Saturday, September 8, 2012
Five observations from UF's 20-17 victory
By Michael DiRocco
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Here are five observations from Florida's 20-17 victory over Texas A&M at Kyle Field.
1. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease called a pretty good game. He had a nice mix of run and pass, and even though QB Jeff Driskel threw only 16 times, the passing game was pretty effective. Pease used the tight end and the wildcat to get Jordan Reed and Trey Burton involved. Perhaps his best call came late in the fourth quarter when the Gators were trying to run out the clock. He called a speed sweep for Solomon Patton, which worked for 12 yards and a first down. The defense bit on the play-fake up the middle and Patton easily got around the end.
2. Driskel may be getting killed for holding onto the ball too long, but it bears repeating something that UF coach Will Muschamp said: He took care of the ball. He made one stupid decision -- trying to throw the ball while being sacked and having the ball bounce off Kyle Koehne's helmet -- but other than that, he made sure he didn't put the Gators in a bad spot with a turnover. That's something that a lot of young QBs struggle with, but he earned a lot of trust from the coaching staff for his performance.
3. The Gators are going to have a hard time getting KR AndreDebose involved. Texas A&M had the perfect plan for Debose -- kick the ball as deep as possible to prevent him from bringing it out. Any team that tries to sky-kick to him and pin him deep runs the risk of Debose breaking a return. Debose did not do a good job in terms of his decision-making when he was fielding punts. Several times he got too close to the ball after he decided to let it bounce. He even tried to lay his shoulder into one of the players around the ball -- a dangerous move because if he had been pushed into the ball it would have been a live ball, and could have been a turnover.
4. The coaching staff apparently also has a lot of trust in freshman OT D.J. Humphries. He was on the field late in the game, as the Gators were trying to seal the victory by pounding the ball on the ground. It may not be too long before we see Humphries challenging for a spot in the starting lineup, especially if Matt Patchan (pectoral) continues to struggle with injuries.
5. The Gators committed three penalties in the game's first 23 minutes, but none in the final 37. That's a huge improvement from last week's 14 penalties, which included 10 in the first half, and it shows the up-downs and other punishment the coaching staff inflicted upon the team last week worked.