Between Mike Pouncey turning into Chuck Knoblauch, Deonte Thompson still having stone hands and mysterious suspensions, Florida's 34-12 win over Miami (Ohio) did not feel like a win.
Today's game story begins and ends with Pouncey and how his yips impacted the Gator offense. With John Brantley, he could never get in a rhythm when he was chasing down snaps. The play calling was vanilla, but the offensive line couldn't execute with their leader having the worst day of his career.
John-Boy will have better days than the 17-25 for 113 yards. He didn't go up field and forced the ball a few times to Chris Rainey and Omarius Hines. For his part, Hines might have been the best Gator offensive player with Jeff Demps. We know Demps has world class speed, and his sweep (with a tackle playing tight end) was proof of it. But we didn't know what we would get out of Hines. His blocking was lacking, but he became a big target with a touchdown and two more catches for first downs. Hines won't be an All-American, but he was a bright spot in a dark cloud of suck for the Gators offense.
On defense, you have to be pleased, even if the RedHawks scored four times. They held the ball for nearly 35 minutes, allowing the UF defense to wilt in the heat. With nearly everyone playing, aside from Will Hill (suspension), Florida was fairly basic on defense, but was executing. Matt Elam seemed to be the most impressive to me. Yes, he might have ended up a stride behind his man a few times, but he's a freshman. That will happen. We also realized UF has four linebackers who can play any position. Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic both played well, with Bostic getting most of the action. On Bostic's interception, he swung out into coverage as A.J. Jones pulled off his man and blitzed. Bostic was able to get into the passing lane for the pick. That won't happen against a better team, but this is just the first of many games. Better to see it now than never. Janoris Jenkins and Ahmad Black played well, with Jenkins taking a leadership role. Jeremy Brown also was a solid contributor, especially considering his sprained ankle from practice this week.
We will have more on Pouncey tomorrow, but I really hope you have some sympathy for him. Just like the rest of his team, it's just one game. It wasn't very good, but there are a lot of games left to fix the problems.
On a personal note, thanks to the new twitter followers who followed @AlligatorArmy until our crappy AT&T coverage dropped out. Also, to the student section, don't do the wave when we have the ball.