We’ll run through the quick recap and start with a positive: it was a win. Is it time to just start cheering for wins and not have a desire for any style points? The Florida Gators defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 27-14 in the season opener for both teams. The Gators won; that is true. Otherwise, it felt like a deflating victory that didn’t answer many questions.
We know the name of next week’s starting quarterback. It’s Jeff Driskel. Driskel and Jacoby Brissett took their turns in the first half and Driskel came out on top, leading the Gators in the second half. There were moments of joy and moments of doubt. This we do know: Driskel needs to become more aware of the field. Be that making throws on the run, hitting receivers in stride, or knowing where the sidelines are. Overall, his performance was serviceable and those on Team Driskel are happy he’s the guy coming out of the first game.
The defense looked like it can be a good one and even a great one. It also looked like tackling from the secondary needs to improve. Marcus Roberson is a dangerous cover corner and Jaylen Watkins had his moments, but they and their unit mates need to wrap up the first time and not allow any additional yards. The first hit must result in the ball carrier hitting the ground. Among things we like from the defense was the pressure from the line. During passing plays, the line got into the backfield. During some running plays, it was a different story. The defense was solid, but can clearly get to the level of being an impenetrable rock. There’s something special there that comes out in bursts. We need it to be apparent on every down.
And then there were the penalties. And the penalties. And the penalties. And the penalties. They need to not just be eliminated, but whatever stronger word for “gotten rid of” we can find.
The star was Mike Gillislee. His lofty prediction for the 2012 season he would have doesn’t seem so lofty now. He’s good and can carry the offense. Gillislee is cleary the primary running back and we’re all okay with that. The Gators will rely on him to continue to put out performances like that. He’s gets our immediate reaction game ball and there’s a good chance he’ll hold on to it when we reevaluate the game in a day or two.
For now, the Gators have won and the rest of college football Saturday continues. It’s been a while since we’ve been calm watching Florida games. Every time a pass play develops, we sit on the edge of our seats and it’s been that way for two-plus seasons. That may not end anytime soon and it does make us all nervous. But we can relax for a few days at least. Game one is over; game two is on the horizon. More analysis will come in the next few days, but at this moment your to-do list should include having a great long weekend. It was rough at times, there were signs of maybe a little progress during others; all-in-all, Go Gators!