Throughout Urban Meyer's reign in Florida, the anual rivalry with the Florida State Seminoles was nothing more than a formality. Meyer owned the Seminoles, and thus owned the state of Florida. The young coach always had his elder, Bobby Bowden, out manned and out coached. But this year things were different. There was no Bobby Bowden to kick around anymore, and there was no Tim Tebow to rely on.
The Florida offense that looked to be gaining their stride the previous week against Appalachian State fell flat on their faces in Tallahassee. John Brantley and Jordan Reed combined for just 64 yards passing with a touchdown and one interception. The Gators turned the ball over four times, and the Seminoles rolled from the second quarter on.
When you look at the boxscore, it's truly breath-taking. One would think in a blowout that a championship winning program like the Gators would have thrown a ton of passes to pick up chunks of yards and points while conserving the clock to get back in the game. But they actually ran the ball at almost a 3:1 margin. They had 47 rushing attemps against just 16 passing attempts.
That, my friends, is the sign of a team that gave up. They gave up on the game. They gave up on their season. And the coach had given up on his career. So there was nothing left to do but run out the clock and get back to Gainesville with what little Gator Pride they had left.
Just a few days later Urban Meyer announced he was walking away from the game, but unlike last year when he had a change of heart, this time it was for good. And so ended the disasterous 2010 season for the once mighty Florida Gators.
Quotes From The Game
Florida's 31-7 loss Saturday night to Florida State was all of the season's problems wrapped into one neat 60 minute package. There were the fumbles that were not a result of hits, John Brantley floating balls into opposition hands, Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio struggling to get plays in, desperate 4th down plays, and a complete lack of organization and discipline. The sickness of the lack of focus has spread so far that even the equipment trainers screwed up by not bring longer cleats for the tall and slick grass in Tallahassee.
"The fix starts tomorrow – recruiting. I have a lot of confidence in a lot of players in our program. In '07 we had probably, not this bad, but ‘07 was not a good year and those guys got a little -- there was a little bit of anger and edge to them. They came back and obviously with that great leadership on that ‘08 team and great talent they came back and won it all. I'm not putting us in that category because we're certainly not, but there's one way to do it and it's hard work and go rebuild it. How do you rebuild it? Tough-ass players and tough-ass coaches."