Instant Analysis: Blue prevails in a walk-off win

Blue (starting offense) 19 - Orange (starting defense) 17

by Joseph Torviso
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

The Orange and Blue game. A time when fans can come out and enjoy getting some sun while watching Florida football before the Fall.

QUICK RECAP: Team Orange started with a 3-0 lead. Team Blue won the toss but elected to differ which officially started the DJ Lagway era in Gainesville. It was a tough start to the game for the early enrollee as he went three and out, throwing two wild passes with his first nearly being intercepted. He calmed down as time went on and passed for two touchdowns. Lagway finished 12-og-21 with 173-yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. On the other side, Team Blue was led by last year’s starter Graham Mertz. He played well finishing 15-of-27 with 243-yards, a touchdown, and an interception, but Blue could not make the most of their opportunities scoring three field goals in the redzone. After a controversial quarterback spike inside the 20 with two seconds remaining, Trey Smack came in to ‘win’ the game for Team Blue 19-17.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: The Gators’ backup kicker, walk-on Hunter Smith had a woeful game. He went 0-for-3 missing from 34, 38, and 52. Last season, Florida had to depend on its backup, Smack when starter Adam Mihalek could not fit the ball in between the uprights. This year, the difference in quality in the kicking room is immeasurable. Orange lost due to these costly missed field goals.

WHAT A PLAY: Two young players with something to prove. Aidan Mizell showed his explosiveness after the snap, and cornerback Ethan Pouncey had no chance of catching up as Lagway sent an inch-perfect pass to the Redshirt Freshman in-between three defenders for the touchdown. This was Mizell’s only reception of the afternoon.

THUMBS UP: No Pearsall? No problem.

Don’t get me wrong, losing a piece like Ricky Pearsall is going to be tough but the Gators have a talented receiver room. On Team Orange, redshirt junior Taylor Spierto had a great game with three catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. Team Blue had redshirt junior Kahleil Jackson was decent with two catches for 56 yards. The standout was sophomore Tre Wilson. He burnt the Orange defense all game finishing with eight receptions, 128-yards, and a touchdown. He is clearly Florida’s number one receiver heading into the fall.

THUMBS DOWN: Last fall, Florida’s defensive backs were woeful. They gave up big play after big play killing any momentum the Gators had on offense. Today, they were burnt yet again on both sides. After Mizell’s touchdown, Wilson caught a 60-yard bomb for six points. Team Blue hurried up to the line and ran that play. The secondary was lost and watched as Wilson waltzed into the endzone. Both sides picked it up in the second half as Mannie Nunnery picked off Lagway and Sharif Denson intercepted a pass from Mertz.

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