WAY too early assessment of the 2011 Gators

OK, so I am going to give an early assessment after one single game against a cupcake.

 

Offense:

I liked the protection. It wasn’t perfect and it was against a cream puff, but not bad for the first game. There certainly is some potential as they get more cohesion.

I liked the running game. Demps appears to finally have a little wiggle and Rainey looks great on his first cut. Seems having a FB is going to pay off for them.When Burton gets healthy, motioning him as a co lead with Joyer has great potential, especially against the 3-4 teams.

Reed looks ok as a TE in what limited plays we’ve seen thus far. Dunbar looks like a good one, as Hammond looks poised for a breakout. DT still looks hopeless, and Debose looks positively lost on downfield plays, but I liked Debose’s willingness to lay a hat on people, so that counts for something.

It’ll be interesting to see how Hines and Clark factor in.

Brantley still looks like a lost cause. When you take away his swing completions and yardage, his numbers were on par with last year. That’s particularly disturbing since the apologists blamed it on him being miscast, a square peg in a round hole as it were. We heard non stop about how his skill set is better suited for Weis’ offense, that it’s similar to the offense he ran for Kerwin Bell.  I (and others) warned people that Bell’s offense was prolific because it was a run first league that teams were not built to stop and Brantley’s high school stats were inflated because of this – much like Shane Matthews’ numbers when Spurrier first arrived were an illusion because of the opponents. We saw what happened when Matthews went up against elite athletes (read: FSU, Bowls) in top flight OOC games. The same can be said against Brantley – the defenses he is facing now are all geared to stop the run and the pass, so he’ll have no advantage derived from scheme specific personnel.

Brantley just doesn’t have “it.”

 

Defense:

Hard to gauge based on the competition, but I did like a few things.

For starters, Easley looks like a beast. The level of competition doesn’t play a factor in how one fires off the ball, and his first step is freakish. Whether he can knife past the better players he will face is another matter, but his first step automatically means teams HAVE to account for him.

Powell was still a non factor. Where is this freak we heard about ? He had a coverage sack on a cleanup play. Where was the steady menacing expected ?

I like the instincts of the D coming up to tackle. From the DBs to the LBs I loved the quick reactions and beelines they made on plays at or behind the LOS and the way they stormed up. This bodes well, as they seemed to have learned how to force the play, rather than let the play come to them while they are flat footed. They’ll miss some tackles, but they’ll also force some ballcarriers to the inside on occasion where they’ll have their bells rung and/or cough up a turnover.

I like the way Elam patrolled the middle. He wasn’t tested, but that has as much to do with his positioning as anything else.

All in all the season hold promise. While they stand no chance of winning the SEC title, they could challenge for the EAST. I don’t think they will though. While they will most likely beat Georgia, Tennessee, and SC that triple header of Bama, LSU and Auburn will likely cause them to lose out on the east. They have to steal the Auburn game to have a chance. They need a 6-2 SEC record. Georgia has a cupcake schedule, with SC being the only other opponent of note. Florida needs Georgia to lose to SC, then they need SC to lose to Arkansas or MSU. This works on the idea that Florida beats both Georgia and SC thus having the head to head edge. I haven’t mentioned UT because they have Arkansas, LSU and Bama from the west. They are losing at least 2 of those, plus I am assuming they lose to Florida and probably SC as well as Georgia.

 

Special teams:

Like the 51 yard bomb. Like Patton’s block. Like the return (not the nullification)

So, all in all, decent first outing. Lots of potential for down the road. In reality, I think we should temper our excitement for this year, and think 2012-2013.

 

3 thoughts on “WAY too early assessment of the 2011 Gators

  1. Your wrong about Brantley, mostly from what I see just alot of haters towards him. Let me just say one play that makes a HUGE difference on who he was last year and what he has learned and become now. It turned into a swing pass, but if you have ever watch Tom Brady(not saying brantley is brady) in the pocket, he looks for his first option. If that option is not their he takes in time and stays in the pocket and looks for his second, and thats what made ALL the difference of what I saw last year. Brantley, actually moved like brady and threw accurately. Sorry to tell you, but Football is about the smart plays, and that is what will let him succeed against a better defense. Ill bet highly, that you may be proven wrong against his talent.

  2. Brantley threw accurately ?

    You mean like the pickoff in the endzone ?

    The pickoff from a batted pass that he showed a lack of awareness on ?

    The pass that almost got Reed killed ?

    Those accurate throws ?

    At the end of the day, against a cupcake, he put up numbers on par with last season when he was supposedly miscast.

    Haters are the people who villified Chris Leak for no real good reason. Remember the clips “that’s not how you play QB at the University of Florida” ?

    Those are haters.

    Haters are people who abused Doug Johnson and Rex Grossman because they weren’t the second coming of Danny Wuerffel.

    Questioning JB’s abilities because he hasn’t shown he can do anything in a situation that really matters is not hating; it’s observing the lack of there there (spin on there’s no there, there.

    Thanks for the tip, though, on the game of football. I’ve been coaching more than half my life but it never occurred to me that smart plays are important. I’ll try to remember that.

    Here’s a question and answer it honestly – against LSU, FSU and Bama, when the downfield is not available, do you really believe they can swing them all day long ? Do you think those floaters he threw against FAU will be completions against those teams ? At BEST they’ll be incompletions.

  3. Dude, Brantley is a fifth year senior, at that point one should not be expected to improve, but to be there already. Brantley was not accurate. He almost got Reed injured and Thompson almost had a career ending concussion (thank God he didn’t) diving for a pass thrown behind him and low. Why do some people have so much love for Brantley that easily is the worst UF QB since the 80’s? Is it because his dad led us to a winless season? Literally the only QB I couldn’t stand. Doug Johnson was a better freshman than Brantley was a fourth year Junior. theBone is right when it comes to YAC yards. It is a FACT not Opinion. Seriously watch objectively when we play a game like Tennessee and then talk until then please tell us what a QB with 10 TD’s and 12 INT’s as a starter has proven.

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