Hell, I'd take Jesse Palmer... he was a better QB than he is an announcer, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it.
I couldn't agree more. I think the problem the national media and even regional media types have with UF is that by any traditional standard (ie. returning starters, new faces), the Gators should struggle what with all the inexperience. But I think they underestimate the negative effect Harris had on the offense, which in turn affected the whole team. What they don't seem to get is UF's ability to simply complete passes fifteen yards down the field with consistency will be a dramatic improvement. And to address the 'question marks' at the WR position, unless you've been following this team closely, I guess it's easy to write them off as inexperienced and, therefore, unreliable. However, all I know is that the offense, especially at WR, is more talented than they were a year ago and when you throw in the contribution our stud TEs will provide (something SDS doesn't seem to consider when talking about the passing game), I think we have a chance to be dynamic in the passing game and ultimately the offense as a whole. Throw in the fact that we are reloading on defense and that I have no doubt that Callaway will be returning soon, and I think we Gators have reason to be excited about this season. I think the underdog role only helps these guys as far as handling last year's success. 40 days and counting!
Ole Miss is the Tennessee of the Western Division... has this enviable collection of talent, talks a bunch of sh*t in the off-season, and promptly faceplants when the lights are brightest. It truly took Bama having their worst game in probably ten years for you guys to luck up and beat them. And I guess I'll go ahead and point out that you guys are in that group of teams along with Vandy, UK, and A&M that have NEVER been to the SEC title game. I suppose what I'm saying is that we Gator fans will take you flash-in-the-pan Rebels seriously once you win a championship or two. Until then, good luck in the Egg Bowl... you're going to need it.
You know, John... there's a lot of hyperbole and incorrect "facts" in this article, ie. Hardin's career-long FG was not the 43-yard game winner against Vandy. Rather, it was the 50 yard game winner at Tennessee last year, but I'm used to SDS making such factual gaffes. I'm okay with your opinion that UF isn't that good of a team. Hell, I have had that distinct thought a handful of times this season as I've watched this team play. But what I have a pretty big problem with is this disgraceful garbage here; "Coach Jim McElwain waited until Monday after a game against a tough Missouri defense to suspend Will Grier despite apparent knowledge the quarterback was under investigation for PED usage." You, sir, are a f*cking hack. There has literally been exactly ZERO evidence of McElwain, his staff, or any officials at UF who had prior knowledge of Grier's mishap and I think your editorial staff needs to take a long look at continuing your employment as a staff writer because what you're basically accusing UF of is a pretty serious infraction of NCAA rules. In fact, your editor would have to approve such drivel to be published, which means that that moron should accompany you out the door of whatever subterranean basement lair SDS currently occupies. Please enlighten me as to the evidence you possess that made you think it was a good idea to write something like that. I think I may withdraw my membership from SDS on the strength of such abject idiocy.
*are NOT such a sure thing.
I keep reading comments from ppl who think they know football saying things like "UF couldn't stop Hurd" and they then use the transitive properties of that statement to then conclude that they will get thrashed by Fournette. You couldn't prove to me any more that you didn't watch that game because it wasn't Hurd who hurt the Gator defense all that much, even though he rushed for 108 yards. Rather, it was Dobbs who really hurt them along with poor tackling that has since been addressed. When you play as aggressively on defense as UF (and LSU) does, it makes them susceptible to offenses with a QB that runs as well as Dobbs as he is pretty much a RB with an arm. You go from being a defense that is always in attack-mode to having to play containment defense, which a lot of defenses have difficulty adjusting to as UF did. And once TN started having success with running Dobbs right at us, Hurd got in on the action in some read-option stuff, which is logical from a strategic standpoint. All that said, I still think we get beat, but I wouldn't be surprised if we won. We've performed well as underdogs this season (see the Ole Miss game) and I really think that LSU's mentality going into this game makes them ripe for an upset because I truly believe that they think that they are every bit of those 7.5 points better than the Gators. Throw in the fact that UF has been battle tested this season and LSU hasn't and suddenly the Bayou Bengels are such a sure thing. Tell me, Nobleman69, how will your Tigers respond when they get punched in the mouth? That's right; you don't know... no one does. We do, however, know how UF responds.
Yet another example of SDS making up their own narrative. They are literally the only ones still calling UF's O-line the team's weakness.
Dude, TN is going to beat someone of consequence this yr, guaranteed. And it could be this game as I can envision a scenario in which UGA lets Bama beat them twice. Could be wrong here, but I hope I'm not...
I really hate to be 'that guy,' but I've seen SDS making the same mistake on multiple articles with regard to FL's tilt with TN. Folks, the Gators/Vols game was AT FLORIDA, not AT TENNESSEE. You guys have a great product and have a bunch of followers/members that would be even better if y'all would just fire your current editor and back-fill that spot with someone who at least knows how to proofread. Just one man's opinion...
Sandbag all you want, my Tiger friend, but when Will characterized this game as a 'terrifying trap game,' he wasn't kidding. Call me pessimistic, but I'm not sold on the 'Gators are back!' narrative just yet. Yes, we looked like world-beaters against Ole Miss, but as one of my football buddies reminded me yesterday (he's a TN fan, by the way), that was just one game. I, for one, respect the hell out of Pinkel and the job he's done as he's captained the Mizzou ship through the transition to SEC play masterfully and as long as he's coaching there, you guys will always have a chance. Those factors coupled with it being in Columbia at night on homecoming make this Gator quite nervous. I think you guys have a better chance than you think. Hopefully, I'm wrong...
It's funny; I just got my head bitten off by a another A&M fan on another thread on this site yesterday. Begs the question of if that's just merely a coincidence or are all A&M fans discussion board tough guys?
Easy killer and lay off the Red Bull... I guess you need to brush up on the definition of 'respectful disagreement.' And that wasn't a smartass comment on A&M's defense; Chavis has that side of the ball humming, but you knew that already. And my comment on Ole Miss's WR group being the best in the country wasn't a declaration of any kind, nor was it a comparison to A&M's. Rather, and follow me here my thin-skinned friend, that was the public/ESPN perception going into this game what with Laquon Treadwell and company. The buzz on that game beforehand was one of the 'UF shouldn't even show up' variety because Ole Miss was supposed to be that much better than us on our home field. And while you relearn how to respectfully disagree with other adults on discussion boards, you should probably also work on your reading comprehension skills (or lack thereof) because at no point did you make any educated rebuttals to my assertion that UF's secondary has so far proven themselves on the field, unlike that of LSU's (again, so far, but their opportunity will come). And yes, I'm fully aware that we are likely to go into our bye week before the UGA game sporting at least one loss, but I'm okay with that considering how young this team is and how new the coaching staff is. Lastly, you are aware that your Aggies play in the tougher of the two divisions in this conference, yes? And that you guys still have to play LSU, Bama, and Ole Miss? Seems to me that A&M has more opportunities to take some losses than does UF. Jesus, ppl like you suck to debate with because you take it so personally that you can't have an adult conversation and express your disagreement in a civil manner. Grow up...
I'm a Gator fan so obviously, I'm not biased at all, but... I respectfully disagree with your assertion on LSU's DBs being better than UF's. I strongly encourage you to flip on the SEC Network and watch the replay of the Ole Miss game. Going into that game, all we heard about was that poor, wittle UF's secondary was going to get torched by the Rebels' far supierior WR group that was, oh by the way, the best receiver group in the country. A lot of ppl are focused on the pressure UF was able to apply to Chad Kelly, which was in a word, relentless. But if you really pay attention to what's going on, the sacks and hurries we notched in a lot of cases was the fact that Kelly could not find a soul open to throw to. Where I come from, we call that a coverage sack... right, Stephen? And don't just use that one game as your sample size. You can also look at our game against UK. No, they're not Ole Miss, but they have good receivers and Patrick Towles is as talented a QB as there is in the SEC, but he had an awful night against our defense in large part because, again, he could not find one open receiver. Not one... and by the way, that's the same guy who torched us last season at Florida Field for 370 yards and three TDs. Anyway, enjoy that stellar defense of A&M's!
Curtis Lowe- Unrelated question for you; are you, in fact, the "finest picker to ever play the blues?"
I couldn't agree more... Even their fans tend to be way more civil than your typical SEC fan. I guess that's because they haven't been in the conference long enough to develop a blinding and nonsensical air of entitlement yet.
That's why I like having civil debates with Mizzou fans; you guys are respectful and are decidedly not thin-skinned (for the most part). That said, I forgot to also point out something with regard to UF's respect level for the Tigers; you guys have beat us like a drum the last two years, albeit against some pretty bad Gator teams. If there's anyone who is overconfident, it's the fringe Gator fans who now think that their misguided national championship predictions over the last five pre-seasons have now been validated. No matter what happens, though, this game promises to be pretty stressful and while I'm looking forward to this game just like I look forward to every FL game, I'm also ready for this one to be behind us, for real. I'd say good luck, but... well, you know.
I equate the revenge factor to an emotional advantage for UF, rather than a blight on the ego. And I must respectfully disagree with your assertion on overconfidence. You're forgetting that this is a team coming off a 7-5 season last year, and 4-8 the season before that (with home losses to Vandy and GA Southern). Rather, I think the better characterization of this team's mentality right now is that they are gaining confidence and are learning how to win. And I'm not all that sure you're dealing with sensible Gator fans wherever you are in FL, but most of us (myself included) respect the hell out of the two-time defending division champs who will be playing on their home field at night... on homecoming, no less. In short, this game makes me nervous and for good reason; Mizzou has a damn fine team that always appears to underachieve against bad competition, yet rises to the occasion against allegedly "better" competition. However, at the end of the day, I simply don't know where the Tigers' points are going to come from when you combine the fact that UF's defense is playing lights out right now and Mizzou's offense, while improved with Lock under center, has generally sputtered along through the first five games of the season. Lock may be an upgrade at QB (IMO), but he's still a true freshman making his second start against one of the best defenses in the country and he doesn't really have any receivers helping him out. Mizzou will slow UF's offense down some, I think, but I think they'll do enough to get the win. And now, I've cursed my Gators so congrats in advance on the win!
I love how you obviously did exactly zero fact-checking before making that statement... I mean, have you seen any UF football so far this season??? That Gator D-line is a critical reason for the team's success so far this season. Those guys owned the line of scrimmage against Ole Miss and that was against an offense that's at least ten times better than Mizzou's. This game makes me nervous all the same, but if we get beat, it won't be because of the D-line.
I happen to like UK's chances in that one, despite the close call against Eastern KY. It's important not to underestimate just how bad AU has been this season, I think.
Ha! You had me until you said 'last year.' Our defense is typically stout against the run and has been over the last half decade, but they struggle against teams with a an athletic dual threat QB, which Chad Kelly is not. I expect to Ole Miss to win (maybe even win big), but it won't be because of our DL. You saying it's 'not even close' tells me you definitely haven't watched any UF football this season. Believe it or not, I believe it's our secondary that will fail down the stretch. I think our defense will slow Ole Miss's offense down, but it won't be enough as our offense simply won't be able to keep up with the rate at which Ole Miss can and will score. You guys seriously have a great team this year, although I think too much is being made of y'all's win at Bama what with the Tide uncharacteristically coughing up the ball and a certain tipped pass that went for a TD (you guys won by six, which literally made that one play the difference in the game). Even if we come out and play well, Ole Miss is the kind of team that can take our best shot and still win. My final analysis is that I just don't think we're ready yet to beat a team the caliber of Ole Miss.
Great "analysis," John. I love how the staff at SDS taxis the bandwagon so quickly. So tell me; what has you so impressed by this "improved" UK team? Was it the near miss in their opener ULL when they needed OT to win that game? How about SC's failed comeback bid after their starting QB went down? Are those the signs of improvement to which you're referring? Flipping it around, I literally laughed out loud at your assertion of "UF's suspect secondary" without once lending at least some substance to the very credible theory that perhaps these first two games have been the exceptions rather than the rules for what should turn out to be the best position group on this team? Maybe not having all the starters on the field at the same time has taken a toll on those guys due to suspensions and injuries... ever consider that? Truth is, it wouldn't be the first time that a favorite (UF) has not been on top of their game and gotten a scare from the underdog (ECU)... I was never even concerned that we'd lose that game. In fact, I'm glad that happened because maybe what the Gators needed was a wake-up call. Maybe UK is improved and I'll have to eat some crow come Monday, but I'm not buying it and I actually believe that due to the humbling experience in the ECU game, this UF team finally puts it all together and take advantage of a UK defense that can't stop anyone. Of course, I'm sure you'll take the stance that 'it's just UK' and will then proceed to pick against UF next week against another team we have a long winning streak against. But that's next week... for this week's purposes, on to 29!!
C'mon SDS... this article is time stamped at 2:41 PM... the situation regarding both of the "major injuries" UF has have been significantly updated. Morrison will start at MLB, which is the big news. But I really love how you guys like to say Martez Ivey's injury will keep him out of the lineup for an "indefinite" period of time... news came out this morning that he's listed as the backup LT for the game this Sat, which means that, barring injury, he could play if he had to because all the scope had to do was clean out some scar tissue. My guess is that he'll be full speed by next Sat (ECU). Also, Keanu Neal was listed as the starting safety on the depth chart that came out this morning.
UF has had a pretty good camp with good news on just about a daily basis... this is the best news we've gotten in all of fall camp... the one and only concern I had for the defense was how thin the depth is at the LB position, but getting Morrison (he and Hargreaves are the best players we have on that side of the ball) back only makes us a couple notches stronger now... so glad to hear
jay.cardea- I'll try to address as best I can. And as concisely as I can. UF has a pretty good college level defensive line that is as deep as it is talented, we have a good college level linebacking corps, although they're a little thin (getting Morrison back for the opener is HUGE), but we have what I believe is almost an NFL-level secondary. I mean, we have some absolute studs back there and that group alone accounts for consideration as one of the nation's best defenses. They're so good on the back end that I've read reports out of camp that we are operating almost exclusively out of a nickel package in an effort to put our most talented players on the field at one time (also, to help alleviate some concerns about the LB depth). You guys are going to put a stellar defensive product on the field as well, but there are some question marks up front, you have probably the best corps of LBs in the SEC/country, and have what I would consider an above average secondary... all around, you guys are solid, but I have to agree with jmw87's assertion here; I do believe our defense is better... just a personal opinion.
John, I think Gator Nation has already accepted that... personally, I have us pegged at 8-4, which I think is reasonable considering that this will be a team that gets better as the season wears on... I believe we will notch an upset or two, but they will take their lumps, likely early on in the season, so I'd say Gator fans' expectations are pretty much right where they ought to be.
Calling all other Gator fans!!!!! So... am I the only one surprised by Antonio Morrison being listed as the starter at MLB? I mean, last I heard, he would be back this season, but at least not for the first two to three weeks. Did I miss something here? If he is legit starting, I couldn't be happier... that is a huge boost to an already stellar defensive unit! Go Gators!
wolfman, I usually find your comments to be informed and measured so I'm a little disappointed that you seem to be subscribing to the idea that there even is a such thing as "running up the score." These kids work their collective asses off year round, most of whom just for an opportunity to see the field a few times on Saturdays in the fall. They're coached on the typical "never quit," "always play hard or go home" platitudes and most of these kids on the roster aren't good enough to be starters or even get in a regular playing rotation. These games against the New Mexico States of the world may well be one of the only opportunities that some of these kids will have of seeing the field at all this season. Being able to compete in a game is the reward for these kids after getting their heads kicked in for the better part of the off season in the weight room, practice field, etc., yet you think the coaches should tell those same kids not to play hard and have mercy on their opponent. It's said opponent's job to develop a strategy to stop our offensive attack, not our coaching staff's. I just find that the folks who crow about running up the score are the same ones who support the idea of everyone receiving a participation ribbon, which to me, flies in the face of all the lessons sports teach us about life. I'll leave you with a thought from coach Spurrier on the topic when he was asked about running up the score after a game in which he was accused of doing so; "Those who can run up the score, do. Those who can't complain about the ones that do."
19 MPH? 25 MPH? I'm going to forego the obvious "silly UK fan!" sentiment here and just comment on the fact that I literally have never heard speed evaluated in such a way in all my years of football fandom. By the way, I think there's a chance for you guys to break the streak against UF this year. I mean, y'all get us at home during a transitional year and some inexperience in some critical areas. That said, if you don't get it done this season...
And just to complete the delusion, MSU will meet the Gators in the SECCG, right?
I believe there's a degree of overthinking that always goes into this debate. I think you pointed out correctly toward the end of the article that there's not really a way of making an informed decision about such things until the regular season and conference championship games are complete. Truth is, though, the committee would likely leave out the SEC out if the season ended with two of the conference champs undefeated and two others with single losses. I guess the debate then becomes the magnitude of the lone loss of one of the teams being worse than that of the two for the SEC champ. Even then, I still think the committee would go with the team with one loss in that scenario. I do, however, believe that if the above scenario occurred with the only difference being that there was another conference champ with two losses that they would give the two-loss SEC champ the nod. I don't think this issue is as complicated as everyone thinks, really.