This has been one of the least enjoyable Gator seasons I can remember watching save for last year's gut wrenching week after week slog fest they put on under the ENORMOUS weight of last season's expectations. Not seeing a Gator team play to its full potential since the BCSCG against Oklahoma is doing something damaging to my soul. I thought that in the beginning of the season they would score a lot and give up a lot of points, basically the opposite of what they've been doing so far. For some reason I assumed JB12 would start off as the best passer in Gainesville since the Rex Cannon and he would make the WRs good and as the Old Ball Coach used to say "pitch it around a bunch." (past tense since he's in Columbia. That never feels right to say).
I finally felt better Saturday night. Several caveats: it was Kentucky, and Trey only strikes once like that. Doubtful he'll ever get close to six TD's in one game ever again, at any level of football, even if he suited up for his old high school. I still am worried about our lack of vertical passing game and lack of a consistent vertical threat, COME BACK TO US LOUIS MURPHY!!!!!!!! There is no pass rush that I can discern, and our second quarter was kind of weaksauce (is that one of Heinz's 57 varieties?) as well.
But with all those qualifiers I do finally see the team shaping up. The D is fast, physical, and menacing. I shudder for the poor fools that will have to play these guys the next 2-3 years. When they fully develop, they might not give up a point for a whole season except for a safety on special teams. I can point to just about every position on the field and pick out an absolute stud in the making. Jelani Jenkins qualifies, as do Sharrif (that is so fun to say) Floyd, Matt Elam, Ronald Powell, Jeremy Brown looks like he has a bit of the playmaker gene in him. I know i'm omitting, a whole bunch too, and we all have our opinions as to who will be great, but we all get the point. We can all probably agree there is a crazy amount of talent and potential on this team right now, specifically on defense. There is also the potential that Jon Bostic is really just a cyborg sent back from the future by Bull Gators in conjunction with university scientists and engineers as both a test and a way to influence the past. He is Truth.
Anyone else disappointed by what I perceive to be a lack of improvement by Janoris Jenkins? He started on a National Champion defense his freshman year, and was seemingly spectacular. He's still very good, but I had hopes he would be Deion Sanders. Not so much. Oh well.
Also, anyone else want him not returning punts? Seems like he's a bit dangerous good and bad back there. He actually returns pretty well, but has one fumble already and could have about 78 more. Returning punts is a good way to get hurt too. EVERYONE on the other team is gunning for you and besides isn't it possible he is worn out after forcing a punt on defense? Or am I naive to think fatigue causes mental mistakes, like fielding a punt poorly and muffing it?
Offensively, besides what I said about Johnny B, I am disappointed in the O-line. I thought that was going to be the strength of the team due to their experience. I am aware of the injuries but they just have not gotten the push on the opposing D-line I had hoped. Insert frowny face <--------------here. AND WHERE THE FUCK IS THE NEXT LOUIS MURPHY????? We need a big, fast, vertical threat. We have none as they are either too small, Robert Clark, too slow, Carl Moore (who is becoming Mr. Tough Catch, the Davone Bess of the Gators if you will), too "I can't catch the ball for some fucking reason," Deonte Thompson, too drunk, Frankie Hammond Jr., too invisible Andre Debose, or must have fucked Shelly and the Meyer daughters at the same time while he made Urban watch otherwise they'd throw him the ball more, Omarious Hines.
Can we get a petition or website or facebook page or SOMETHING going to get Omarious the ball more? A march on Washington or Gale Lemerand (oops I mean North South)? Call our local and state representatives and possibly Congressmen? All he does is make plays. He's seemingly impossible to tackle, or am I just watching a different game than everyone else? How many questions can I write in a paragraph? As noted above he must have done something unspeakable to the Meyer lady folk, otherwise he would already have elventy billion yards by now. That can only be explanation for the lack of utilizing him so far. That or they have no idea how to use him or just DON'T because Addazio has got a case of the "oops I crapped my pants" sometimes. Either one. Just the fact he's still on the team and playing shows you how badass he is considering the unspeakable things he potentially did. Take THAT Chris Rainey.
As an aside I cannot wait until Addazio is hired to be the head coach at a school like Akron, or Marshall, or San Diego State, just to get him away from us. Addition by subtraction is very real and can be your best friend when you recognize it for what it is.
Here is also something that needs to be addressed. They need to use Jeff Demps more sparingly AND NOT RUN HIM UP THE FUCKING MIDDLE INTO 900 POUND LINEMAN. LIKE SERIOUSLY WTF???? DO THEY WANT TO GET HIM HURT???? DO THEY HATE THE BACKUPS LIKE MIKE GILLISLEE AND EMMANUEL MOODY? Ok, angry rant over but still, STOP DOING THAT. I know he isn't made of glass but he is still not the biggest guy ever and poorly suited for that game. Get him out on the edges, throw him the ball more maybe, but limit his touches to 12-15 per game and maybe twenty if he is on fire. A less abused Jeff Demps is a better Demps, and I would rather him touch it less and have him play every game and reasonably close to full speed. Because he is Sonic the Motherfucking Hedgehog. Nick Saban is Dr. Robotnik.
Speaking of disgusting little burrowing creatures that feed on the lowest forms of life, Nick Saban and Alabama! I will say that I am more confident after last week's Kentucky backwoods beating about the trip to Tuscaloosa than I have been since, well ever. I have trouble seeing a Gator victory.though.
When the Gators have the ball:
I don't think the run will be that successful. Hard to see the offensive line getting the push to run for more than say 120 yards and that might be generous. Needless to say not enough to control the clock enough to keep the ball away from Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. I could totally envision some strange blitzes coming at a new starting QB too and causing some turnovers.
Let's not forget John of THE Brantleys, is a new QB. This will be his second ever road start and his fifth overall. And in this start he will not be going against the Artist Formerly Known as Tennessee. This will be in Tuscaloosa where they PLAY THEM SOME FOOBAW! Joe Kines agrees wholeheartedly.
When the Elephants have the ball (no seriously they have an elephant mascot. HOW IN THE FUCK IS THAT FUCKING POSSIBLE? And seriously, Crimson Tide? Nah for real what's up with that? Just like stupid Alabamians to have dumb mascots. What's the deal with Auburn and the lame ass war eagle? They already are the Tigers. You don't see a goddam zebra running around The Swamp do you?):
The Gators might have one of the best D-lines (well, maybe interior line, not much production from the DEs) in the country to stop the machine that is Ingram and Richardson, and it still won't be enough. They are simply too good for this young defense. They probably will stop them just enough to make it interesting, but expect a big play or two to come from the running game. Also, a big play or two will come off a screen by one of those two monsters. And of course, Julio Jones breaking off a big play is always on the table.
The bottom line is this, I am sorta happy Alabama beat Arkansas because I don't think Alabama will lose consecutive games this season. I think the Gators will keep it close, possibly frustratingly so. I think the Gators could have some trouble scoring in the redzone if/when the Trey Burton package isn't as successful this week. I could see them picking off McElroy once or twice But I see a big 3rd down play like a screen pass or a pass to Julio Jones to do in the Gators. McElroy will make a play or two during the game and we'll all be thinking to ourselves, "FUCK! I didn't think he'd make THAT play." All in all I think the Gators will acquit themselves well and it will be a good learning experience for them. Maybe something a la the 2007 LSU game where possibly they grew up some and found out what it really took to win a big game on the road in the SEC and a big game in general. I think this team has many parallels with the 2007 team, but this one is perhaps even more talented, except for one Savior.
Prediction: Alabama 28-20.