I promise, the Gators will make it worth the 2-game preseason when they play the University of Tennessee Volunteers next week. For now, here are my thoughts on the week 2 tune-up game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.
- Offense. B. Opening up the game with a flea flicker trick play is exciting, but tells us nothing about Johnny Brantley’s ability to read the defense and throw the ball. The offense opened up the playbook to show the jumbo package of 242-pound Hunter Joyer leading for 224-pound Trey Burton, and the wildcat formation with direct snap to Chris Rainey. Rainey liked that he could see more holes from the quarterback position, gaining 12 yards on his first direct snap and 8 yards on his second. The long ball still did not show up in this game, other than a 17-yarder from backup Jeff Driskel to Solomon Patton in the second half. The perimeter game is working fine. I thought it was a joke when Brantley lined up in the slot during one play. Let’ s not do that again. We still are not scoring well in the red zone, and that is a major concern for SEC play just as it was last year. Penalties are killing us and show some lack of discipline on the offensive line.
- Defense. B. They should have dominated a weaker opponent better. Sure, they pitched a shut out, but that was expected. The Blazers were able to move the ball on the secondary, and they did break couple long runs on the defense. Maybe I am being overly critical again, but I expected better.
- Special teams. A-. The long kick returns look good, and the improved kick coverage is a marked improvement over last week. Caleb Sturgis has not missed a kick or extra point yet, but he did clang one off the left upright. The two punts from Dan Lerner were not as good as the good old punts from Chaz Henry, but it is a little early to panic.
- Overall, the Florida Gators get a B for the week. The Gator Nation awaits next week to see if the Gators have merely been laying low hoping to unleash the dragon on the Vols in SEC play.