The undefeated Gators took on a very solid 'Bama Crimson Tide crew in Gainesville yesterday. The Tide were coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks and were coming in as an underdog looking to bounce back. UF had a sour taste in their mouth from a beatdown suffered at the hands of the Tide last season in Tuscaloosa, Urban Meyer's first loss at the Gators head coach.
The Throwback Jerseys
Awesome. I absolutely loved everything about them, minus the fact that the names weren't on the back. I'm usually a big fan of unis with no names on the back because of the classic look, but I think that seeing those player names on the back would have completed those jerseys in full. I would love to see the Gators pull those out once a year or something like that. Don't let them get stale, but pull 'em out here and there to change things up.
Lovin' the throwbacks (picture courtesy of Gatorzone.com)
The Ring of Honer
The University of Florida Ring of Honor presentation prior to the game was simply amazing. I felt that the way they did the presentations was great with the big screen video intros, and the fact that 3 of the 4 were there to receive the honor was great too. I wish Emmitt could have made it there in person (stupid Dancing With the Stars). Anyways, I was loving the ovations that Youngblood, Spurrier and Wuerffel got and it nearly gave me goosebumps to see all those guys together. It makes a great addition to the Swamp and gives our program a little better sense of history.
Great group of guys, and Emmitt's sister (Gatorzone.com, once again)
First of all, it was hot. Last week I was complaining about the humidity for the Kentucky evening kick, but this week was just simply HOT. The sun beating down on the student section was no joke until it finally fell behind the Champion Club suites in the 3rd quarter.
The crowd was pretty loud, but not as loud as I would have liked. There were several times where there were key points in the game, and I was a little disappointed at the noise level coming from the student section, at least. I think I was just spoiled by coming to games all my life and seeing how rowdy the Swamp was in the mid-90s. The Reggie Nelson pick got the crowd very loud and made for a very exciting atmosphere.
Good effort overall, though, and I expect to see it very loud next week as the Bayou Bengals come on in.
Ok. I'm not going to make any excuses or belittle the Tide's offensive performance, but it looked as if the Gators front 7 is really missing the presence of Marcus Thomas in the middle. The D-Line had a lot of trouble getting to John Parker Wilson, and I think that the absence of Thomas was a major cause. This, of course, could have been a great effort by the Tide's O-Line, but overall I was disappointed in the pressure from the D-line overall. They'll definitely need to up that if they expect to beat LSU.
The secondary continues to look like they aren't aggressive enough against pretty skilled receivers. This could have been a combination of the time the QB had to throw or the fact that DJ Hall is a great receiver, but they'll need to avoid giving up those big plays next week against very quick and talented LSU receivers. The 3 picks were nice, so that shows that they definitely have their heads in the game at least. I just hope they avoid giving up big plays against LSU next weekend.
Overall, an above average defensive performance. I think they could do better though. They only gave up 13 points to Alabama. Good enough to win, so I'm happy. Get a little more pressure consistently next week and cover the LSU receivers more aggressively and I think we have a win on our hands (offensive performance would be the key).
I don't know what to think of yesterday's performance by the offense, other than our receivers made some great plays. They showed the athleticism and skill that I knew they possessed yesterday, and I think that Meyer and Mullen made some great decisions to give those guys the opportunities they deserved. The use of the downfield throw was mixed in very well, with Tim Tebow even getting a shot to chuck the ball downfield to a very open receiver. I think that it is silly not to use your receivers to their full potential, and the offensive playcalling definitely gave those guys the chance to make good things happen.
A couple of times I felt the Gators didn't do enough to avoid ending drives. The drive which resulted in the Hetland miss was a prime example of this, when the Gators did a draw play with Leak followed by a shovel pass. I'd prefer us to just run the ball up the gut, get the ball to the middle of the field and get a few extra yards at least to give our kicker a better chance. At least throw the ball to the endzone once. Another drive occurred in which a Chris Leak draw play was called on 2nd and 11, followed by a screen pass on 3rd and 13. I don't think these were smart calls, but I'm not going to say anything else dissing the coaches, because I thought it was solid overall.
A win over 'Bama is always good. They have had our number in the past and we have never really had too much to brag about to them. They have the history and the recent success against us, so now we can at least have a little chunk of bragging rights over them. The Tide came in with a pretty good gameplan and guys that were ready to play, and they gave us a good game until we pulled away near the end. With all their losses from last year's squad I would say they put up a pretty good effort yesterday
I'm very worried going into the games against LSU and Auburn. I think that those two squad's team speed will be tough to defend against, and I think the coaching staff will have to come up with a very good gameplan to win those games. We can celebrate the win over the Tide today, but the team better start prepping for the LSU Tigers as early as tomorrow morning.