All offseason, we heard that Florida football was going to be a trainwreck. As we have chronicled, very few people in the national media had faith in the Gators to accomplish anything of note this season.
Now that the season’s first game is in the books for the Florida Gators, we here at Hail Florida Hail are not going to waive the white flag. We are, however, going to acknowledge that there are very real areas of improvement that must take place in order for the national prognostications of gloom and doom not to become reality.
Florida Football: I think I’ve seen this film before…
Florida lost 24-11. If you have Spectrum this might be news to you.
What is frustrating is that this game wasn’t as lopsided as the score might indicate.
And at the same time, Florida football was lucky to have the score this close in the first place.
Graham Mertz threw for 333 yards. Ricky Pearsall had 92 yards receiving. The Gators had 17 first downs compared to the 13 Utah acquired. Florida had 346 yards compared to the Utes’ 270.
And Florida lost 24-11.
Turns out that when you go 1 for 13 on third down, lose the turnover battle one to zero, field multiple punts inside your own ten while you yourself shank punts, and commit false starts every opportunity chance you get, you don’t win football games.
Kirk Heirbsteirt said it best when he said that Florida essentially beat itself in Salt Lake City.
And this is when we here at Hail Florida Hail, as big of a defender of Billy Napier as there has been all offseason, chime in.
Most Florida fans accept that this season isn’t going to result in an SEC title.
But it is one thing if Florida got beat because they got blown off the ball.
It is another thing to get beat because of a laundry list of procedural penalties when your calling card is program discipline.
It was one night, and it was a bad night.
Florida lost 24-11.