Billy Napier recaps narrow escape over South Florida: ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do’

Billy Napier had a lot of respect for South Florida after the Gators escaped with a 31-28 win on Saturday.

Napier said that he has a ton of respect for what Jeff Scott is building at USF.

“We made it hard, but a lot of that had to do with South Florida,” Napier said.

Thanks to Trevor Etienne’s late touchdown, the Gators prevailed in part because USF botched a 48-yard field goal attempt with 23 seconds remaining that could have setup overtime.

Napier spoke about Anthony Richardson’s interceptions, and said the decision near the goal line has to be executed better, and it’s part of Richardson’s growth as a player.

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    • Hmm well this is not Napier’s team it is Mullen .. needs to get his players in there but hey .. 3 games in sunbelt has just as win over a top 10 team so there is some joy for sure

      • The positive is you won this game gators despite losing almost every stat. It's Napier's team because it's his system and schemes. But Mullen would have lost this game if he were coach. Even with this team of Napiers..

        • I will give Napier this. He knows how to win ugly, a skill Mullen very much lacked. We are 2-0 in one score games. Mullen was 0-7 in one score games in his last 2 years. However, this is a 7-5 team at best. Realistically 6-6. Mullen was a horrible recruiter and this is evident in the fact that the 3 best players on the field are a freshman that Napier recruited (Etienne), and 2 Louisiana guys (Montrell Johnson and O'Cyrus Torrence). Here's hoping Jack Miller can get healthy because Anthony Richardson is simply incapable of throwing the ball. Maybe... just maybe, Mullen was right, AR had no business starting.

    • He isn't in the Sun Belt anymore, and Napier has a 7 year contract to get it done. Based on how he and his staff are recruiting, he is already getting it done. Not many in GatorNation expects UF to win big this year. We just want to see the program making positive progress. It is. UGA is there. Enjoy it.

      • I know what you mean about not many expecting UF to win big this year...may want to tell this week 1 delusional chap...
        “Richardson was 17 of 24 passing. And he threw the ball for 3rd and long passes down the field to Piersall multiple times. And he just missed on a bomb throw to Henderson in the game. UF ran the ball so well and did not need to throw it more than 24 times. If UF keeps repeating that formula, the Gators will be hard to best. And Oregon had 21 first days vs. UGA. But they did not have Richardson at QB. UF does. As long as he stays healthy, UF does. The problem I'd they have no Power 5 type QB back up right now. They will when Miller returns after the USF game.”

    • Kirby’s first year was a bit rough with losses to Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech, but I’d say it turned out well in the long run. I think we need to give CBN a little more time to get things cleaned up from the previous coaching staff.

  • I just don’t think I would say I’m proud of this team. Hugely disappointed or deeply angry…..those terms would probably come out if I said anything at all.
    I think I saw the Todd Grantham defense on the field a lot tonight.

    • It's regrettable that this team can't make you happy.

      Three things:

      1. It is the job of the interior linebackers to line up the defensive line and call the defense.

      2. USF threw all kinds of new motions and formations out there tonight.

      3. The two interior linebackers who played most of the snaps are both true freshman in the third game of their college careers.

    • Toney's defense is nothing like Grantham's defense. But Toney's defense executed tonight as badly as Grantham's did for sure. Major issues at LB with Miller out. Williams and James are first year on the field players and it shows. And Burney has never been consistently good. Bad a lot. And Dexter has been a major disappointment so far on the DL. Watson is a monster in the middle but he can't be on the field enough. Cox is a beast when he wants to be. Trouble is, he doesn't want to be enough. Napier is just starting to build his team. He is likely three years away from having a championship caliber team. Hope for 6 or 7 wins this year. Might not happen.

      • Sounds like to me it is Miller’s defense...Toney and Todd have one thing in common, they both suck at teaching Cox how to set an edge. USF sealed him several times for explosive runs.

    • Disappointed is both the rational and correct word. Check the anger, since that is irrational. To wit, don't get angry over things you have no control over. I'll see myself out now. :)

  • A lot of the issues that plagued us last year returned. Napier will get it straightened out but it takes time to change habits.

  • USF beat UF in about every stat. The fans were the difference in this game..Two teams that aren't good at throwing the ball, gutting out a grind ground game. So UF was 22 points from covering. It's a win and I'd rather they win and stay ranked for when they come to knoxville next week. No stat is just that much better than any of UF's stats. This also wasn't a game I would have risked throwing the ball much more than Richardson did. Felt like a game where on INT advantage over the other team could have been the determining factor of who won. USF has 2 100 yard rushers for the game, UF had one. Chess football game. Not really sure what all you could work on before next week that would significantly increases UF's chances of beating TN but this game, as a Vol fan makes me feel more confident of a TN win. UF would have to score a lot of points to beat TN, even if TN's D only got a few stops against UF.

    • The play calling was horrendous. Napier was throwing the ball for no reason when USF could not stop our running backs to save their life

  • Billy has no strategic vision on offense, he’s a CEO, not a play caller or offensive strategist. I hope he has the self awareness to realize that and makes some changes off-season. Putting Richardson in unsound pocket concepts when he’s more of an out of the pocket passer is not going to get his confidence going. With our receiver room it would take a highly accurate touch passer to have an efficient passing attack, and AR isn’t that. And teams are wise to the dink throws on the perimeter. Best hope for an offensive identity for this team with current personnel is a two back set with Montrell and etienne. Maybe more of an option run game from the 80s, with AR reading the offense and pitching to one of the backs. If Jack miller comes back they can try to install the pocket passing schemes with intermediate throws to the slot receivers.

    • AR is certainly missing something when he tries to throw. Maybe it looks good in practice but not so much in games. I hope Napier doesn't just keep sending him out there to repeat the same thing every game (1-2 pics), with the coachspeak excuse that he needs to learn and grow and develop confidence. He's not developing confidence throwing it to the other team. Mullen did that with Emory last year over and over and over. Stubbornness is a bad look on any coach. At some point if the guy you send out there isn't getting it done, you MUST make a change. The problem for the Gators is the next guy is hurt, and the next guy has no experience either. I believe Napier is the right guy, at the right time. But he really does need to be the head coach, not the play caller. I also believe as a Gator fan i didn't expect much this season and maybe not the next. The problem is that the Utah game got us excited about Gator football again and we've now come back to where we should be. A struggling team full of young but good, inexperienced players.

      • Whip, if we take away AR’s picks what does our season look like? He simply isn’t ready right now. Without Ventrell our run defense is horrible.

  • AR15 has not thrown a TD pass in 3 games against mediocre to bad opponents. That's stunning. By now Trask would have 10 TD passes. And don’t give me the bull about AR needing more time. Before this season, AR had 2 years with the team and threw 66 passes in games. Trask had 3 years with the team but threw only 22 passes in games before being thrown in the fire at Kentucky in 2019 and immediately excelling.

    You can have all the athleticism in the world – Treon Harris, Feleipe Franks, Emory Jones – but if you don’t have it upstairs, you’re not gonna have it. Does AR15 have it upstairs?

      • Agree. That's another issue. Why are other schools able to start freshman Qbs and have te=hem succeed but at Florida it's always "Oh, he's inexperienced, he needs

      • Agree. That’s another issue. Why are other schools able to start freshman QBs, and have them succeed, but at Florida it’s always “Oh, he’s inexperienced, he needs to develop"?

        • I have been saying that to my son for freaking years now. I simply cannot understand how other universities can have a kid straight from high school come in and start but at Florida we have to watch incompetence week in and week out

  • AR15 - so far - is showing once again that all the media hype about "athleticism" - see Treon Harris, Feleipe Franks, and Emory Jones - doesn't mean squat if you don't have the mental capacity to play quarterback.

    • You seem to be saying -- no, you are saying -- that Richardson is not smart enough to play quarterback. Please explain.

      • I feel some guys lack the decision making ability to play quarterback. I don’t think it’s a matter of intelligence, but when you see the same guy making the same mistakes, throwing passes directly into the hands of defenders week after week, it seems reasonsble to assume the problem lies between the ears especially when we know the player has the physical skills.

      • You need to define "smart". Not my word. Some quarterbacks struggle with the mental aspect of quarterback play. That's a fact. Look at Danny Wuerffel. He had zero athleticism but could run Spurrier's offense. Doug Johnson, on the other hand, was bigger, stronger, and had a bazooka for an arm, but made real dumb decisions on the field. One won a Heisman and one didn't.

        • Scribe, AR is being asked to be a prototypical quarterback. He cannot do this. He has to be moved outside the pocket and create angles on the throws. Hopefully we get to see that happen soon.

      • He’s not implying anything he’s saying Richardson needs someone to tie his shoelaces, in other words he can’t do it himself. Richardson is big, he’s a fast runner, he can throw a football but what he can’t do is make rational decisions such as throw the ball to your own teammates not your opponent.
        Is that simple enough to understand or should it just be said he’s dumber than a rock ??

        • No way he can be dumber than a box of rox...UF has the highest entrance requirements in the state of Alachua County...

  • Happy for the win last night but man South Florida? At home?
    Count me in as one whose expectations were sky high after the Utah game. But after last night I put my shades away until next season.
    They say it’s a team sport but how can our defense be so bad against the run when one specific player is missing? Only takes the one guy to be out and we can’t stop the run.
    I’m frustrated and upset but I would tell my fellow Gator brothers to temper their criticism of our coaches and players a bit, it’s only the third game and we all need patience

    • That one player is the quarterback of the defense, setting the calls and alignments. Misalignments cause holes like last night, which were the biggest I've seen since the LSU game last year.

    • Getting AR out of Gainesville will be a good thing. I’ve spent some time today watching the offensive replays and AR in those. He is terrible being in the pocket because he’s playing like a robo quarterback. He even looks like he’s actually counting his drops which should be natural. When he moves out of the pocket the routes and breaks are long gone and it’s playground passes at that point.

      • Getting AR out of Gainesville should be the primary thing in other words go get a real quarterback.

Published by
Keith Farner

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