Friday, December 4, 2015

UF Football: #13 FSU Smacks #12 Florida

It was an absolutely dreadful game for #12 Florida offensively against rival #13 Florida State last weekend as the Seminoles smacked the Gators around and handily beat them 27-2. The game was still somehow close going into the fourth quarter as the Gators trailed 13-2 with a little under nine minutes left, but the inept Florida offense could not muster anything to end what is now a three-game losing streak to the 'Noles.

I will say it right now and stand by it, I am done with Treon Harris. Not only me, this entire university is done with Treon Harris! He was pitiful against FSU as he threw for just 125 yards on 19 of 39 passing attempts! Obviously he threw no touchdowns and he was sacked five times! I will not even waste anymore time ranting about how he takes forever to make decisions or how he can't throw a decent ball. I just won't. This 5'11 Miami native should not be playing quarterback at a D1 school. PERIOD.

There is not much more to say about offense apart from the fact that running back Kelvin Taylor had another great game on the ground. He rushed 24 times for 136 yards and became the first Gator running back in school history to rush for over 100 yards against Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee in the same season. It is truly a tremendous accomplishment and his father (Gator legend Fred Taylor) would have been proud of his son on a night where he himself was being honored as an SEC legend.

Besides the fact that Demarcus Robinson was suspended this game for violating team rules (which I feel has to deal with weed in some shape or form), the only tidbit about the wide receivers worth mentioning is that tight end Jake McGee made the most of his senior night as he led the Gators with four receptions for a whopping 34 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, I am proud of those guys. They worked their butts off to keep the Gators in the game and it is a shame the offense could not help out one bit. Florida held FSU's prized running back Dalvin Cook in check before he scored two garbage time touchdowns in the fourth quarter. So despite what a 183-yard, two touchdown game may say on the stat sheet, just know he really was not that dominant for more than three quarters of the game.

Safety Keanu Neal (one tackle for loss) and linebacker Jarrad Davis (0.5 tackle for loss) both had nine tackles to lead the team. Neal also had one of Florida's two sacks, the other which came from defensive lineman CeCe Jefferson. Rounding out the leading Gator tacklers was Marcus Maye with seven and Joey Ivie with five (0.5 for loss). Maye also broke up three passes in the secondary.

The defense gave up just 304 yards to their archival, but that does not matter one bit when the offense puts up 262 total yards and cannot find the end zone. Florida is lucky FSU messed up and somehow fumbled the ball into their end zone from nearly 20-yards out, or they would have been shutout for the first time EVER in the rivalry. In case you were wondering, Florida's two points scored are also the least amount ever scored by the Gators against the Noles.

In the kicking game... what do you expect? Austin Hardin should never kick for a D1 football team ever again. I know I sound like the "Monday night quarterback" here for bashing him while he is down and praising him when he makes a kick to send Florida to the SEC Championship, but I am firmly saying now I never want him to kick for this team again. He missed a 51-yarder at the end of the half (which no one expected him to make honestly) and then had a 37-yarder blocked. At this point, just throw out the walk-on pre-dental student Neil Maccines for these last two games. Gator Nation is done with Hardin.

As mad as I get about Hardin, I get just as excited when I get to bring up... you guessed it! Johnny Townsend!!!! Once again, this boy killed it as he punted NINE times for 418 yards! He averaged 46.4 yards per punt and was able to land three of them inside the 20-yard line! His longest punt of the night was 53 yards. I am absolutely shocked that he is not a finalist for the Ray Guy Award. That is highway robbery if I have ever seen it!

Final Takeaway:
The Gators did not deserve to win this game AT ALL. FSU outplayed them and I am not even mad the 'Noles won. I am not gonna play the what-if game in regards to Will Grier or anything like that. Florida got flat out beat by a talented team.

On the bright side (or maybe not), #18 Florida (10-2) has an SEC Championship game to look ahead to against the fearsome #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1). You want my honest opinion on this one? This is going to be a bloodbath! With Florida's dreadful, Muchampesque offense and an Alabama team that many are saying is one of the most complete teams Nick Saban has ever fielded, this is going to hurt. Florida is a 17-point underdog and I thank Vegas for being so generous.

I do not usually do score predictions but if I had to make one I would say Alabama: 44, Florida: 0. I honestly do not believe Florida will be able to run the ball against a stacked Alabama defensive line. You know what that means then if the Gators cannot run the ball right? Treon time! Yes, we get to see Treon throw three picks and run for his life as Alabama tracks him down like a bloodhound hunting an escaped prisoner. Buckle up folks, this is going to be a rough ride. The beatdown begins on December 5th at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on CBS.

As for #9 Florida State, there is no ACC Championship for them this year after three consecutive conference titles. They will await their fate and most likely receive a decent bowl game bid. They finish the regular season at 10-2.

*All stats accredited to and tweets by Gator writers Scott Carter & Chris Harry

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