Considering that Alabama’s a great team, and Florida appears to be on that good, not great level… honestly, is anybody surprised by what ultimately happened?
Florida actually did much better than I thought they would in some respects. They forced a few big turnovers, moved the ball a bit early to weather the initial storm, and hung in with what could very well be a playoff team until deep into the third quarter.
But in the end, Alabama was just too much. The Crimson Tide racked up 645 yards on Florida, including passing touchdowns by Blake Sims of 87 and 79 yards, and their defense pressured Jeff Driskel into several major errors. It all added up to a 42-21 win…
Actually, no, I can’t write that with a straight face. I don’t work for the AP. Let’s try that again; the defense gave up the most yards in program history. Yes, Florida, a team that has existed since 1906, surrendered the most yards in the history of the program. And Jeff Driskel wasn’t really pressured; he was really just plain bad. No, that’s not enough; Driskel was absolutely horrible, erasing any confidence in him left over in my mind from his winning at Texas A&M and at FSU in 2012. Sure, Alabama has a great defense, but the offensive line (for once) did a pretty good job blocking for him. But his decision making was just not at an acceptable level for a Florida Gators’ QB.
I knew Florida was in trouble the moment Kenyon Drake burned us for an 87 yard TD to start the game. And I was right; even though Florida battled back, and actually took the lead at one point, they really were in for a long day. When the defense wasn’t giving up big bombs to Amari Cooper, they were getting gashed for long, slow, methodical touchdown drives. When Driskel wasn’t making bad tactical decisions, he was shotgunning errant passes that even Tim Howard had no prayer of getting his hands on.
There’s so much more to go into, and I’ll get into it tomorrow in greater detail. But for now, just take away one thing: Alabama is really good. But they’re not as good as they have been. And the fact of the matter is, they didn’t win by nearly as many points as they could have.
Go ahead. Vent. I’ll steal Andy Hutchins’ idea and make this the vent thread. No rules, except for the obvious ones: no racial/homophobic slurs, no C words, and no wishing death or injury on any player, coach or fellow commentor. After that, anything goes. So have at it.