The Florida Gators improved to 2-0 on the season after their 42-20 road win against the USF Bulls. Florida went into Raymond James Stadium and took care of business against the Bulls. We have three takeaways from the Florida-USF game.
The Florida ground game continues to shine as they had another excellent game running the ball. Both quarterbacks ran the ball extremely well and one of their veteran running backs found the endzone for the third time this season.
On defense, Florida’s starters played pretty well for the most part but there are some things they need to figure out. They’ll need to figure out it quickly with #1 Alabama Crimson Tide coming into town this Saturday.
QB Controversy Continues
After a rough first game for Jones, the redshirt-junior quarterback had a strong first half. He was throwing and running the ball and wasn’t making many mistakes. He had a beautiful deep ball to Xzavier Henderson for a touchdown and also ran for one.
However, the second half was a completely different for Jones. He did not look as comfortable in the pocket as he did in the first half but he also started falling into bad habits.
He wasn’t playing fast like he’s capable of. He was late throwing to open receivers and also stared down his target and telegraphed where he’s throwing the ball. The fact that Jones is still making the same mistakes has to worry Florida head coach, Dan Mullen.
Jones’s mistakes haven’t cost Florida a game yet but Alabama is a much different animal than FAU and USF. The Crimson Tide will not only score on your mistakes, but they likely can force Jones to make more mistakes with the type of talents they have.
On the other hand, Richardson had just about a perfect game against the Bulls. Richardson led Florida in passing as he completed all three passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The crazy thing is, the only non-touchdown pass for Richardson was arguably his best throw.
Richardson also led Florida in rushing with four carries for 115 rushing yards including an 80-yard rushing touchdown. Unfortunately, Richardson’s hamstring tightened up on him. Mullen said at Monday’s presser that Richardson will practice this weekend and the hope is for him to be ready for Saturday’s game.
Florida’s Ground Game Was Excellent
Last season, the Gators offense was known as one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country. The Gators offense has now led by their ground game and it’s been great through the first two games of the season.
Florida is currently second in the country in rushing yards with 711 through the first two games of the season. Richardson leads the Gators in rushing with 275 yards on 11 carries which ranks tenth best in the country.
Jones has also run the ball well. He has 155 rushing yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Senior running back Dameon Pierce led Florida in rushing touchdowns with three. He has also rushed for 86 yards on eleven carries.
Going into the season, everyone had questions on who was going to the second starting cornerback for Florida. Pre-season All-American Kaiir Elam is clearly CB1 but there were a couple of options for second cornerback spot.
Jaydon Hill was believed to be the second cornerback but his season ended before it began with a torn ACL. Texas native Avery Helm and five-star freshman cornerback Jason Marshall were the favorites to be the second starter at corner.
Helm ended up getting the starting job week one but has rotated with Marshall, Missouri transfer Jadarrius Perkins and Texas A&M graduate transfer Elijah Blades. Helm has caught himself chasing receivers downfield a couple of times but has yet to pay the price for it. As for Marshall, the talent is there but he hasn’t been perfect. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the most snaps at CB2 against Alabama this weekend.