Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Gators MIA

So another crowded Saturday gameday has passed here in sunny Gainesville, Fl and once more the Gators were victorious. It took me about 45 minutes to drive the one mile to Moe's to get a fajita and I almost died about ten times in the 3 miles per hour post game day traffic. You get used to it living in a football college town after a little while on this warm September day...Wait just a second!

That's right, its spring and football fanatics are still, well, football fanatics. 60,000 strong filled in all of the open sections of Ben Hill to see the Gators work it out in a highly competitive(although still scrimmage) game.

Its hard to really tell a lot about a team, especially when its missing so many parts. The widely publicized absence has been Percy Harvin. An early Heisman favorite after his ridiculous combined rushing and receiving statistics as a half halfback, half receiver, half any other offensive position that might be invented any time soon. (gatorback anyone?) Apparently he has an ankle discomfort that has spread all the way up his leg and to his knee. Apparently this discomfort has been with him since high school? Sorry, something isn't sitting right with this after watching him effortlessly run around defenders for the past two years. Here's to keeping fingers crossed that we'll be seeing Percy running routes this fall instead of having the long snapper out in pass patterns.

The other thing we would have liked to seen previewed for this coming year was the two quarterback system. Meyer keeps talking about trying to spell Tebow on some plays(about time) and putting in another quarterback like he used to do with Tebow and Leak. The only problem with this is that Newton doesn't look like he wants to run into the line a la Tebow. He has shown off an impressive arm and some mobility but he does not appear to be a substitute battering ram like Tebow was two years ago. The other backup QB, John Brantley, continues to have strange things happen to him. After hurting his nonthrowing shoulder wrestling a lineman in a practice drill, now his hand had a cast on it after he jammed his hand. I haven't heard of this injury but that is what he reported on the sideline. Brantley had a great local high school career, but it was disappointing to not be able to see what kind of quarterback he will be this fall for the Gators.

There was a nice bright spot to watch though and that was at the Gators biggest weakness coming in, defensive line. Coming off of a year where the four man pass rush looked like an immobile troop and losing the only real player in Harvey, the Gators showed off some new athletic talent in the form of Carlos Dunlap. Sporting the popular number 8 jersey made wearable by Rex Grossman, Dunlap looked both too fast and too strong for opposing linemen. Hopefully an upgraded secondary(which should allow the Gators to send more than four on rushes) and Dunlap's ability should let this defense play back up to the caliber of the championship team.

1 comment:

Stanley said...

damn, you beat me to the Orange and Blue game report!

Harvin had surgery to repair a bone or something in his heel. Apparently his heel had been bothering him enough to make him alter the way he ran so that he injured his quad or thigh or knee or whatever it was last year that kept him out of a couple games. He is supposed to be back to 100% by July (in plenty of time for fall practice).

Cam Newton had an off day today, but the few times he got in last season (end of the blowout games) he was running full speed and looked like he could be great in the Tebow-in-2006-role.

Emmanuel Moody looked pretty good, too. Despite reportedly having problems picking up the offense during spring practice, he had a nice showing in the 2nd half, running for 111 yards on 14 carries. Hopefully he will be the guy who can keep Tebow out of those linebackers arms 20+ times a game.

No injuries during the game = Orange and Blue success.

Go Gators.