Today's Orange and Blue Game was like a lazy spring training game. The best players (Janoris Jenkins, Jeff Demps) were out, other guys did not do enough and there were a few young prospects (Jeff Driskel, A.C. Leonard) to make you hope. The final score was 13-10 for Blue, but that matters only if you cared enough to keep score in a practice.
For those of us hoping John Brantley would finally pull it together, we were wrong. Brantley was 4-14 for 45 yards, and looked no different under Charlie Weis than he did under war criminal Steve Addazio and lame duck Urban Meyer. The offense only moved the ball if receivers made individual plays of if they ran the ball. Granted, the defense is ahead of the offense in these games and the offense is brand new, but Brantley has a lot of work to do.
Jeff Driskel and Tyler Murphy were not much better. Murphy was 7-11 for 68 yards with a touchdown and pick. If anything, Murphy was zipping the ball, proving he has the arm to compete with Brantley and Driskel. He can move too, so that is nice. Driskel was only 3-8 for 29 yards, a sign that he might not be ready for prime time. For the hype about Driskel, he does not come from Armwood, St. Thomas Aquinas or Nease. He comes from a non-traditional football school that was not on ESPNU or followed regularly. Driskel is a camp standout that has to convert that skill to game time experience. Playing ball in Seminole County is not Hillsborough County, Broward or Dade and it sure as hell isn't the SEC.
If there was a new guy that stood out to me, it was AC Leonard, who looks like two dudes in one. Not only does he have great legs like my brother Omarius Hines, Leonard looks to be about 260. If he isn't playing tight end, he could play linebacker. Leonard had three catches for 18 yards, but looked like a battleship cruising through the middle of the field on crossing patterns. Stephen Alli, Quinton Dunbar and Chris Rainey were the other Gators with two catches. Dunbar was very fast, and like a truly fast guy, jogs like he has a dump in his pants. Marcus Jones ran the ball for 15 carries and 63 yards, but won't see the field in September.
On defense, Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley, William Green and Ronald Powell all looked good. But that is to be expected as new defensive line coach Bryant Young is a frighting man and he can make anyone do something out of fear. Floyd was doubled teamed and held on every play and Easley was very good until leaving with an apparent knee injury.
It would have been nice to see some more from the Gators. We'll have to hope they come back in August with a better sense of themselves.
One final note: the statues of Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow look very well done. However, I'm an asshole and will continue to wait for the statue of the starting five of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions, as well as the Robert Cade statue. I appreciate the Bull Gators giving something more to UF (seriously, Stumpy Harris is on everything), but can't we get an indoor fieldhouse with football, tennis and track? Yes, Dr. Cade is getting a museum, but he should have a statue too.