Any hopes Florida had of returning
to the SEC championship will now depend on the charities of others, as the
Gators must defeat the Georgia Bulldogs in two weeks and then hope Georgia
loses one of it remaining games against Arkansas, Auburn, or Kentucky.
Eric Wilbur, Marcus Thomas, Jeremy Mincey, Joe Cohen, Jarvis Moss, Steven Harris, Earl Everett, Brandon Siler, and Jarvis Herring
The secondary, DeShawn Wynn and the running backs
Chris Leak, pass blocking, receivers, Dan Mullen
Almost every member of the defensive line had at least one highlight play as
the defensive line as a unit more than held their own again LSU. Defensive
end Jeremy Mincey led the way with 10 tackles including a sack, defensive
tackle Marcus Thomas was second with 9 tackles including a half a sack and a
forced fumble. Defensive tackle Steven Harris and defensive end Joe Cohen
combine for an interception when Harris tipped a ball, which Cohen came down
with. Meanwhile backup defensive end Jarvis Moss had a breakout game
recording 3 sacks and caused a fumble he recovered himself. Unfortunately,
these guys don't play on offense.
Earl Everett and Brandon Siler covered just about everything the defensive
line missed. Everett recorded 14 tackles, while Siler was credited with 9
tackles, recovered a fumble and had a quarterback hurry. Unfortunately,
with Everett and Siler concentrating on the run, they could not help the
pass defense, allowing LSU to have success on the intermediate routes.
Jarvis Herring and Vernell Brown led a secondary that played well enough for
the most part. Herring record an interception and recovered a fumble, while
Brown was credited with 7 tackles. The secondary gave up only three pass
plays of significance but all three were costly. A 43 yard touchdown
reception and a 23 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and a 31
yard pass reception for first down on third and nine in the fourth quarter
which allowed the Tigers to continue on their game winning touchdown drive.
The offensive line actually blocked pretty well for the running game,
helping the Gators produce 130 yards from the running backs. The problems
came when the Gators had to pass as once again the offensive line had
trouble with the odd man front, allowing LSU to sack Florida quarterback 4
time for a minus 52 yards. When the Tigers couldn't get a sack, they got
plenty of pressure as the Gators found themselves trying to block more
rushers than they had blockers.
When the passing game produces only 107 yards, you can pretty much guess the
receivers didn't have one of their best days. Chad Jackson, Dallas Baker,
and Jermalle Cornelius combined for 10 catches for just 87 yards. Baker had
a nice block to help spring Kestahn Moore on his touchdown run, but when
that is the highlight of the day you know the receivers had problems.
Florida's receivers could not get off the line of scrimmage, particularly in
the five receiver set, as LSU took away most of the short routes.
DeShawn Wynn had a nice day running and receiving, while freshman Kestahn
Moore got the scoring started for the Gators on a 32-yard touchdown run.
Make no mistake Wynn was the star of the running game. Wynn's 20-yard
reception on the screen pass setup Florida's field goal and his 36-yard
scamper in the third quarter helped setup his one-yard plunge to put the
Gators ahead 17 - 14. In the fourth quarter Wynn did a respectable job
trying to hold back the onslaught of LSU pass rush but there were just to
many Tigers to block.
Chris Leak can't take all the blame for his poor play on Saturday he had
lots of help. With his line unable to hold off the LSU pass rush and his
receivers unable to get open, Leak spent most of the day running for his
life. Yet when he did have time he couldn't connect, Leak overthrew several
receivers. Leak finished one of his worst days as Florida's quarterback
completing just 11 passes out of 30 attempts for just 107 yards with no
touchdowns and no interceptions. You have to give Leak some credit for
effort, but you have to get results. On Saturday positive results were hard
to come by.
Once again the special teams and kicking game did their part to ensure a
victory. Eric Wilbur used the running punt, it looks kind of like a running
rugby kick, to keep LSU's return man extraordinaire Tyler Green from
returning but one punt for 1-yard on 10 punts, while averaging 43 yards a
punt with three punts downed inside the Tigers' 20-yard line. The rest of
the kicking game was solid as kicker Chris Hetland made all his kicks.
Coverage on kickoffs was adequate. Florida's punt return team still
continues to struggle.
Whatever, offensive coordinator Dan Mullen's offense game plan was it didn't
work. Furthermore, Mullen appeared to have no adjustments or solutions to
the problems, as Florida was unable to mount a consistent offensive attack
throughout the contest. Despite giving Florida the middle of the field,
Mullen could not take advantage. Meanwhile, co-defensive coordinators Greg
Mattison and Charlie Strong had a plan that produced 5 turnovers, five
sacks, while giving up just 361 yards of total offense to LSU. A feast or
famine defense, which feature heavy blitzing and a lot of man to man
coverages, just ran out of gas as the game wore on. Coach Meyer got another
does of SEC football and has some serious questions to answer about the
offense and its inability to move the football.
GRADE Offense F, Defense B, Head Coaching D
As it was an away game, I will give the usual.
Coach Meyer needs to spend some time trying to find a solution for his
offense. Why didn't Florida use the middle of the field, use screens, swing
passes and draws to slow down the Tiger pass rush? How can the best offense
in the SEC last year be reduced to this? Does Chris Leak know he has other
receivers besides Jackson, Baker and Cornelius? Lots of questions, very few
answers. Time for Coach Meyer to start earning the salary and find some
solutions. If solutions aren't found in the next two weeks, I am going to
have to use up my season supple of Jack Daniels to get through the Georgia
game. This season is fast becoming a repeat of the last three.
OVERALL GRADE: D
The Armchair Quarterback
Later GATORS, after while the rest!