. -->

. The next major problem I had with the play calling, why is Brent Pease not getting the ball to his playmakers? Trey Burton is one of our best offensive weapons, if not the best, and definitely the most clutch, you cant have him getting only 3 touches a game, or Solomon Patton for that matter either. You have to get your playmakers the ball, why it happened like that I have no idea, but I think it was foolish on the part of Florida's Offensive staff. -->

. Next up, and maybe the most worrying aspect of the game, was Florida's offensive line, this was by far their worst game of the season. They got handled all game long. Murphy was under pressure or on his back way to much of the game, and it wasn't just miscommunication, they flat out got beat. Not to mention having critical back to back false starts when driving late in the game, If this trend continues, especially with players of the likes of Jadevon Clowney, and other high caliber defenses still left on the schedule, Florida's in big trouble if they cant get this fixed. -->

. QB- Murphy had another pretty solid showing overall, he missed some critical throws, once Trey Burton was wide open down field and he missed him, another time he over threw a sure fire touchdown in the back of the endzone, and he had a few bad throws to open receivers that should have been easy pickups. He also held on to the ball to long on a few plays, probably because he may have underestimated the speed and power of LSUs front and got a little to over zealous after having so much success eluding Arkansas, Tennesee, and Kentucky, and while he did show some good elusiveness at times LSU fields much more formidable athletes and he has to have a shorter time clock for the better opposition. Murphy is a solid QB, he has great poise in the pocket, and he makes really good decisions, but he was overmatched today, and Florida cant expect him to win games with spectacular throws and low margins for error. He's not quite there. But he can make enough plays to keep us competitive in any game, he's just got to have more help from the O Line and from the play calling. And they are going to have to start taking some more shots downfield or defenses are going to continue to crowd the line of scrimmage and blow up those screen passes like they did today. So while Murphy probably had his worst game statistically throwing the ball, I give him a B for hanging strong and his effort on the game -->

. Running Backs- Matt Jones was on his way to having another good game today before he left with a leg injury, Mack Brown ran hard like he always does, he's proven to be reliable as a good change of pace back, and does well in pass protection but he doesn't offer the strength/speed combination of Jones, or the field vision and cutting ability of Taylor. Taylor was the most impressive of all the backs toting the ball 10 times for 50+ yards, and he's just a guy that when he gets the ball he's always looking for the big play, and I dont think it will be long before he starts ripping off some nice runs. But he still has a lot of work to do in pass protections, and he blew at least one block assignment that led to a sack, so he has to improve on that, but he has shown he can get it done with the ball in his hands. -->

. Receivers- The receivers were not much of a factor in this game, and this probably surprised me the most. After how well the receiving corps has been playing, and the matchup against a LSU secondary that has been giving up a lot of yards in the air, I cant understand why Pease didn't take more shots downfield, and how your best playmakers in Trey Burton and Solomon Patton only touched the ball 3 times a piece. That to me is a huge blunder on behalf of the Offensive Coordinator -->

. Defense- Florida's defense came into this game ranked #2 Nationally in total defense, but this would be their first real test against a high caliber offense. So how did they hold up? Well overall I say they lived up to their billing holding a team that averages 45 points a game to 17, and holding them to just a field goal in the second half. The biggest problem for the Gators defense was the inability to slow down the run game of LSU and Stephen Hill. They were continually losing the battle at the line of scrimmage and were giving up an average of 6.5 yards per carry rushing, which is unacceptable. -->

. Defensive Line- This was probably the worst game for the D-Line so far this year, the loss of Easley is becoming more and more apparent as teams are beginning to have success running the ball right up the middle on Florida, they almost had a pretty nice goal-line stand on LSU's second drive where a LSU player clearly jumped early that should have been called a false start, but then still stood up LSU's fullback right at the line and pushed him back, but it was called a TD on the field and due to camera angles you couldn't get a good enough look to overturn it. Almost more concerning than getting beat in the run game was Florida's inability to get pressure on Mettenberger, and when they did it usually turned into a foolish roughing the passer penalty. I thought florida should have maybe brought some more pressure on him and tried some complex blitz packages to get him out of rhythm, but overall they didn't test the Gators very often in the pass game, showing incredible respect for the Gators secondary. -->

. Line Backers- Morrison, and Mike Taylor have been playing pretty solid this season, they are some hard hitting backers and both have a passion and intensity for the game that Floridas defense needs after losing Easley, Morrison and Taylor led the team in tackles, but struggled to get off their blocks and make plays in the running game. Ronald Powell has been very hit or miss this season and today was no exception, aside from a roughing the passer penalty and and unsportsmanlike penalty he was kind of a non factor today which is disappointing when you understand how incredibly talented his is and what he is capable of. -->

. Secondary- I have maintained that in my opinion Florida has the best secondary in the nation, Vernon Hargreaves is a freshman phenom of the likes we haven't seen in a long time, and almost everybody on our secondary has the ability to make game breaking plays. Today LSU didn't challenge the secondary very often, probably out of a sign of respect. But they were able to convert on a couple nice long throws, as well as a few costly pass interference calls. The coverage was very tight for most of the game, the conversions in the passing game were usually very good catches caught in tight windows in good coverage, so really no drop off in this game for the secondary. Not to mention Zach Mettenberger has been averaging almost 300 yards a game and 2 td pass, but Florida's d managed to hold him to 152 yards no TDs and a QBR of only 46.7. -->

. Special Teams- This was the one area I was very concerned about in this game, without a reliable field goal kicker, and a punter who went from being one of the best in the nation last year, to becoming a liability for us, and the problems we have fielding kicks, I wasn't sure how this would go. Well I guess Mushchamp finally had enough of Hardin and brought in a walk on in VAlez who was able to convert from 27 and 44, which was a pleasant surprise. Kristy still had another rough game punting the ball, but did convert on a nice fake punt on 4th down. So overall I give the special teams a B. -->

. I still think Florida has a good team, that is capable of hanging with anybody given the great defense they have. But Florida's gonna have to figure out a way to help Murphy out on offense, and score more than 6 points against a good team. Gators are still in control of their destiny in the East so here hoping we can tighten up. At the very least I would like to beat Georgia and Florida state this year, if we can pick those games up and make it through the season 8-4 or 9-3, Ill be happy.

Please be kind and use good grammar.

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