C l i c k   for   H  O  M  E  P  A  G  E

2 0 0 5    S u m m a r i e s

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Florida vs Wyoming Game Summary

After all of the hoopla and hype, it was a good beginning to the Urban Myer era. Not the 50-point blowout everyone expected, but a solid 32-14 win over a top-25 ranked opponent. For the most part, the team looked very business-like if not flat at times. I expected much more emotion, but only saw that on defense.

Coach Myer indicated he knows what areas (running game, special teams) need extra work. I am confident we’ll see immediate improvement. For now, at least, the pressure is off. Louisiana Tech this week will be a nice tune-up for Rocky Top.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

Florida vs Tennessee Game Summary

Another great day for Our Gator Nation. The heat of the day notwithstanding, a great tailgate, fantastic food, excellent soundtrack, slip’n and slid’n and Gator Bob becoming one with Herr Jagermeister.

And then there was the game... I’ve heard a lot of moaning about the offense scoring only 16 points. Hey... I liked what I saw. The Gator defense held a pretty good UT team to one TD and 213 total yards. The offense took what UT’s defense allowed and didn’t give up the ball. It worked. Will it work next week and thereafter?

Stay tuned and find out. ’Nuff said.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

L O U I S A N A   S T A T E
Florida vs L S U Game Summary

It was a game that Florida could have won. Instead hearts are heavy and disappointment reigns after the Gators drop a hard-fought contest to LSU 21-17.

Had the offense been able to generate ANYTHING consistent, UF might have prevailed. I don't understand why Coach Meyer stuck with Chris Leak at QB when it was clear that Leak was mired in the worst day of his career. Why didn’t we see Clinton Portis keeping LSU honest with some sprint out passes? Or his patented end runs? The new ball coach needs to take a lesson from the Ol’ ball Coach... who was known to rotate QBs a time or two. Heck, Spurrier even sat Danny Wuerffel when #7 wasn't having a Heisman-like day.

Boo to the offensive line which turned in a pathetic effort. Totally unsatisfactory for a senior-dominated O-line. You guys better get it together or else Georgia and Tallahassee State are going eat your lunch.

All props to the defense which played its heart out once again. Those guys kept the game in reach, hell, it was one pick-six from singlehandedly winning the game. Also good job to punter Eric Wilbur.

I can accept what happened Saturday if everybody learned something from this. But enough of that. Let’s move on. Time to heal and get ready to kick the Dawgs out of Jacksonville. See you there in two weeks.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

Florida vs Georgia Game Summary

Ten minutes of offense in the opening quarter was enough to power the Gators past previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Georgia 14-10.

However, once again it was UF’s defense which rose to the challenge of keeping Georgia’s vaunted offense wrapped up, repeatedly muting Bulldog scoring threats.

Coach Meyer showed his steel late in the third quarter when UF’s sputtering offense faced fourth down inside its own 40. Punter Eric Wilbur took off up the middle for 20 yards and a huge first down. Although the Gators did not capitalize on the series, it sent a message to Georgia that UF was not going down without a fight. Georgia did manage a TD in the third quarter and missed two field goals, but never mounted a serious scoring threat.

The Gators return to the Swamp Saturday to face Vanderbilt, a team it has dominated for 20 years. Vandy has shown some mettle of its own this year behind senior quarterback Jay Cutler, so a win cannot be taken for granted,

Plan to show up in full game spirit.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

Florida vs Vanderbilt Game Summary

I wanted to get upset about Vanderbilt pushing the Gators to double overtime Saturday. Not because UF prevailed 49-42, but because UF squandered a 14-point lead with four minutes to play in regulation. Against Vanderbilt.

But then I started thinking... a win is a win. It still beats losing to Mississippi or Mississippi State. We hired Coach Meyer to win football games and he won this one. Vanderbilt proved it is a much better team than its records indicates. They showed a lot of heart, but so did the orange & Blue who could have just as easily let this one slip away.

No hype will be needed for this week’s game at South Carolina. Forget that the Gamecocks will be underdogs, Forget UF has superior talent, forget that UF has won 13 in a row against the boys from Columbia (average score: 40-15). Forget that UF holds the scoring record at Carolina's stadium... Carolina has Steve Spurrier and that could be the great equalizer. Georgia expected a Carolina romp this year and escaped 17-15. Don't be surprised if the USC plays its best game of the year.

A Gator win coupled with a Georgia loss gives the UF it's first SEC East Division crown since Spurrier was our coach. A Spurrier-Gamecock win hands Georgia the title. Despite his hatred of the Bulldogs, expect nothing less than an all-out battle. Spurrier will throw everything at his old team, including the kitchen sink. Should be college football’s most entertaining game in years.

I hope Meyer opens up by running the Emory & Henry formation...

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

S O U T H    C A R O L I N A
Florida vs South Carolina Game Summary

One might feel more philosophical about UF’s first loss to South Carolina in our lifetime had USC come out on an obvious fiery emotional high. I could have slept better if the ’Ol Ball Coach had thrown something completely unexpected at us... a little Emory & Henry here, a little rotating the quarterbacks there. Oh there was a certain déjà vu to see USC QBs stepping up to the line and checking off on plays, but overall it was run-of-the-mill SEC ball.

In the end it was UF’s own mistakes that spelled defeat. Spotting USC a 7-0 lead on an interception. Watching flags turn 2nd and 1 into 3rd and 15. And finally the 12-man call. I had heard that UF was going to be more disciplined this year. Didn’t see it Saturday. All week, Coach Urban Meyer preached about playing for championships in November. I expected to see some fire. Instead I saw the Gators lose 30-22 to an unranked team, UF’s third road loss this year.

I expected more spark, more emotion from a team playing for a possible championship. Where was the emotion? Where was the spark? I was appalled at Coach Urban Meyer’s explanation for the Gators’ loss to unranked South Carolina... “We prepared for them to pass, but they ran the ball instead...”

Not good enough.

Oh... there was one other element of déjà vu last Saturday. The game had the surreal look of a Ron Zook coached team.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

F L O R I D A    S T A T E
Florida vs Florida State Game Summary

Congratulations to the team and coaches for defeating FSU 34-7 at The Swamp last Saturday. It was perhaps the most tangible step forward for the program under the Urban Meyer era. Moreover, it was fun to watch...

What can we really say about the 2005 Gators? An 8-3 record highlighted by wins over the big three rivals, Tennessee, Georgia and FSU. Unbeaten at the Swamp... That is huge for recruiting...

The losses are troublesome. All resulted from inept offense... inept coaching, inept preparation, inept execution. All occurred on the road. That was the knock on the pre-Spurrier Gators... can’t win on the road... That is a step backward. A loss to a current top five team that all but gave us the win. Most inexcusable, the loss to an unranked team, even if it was the "why didn’t we see it coming" loss to the Ol’ Ball Coach.

It "could have, should have, would have" been a division championship season. We "could have, should have, would have" been playing for the SEC crown in Atlanta, except for the loss to an unranked SEC team. But wasn’t that the case during Zook’s first two years?

The offensive fireworks expected under Meyer fizzled. It seemed that we forgot how to throw the deep pass.

The defense for most of the season, played above expectation. Holding Georgia to 10 points was great. Surrendering 42 points to Vanderbilt even in a win, just doesn’t feel right.

Next up will be a bowl game. After going 0-fer under Ron Zook, I’d like to see a win to keep the momentum high. Meyer needs to be able to point to a "9" in the win column, as obviously, "8" will get you fired.

Next year should be great. Alabama and LSU invade The Swamp, as does South Carolina with Spurrier. The road schedule will be demanding with games at Tennessee, FSU, and Auburn rotates onto the schedule... Can’t wait.

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

O U T B A C K    B O W L
Florida's Outback Bowl Game Summary

Congratulations to the team and coaches for ending the season on a high note, defeating Iowa 31-24 in the Outback Bowl. The nine-win season is a viable measurement of progress. Dallas Baker put on quite a show and QB Chris Leak seems more and more comfortable running the offense. The coaches are letting Leak throw the ball downfield and he performed outstanding. I can’t wait to see his senior season, and hope he mentors our QB-of-the-future Tim Teabow...

How about senior Vernell Brown, returning from a broken leg and capping off his career with an interception return for a TD. I forgive Vernell for throwing the interception vs. Michigan and take back everything I ever said against you...!

As always, until next time, Go Gators.

2006 Rants