The Florida Gators’ Orange and Blue Debut game came to a 23-23 tie Saturday evening. Florida’s offense showed many signs of rejuvenation. In the first half alone, Florida’s two offenses scored a total of 46 points, more points than they scored in any game during the 2013 season.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 17 out of 30 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown. Will Grier looked a little shaky and threw the only interception in the game on a pass that may have been a misread or possible miscommunication. Skyler Mornhinweg had a decent day, completing 14-of-18 for 149 yards and two touchdowns as the starter for the Orange team..
Running backs Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor rushed for a combined 97 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown each. Adam Lane also looked good, running around like Maurice Jones-Drew. He ended up having 12 rushes for 67 yards. He will be a welcome addition to the Gators running game with his contrasting style to Brown and Taylor.
Florida’s receivers didn’t have as much luck as its running backs. Passes were dropped left and right, something they have struggled with for a few seasons now. Demarcus Robinson was the leading receiver and showed flashes of why the coaching staff says he may be the most improved player. Robinson had three catches for a game-leading 45 yards and a touchdown. Hometown WR Chris Thompson also had a good day, catching three for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Kicker Austin Hardin had an excellent day, making four field goals and only missing one extra point, through no fault of his own. The snap to the placeholder caused the miscue. Kyle Christy, on the other hand, underachieved.
The Gators spring game concluded with a combined 46 points and 606 yards on offense. For once, Florida’s offense put on a better show than its defense. Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is already beginning to prove that he was a great choice for the Gators. More on that later.