Well which was an enjoyable experience, now wasn’t it? At some stage in the 2nd half it happened in my experience that Florida fans haven’t had the ability to enjoy a simple, completely satisfying bowl win such as this because the Sugar Bowl following a 2009 season. Whenever we reached watch the ultimate minutes tick from the clock of Tebow Time. Obviously, that isn’t an enormous endorsement by itself. The Gators had only gone 3-2 in bowls between now and then, losing the only real major bowl (Sugar) within an embarrassing game. However, Florida additionally for an unimpressive make an impression on mid-major East Carolina, Florida did notch two wins against prominent football forces Ohio Condition and Penn Condition. Individuals were five and 6 years back, however, both against highly diluted versions of the former and offer programs. Certainly one of individuals opponents was coached by Luke Fickell, an interim placeholder coach who’s presently beginning his first mind coaching chance with Cincinnati after nearly twenty years being an assistant among the opponents was coached with a psychologically feeble octogenarian who’s presently dead, who coached that game under annually before having to resign in disgrace, and merely more than a years before dying of senior years. Not to mention, certainly one of individuals years since 2009, Florida didn’t even be eligible for a a bowl.
Despite the possible lack of strong comparisons because the 2009 season, its sits better whenever you add the truth that it had been Florida’s most significant bowl win because the 2008 season-ending national title game against Oklahoma. Actually, whenever you exempt the 4 national title games, it is not easy to locate a more essential bowl game and *win* in the current era. The only person I know comes close may be the 2005 season’s Outback Bowl, also against Iowa. History repeating. That bowl was just a 7-point win, however it would be a Florida blowout where the Hawkeyes set up 17 cosmetic points within the 4th quarter to create a 31-7 whitewash look respectable within the paper. It had been a zenith-type performance on sides from the ball that capped off a late-season offensive surge that kicked within the momentum for that first elite recruiting type of Urban Meyer’s mind coaching career, and launched they towards the first national title in Urban Meyer’s career the next season.
History repeating? Well, zenith-type performance to fill up Jim McElwain’s second year may have capped a late-season surge however for a back-loaded schedule of powerhouse opponents and losing over half the beginning team to injuries. And also the recruiting class the following month won’t match the main one inked by Urban Meyer in Feb 2006. However the Gators did finish the growing season having a big surge it had been just disseminate across a extended period of time. Florida won three of the last five games through the score of 66-20, together with a road make an impression on LSU, plus they finished the SEC schedule on the 5-1 go to win the East after trailing by 1.5 games in October. Fairly comparable because of the improvement in tasks within the two different years. Even though the recruiting class won’t match the 2006 class which was rated either 1st or 2nd in america by virtually all of the services, however the 2017 Outback Bowl has provided the Gators’ recruiting only the goose it required to infuse momentum in to the stretch run, so that as I’ll discuss later, could cause a really strong recruiting class that simply a couple of days ago appeared impossible. Will this be sufficient to catapult the Gators to some national title the coming year, as with 2006? Time will inform. At this time, seriously competing to have an SEC Championship Game win and finding yourself in the playoff picture may be the realistic goal. And whether this bowl win sets us with that path in 2017, it had been certainly just what the program needed.
But there’s still more to complete, obviously. Finish strong using the recruiting class. Make a good coaching staff moves. Continue growth and development of the talent, the main focus, and also the culture. Firming up that last piece could be the most important only at that juncture.
Some Serious Mental Work Due
Within the march to national relevance, the greatest mantra relating to this Gator team the final 2 yrs has obviously been, “We is one good quarterback from being elite.” But around that idea has ruled the fate and established the iron ceiling with this program the final two seasons, there’s another which has avoided Florida from drilling holes for the reason that iron ceiling and taking it one step further. And that’s this: there are several players about this team which are still not passing on 100%. They’ve still not determined they shouldn’t – and may not – just try to make do on their own athleticism and play-making alone. They need to perform the hard work. They need to do Everything requested of these when, particularly when the ball isn’t within their hands and also the play isn’t being tell you them.
This thought struck me just like a brick on the certain participate in the second quarter against Iowa, also it was reinforced just like a whole load of bricks on another play later within the quarter. We’ll refer to this as “The Way forward for Gator Football: An Account of Two Plays.” The very first play was when Jordan Scarlett shook a tackler 3 yards within the backfield and sprinted downfield for 46 yards, flipping the area and allowing the first real momentum swing from the contest – certainly the very first within the Gators’ favor. The play happened for 2 reasons: first of all because Scarlett, that has designed a living this season by providing it 110% using the ball in the hands, juked and ran via a tackle, and next – and more importantly – because little Chris Thompson bully-blocked a larger defender and plowed him taken care of for Jordan to tear lower outdoors field. It had been a potentially game-altering touchdown run however for one factor: Antonio Callaway gave very little effort to blocking the final man standing between Scarlett and also the finish zone, and also the defender blew past his half-hearted whiff and knocked Scarlett from bounds. And everyone knows this offense with no quarterback: when we don’t score whenever we possess the chance, we won’t score a couple of plays later. And certain enough, a couple of plays later, there is another mind-in-the-clouds Gator, DeAndre Goolsby, asleep in the switch, letting his only blocking responsibility run right past him untouched as though Gools thought the play hadn’t began yet – lower went Appleby on third lower, ending the drive.
The play where Callaway designed a Queen Elizabeth Wave rather of the block was similar to the “I Just Saw Magic” play against Tennessee this past year, if this was Callaway racing lower the sidelines with defenders closing on him around the sidelines with a decent tackling position. But he didn’t get bumped out of bounds like Scarlett did Monday – he went the space for that touchdown because Brandon Powell sacrificed his body and dove across three defenders to effectively block all of them from making the sport-saving tackle.
But it is not the 2nd play within this tale of two plays. The second came close to the finish from the second quarter against Iowa when Austin Appleby thrown an innocent-searching screen pass in high-traffic to Mark Thompson. However a couple of good blocks along with a couple of great jukes later and Mark was racing lower the sidelines toward a potentially game-altering touchdown. But a few defenders had an position on him to help make the touchdown-saving tackle between your 5 and 10 yard lines. And everyone knows this offense: if Mark will get pressed out in the 5 immediately, we’re compromising for an area goal try.
Seem familiar? But about this play, it was not Callaway in place to help make the block, but our very own Mr Guts themself, Brandon Powell. And among the tiniest guys in the game – much like this past year against Tennessee – sacrificed his body by diving in the ankles from the nearest hotly-going after defensive backs, and knocked him off target. While Powell got trampled through the parade of trailing players, your opponent he chipped was knocked sufficient off target not only to miss the tackle, but to knock another going after Hawkeye defender from bounds just like he was diving to knock Thompson from bounds.
Within the last 2 yrs, we’ve always relied on Brandon Powell and Chris Thompson to sacrifice their physiques as well as their glory on the highlight reel to put lower the critical blocks to spring their teammates. So we could always rely on Callaway and Goolsby to hands grenade a play in some places by not getting their mind hanging around or by whiffing with that critical block with that critical play. I possibly could add Ahmad Fullwood to that particular list, who threw in the towel an interception and handed down a possible early deep strike for that Gators by half-heartedly waving a hands in a first quarter jump-ball rather of utilizing his big 6’-4” frame to increase and obtain the ball.
This doesn’t happen on championship teams. This didn’t happen on Steve Spurrier’s teams or Urban Meyer’s teams at Florida. It doesn’t happen on Nick Saban teams. Because whenever it happened once, that guy caught the bench and missed the area again for any lengthy time. That’s what Mac did to Mark Thompson for fumbling inside a couple critical spots the 2009 year…because we’d the depth at running back so that you can sit him lower. And appear what we should had waiting around the bench everything time: everything talent doesn’t enable you to get in the game should you not perform the small things like block or secure the ball. Because that’s exactly what a depth chart does: it provides the coaching staff the most powerful motivational tool hanging around. Mac hasn’t had that depth chart at receiver or at tight finish or other place on offense except running back. So he’s been hamstrung a good deal in benching this option until they have it through their heads to experience at 110% on every play, even – and particularly – when they’re and not the focus from the play.
However, in 2017, Mac may have finally had an opportunity to rely on that depth chart around the offensive side from the ball enough to begin utilizing it like a motivator at virtually every position. Even at quarterback. So players like Goolsby and Callaway will have to select within the offseason either to go up a notch to being fully invested in every play, and each part of the sport, or they’re likely to be watching the sport from waste-level around the sidelines for much much more of 2017 they wish.
Whenever a Meaningless Bowl Game Means a great deal
I’m certainly one of individuals who think that with the exception of rare cases, bowl games that do not change up the national title have minimum meaning beyond a scratch within the record books. That appears to become a perspective shared by most players – certainly within the SEC – because bowl months are where we have seen team after team appear and play several levels below their season-lengthy performance median since the players had national title aspirations and merely couldn’t get motivated for such lesser goals.
However this was certainly certainly one of individuals occasions: whenever a program increasing requires a turbo boost in to the off-season. It had been doubly vital that you the phoenix trajectory from the Florida program due to the way last season ended and also the similar lack of all momentum brought on by blowout losses to FSU and Alabama to shut the season. And also the big question which will soon be clarified only agreed to be how large of the positive impact it’d around the program lengthy term, as well as on recruiting temporary.
Even when Florida will get no real turbo boost out of this win, the win was absolutely important to progress since it avoided an enormous move from the needle within the wrong direction. Florida was in times where had they lost, it might have hurt by denying UF any forward momentum, ongoing the finish-of-year slide. When the Gators might have won an unpleasant game, it might have experienced essentially exactly the same negative impact: denying momentum. How they dominated Iowa wasn’t flashy however they absolutely destroyed an excellent hot-streaking team in most areas of the sport. I do not think it sparks an avalanche of commitments or changes lots of recruits’ minds, but It did slowly move the needle when it comes to altering the entire sense of Gator recruiting only at that juncture.
A loss of revenue or perhaps a close, ugly win and absolutely nothing might have really altered for all of us around the recruiting trail. Prospects who’d doubts about us would have them. I believe winning in this sort of dominant fashion, and showing some really big flashes on offense gave a pleasant glimpse into what’s feasible for an hour each week when we obtain a QB. It simply changes the entire vibe from the Gator program at this time, and particularly the recruiting. Coaches and commitments will be travelling having a bounce within their step the remainder of this off-season. And that will exude around the recruiting trail, too. It produced an alteration within the tone of Gator recruiting so we have previously seen momentum beginning to construct there. Each of the early entry commitments take presctiption campus and signed up for classes. More players over the target board are establishing visits. Many leans are searching more solid. Good stuff are happening, and winning the bowl in dominating fashion has sparked it. Sometimes second-tier bowls still matter.
AA was A1
Quarterback Austin Appleby was voted the gamer from the Game through the broadcast crew within the Outback Bowl (to not be mistaken with MVP, that was earned by Chauncey Gardner). And also to which i say, great for him! There have been multiple threads opened up up – entire threads, actually – around the forums to slam the little one as soon as Mac named him the starter for that bowl game. And all sorts of he did was get out there and win the POG award. And that he accomplished it after keeping his mind straight following two very early picks, one of these would be a fluke on the batted ball that in some way bounced off a Gator’s feet and sailed in to the arms of the Hawkeye who had been lounging on his back, and yet another was just because a Gator receiver Tarzan swatted in a jump ball like Jane.
He is not an excellent QB, and each game he performed, he was belittled so heavily and constantly that at some point I figured the language “Much Maligned” were his first and middle names. However the dude labored and attempted his butt off for all of us this season and switched what probably will be a sub-.500 season right into a championship season, dotted with a few huge wins and punctuated having a dominating New Years bowl victory. We haven’t were built with a season this good since Tim Tebow was using the snaps, and also the most pivotal difference maker – against all odds and expectations – was Austin Appleby.