Friday, January 09, 2009

Basking in all that is Orange & Blue

These are my initial reactions to the game, based on my experience watching it in person. I plan on watching the television broadcast tonight, so I will probably add to this later.

1. I think this game was the first time I have ever been disappointed to be kicking off to begin the game. In hindsight it worked out fine. Plus Major Wright, with a Reggie Nelson-esque hit, was able to set the tone of the game 1 minute in.

2. I have never in my life seen a team that lined up and snapped the ball quicker than OU. It was an amazing thing to see in person (can’t wait to see how it played out on tv). The tempo of the OU offense has to be the reason that I felt like we were behind the entire game, even though we never trailed.

3. The first half was the worst football this team played this year, excluding the 3rd Quarter against Ole Miss. The fact that we were tied at 7 actually made me feel better about the game. Speaking of which, great effort by Louis Murphy to get our touchdown, but I couldn’t say kick the extra point enough times to avoid any replay.

4. I have never seen a game more poorly officiated in my life. I try to stay away from bashing referees, especially given the speed of the game today, but this ACC crew was horrific at best. The first quarter of the game had absolutely no rhythm because of it. The missed holding calls, the penalty on Tebow, the non-call on the tackle of Rainey, etc. I would also like to thank the referee for blowing his whistle into his microphone, that was a nice added bonus from this crew.

5. This might have been our worst tackling game of the year, but somehow we managed to get the job done.

6. Was anyone else surprised that it took until the 2nd half for Mullen to call a play that would get Tebow emotionally invested in the game? Yes I know he was jacked up for the game, but Tebow needs to hit someone in order to settle down. I was shocked that they didn’t put Tebow in a position to run over a corner or take on a safety on the 2nd or 3rd drive of the game.

7. The shovel passes to Hernandez were the best calls by Dan Mullen. Perfect situations for those calls.

8. In a game full of big plays here are the ones that stood out to me for the Gators – besides touchdowns and blocked field goal.

a. Torrey Davis’s 4th down stop
b. Major Wright’s interception
c. Tebow pass to Cooper on 3rd and 11
d. Brandon Hicks’s sack
e. Percy’s run on 1st and 10 from the 3
f. Ahmad Black’s incredible interception

9. Our play on both sides of the ball on 3rd downs was incredible. Even when OU converted their 3rd downs they were contested. Tremendous job of preparation by the staff!

10. A 14-14 game with 12 minutes to go, and the Gators get 8 first downs, gain 183 yards and score 10 points over those last 12 minutes. Oklahoma? 1 first down, 21 yards and zero points.

11. The player that pulled on Percy’s leg is now equal to Darnell Docket to me.

12. It was a great win and as always it is great to be a Florida Gator.


Andrew said...

You are right about the officiating. Ron Cherry looked clueless half the time on TV! The best was when he said the previous play was under review and the previous play was an incomplete pass... are you kidding me?!?!

Nic Harris (AKA dirtbag) pulled on Percy's leg after the one play five feet from a ref and there was no flag. Manny Johnson does the first down signal on OU's 1st drive and then Louis gets penalized for the exact same thing later. That killed a drive for us. There was a 3rd down spot that we got the 1st and they marked us 3 yards back from where the run ended up. I didn't see Trautwein move on the 1st false start of the back to back ones. I can't tell you how many times we had a DT in Bradford's face getting picked up almost off the ground by his shoulder pads.

The best part of it all was that Tebow ran over a ref on that last drive after we had the game in hand! That made it all worthwhile! :)~

They need to start pulling Sun Belt conference refs or someone who doesn't see either of the teams during the year for bowl games. How do they select these jokers anyways?!

Troy said...

To that list of plays I would add the snap that was a good 2 feet to Tebow's left that he pulled in with one hand. It was on the first play of our final TD drive, on our own 25. He managed to pull it in and run the shovel pass to Hernandez for 13 yards. It was the first play after the Black INT and if it gets past Tebow or even if he falls on it, suddenly it's second and 15 or 20 instead of first and 10 on the 37; who knows what would have happened without that play.

Also, the hurry up didn't give the same impression on TV. In fact, it seemed like most of the game they weren't really using the hurry up. They wouldn't huddle, of course, and would hurry to the line, but once they got to the line most of the time they stood there staring at the coaches awaiting a new play. It seemed to be that the strategy there was rushing to the line to make the defense show its coverage, and then let the coaches call a play designed to counter that defensive look. Only, since we had so long to prepare, we were (1) used to the speed of things, and (2) had plenty of time to work on disguising our coverages.

I thought Percy Harvin was the game MVP. He was great all game, but those back to back runs in the 4th quarter on the field goal drive came right after Oklahoma had tied it up and we needed a big drive. At maybe 75% he was the best player on the field on Thursday. Amazing.

Also it was pointed out to me (and I know it happened at least on Harvin's run you mention in your list) that a few times Demps, on Harvin runs, would sprint in a straight line to try to pass Percy and throw a block. That makes me happy.

Also I'm not sure I agree that Mullen didn't call plays in the first half that put Tebow in a position to go hit someone and get into the game. Many of the options Tebow was running on in the 3rd quarter were the same plays he was choosing to pitch the ball on in the first half. The difference in the second I think was Tebow seeing the defense better and seeing the holes (and linebackers) he could run through.

Troy said...

One more thing. For some reason of all the awful Brennaman moments during the game, the one that annoyed me the most came on the 3rd and 1 during our final TD drive in which Trautwein had his final false start. Before the play Brandon James was put in motion--just like on at least one other successful 3rd and short earlier in the game.

We were using a little bit of misdirection, in a power formation, a large part of actually making Tebow up the Middle useful.

The call during that play:
Davis: "I don't think you get fancy here if you're Florida. You go with what works. That's Tebow."
[whistle on Trautwein for false start]
Brennaman: "A lot going on before the snap of that ball for a third and 1. That may have been a little bit of overkill on Florida's part."

Have they never seen our offense before? Oh wait, stupid question.

Andrew said...

Tebow did look like he was pitching the ball too soon on the option in the first half. He needed to wait a second longer and make the defense commit before he got rid of it.

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