Tag Archive: College football
71 – Jeff Mitchell, C (1992-96)
Jeffrey Clay Mitchell, like most people with a middle name of “Clay”, was born in Dallas, Texas. Lucky for him, his parents moved him to Clearwater, Florida, where he played defensive tackle in high school, earned a lot of high school awards, and played college football under Steve Spurrier. After being redshirted his freshman year, he was the starting center for 3 straight years. He was fortunate to play on four consecutive SEC champion teams. In 1995, Mitchell was selected to the All-SEC 1st-team. He was a pivotal member of the 1996 national title team that averaged 503.9 yards of offense per game. Unfortunately, an injury ended his season early and he didn’t get a chance to play in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. Jeff went on to play eight years of NFL football.
Dwayne Keith Dixon was home-grown in Gainesville, Florida, where he played youth football, high school football, college football (1980-1983 under Charley Pell) before returning to coach as an assistant under Steve Spurrier and Ron Zook from 1994-2004.
As a player, Dwayne was a leading receiver with 589 yards his junior year, 596 his senior year. He was first-team All-SEC as a senior, honorable mention All-American, and recipient of the Gator Fergie Ferguson Award. He was named a Gator Great in 1997 by the UF Athletic Association.
Blue (Brantley) 13, Orange (Murphy) 10
10 Tyler Murphy (Wethersfield, Conn.) went 7-for-11 for 68 yards with a long of 22 yards to lead all passers. Murphy connected on a 10-yard pass to sophomore running back 37 Ben Sams (St. Petersburg, Fla.) for the game’s first touchdown and put the Orange team up, 10-6.
Sophomore running back (originally defensive back) 20 Malcolm Jones(Fleming Island, Fla.) led the Gators in rushing with 13 carries for 68 yards
Sophomore quarterback 17 Christian Provancha (Cocoa, Fla.) threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver 7 Robert Clark (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.). The 7-play, 72-yard drive was the longest drive of the game.
To open the third quarter, freshman quarterback 16 Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, Fla.) led the Blue team down the field setting up a 33-yard field goal by 19 Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.) to put the Blue team back in the lead, 6-3. Driskel shows great lateral movement and great zip on short to medium passes. He needs to work on the deep ball. Perhaps he is too strong.
1st pass wobbly from 12 John Brantley IV (Ocala, Fla.) to 84 Quentin Dunbar (Miami, Fla.). Should have been caught.
3 Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.) brought down early despite great vision with deep handoff. I like the new running back launch point.
Pass by JB4 deflected. Brantley needs to move in the pocket, step up into the lane, or drop back more.
Great punt by 41 Kyle Christy (Brownsburg, Ind.). Yeah, we do miss Chaz Henry, but we will be fine.
Good run by Tyler Murphy. He sure looks good throwing on the run or evading the defensive onrush. Note: Brantley had better pick up on this if the offensive line continues to struggle.
Overall, defense looks a lot stronger than offense, even with the vanilla package. 58 Dominique Easley (Staten Island, NY) 73 Shariff Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa.) and 7 Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, Calif.) are definitely going to be in beast mode this year!
Rainey accelerates around the corner for 8 yards.
Power trap inside run Rainey 1 yard. Believe it or not, this is nearly identical to a play that Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio used in 2010. The difference is either a better o-line, or more acceleration from the deeper launch point. This may go to show that just the little things that make the difference.
No timing from deep pass by JB4.
Pass batted down by Floyd. Come on, Brantley!
Missed wide open pass to 85 Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla.)
Good pocket presence by JB4. He has more mobility when he is not worried about pitching the ball last minute and taking a hit.
Murphy hits 81 A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, Fla.) on the run. Again, this seems like a necessity based on the porous o-line. Or, maybe our defense is that good.
Toss sweep left by Malcolm Jones. Remember, he is a walk-on and former DB.
Nice pass broken up by 9 Josh Shaw (Palmdale, Calif.) (slightly behind and slow).
Murphy’s laser caught by 89 Steven Alli (Toronto, Ontario).
Draw play Jones 2 yards. Hmmm. Play-action. What a concept.
Timeout: Summary – Murphy looks sharp on the run, but needs to set his feet and fire when in the pocket. Rainey looks sharp without traffic.
Jones runs through blitz 3 yards.
Murphy avoids sack and gains 2. Smart movement in the pocket.
AC Leonard 1st down catch with flanker screen, or was that just two receivers too close together? We will find out later if that was intentional or not.
Should have been a sack, but quick thinking by Murphy again saved the play.
Jones slashes left behind WR block.
Jones 2 yards up the gut.
Jump toss by Murphy, loss of 1 yard.
Welcome back Sturgis! 40-ish yarder splits the uprights.
Reed barrels over defender for the first down. Note: he does look lost on complex plays.
Rainey rips left 1st down for JB4 first completion of the day.
Rainey swing pass zero gain.
Rainey swing pass 6 yards.
JB4 misses post in the end zone.
Tebow catches missed pass.
Sturgis again makes FG.
Moses Jenkins almost intercepts due to late delivery from Murphy.
Robert Clark minimal gain outlet pass.
Murphy 2 minute drill 1st down.
96 William Green (Hoover, Ala.) sack. It’s about time!
Steven Alli crossing route with great pass from Murphy, 10 yards plus 6 YAC
31 Cody Riggs (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) picks off tipped pass.
Wow. JB4 can run! 8 yard scramble plus evasion.
JB4 flushed right, holding on offense.
Dunbar nice reel after low snap on JB4. Brantley is the expert on reeling in bad snaps.
Ugly jump ball takes us to half time.
Halftime summary: Brantley still struggling with new offense, but surprisingly better on the move. Rainey looks sharp. Great push from defense. 2nd team outshining 1st team. Great to see PK Sturgis come back. PK Christy looks okay at kickoff and punts.
Halftime ceremony honoring Heisman ’66 Spurrier, ’96 Wuerffel, and ’07 Tebow Statues show the players as they looked in their respective years
1st look at 16 Jeff Driskel, zips short pass to Dunbar, 20 YAC after breaking tackles.
JD runs like Tebow, covers for 5.
Zip to Hammond, dropped. Good anticipation and zip, bad catch attempt.
JD breaks left, whistled dead. Good escape from pocket. I like how QB is given control of the play, not sideline.
Shariff Floyd TFL on Jones.
JD pass sails high intended for Frankie Hammond.
Dunbar peelback block on Kitchens for JD.
JD fires 10 yards at 86 Josh Postel (Atlanta, Ga.)
JD overthrows Hammond, but safe incompletion. By “safe incompletion”, I mean that he is throwing the ball where only the receiver can catch it but not where it can be intercepted.
Floyd and Easley crush entire backfield.
JD too high back corner to Dunbar. Just take a bit of mustard off that one and it would be a touchdown.
Sturgis 3/3 on FGs.
Draw play Jones 4 yards.
28 RB Deandre Goins (Dunedin, Fla.) stuffed by 99 Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.)
Postel across the middle 1st down.
Murphy ugly run, but saved the sack.
Goins long run popped up the middle.
Goins through traffic minimal gain.
Jump pass to walk on 37 Ben Sams after block from Postel.
Botched reverse with penalty and injured Easley.
66 James Wilson (St. Augustine) back to back penalty.
JD too deep to Dunbar, but smooth delivery. Needs to lead WR away from safety Jones run left out of bounds, chased by 51 Michael Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.)
17 Christian Provancha at QB. Lots of handoffs so far, no gain.
Provancha misses Schoonover, but receiver should have turned and burned. Nice lead and delivery.
18 Ryan Parrish walk-on QB. 5 yard run by Jones.
Deep pass broken up. Slow delivery by Parrish.
Provancha 50 yard TD to 7 Robert Clark.
The consistently inconsistent Gators travel two hours west to Ron Zook Field at Doak Campbell Stadium to visit also consistently inconsistent School Out West in their 55th meeting. Florida leads the all-time series 33-19-2, has won the previous six meetings, and is undefeated in this match-up under Urban Meyer. This is a rivalry game, so anything can happen. Typically, the higher ranked team has emerged victorious in this series unless both are ranked pretty closely. Given that piece of information, I would be tempted to give SOW the definite advantage since they will go into the game ranked #22 and UF will again be unranked. One could counter that argument and say that UF is probably ranked #26 out of 25 ranked teams, which is close enough to call their rankings a wash. Maybe. The Gators are out of the SEC East race and are trying to salvage their 6-4, 4-4 season by getting into either the Outback Bowl (Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State or Penn State), Chick-Fil-A Bowl (FSU, Miami, or NC State) or the Gator Bowl (Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State or Penn State). A convincing win here could possibly put them in the CFA Bowl against the ACC #2 team and ensure their regular season record would be no worse than a Ron Zook-era record. A loss would not kill Florida, but that would put it teetering on a 0.500 record if they lose their bowl game. It could be worse–the bowl game could be against longtime rival Miami (FL) or a rematch against SOW in the CFA Bowl. As for SOW, they are out of the ACC championship running and are playing for the CFA Bowl or Gator Bowl as well with a win here and some help from another ACC team losing.
The Gators have whipped the ‘Noles badly the past few years, so expect them to exact some revenge on the weakest Gator team they are likely to see in a long time.
|Year||Team and Rank||Score||Team and Rank||Score||Site|
|2002||11 Florida||14||23 FSU||31||Tallahassee, FL|
|2003||11 Florida||34||9 FSU||38||Gainesville, FL|
|2004||NR Florida||20||8 FSU||13||Tallahassee, FL|
|2005||19 Florida||34||21 FSU||7||Gainesville, FL|
|2006||4 Florida||21||NR FSU||14||Tallahassee, FL|
|2007||13 Florida||45||NR FSU||12||Gainesville, FL|
|2008||4 Florida||45||20 FSU||15||Tallahassee, FL|
|2009||1 Florida||37||NR FSU||10||Gainesville, FL|
|2010||NR Florida||??||24 FSU||??||Tallahassee, FL|
The Gators hope to end the regular season with a win over the in-state rivals, but the School Out West can smell blood in the water as the Gators are wounded and vulnerable swimming into shark pool known as Doak Campbell Stadium. Will SOW be able to exploit the Gators while they are having a down season? The Gators have lost three home games and one game against the #1 team in America in that team’s home field. They also are 0-3 against ranked opponents.
|September 4, 2010*||Miami (OH)||#4||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||W 34–12|
|September 11, 2010*||South Florida||#8||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||W 38–14|
|September 18, 2010||at Tennessee||#10||Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, TN||W 31–17|
|September 25, 2010||Kentucky||#9||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||W 48–14|
|October 2, 2010||at #1 Alabama||#7||Bryant-Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL||L 6–31|
|October 9, 2010||#12 LSU||#14||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||L 29–33|
|October 16, 2010†||Mississippi State||#22||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||L 7–10|
|October 30, 2010||Georgia||EverBank Field • Jacksonville, FL||W 34–31 OT|
|November 6, 2010||at Vanderbilt||Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, TN||W 55–14|
|November 13, 2010||#22 South Carolina||#24||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||L 14–36|
|November 20, 2010*||Appalachian State||Ben Hill Griffin Stadium • Gainesville, FL||W 48–10|
|November 27, 2010*||at #24 Florida State||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL
(Florida-Florida State rivalry)
The School Out West already beat a ranked in-state rival, but lost its only other game against a ranked opponent. Also SOW individual numbers are just about as bad as Florida’s numbers, so these teams are very evenly matched. Check out their competition this year. I am only worried about this game, because the Gators are going to be the ones who will have to screw up in order to lose. This is a very winnable game for the Gators. That being said, I do have to repeat that if SOW is going to beat Florida anytime soon, it is going to have to be in this game.
|September 4*||Samford||#20||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||W 59–6|
|September 11*||at #10 Oklahoma||#17||Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK||L 17–47|
|September 18*||BYU||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||W 34–10|
|September 25||Wake Forest||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||W 31–0|
|October 2||at Virginia||Scott Stadium • Charlottesville, VA (Jefferson–Eppes Trophy)||W 34–14|
|October 9||at #13 Miami (FL)||#23||Sun Life Stadium • Miami Gardens, FL (Miami – Florida State rivalry)||W 45–17|
|October 16||Boston College||#16||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||W 24–19|
|October 28||at North Carolina State||#16||Carter–Finley Stadium • Raleigh, NC||L 24–28|
|November 6†||North Carolina||#24||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||L 35–37|
|November 13||Clemson||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL||W 16–13|
|November 20||at Maryland||Byrd Stadium • College Park, MD||W 30–16|
|November 27*||Florida||#22||Doak Campbell Stadium • Tallahassee, FL (Florida – Florida State rivalry)|
Florida vs FSU OVERALL FBS RANKINGS a/o 21 Nov
|202.8 yds (70th)||PASSING YARDS||212.6 (63rd)|
|161.4 (48th)||RUSHING YARDS||183.4 (33rd)|
|31.3 (40th)||POINTS FOR||31.7 (37th)|
|20.2 (26th)||POINTS AGAINST||18.8 (15th)|
Keys to a Gator win:
- For crying out loud–use the dual-threat QBs to help out Brantley.
- Stuff the run. SOW does not have a marquee runner, but they have a platoon of decent ones.
- Don’t let Ponder tear apart the secondary. That would be embarrassing.
Keys to a Criminole win:
- Hit the QB.
- Stuff the midget running backs.
- Dare one of the freshmen on the Gator offense to beat you.
- Beat Florida in special teams.
I think the Florida Gators can pull off an upset and protect their dominance. I would hope that the Gators consider this their bowl game and play with just as much intensity as they did against Appalachian State. SOW is no Appy State. I can easily see the Criminoles exacting revenge and beating the Gators by a TD, but I call this game 32-27 Gators. The ‘Noles are better than us this year, but not much better. The margin of disparity in talent, team chemistry, and athleticism can be overcome by the Gators.
Just for kicks and grins, I compiled the statistics of all the Gator starting quarterbacks from 1983 to today. In my search for “the answers” as to why the Gators look so bad on offense, I looked for statistics on offensive lines, wide receivers, and offensive coordinators. It turns out that other than perusing each and every media guide since the dawn of time there would be no way to compile those stats, so I focused on the quarterback. This makes sense. Other than the coaches, the quarterback is solely responsible for the performance of the offense. What do the numbers show? Well, they tell me that as of week John Brantley IV does not compare well against the other Gator starters, and that history is not on his side in terms of final win-loss record and season statistics.
As a starter, JB’s passer rating is third from the bottom. Only Kyle Morris in ’88 and Kerwin Bell in ’86 have a lower rating. Note that in ’86, Bell led the Gators to a 7-5, 4-3 record with four consecutive losses in October/November, three losses at home, and a 14-10 victory in the All-American Bowl. That was the last year that Florida lost to Vanderbilt. In ’88, Kyle Morris led the Gators to a 6-5, 2-4 record that also included four consecutive losses and three losses at home. That was the last year we lost to Kentucky. What does this mean? Apparently there is a strong correlation between quarterback performance and team performance. I will not go into all the numbers, but trust me, history tells us that 2010 will rank as one of most disappointing years if I have to post this sentence as my end of the year commentary on Brantley, “In ’10, Brantley led the Gators to a X-Y, 4-4 record with three consecutive losses in October, X losses at home…” I sure hope this does not happen, but history shows us that it if JB cannot improve his performance, the Gator team will not be able to improve its performance.
|RAT||CMP||ATT||INT||PCT||YDS||YPA||INT R||TD||R ATT||YDS||YPA||R TD|
|2010||John Brantley IV||117.4||172||282||7||61.0%||1746||6.19||0.02||8||45||-101||-2.2||0|
Brantley does not even compare favorably to his fellow Gator QB, Jordan Reed or other QBs running similar offenses. Granted, Reed had fewer plays at QB and the other teams do not have our atrocious offensive line. Regardless of the rationale, on Game Day, Brantley just does not stack up well to any starting Gator QB, or QB running a similar offense.
|RAT||CMP||ATT||INT||PCT||YDS||YPA||INT R||TD||R ATT||YDS||YPA||R TD|
|2010||John Brantley IV||117.4||172||282||7||61.0%||1746||6.19||0.02||8||45||-101||-2.2||0|
Today’s game will be a good sign of how far the Gators have fallen or how well they can band together in adversity. With a loss against Appalachian State, I would lay that blame on Brantley. With a victory and a great day passing, Brantley could avoid the ignominious fate of being ranked at the bottom of our Gator QBs and help restore pride to a team that is struggling to find a leader. Johnny Brantley needs to step up and take charge of history.
It’s Monday morning. I am dreading going to work here in Longhorn Country. The stench of the Saturday loss to the Ol’ Ball Coach still wreaks stronger than the smell of whatever that is growing in the office refrigerator. This must be the worst Florida Gator team in history, right? Right? Let us put things in perspective here. The Gators faced a South Carolina Gamecock team that beat the #1 team in America, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Besides, it was the Ol’ Ball Coach. So what if he stole some of the Gator mojo from the Swamp–he named Ben Hill Griffin at Florida Field “the Swamp”. His team was better than ours. He deserved the win. He said it himself, “If you don’t like getting beat that bad, field a better football team.”
It just feels like the worst team of the modern era. Lucky for us, that distinction actually belongs to the 0-10-1 squad from 1979. That team was outscored 265-106 on the year. The 2010 team has outscored its opponents 306-212 as of week 11 and has a winning record. The 2010 team will need to get outscored by 94 points in two games in order to be outscored by its opponents, and would need another 159 points on top of that to suck as bad as the 1979 team.
One thing the 1979 team had was consistency–they consistently lost. “Consistency, the characteristic University of Florida football teams have lacked for lo these many years, was finally achieved by the Gators in 1979.” – Tom Cornelison, Jacksonville Journal. The 2010 team just lacks consistency. It does not consistently suck–it just sucks compared to ranked opponents. That sounds like the Ron Zook years! The year Zook was fired, we went 7-5 and outscored our opponents 418-217. Okay, so our offense is worse than that one, but our defense is about the same. Not too shabby. We still beat Florida State that year, but we did lose to #13 Tennessee (the eventual SEC East Champs), #24 LSU, Mississippi State, and #7 Georgia, as well as #14 Miami in the Peach Bowl (we were #19). Maybe we are a shade under that 2004 team, but we are not the worst in history as many in the Gator Nation are lamenting. At least we are not the Texas Longhorns, the 4-6 team that has little control over its potential bowl bid. The Gators can still get to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville or the Chick-Fil-A bowl in Atlanta if they pull it together and cleanse some of that stench off. Or maybe I just need to clean out the office refrigerator and enjoy the great moments I did share with my family as we cheered and jeered our team on TV, and most of all, as we basked in the moment out there in Gainesville despite the loss to Mississippi State.
It’s great to be a Florida Gator! In all kinds of weather…
The Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, won 122 games as Florida Gator head coach in the 90′s and 00′s. He has never won in Gainesville while donning the South Carolina garnet and black. The ‘Cocks are on a downward slide, and the Gators are just now climbing out of their toilet of a season. Let’s see where those two trajectories intercept. I won’t get too cocky about the Gators, but I have a good feeling that with a fired up Urban Meyer, great team chemistry, a three-headed monster at QB, good run defense/ sometimes-good pass defense, and healthy playmakers, that the University of Florida is a sure bet to win the SEC East.
Let’s see how they line up statistically. The ‘Cocks do have one of the worst secondaries, so look for John Brantley to have a field day throwing on SC while Jordan Reed and Trey Burton to pound the ball up the middle and make room for the home run ball from Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, with some Mike Gillislee on occasion. The ‘Cocks also have a devastating QB sack attack to match up against our porous offensive line that never seems to give the QB time to throw. If SC exploits the Gator o-line, they will upset the Gators.
The Gators possess a pretty good rushing attack, but the ‘Cocks field the #26 rushing defense.
The Gator defense looks a lot better than the SC defense, but SC appears to have one thing that bothers the Gators–an aggressive, sacking defensive front. Look for the SC defense to make life miserable for Brantley, but look for the stingy Gator D to intercept the ‘Cocks early and often.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the Gators win by my original prediction from September of 32-13.
Gators keys to the game:
- Let JB fire the laser. Expose that SC secondary. Give Jordan Reed and Trey Burton a shot to let ‘er rip.
- Pound the ball up the middle with Reed, Burton, and Gillislee.
- Keep Jeremy Brown on a short rope–yank him for Cody Riggs should he falter.
- Stop Marcus Lattimore, the only SC offensive weapon.
- Most importantly: Urban Meyer. He needs to be fired up. Beating the ghost of Steve Spurrier should help Urb’ sleep better at night.
The ‘Cocks can pull the upset if they do the following:
- Get to John Brantley. Force him to make high passes by blitzing and sacking him. Sack the QB.
- Run Lattimore and throw at Jeremy Brown when the passing lanes open up.
- The Ol’ Ball Coach always has a trick up his sleeve, even against his beloved alma mater.
- College Football Week 11: Picks and Predictions (bleacherreport.com)
- Gators coast into SEC East showdown with 55-14 win (washingtonpost.com)
- Gators Welcome Winner-Take-All Game for SEC East (nytimes.com)