Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We Aren’t Very Good

As I was making my BlogPoll rankings this week, I came to this apparently all to obvious conclusion - the 2008 Florida Gators aren’t very good.

At the very least, there isn’t any evidence we are.

And I’m not just talking about the loss to Ole Miss. Consider who we have defeated -

1-3 Hawaii (winner over only Weber State)
2-2 Miami (winners over Charleston Southern and Texas A&M)
1-3 Tennessee (winners over only UAB)

That’s right, the 3 teams we have beaten are a cumulative 4-8, with only a single win over a BCS team, and a lousy one at that.

Remember the only game we showed domination that we won was Hawaii, who is simply terrible this year. Tennessee, had they not gone out of their way to self-destruct, could have been close. And Miami was close for most of the game.

Then there is the matter of losing to Ole Miss, at home.

If you would think that having played 3 lousy teams and one mediocre one we would at least have dominating offensive numbers, you would be wrong. Our offensive numbers stink. Even with a Heisman winning quarterback and all that “speedy” talent.

Nationally we are 71st in total offense, behind Kent State and Colorado State, respectively, and one slot ahead of Pittsburgh. Averaging only 359 yards per game, we are 88 yards per game worse than Ron Zook’s 2-2 Illinois.

Our scoring offense has fared a little better, at 23rd. But several of those TD’s were special teams (thank you Brandon James) and defensive. However at 35.5 ppg, we are 7 ppg worse than last year, with the great defenses on our schedule still ahead.

It is apparent in watching Tebow right now something isn’t quite right. He is
not a serious running threat, and appears tentative when running. Where last year he forced contact, this year he seems less than eager. His passing has been often off (he missed several easy passes against Ole Miss), and he isn’t reading the field well. His current passer rating of 146.74 places him 31st nationally, and compares poorly with his 176.47 average of last season.

A second Heisman is virtually out of the question at this point, and really isn’t my concern. My concern is that the tough part of our schedule still lies before us, and we don’t look ready to face it. Unless the ship rights soon, the 9-4 record of last year may be a fond memory.


DolFan 316 said...

It's like Mergz read my mind. I was at least happy that the D seemed better, but then the second half of the Ole Miss Fiasco showed even that might not be the case :-(

Methinks Tebow has finally realized that getting hit that much really does hurt and he's just thinking like the rest of us would by not wanting to get smacked as much as last year again.

DolFan 316 said...

Plus the fact that against Ole Miss Meyer might as well have just come out on national TV and told every future opponent that from now on only tebow and Harvin will carry the ball and the RB position in his offense doesn't exist so don't worry about them.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I don't think it's Tebow choice. I think they went into the season with the idea that he needed to spread the ball around a lot more. Ironically I think he's taking more hits in the pocket than when he runs.

Unleash Tebow the runner and Tebow the passes is much more efficient as we saw last year.

Aaron said...

I'm with you. I think the whole team fed from Tebow's all or nothing attitude last year (of course, we still lost some games we shouldn't have).

I just don't see the line play being good enough, either side of the ball.

jj gator said...

Dolfan, your constant "bash the coaches" philosophy is getting really tiresome! Coaches don't cause players to fumble the goddamn ball or not to make easy plays out there on the field, PLAYERS fdo that.

For crying out loud, Tebow doesn't need to be spoon-fed. A good QB sees an opportunity to make a play and goes for it if the scenario is right.

Henry, with the current injury to Moody we just may see more of Tebow the runner this weekend against Arky - that is, unless Rainey can figure out how to rush north-to-south instead of going east-to-west.

Blaming the coaches for every single thing wrong with this team is taking the easy way out and making them scapegoats. The players need to carry their weight and do things the right way as well; they've been drilled on this time and time again in practice.

UFGatorDMD said...

Have the Gators played well to this point in the season? NO.

Are they "good?" Hard to say, though I'd agree that up to this point they haven't put together any great games.

UF had so many mistakes on offense and defense combined that led them to lose to an inferior opponent by 1 point. A loss is a loss, but even playing a horrible game against a mediocre foe, UF was simply 1 stupid mistake from winning.

It's interesting to see the difference on offense from last year to this year. The OL seemed much better last year (except when playing against AU, UGA, UMich, etc...) This year, things are just not smooth. Tebow has not been accurate or more decisive, which is a disappointment at this point in the season. I also agree that there is some blame to be placed on the coaching staff, as I don't feel they've done much to mitigate the defensive pressure that Tebow has faced.

The team has so much talent on paper, it's hard to believe they have played this way...

On the bright side, the defense is definately better than last year, even if it's only by a little if the offense gets some rhythm things can only get better from here.

dean said...

As a dawg fan, I feel your pain. I think both teams have the necessary tools to be good teams but haven't put it together yet. Hopefully we'll both have it figured out by the cocktail party 'cause I think that game will still decide the east.

Anonymous said...

Tennessee wasn't very good last year and they won the east. We just have to let the flower bloom.

jj gator said...

"I also agree that there is some blame to be placed on the coaching staff, as I don't feel they've done much to mitigate the defensive pressure that Tebow has faced."

Yes, SOME of the blame - but not ALL of it. If I read anymore "can the coaches" shit on a Gator board over this Ole Miss loss I'll be apt to puke all over my computer screen. We ran SOS off in part with this "picture-perfect" attitude on the part of our fanbase, and we don't need to see the same thing happening with Meyer.

Poor execution on the part of our players was the MAJOR reason why we lost to Ole Miss - that, and poor judgment at times on the part of Tim Tebow, especially where he could have made plays to open receivers downfield and didn't do it.

For Crissake, we won the NC back in 2006 and fans were still bitching about the offense as well as calling for Dan Mullen's head in spite of that fact. Sure a controversial call by the ref did in part attribute to our losing the Auburn game that year, but poor execution played a part too. Still the "W"s were what really counted when all was said and done.

Bottom line: Last Saturday our kids just plain SCREWED UP. No more, no less. DMD, yes indeed this team is loaded with talent, and there was no reason we had to lose that game because we were making silly mistakes. These kids have been drilled on their fundamentals time and time again - and they should know better.

Now it's time to get back down to business, learn from this loss, stay together as a team, cut the crap and PLAY FOOTBALL.


Gator Duck said...

I agree that the coaches can only do so much. We are now having to play the 3rd string tackle because of injuries. Moody looked good the last two games and then got sidelined due to a high ankle sprain. The way the players were not focused against ole' miss, IMHO was because the players were focusing on the Auburn game and took the win against ole miss for granted. Overall, something is definitely missing in the team's chemistry regarding the desire to win gene.

jj gator said...

Good post - the coaches can encourage team unity and try to instill the desire to win, but the PLAYERS need to show a sincere desire to win games as a team. If we want to get to Atlanta this year, the Gators need to show a LOT more heart and passion out there, as well as stay focused on the moment at hand.