How Florida Won
The Gators poured it on
It was 17-0 after one quarter, with all of those 17 points coming in 1:58 of game clock. It was 30-0 at halftime. It was 51-0 heading to the fourth. It was 65-0 at game's end.
Florida came out with its foot on the gas and didn't let up until late in the fourth. And it produced just about as satisfying a win on the field as anyone could have wanted.
Florida's offense is real
Florida did what it needed to do on offense, spreading the ball out to playmakers — eight Gators recorded carries, and 11 (!!!) had at least one catch — and letting them make mincemeat of Eastern Michigan in space. Florida tallied 6.6 yards per carry, and 17.0 yards per catch, and cranked out explosive plays all day long.
It was Eastern Michigan, and there were still hiccups, like the three drives that terminated within 25 yards of the Eagles' goal line and turned into field goals, or Jeff Driskel firing high to a few receivers, or receivers dropping very catchable balls.
But you saw what was real. That was the offense we were promised this offseason.
Makes you wonder if some of the hype is just, well, the reality of the situation, doesn't it?
Florida's defense is really good
Do you remember much from the defensive downs on Saturday? Because I don't. And there were only 55 of them.
Eastern Michigan had seven first downs. It went 3-for-14 on third downs. Its longest play covered 16 yards; its longest pass went for 13 yards, and was one of nine completions on the day. Florida forced five turnovers and made one of them count for six points without the offense's help.
A really good defense should throttle a team this bad. Florida's did.
Treon the Truth
Two throws for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Two perfect throws, one well over the top of the defense to Florida's most dangerous playmaker and one into a seam to Florida's most dangerous walk-on. Two throws in the fourth quarter of an already-decided game, yes, but unquestionably the best two throws to begin a career as a Gators quarterback in the history of Florida football.
Welcome, Treon Harris. Please stay.
Andre Debose is baaack.
It wasn't just the mind-bending, spellbinding 55-yard punt return that nearly netted Debose his first punt return TD; he had three others, and tallied 97 yards on the quartet. He looks like a fearsome weapon on punt returns for the first time in his Florida career — he's been iffy on those — and didn't even get a chance to take back a kickoff. He got involved in the passing game, and though he couldn't actually pull in a catch, his speed and athleticism is a lethal threat, and one that might turn into more than a threat with Kurt Roper making the calls.
This was the most electrifying and tantalizing game of Debose's Ulysses remake of a career. And yet he has so much more left to do to improve.
Florida did what it had to do
Eastern Michigan's awful. We can agree on this, right? Rob Bolden threw one of the worst passes I've ever seen right to Duke Dawson for that pick-six, and the Eagles were running scared on practically every passing down.
That makes it hard to judge exactly how good Florida is. But 2013 Florida won its opener by 18 points and we spent a week talking about how "vanilla" Brent Pease's offense was. A 65-point margin of victory, and a 65-point total, and a goose egg on the other team's side of the scoreboard: Those things tend to kill dumb conversations before they begin.
11 receivers caught passes. Eight runners had carries. Seven receivers had receptions of at least eight yards. Seven runners had carries of at least seven yards.
Yeah, one of each of those guys is Mark Herndon, and yeah, Darius Masline is one of the runners. I know. But we saw many more targets do something with the ball on offense tonight, and that's a very good sign.
The defense didn't miss a beat
Eastern Michigan wasn't playing a defense with Dominique Easley, or Matt Elam, or Sharrif Floyd. Those roles are played by other guys, young guys who don't have names anyone knows right now.
The results were more or less the same.
Both Good and Bad
We only got one of these
Psst: Idaho might be worse than Eastern Michigan.
And Florida coming off two games like this and heading into SEC play would have been awesome. Awesome.
There were points left on the field
Florida failed on a fourth down at Eastern Michigan's 8 and kicked a field goal from the red zone.
Doesn't matter: Still won by 65.
Jeff Driskel wasn't at full bore
Because we are a picky fan base, and will be trying to find reasons not to believe in this team this week, we will focus on what Jeff Driskel didn't do on Saturday. He didn't impress with his command of the offense on a consistent enough basis to think he's assured of a great season. He locked onto receivers. He let players get to spots on the field and hit them with bullets rather than leading them. He didn't run like he could've.
He set a few career highs as a passer, though, and made no major mistakes, and was pretty clearly still going at less than full speed, at least to me. If he needs improvement, the most important ones will probably come from cranking up his level of play as the season demands it.
There were a few stupid penalties
Three defensive personal fouls, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after Debose's insane punt return, and a delay of game on the first play of a drive will all remain stuck in Will Muschamp's craw for a while. They were all probably preventable with a little more discretion.
They had no impact on the game, though.