The BBN is most likely still stinging from Saturday’s Southern Miss second half debacle. But, just like in life, the season must go on. Mark Stoops and his Cats have no time to mope as it travels to Gainesville for an afternoon meeting with the Florida Gators. UF defeated UMass 24-7 in its opener.
Let’s take a look:
Gator statistics won’t jump off the page. Florida led UMass 10-7 going into halftime. It later scored 14, 4th quarter points to salt the game.
— Scoring Offense: 24 points per game
— Rushing Offense: 107 yards, 3.69 per rush, 0 TD’s
— Passing Offense: 256 yards, 65.9% completion ratio, 2 TD’s
— Total Offense: 363 yards
— Passing: Luke Del Rio, 29-44, 256 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT, completed 65.9% of passes. He averaged 11 yards per completion
— Rushing: RB Jordan Scarlett, 13 carries for 70 yards, 0 TD
— Receiving: Brandon Powell 7 catches, Antonio Calloway 8
— RB’s Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson combined for 9 carries that resulted in 28 yards
— 8 different Gators caught passes
— Only 3 completions of longer than 20 yards all of which occurred in the 4th quarter when UF scored 2 touchdowns
— In 3rd quarter UF managed only 11 plays for only 43 yards
— Florida scored on all three, 4th quarter drives
— 8 /10 drives were 9 plays or less. Only one of those drives were a 3 and Out
UMass struggled offensively for sixty minutes. It had only one successful third down conversion
— Scoring Defense: 7 points
— Rush Defense: 46 yards
— Pass Defense: 141 yards
— Tackles for LossL-5
— Total Defense: 187 yards
— QB Sacks: 4
— QB Hurries: 4
— No UMass run play exceeded 8 yards
— Allowed 1.3 yards per carry
— No interceptions, 1 forced fumble
— Leading tackler was All American LB Jarrad Davis with 9
— All American cornerback Jalen Tabor was suspended for game 1 and is likely back on Saturday
— Kicker Eddy Pineiro made field goals from: 40, 49, and 48 yards
— Punter Johnny Townsend punted 4 times and averaged 44.5 yards per
— Both Pineiro and Townsend were Phil Steele Magazine Preseason All SEC
— Returner Antonio Calloway was also a Phil Steele Magazine Preseason All SEC selection
What does all this mean?
UMass was a 3-9 football team from a year ago and never threatened. Florida’s starting quarterback Luke Del Rio is a well-traveled, twice transferred football player that has apparently finally found a home in Gainesville. Defense and special teams are the Gator’s strength. Playing at the Swamp is never comfortable, especially when a three decade old losing streak is on the line.
How will the Cats will rebound after a disappointing opener against Southern Miss? Impossible to project. The first half Cats would compete. The second half version, no chance in Hades. Time will only tell which variety shows up in the Swamp.