The Florida Gators were kind enough to treat us to a shutout on Saturday as they defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 38-0. The win marked the 26th straight for the Gators over the ‘Cats which ties an SEC record. Oh what a far cry from the rivalry that has developed on the basketball court between these two schools. Before we get to my thoughts on the entire game, yet another edition of What I Wrote at the Half.
It wasn’t the fastest of starts for the Florida Gators, but we didn’t necessarily have to wait until the second half to see improvement either. 24-0 at the half is definitely workable and something to be happy about. That’s 24-0 with some obvious improvements to be made as well, so it’ll be interesting to see this team actually firing on all cylinders for 60 minutes.
Both sides of the ball suffered that slow start, but the defense managed to keep the Kentucky Wildcats out of the end zone and off of the scoreboard. All the while causing three turnovers. This one is for One Eyed Willy, but JAYLEN WATKINS IS THE GREATEST TO EVER PLAY THE GAME OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Now that that is out of my system, moving on. The Gators upped the pressure on Morgan Newton as the half went on, but at the same time are lucky he can’t hit an open receiver to save his life. Seriously, if Newton’s accuracy was even slightly better, this could be a closer game. Then again, as the defense warmed up, they started to shut down more of the run game that kept the Wildcats in it early.
As for the offense, well, things got going and the points did come. Jeff Driskel was a little off in the first half, but also on when he needed to be. He had a couple of throws get away from him, but also made the ones that counted. The interception wasn’t pretty and definitely a throw he wishes he had back. It should have been thrown right after the pump fake. The delay allowed the defense to tighten position. But hey, one interception in three and a half games is good for me, Driskel, Brent Pease, Will Muschamp and the entire Gator Nation.
So the Gators get ready to come out for the second half and I head back to the coach. All eyes are on 50 points.
As for the entire 60 minutes, there was offense and there was defense…neither of which came from Kentucky (HA HA HA). Sorry Kentucky fans, I have a 10 week old, which means sleep is no longer in my vocabulary, so the jokes get worse and worse and worse (not that they were ever top-notch to begin with).
The second half was quieter than the first with the Gators only scoring 10 points. Still 10 points to 0 from the Wildcats is a win. Florida kept mostly to the ground. Driskel had an impressive third quarter in which he completed seven of eight attempts, but that would be all Florida would throw the ball. Jacoby Brissett got decent time in mop up duty, but only handed off the ball or ran himself. Yes, that’s right, Brissett didn’t put the ball in the air once. I have to admit that’s a little surprising to me. Surely, the coaches didn’t want to embarrass Kentucky, but it wouldn’t have been an awful idea to let the backup throw the ball in a game situation. Any way…
Driskel is growing up right in front of us and looks like he will have no problem manning the job for the foreseeable future. There were the throws that got away from him, but he’s still a much improved quarterback and oh my the composure. The difference from last season to this is night and day. Nothing gets to him and that’s an attribute you want from a quarterback, not only in the SEC, but in any conference or even in any level of organized football. It’s looking more and more like this is a position the Gators don’t have to worry about.
If we had a true negative from the game (yes, there were needs improvements, but let’s go with the negative side for a moment), it was penalties again. Seven is about three or four too many. I’d even take five consistently at this point. While they are becomimg less and less stupid – if that makes sense – they are still there and there are still too many of them. In a 38-0 victory, that’s reaching for something to be upset about, but it is what it is. (I apology for that last line. I hate that saying and will blame my keyboard on putting it out there.)
The Gators move to 4-0, but what’s more important is three of those victories are conferences ones. A third of the way through the schedule and the Gators are already 3-0 in SEC play. That’s big and needed with a team like LSU on the horizon. The bye week comes at a good time. Work on penalties, shore up the areas of improvement, and get people healthy. October 6 looms over us now, but until then we can breath a heavy sigh of relief, enjoy the rest of the college football world, and remember how great it is to be a Florida Gator.