Orange and Blue Game Leaves Questions Unanswered

Orange and Blue Game 2011


As I sat down to write an article about the Orange and Blue game I had trouble figuring out what the general gist of it was going to be.  The problem was, we really learned very little.

The first problem was that it just seemed to fly by.  The whole thing lasted less than two hours including halftime.  But the real issue was the offensive line injuries.  As a result, we saw a lot of backup linemen, many of them tired from having to play both ways, get pushed around all afternoon long.  It’s hard to evaluate an offense when the line is getting pushed around like that.

We’ve now seen the “new look” Gators offense.  It wasn’t really anything new or revolutionary on a football-wide scale, and was a pretty prototypical pro style offense, which I’m sure is enough for most Gator fans tired of the spread after last year.

John Brantley looks like his same old self, or at least the same one we saw last year.  Maybe slightly more comfortable out there, but an alarming number of his passes still sailed or were knocked down at the line.  Again, it’s difficult to evaluate it too much with the pass rush in his face all game long, so maybe he gets a bit of a pass on that front, but there certainly wasn’t much to prove to us that he has turned things around yet.  Some of the passes he missed, and missed badly, were just inexcusable.

Tyler Murphy really stole the show from Brantley, and “stealing the show” in this case merely took a mediocre performance.  My major complaint with Murphy was his inability (or unwillingness) to put some touch on his passes and take some heat off of it.

Aside from the new offense, the other thing that most Gators fans were excited to see was freshman sensation Jeff Driskel.  Driskel certainly looked like a true freshman out there, but in all I liked what I saw of him.  Unlike Murphy, he demonstrated not only some good zip on his passes, but also the ability to float it over the top when necessary.

The real winner of the orange and blue game was neither orange nor blue, but rather the defense as a whole.  Yet again though, it’s difficult to be sure how much of that was the easy win they got in the trenches against the tired, battered offensive line.  There were definitely several plays where the secondary let receivers get way too open, way too far downfield.

I don’t think anyone believes that the Orange and Blue game lived up to the expectations this year, but it’s a long offseason, and there’s a lot of work that will still be done before the 2011 season kicks off.

17 thoughts on “Orange and Blue Game Leaves Questions Unanswered

  1. This was exactly why I refrained from ripping on Brantley. There was zero resistance to anything even resembling a pass rush, which really screwed up his timing.

  2. Come on Neil, we get that JB was playing behind a line that was injured or backups, but the fact remains, he can’t deal with any pressure. What happens when we have our O-line back healthy and ready and we face a front four that dominates and sends Brantley running every other play? What’s the excuse going to be for him then? All he showed us Saturday was he still locks in on his guys, he is still throwing either to low and his passes are getting batted, or he’s to high, and that he just buckles anytime he feels pressure. The kid just can’t play QB at Florida as the starter. Tell his daddy and his uncle to prepare for their darling boy to be riding the pine and accept it. It’s time to give another QB a chance. Hell, Provancha looked better than Brantley.

  3. SO what you’re saying is all Brantley needs to be a successful QB is ample time in the pocket to go through his progressions? That’s not the way it works. Pockets are going to breakdown and we need a QB that can deal with that. Brantley can’t, and it was on full display last year and at the O&B game. See what happens when a QB gets hyped up putting up numbers against inferior 2A players? 4 of 14. Fantastic.

  4. ‎3 things I learned from the Orange and Blue debut: 1) John Brantley NEVER NEEDS to start another game for FLA. 2) Jeff Driskle is the REAL DEAL. He took his offense and with ease drove them down the feild to score the first touchdown of the Orange and Blue game. His presence on the feild is very Tebow-esque he or Tyler Murphy should be the starting QB 3) There is a prostyle offense coming to FLA thanx Weis 🙂

  5. I give him one game. If he doesn’t absolutely torch Florida Atlantic then I call for his benching. He needs to light them up like a nightclub or else I’ll use my inner Bill Simmons to call for his playing career at UF to end.

  6. Exactly Neil give the guy one game, matter of fact I would give him 2 drives to make something happen. If not bring in MURPHY.

  7. Exactly Neil give the guy one game, matter of fact I would give him 2 drives to make something happen. If not bring in MURPHY.

  8. Seriously, he needs to light up FAU like a Christmas tree or else my Steve Addazio to Gator Nation from Philly articles transform into John Brantley to the starters from the Bench.

  9. I completely agree. Brantley should get at least the first half against FAU. That’s it.
    I also worry about or little backs, Demps and Rainey. I know they are fast and all. Just seems they are either hurt, suspended, or go down if a big paw of a D-lineman get a hold of them. I am looking forward to more power running back there, but those guys are all hurt as well. Just need to turn things around and find a back that can run the ball well.

  10. The small back thing is okay as long as you have that big back to go along with him. Urban got away with Tebow being that guy.

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