GRADING THE GATORS
First half: Obviously, not having Anthony Richardson limited the Gators in what they can do. The one touchdown drive looked like the Gator offense from a year ago. But the Emory Jones interception was brutal and the passing game just didn’t feel crisp at all.
Second half: Florida’s offense did a great job of getting the Gators right back in the game with that first touchdown drive. But the 99-yarrd drive for a score was really something special. The Gators were able to move the ball whenever they needed to.
For the game: Jones probably earned some new fans Saturday with the way he played. Florida could have used a guy making an extra big play (Richardson) and the two-point conversion play call was questionable. But this is still an offense that still rushed for 245 yards against Alabama.
First half: It was almost embarrassing at the start. You want to get off to a fast start and play from ahead and instead, the defense looks like it did a year ago and Alabama gets three quick touchdowns. The Gators settled down and got three straight three-and-outs to keep the Gators in the game.
Second half: Florida continued to have issues with the pass interference penalties and even though guys played hard, they failed to stop Alabama when the Tide needed to answer a Gator score in the second half.
For the game: Alabama kept its streak alive for scoring 30 points or more in 29 straight games … but just barely. Once the Gators shook off the first quarter, the Gators played OK on defense, but not good enough.
Special teams D
First half: The last thing you want to do as a kicker is to miss an extra point. Especially when your team has just scored to finally get some momentum going. Thumbs up to Jeremy Crawshaw for the 53-yard punt with no return at the end of the half.
Second half: The mistake by Ja’markis Weston could have been costly, but Florida’s offense bailed him out. Other than that, not a lot happened other than a 30-yard kickoff return by Alabama.
For the game: Two mistakes on special teams and nothing overly positive. It almost feels like the special teams are just there and never try to do too much. Maybe make a difference, special teams?
OK, there is never a good loss at UF. Ever. But this team earned some respect for not letting a miserable start turn into an ugly game. The two-point call was terrible and left a lot of fans wanting. We’ll never know what a difference Richardson could have made. But you have to play with what you have. And for the second year in a row, Florida was one play short. And maybe one player.