The Tailgate’s Pat Dooley grades the No. 22 Gators after their embarrassing 33-14 loss at Kentucky on Saturday.
First half: It was not good on offense until the drive for the touchdown with 34 seconds left in the half. Until then, quarterback Graham Mertz looked unsure of himself, and the offensive line was manhandled. Kentucky was able to dictate the pace.
Second half: The offense played a little better. But any chance UF had to get back into the game was shot down by two fourth-down failures. A 3-yard pass on fourth-and-4?
For the game: There will be plenty of shouting about coach Billy Napier the coordinator after this one. Florida fans must be wondering what the identity of this team is right now. At least they kept the nation’s longest scoring streak alive.
DEFENSE F, or maybe a G
First half: You probably remember when we were talking so fondly of this defense. That was not Saturday. The Gators came into the game with the fewest number of missed tackles in the SEC, but certainly did not leave the game with that statistic intact. A lot of bad angles on plays as well.
Second half: First drive of the second half, right down the field they go. Ray Davis finished with 280 rushing yards and Florida never could solve simple gap running plays. This was reminiscent of the LSU game two years ago.
For the game: It looked as if the Kentucky plan was to just run and run and run. Devin Leary was nothing special at quarterback because he didn’t have to be. Florida’s defense was physically dominated and Davis ran through so many tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS G-
First half: Somebody explain to Napier that special teams are a third of the game. Clearly, he’s not getting it. Punter Jeremy Crawshaw had a good half, but the penalty on Dijon Johnson just can’t happen.
Second half: By the time the second half rolled around, special teams were no longer that big of a deal.
For the game: This special teams thing is getting out of hand. If they are one-third of the game as most coaches say, maybe Florida should have one-third of its staff devoted to special teams. How many gaffes are you allowed before you start making changes?
OVERALL F is for failure
On every level. The defense reverted to the form of the last three years. The offense gave Kentucky an easy touchdown. The special teams lost again. It was a team that looked as if it hit the snooze button too many times. Really disappointing for everybody.