Dooley Grades The Gators: No. 5 Florida State at Florida

The Tailgate’s Pat Dooley hands out grades after Florida’s 24-15 loss to No. 5 Florida State in The Swamp on Saturday night:

OFFENSE D

First half: Florida did about as well as you could expect with Max Brown starting the game at quarterback. Even with FSU crowding the line of scrimmage, he was able to direct UF to nine first downs, 184 yards and a first-half lead.

Second half: It was pretty much a disaster after FSU adjusted. Florida did get a field goal in the third quarter and took the lead, but the Gators managed only 48 yards of offense in the half.

For the game: You knew it would be a struggle without Graham Mertz and Florida did some really nice things in the first half. But once Brown was forced to throw, it did not go well against the FSU pass rush.

DEFENSE B-

First half: It was almost like Florida had a different defense on the field (one that was blitzing like crazy) for the first 20 minutes, as the Gators only allowed 10 yards and actually scored points with a safety. FSU was able to get back into the game with a late drive that went 90 yards for a score.

Second half: FSU was able to drive on the first series to take the lead and the defense committed way too many serious penalties in the second half to win the game. The targeting against Jaydon Hill on third-and-14 was especially egregious.

For the game: The Florida defense played well enough to win against FSU’s backup quarterback, but made too many mistakes. Florida only allowed 224 yards in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS C

First half: Jeremy Crawshaw did a great job pinning FSU deep twice, once that led to a safety. Not a good half for Trey Smack missing two field goals of 48 and 52 yards.

Second half: Smack did make a short field goal to give Florida the lead. The punt coverage team can’t give up a 36-yard return in the fourth quarter. This team isn’t good enough to overcome that.

For the game: Smack’s missed field goals were long ones and it will be interesting to see where his career goes from here. Special teams play has been a problem all year, but in this case it was not that big of a deal.

OVERALL D

Give these guys credit for again playing hard. This is where Florida football is. A third consecutive losing season seemed unfathomable when the Gators were 5-2, but five consecutive losses to close the season left this program bowl-less for the third time in the last 11 years. Yuck.

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