Florida football: Takeaways from the first half against Auburn

It seems a common theme that Florida football doesn’t make things very pretty in the first half. Saturday was no different.

Florida football certainly knows how to make things really interesting.

They jump out to a 14-6 lead, which turned into a one-point lead later in the quarter.

Quarterback Kyle Trask was knocked out of the game in the second half and his prognosis isn’t known. However, Emory Jones did come in and help the Gators extend their lead to four, 17-13.

Needless to say, this may be an ugly game, but it could be a very exciting one.

Here’s some of our takeaways from the first half:

Turnovers kill, well, kind of

Florida football had three fumbles in the first half.

Fortunately, Auburn only came away with six points.

But, the Tigers were, what I can only guess, able to hit harder as Trask coughed it up after getting smacked on the strong side in the first quarter.

I have to hold off on blaming Dameon Pierce for his fumble because it certainly looked like targeting, but the replay official and the on-field referee either didn’t see it or didn’t think it was.

Regardless, for Florida football to only give up six points on three fumbles is pretty remarkable.

It will be key to not continue testing our luck here.

Gator defense making a statement

The biggest story was going to be how Florida’s defense was going to hold off the dual threat of Auburn’s offense.

Well, after Jon Greenard sacked Tigers’ freshman quarterback Bo Nix on the first play from scrimmage, it seemed the answer was pretty clear.

The defense held Auburn to under 100 yards in the first half and just a pair of field goals, which was not what a lot of national pundits thought.

Credit Todd Grantham and the Florida football defense for containing Auburn in a way no one outside of Gator Nation thought they could.

Oh, by the way, four four-and-outs for the Florida football defense. Just let that sink in for a sec.

Fake punt a bad call

Not really sure what Dan Mullen was thinking allowing punter Tommie Townsend to run a fake punt early in the second quarter.

Florida football was up 14-6 and set to play the field position game.

However, Townsend elected to run a fake punt that was reminiscent of Georgia-Alabama in the SEC championship game and had about the same result.

But, I just don’t understand why either Mullen thought it would be a good idea or Townsend thought he could get away with it.

The end result: Nix connected with Seth Williams on a 32-yard touchdown pass to pull the Tigers to within one, 14-13.

Swain has wheels

Wide receiver Freddie Swain has major wheels.

On the first touchdown of the game, Trask found Swain on a slant pattern and Swain just took off.

It kind of made Auburn’s secondary look foolish at worst, really slow at best.

If nothing else, it really set the tone for a really good first quarter by Florida football.

Swain had another catch over the middle later in the first quarter and the pass from Emory Jones in the second quarter was really close and could have been six points, mainly because Swain has immense speed.

For the half, Swain had more than 100 yards receiving. Not too shabby.

In the second half …

Florida football needs to hang on to the football and not get too overconfident.

The defense is really holding its own (sans Nix’s TD throw to Williams) and not giving Auburn really any breathing room.

Whether Trask is back in the second half or not, the offense needs to go back to the basics and run what was working. A bit of run and nothing too drastic in the passing game.

Florida football receivers are showing dominance over the Tigers’ secondary and that should be exploited more. But, the Florida offensive line has to give the quarterback more time to find those open receivers.

Next: The Gator defense vs. the Auburn offense

On to the second half we go.


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