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A man who has influenced millions of people for nearly two decades, a
man who was involved in the community, a man we must now Say Goodbye
to. That man is LeRoi Moore. The long time saxophonist for the Dave
Matthews Band passed away on August 19th from complications that arose
following an ATV accident in Charlottesville, Virginia. While his death
was painfully unexpected, I can’t help but think back to one of my
favorite quotes: "Death is not a tragedy to the one who dies. To have
wasted the life before that death, that is the tragedy." LeRoi
certainly did not waste his life. He regaled us with his sweet melodies
and powerful sax solos. He enchanted us with his whistling on Let You
Down and made us want to get up and dance with Tripping Billies. He may
have been the quietest member of the band (from the fans perspective at
least), but his absence will leave a gaping hole that will not soon be filled. Godspeed, Sir.
RIP LeRoi Moore
I’ll start by looking at the Hawai’i game. This was just about what I expected. They came out a little rusty, as evidenced by their 0-point first quarter. But then the offense we all knew about reeled off 56 straight points through the second and third quarters. We got a glimpse of a couple talented freshmen in Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, who both broke off long runs for touchdowns, showing why we are the fastest team in the country. We got to see Mr. Do-It-All Brandon James, who did everything from running a punt back for a touchdown to making a very good open field tackle on a kickoff return. There were a couple of things that surprised me in this game as well. One was the limited role Tebow had. He looked more content to let the playmakers around him do the work (which is why I am positive he doesn’t stand a chance in repeating as Heisman winner). The other surprise was the defense. The corners are much improved (Joe Haden looks like he has always lived in the secondary) and there is promise on the defensive line. Overall, I was fairly pleased with the game.
Then there is the Miami game. I left this game with what I can only equate to that aftertaste you get from drinking cough medicine. Yes, Tebow looked more like himself, running (for his life) all over the Miami defense and throwing for a couple TD’s. And yes, the defense looked fantastic, particularly stopping Miami’s talented backfield. But I can only give a "What the heck was that?" to both Dan Mullen and the UF offensive line. Tebow was indeed running for his life for three quarters, and the offense regressed to more of last years style with Tebow and Harvin being most of the offense. I will give major props to Louis Murphy for shaking off a rough start to make a few great plays late in the game, as well as to Carl Moore for an amazing (if controversial) catch that changed the momentum of the game. I still believe we should have won this game 56-3, but I have to give Miami credit for playing well on defense.
So what are my closing thoughts?
1. Where is MOODY? He had such a good fall camp, to just disappear with 2 carries for 2 yards against Hawai’i and not play in the Miami game, well, Urban says he will be more involved against UT, and I believe he is the solution to our running game woes (though I believe Rainey and Demps are fantastic and very explosive, we need a power back to run between the tackles).
2. Dan Mullen needs to produce. His playcalling through three quarters against Miami was uninspired and bland. He didn’t adapt to Miami and their shifting defenses until the end of the game, and once again managed to make Tebow and Harvin the focus of the offense.
3. Go defense!! What was our major weakness last year has suddenly become our strength. Joe Haden is a stud and the defensive line will continue to get better.
4. The bye week. While it is nice to have it before a game like Tennessee, I can’t help but feel dread that it won’t be before the Georgia game.
More to come…
– Percy Harvin will sit out this first game, but he will not be needed. With Murph, Coop, and the vastly improved Carl Moore (who I am very interested in seeing in action) leading the way, and with solid receivers like Deonte Thompson and David Nelson thrown in the mix, the Gators should do fine against the less than formidable Hawai’i defense.
– The running back by committee will be a smashing success. I have never heard Urban Meyer so complimentary in his entire tenure at Florida. Moody is showing why he was a stud 5-star recruit, and the speedy combo of Rainey and Demps will be sure to break a few long runs. Lets not forget Mon Williams or K-Mo either.
– Tebow will be Tebow, but version 2.0. One of the things we will notice is that Tebow is putting more zip on his passes and should be a more polished pocket passer than he was a year ago. The offensive line will dominate, giving him ample time to throw.
– The defense will surprise some people. While Hawai’i will rack up some yards, the secondary will show great improvement from last year and we will get a first look at freshman Will Hill and what he can bring to the team. The line should be improved as well, with the Freak Carlos Dunlap reeking havok from the outside and several freshmen contributing in the middle.
– We will showcase the best return game in the country. Brandon James and Jeff Demps are quite possible the fastest returners to ever play at Florida (and the SEC?). It won’t be long before they take one to the house.
We will learn a lot about this team on Saturday, and I can’t wait! Go Gators!!