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Former Florida Player Feedback: 10 Observations

September 11, 2018
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Former Florida offensive lineman Shannon Snell (2000-03) shares 10 observations on Florida football after the Gators 27-16 loss to Kentucky.

1) Streaks are meant to be broken. It was bound to happen that the Gators would eventually lose to Kentucky. None of us knew that 2018 would be the year that it would happen, but who cares. I’m a huge wrestling fan. Remember a few years back when the Undertaker’s Wrestlemaina streak was broken by Brock Lesnar? Same thing here. It was shocking and it hurt. (I cried a little.) But it’s not the end of the world. This anger and disbelief will eventually pass, if it hasn’t already.

2) I’m still a huge believer in Felipe Franks. Despite the 16-of-38 passing numbers, I think he played good enough to win the ballgame. He did what he could without no hint of a run game, numerous drops, and tons of pressure from Kentucky’s defensive line all night long. Did he have some bad throws? Yea. Did he make some bad decisions? Sure. But, he showed that he has developed a lot over the last nine months. I guess that’s what happens when you get a good coach.

3) What happened to Lucas Krull? When you’re 6-foot-7, 255-pounds, and you have a 37 inch vertical, you are what we like to call a “mismatch” for a defense. With that being said, he was nowhere to be found on Saturday night. After the decent performance against Charleston Southern in week 1, you’d figure he’d be a bigger part of the game plan moving forward. Maybe he hasn’t picked up the offense as quick as some would think.

4) I’m not going to name any names, but the offensive line did not play their best game (I’ve heard it on Twitter a thousand times). Protection wise, it was okay. Actually, it was a huge step up from last year. But as I alluded to earlier, the run game was very much non-existent. Dan Mullen mentioned in his presser that a lot of the guys needed to get tougher and practice better especially in the trenches. I seriously hope this is a wakeup call to the boys up front. Any more performance like the one on Saturday night, and they’ll struggle again offensively.

5) What happened to the run game? I didn’t figure a Dan Mullen offense to drop back and throw the ball almost 40 times a game. In his world, I don’t think that’s a recipe for success. He’s obviously a very smart guy, and maybe he thought he could take advantage of a weak Kentucky pass defense. Then again, maybe there are some deficiencies in the run game that will not allow him to do everything he’d like to do at the given time. The run/pass ratio is something that should really be monitored moving forward. It will be a tall tale of how successful this offense will be.

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6) Yo, where’s the pass rush? You can bet your ass that Cece Jefferson’s presence is missed. All game long, Kentucky had ample time to sit in the pocket and make plays all over the field. Maybe Kentucky’s offensive line was much better than I gave them credit for, but from all indications, Florida’s defensive line was supposed to be very good at getting to the quarterback. At one point, Kentucky was 8-for-9 on third down. I give them props, Kentucky had a very fast, shifty, mobile guy back there, but Florida has to create a better pass rush and get the defense off the field.

7) Benny Snell is a good running back, but the Gators missed tackles made him look better. No need to state to obvious. Rule one of football: you have to tackle.

8) Zero big plays on special teams. After last week, the biggest change I noticed from previous seasons was the attention to details on special team. Guys were flying around, blocking kicks, making big hits on kickoffs. Hell, it was fun to watch. Fast forward, special teams looked really flat. I didn’t feel that same energy that I did the previous week and it really translated to the field.

9) Kentucky is a good team coached by an excellent coach. While the Gators were favored to win, Kentucky had all the ability to come in to the Swamp and do what they did. That’s life in the SEC. You have to be prepared to play every single week because the competition is fierce.

10) DO NOT HIT THE PANIC BUTTON. Many of the so-called “experts” had the Gators losing 4 -5 games this season. Most people didn’t think Kentucky would be one of those teams, but hey, it happened. Dan Mullen will hopefully get these guys back on track sooner than later. The true resolve of a team is shown not after a win, but a loss. Colorado State, this week’s opponent, is no slouch. Let see that fire and energy that we saw in week 1 so all of us are not hanging our head like we did Saturday night.

Former Florida Player Feedback: 10 Observations

SORT14
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I always enjoy Snell's take. Regarding throwing the ball often, it seems as if he answered his own question here. Pass protection was good, run blocking wasn't= pass more, run less. How your offensive line performs dictates how you play offense.
Dan the Man
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Mullen abandoned the run game too soon. Franks can't carry an offense throwing the ball that much.
gatorlover1996
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It is obvious that you did not watch the game or read. The OL could not block for the run. So, they had to pass more, or do you want 3 and out? UK obviously came into the game determined to stop the run.
outofsight
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gatorlover1996 said:

It is obvious that you did not watch the game or read. The OL could not block for the run. So, they had to pass more, or do you want 3 and out? UK obviously came into the game determined to stop the run.

I think you are right on that. Mullen saw that our line wasn't able to move Charleston Southern and he knew they wouldn't be able to move the Wildcats so he went pass heavy.
EricN
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Overall it was a poor coaching effort.

Our Safety play was horrible (would love to be watching Randy Russel in there)
Easily 3 big plays came out of poor Safety play.

Our recruiting has not addressed this huge issue for our team.

We may need to move CGJ back to free safety and maybe move a linebacker in that spot. We are playing too small.
Swampm
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It's hard for me to single out any position/unit for criticism. To me, every position was outplayed and imo, we were even out coached. Absent injuries, we have what it takes to win. Time will tell if the team and the coaching staff will rise to the occasion. Go Gators.
P.S. I don't think I've ever seen a more motivated Kentucky team, ever.
g8orbill
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good info

you play like you practice and last week's practices were pretty bad from what I was told by a coupe of parents

there are some players who are resisting the changes and it is affecting the whole team

evidently Macadoodle's practices had a country club atmosphere and some are still longing for that

this will be a project
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