Initial thoughts before watching film
Without looking at anybody else’s game reviews, and without looking at film, here are my takeaways from the Week 3 game between Alabama and Florida:
- Florida’s defense still has a lot of alignment and administration issues. By my count, the Gators had 12 men in the formation on defense three times during the game. Once in the first half cost Florida a timeout. Twice in the second half cost the defense heavily as each of the two penalties resulted in Alabama first downs. In the second half, Florida also had an alignment communication problem down on the goal line that forced Mullen to call a timeout. ( I don’t recall the result of the 4th down play )
- Florida’s defense was not ready to play in the first quarter. Alabama did pretty much whatever it wanted through the air. The running game was shut down, however. Into the later parts of the first quarter and the rest of the game, the Gators made the necessary adjustments to hold Alabama to 10 points.
- Tackling and bad angles continue to plague the Gator defense…especially early in the game. Florida gave up far too many yards after catch.
- Rashard Torrance is an excellent safety. He made several great plays on defense in both the passing and running games. He missed one tackle that I can recall, but otherwise played exceptionally well.
- Emory Jones played well enough to win the game. He was efficient on most of his calls, but is still hesitant on reads both in the running and passing games. His indecision on the 2-point conversion drew a defender into the play that ended up making the tackle short of the goal line.
- Emory Jones, while playing admirably, doesn’t seem to have the “big play” ability that Anthony Richardson does. Aside from one throw down the sideline to Henderson vs. USF, Jones hasn’t really hit on any long throws or big running plays.
- The Florida offensive line continues to be very, very good. Facing an Alabama defensive front that may be the most talented in the country, the Gators racked up 245 yards on the ground. That’s a tremendous effort. Nick Saban said after the game that his defense was very tired at the end.
- Justin Shorter continues to be a liability in the passing game with his hands.
- Gators running backs Davis, Wright and Pierce were fantastic running with power and speed.