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…