Pat Dooley grades the Gators after another deflating loss, this one at South Carolina Saturday night.
First half: So, here is the deal. Every defense tries to stop the run. It doesn’t mean you cannot run the ball just because the other team is trying to stop it. Florida’s tailbacks had four carries in the half. Four. The Gators had some success throwing the ball but Emory Jones’ late fumble negated any good things that happened.
Second half: There was the one nice drive, but there was also another Jones interception. The running game still could not get going and the Gators were destroyed in time of possession. Usually, that’s a meaningless stat but it was not in this game.
For the game: Florida has lost two games as heavy favorites by scoring 13 points and 17 points. That’s hardly a good offense and when you are leading the nation in interceptions, it’s not a good look for the offensive mastermind.
First half: Just when you thought the defense could not have a more embarrassing performance than the LSU debacle, Todd Grantham showed you that you were wrong. A team that was being ridiculed for its lack of offense managed a mere 316 yards in the first half. And it was balanced with 169 passing and 147 rushing.
Second half: It was a little better in that Florida only allowed 143 yards, but South Carolina didn’t need to score any more points in the second half (although they did). Another thing to think about is that the Gamecocks had only one penalty in the game.
For the game: The bottom line is that no Florida team has ever allowed as many points to a South Carolina team in the history of the program. The defense was down several players, so I guess you just don’t try. There have been too many failing grades to allow this defensive coordinator back for next season.
SPECIAL TEAMS C-
First half: Chris Howard got the nod as expected and made his only field goal attempt. Florida actually returned three kickoffs. That’s how desperate the Gators were to make something happen. Although not much did.
Second half: That’s the way to start the second half, allow a nice kickoff return and add in a 15-yard dumb penalty by Derek Wingo. Who says the special teams have no impact in the game? It was just another pedestrian half for the special teams and there have been a lot of them this season.
For the game: Florida needs to have a coach who cares about special teams the way Urban Meyer did. Find someone who can scheme up some stuff instead of them being no factors in the game. On the other hand, this was the first Florida loss that didn’t have a kicking gaffe.
OVERALL F– (no make-up test allowed)
The lost season took a turn nobody could have seen coming with a third-team quarterback leading the way and two running backs rushing for more than 100 yards, many of them on the same counter play that LSU torched Florida with. These Gators are in real danger of not making a bowl game, although I’m not sure how many people want to see them play an extra game.