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Florida Football

Former Florida Player Feedback: 10 Observations

August 25, 2019

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Former Florida defensive lineman Clint Mitchell (99-02) shares 10 observations on Florida football after the Gators 24-20 victory over Miami in the 2019 season opener.

1) A win is a win and I will take it against a big rival in a season opener. The Gators might of played sloppy on both sides of the ball at times, but they had enough good plays to pull this one out and get the victory. that’s the main goal of every game get the W! 

2) Be careful what you wish for because this is what a lot of Florida fans wanted to see, a real season opener against a marquee opponent. If Florida doesn’t play the cream puff games then when you play these big opponents out of the gate you should expect to see some of the mistakes that are made through the game such as missed tackles and mistakes on offense. I’ve always been a big believer in the cream puff games and have criticized other SEC teams that have played these big season openers against non conference schools. With the current practice rules , cream puff games are scrimmages that allow teams to fine tune their skills before the big opponent. As a fan I know it’s hard not to point fingers and criticize every negative thing you observed but that’s what you get with minimal contact practices and no cream puff game before you play the big boys. 

3) Our defense is going to be good. I know there were a lot of missed tackles and stupid penalties. Our coaching staff will correct the missed tackles in the weeks to come and stress more discipline when it comes to late hits and pass interference. What you like is that the defense was in position to make the plays, they were swarming to the ball and played with great effort. Just need to wrap up and finish and play with better discipline. The pass rush was outstanding those guys had the snap count timed up. That’s also a reflection on our defensive backs covering the receivers long enough for our front seven to get to the quarterback 10 times. 

4) The run game just wasn’t working for us Saturday on what was a pretty balanced offensive attack with 27 pass attempts and 27 runs. The poor run game falls on our offensive line, running backs and coaching staff. Florida has a young line that was going against a seasoned Miami front seven and just couldn’t manage to open up the lanes the backs needed. Knowing that, the backs need to be able to see the smallest of openings and have a better field of vision when running lanes are hard to come by. I would of liked to see more of a balanced rotation between running backs as in previous years. The line will get better with more game reps and I believe our running backs are better then what we saw against Miami. 

5) Feleipe Franks had a decent game (17/27 254-yards 2/2). It was nothing to write home about, but he got it done and found a way to win. Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland only had one reception each - those guys just need the ball in there hands more. Franks was finally able to connect with Josh Hammond for the deep ball and was a key play in that drive to finish with a great effort play by Franks to get the game winning score. I love Franks enthusiasm and passion about the game, but he needs to redirect his celebrations toward his teammates and act like he’s been there before after he makes a big play.

6) I know Kyle Pitts only got the ball three times, but he shows great athleticism and makes plays when he has the ball in his hands. We have to get the ball more to our tight ends to have more of a balanced pass attack. This kid is going to fun to watch this season. 

7) The special teams played great and that’s a great thing to see. Putting Jefferson and Cleveland on the punt team as gunners was key to getting that muffed punt. Tommy Townsend couldn’t of had a better game, stranding Miami inside the 20 three different times and pulling off the fake in the first quarter. Our kick off coverage allowed the one big return, buts that tends to happen. 

8) I have to give it to Nick Savage, he had these guys ready to play. The first game of the year is always a tough one when it comes to conditioning and being in game shape. It was HOT Saturday in Orlando and our guys fought to the end. The defense got stuck on the field as the game was coming to an end and was still rolling play after play. To be able to suck it up and keep going after those penalties was huge and showed just how important our strength and conditioning program is to our team. 

9) Steve Spurrier’s face after the interception, priceless. 

10) I can’t overstate how big it is to continue to overcome adversity and keep on fighting. From the sloppy play at times on both sides of the ball, the Gators were able to bounce back from the mistakes and pull through when it counted. This will prove beneficial through out the season as the Gators have one of the toughest schedules in college football and will face plenty of adversity this season. I hope the players and coaches can learn from this game and preform to a level we all know this team can reach.

All hail to old Florida, Go Gators!

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Former Florida Player Feedback: 10 Observations

3,972 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by OrangeandBlue
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Love the insight and perspective from a former player Go Gators!
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I wonder what Mullen thought of Spurrier's reaction?
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