Going into the 2010 season Penn State had to replace an all conference quarterback and was ranked around No. 20 in the nation for it by most people. Florida had to replace an All American Heisman winning quarterback, and yet they were bestowed with a top five ranking. Go figure. Most people assumed the Gators wouldn't miss a beat. Just plug in the pieces and let Urban Meyer work his magic.
Week one was supposed to be a 35-point MAC-rifice blowout win over Miami of Ohio. The RedHawks were five touchdown underdogs going into the game, but they played the Gators a lot closer than the experts believed they could.
Florida's struggling offense was the story of the day. Everyone expected them to take a few steps back from last year, but not to the point where the Gators showed complete ineptitude. Florida committed eight fumbles on the day, mostly coming on snaps from center. Through the first three quarters, Florida had only 25 yards of offense, and they had -16 yards rushing.
Quarterback John Brantley particularly struggled. He completed 17-of-25 passes and threw two touchdowns, but he only passed for 113 yards. For most of the game his longest pass was a 10 yard touchdown to Omarius Hines. He later completed a 25 yard touchdown pass to Chris Rainey with 1:21 on the clock, but that pass was deflected off of another player.
The Redhawks basically gifted the Gators three touchdowns in the game. Jenoris Jenkins intercepted a pass and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Later in the second, Ahmad Black intercepted a pass and returned it to the Miami two-yard line. And for some reason the Redhawks tried to convert a fourth and 10 at their own 21 yard line. They failed which led to the touchdown by Hines.
The Gator defense saved the day with four interceptions while holding the Redhawks to just 212 total yards and just four yards rushing. Miami never found the endzone and had to settle for four field goals on the day.
The Gator offense finally came to life in the fourth quarter when Jeffery Demps broke a run for a 72-yard touchdown, but kicker Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point. Then toward the end of the game Mike Gillisliee ripped off a 41 yard run that set up the final touchdown to Rainey.
It was ugly and not the 35 point blowout the Gators were hoping for, and it dropped them from No. 4 to No. 8 in the AP poll.
Quotes From The Game
"I had a sense (we'd struggle) when you see so many new guys playing. I didn't imagine the offensive incompetence that we experienced today. We made some plays on defense, but that wasn't a Florida defense yet. I looked out there one time and had to check the roster a few times to see who was out there. We have a lot of talented guys, but we just have to get a lot better."
- Florida Gator Head Coach Urban Meyer -
"I'm not embarrassed at all. It was one those days, I guess you could say."
- Florida Gator Quarterback Jeff Brantley -
As the game progressed, I thought (center Mike) Pouncey's problems (with the snap) became the team's problem. Since everything in UF's offense is based on timing, Brantley leaning too low or to the side for a snap, throws off everything from when a handoff is made and when the receiver's window is open. If you assume like I did, you'll come to the conclusion that UF was out-of-sync. Fix Pouncey and you fix the team.
- SBNation Florida Blog Alligator Army -