NCAA Football: What I Learned From The Florida-Tennessee Game
Note: I do not have a favorite school. I enjoy seeing certain schools have success, but never do I cheer for a specific football program to succeed. I simply watch the games.
After watching the Florida Gators defeat the Tennessee Volunteers, 31-17, on the road, there were some positives and negatives coming out from each sideline.
Continuing this regular segment, I go through the standout players, those that need work, and tendencies of each team that must be praised or fixed.
John Brantley Can Be Great…But He Still Hasn’t Shown Improvement
It is generally accepted that Florida quarterback John Brantley is a better passer than former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was/is. However, Tebow was clearly the better all-around player and the one who could better lead a team to victory.
Granted, Brantley has yet to lose a game in his NCAA career—but he still doesn’t look very good.
Though he completed 61 percent of his passes in the Tennessee game (14 for 23) and averaged 7.3 yards per completion, his play was inconsistent.
He threw passes long, short, behind and in the hands of his receivers, but you never knew what kind of pass he would throw on any given down. At one point, he even through a 2-yard pass as hard as someone would throw a 50-yard pass, resulting in an unnecessary incompletion.
On the bright side, though, he did show some impressive mobility and an ability to take a hit when needed, leading his team to a 3-0 record out of the gate.
Tennessee Could Have Won The Game—Honestly
When your quarterback goes 19 for 30 for 270 yards (and nine yards per completion), you are more than likely putting your team in a position to win the game.
However, bad decisions at bad times cost the Volunteers the game.
Matt Simms threw two interceptions, including one in the Florida end zone that halted a drive that should have resulted in a touchdown. They also had an inconvenient fumble late in the fourth quarter that led to Florida running out most of the clock.
Though Tennessee couldn’t rush through the Florida defensive line, they showed real potential and could possibly be the cause of some upsets in the SEC.
Florida Will Be Beaten by Alabama—And May Lose A Second Game
Florida’s offense is easily readable, which will bode a problem when they face the defending national champion Alabama.
When Brantley performs a play action, he holds the ball very close to his body in order to get in position to throw a pass. However, when he is actually handing off the ball, his arm extends as far as he can.
This may fool inexperienced defenses like Miami of Ohio, South Florida or Tennessee, but it will not fool Alabama, LSU or even Georgia.
Brantley and coach Urban Meyer must work with the rest of the team to ensure that the play is not revealed immediately following the snap, or their offense will be stunned nine times out of ten.
Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and THN.com. In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News, he has also worked for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is the General Manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at BergHockey24@gmail.com.
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