The Florida Gators lost to Vanderbilt. Anthony Richardson threw for 400 yards and three touchdown passes and still lost. From the loss to Vanderbilt, it is quite clear that the Gators need somebody else to be the play caller. Currently, their offensive coordinator is Rob Sale, but head coach Billy Napier calls the plays. For a few weeks now it was clear that Napier should give up the play calling duties, but after the disastrous last drive against Vanderbilt it became a must. The last drive consisted of the ball being thrown in bounds a few times and then the last play Richardson overthrew the end zone. Bad clock management hurt, and this goes for even in the second quarter before halftime. The Gators have struggled to be efficient in clock management all season.
In a game that should have been won, the Gators struggled to run the ball. Montrell Johnson Jr. only had 32 yards on 11 carries, Trevor Etienne only had nine yards on four carries, and Richardson only ran the ball four times for 25 yards. When Richardson rushes for over 100 yards, more than likely the Gators find a way to win the game. It was a great day on the passing attack, but the Gators have been known to win by running the ball this season.
The defense forced two turnovers, but were 50% on third down, allowing Vanderbilt to go seven-of-14. Flags and drops were also an issue. On the first drive for Florida, the offense was moving, but a costly drop on third down caused the Gators to kick a field goal. Things really looked off for the Gators except the passing game, and everything will need to be perfect next week if they want to beat their rival.
Next week, the Gators play their rival Florida State. It will be in Tallahassee, Florida, so of course the environment will be hostile, but this is a must win for Billy Napier. If an interim head coach could beat Florida State last season, Napier will need to find a way to beat their ranked rival. Whether that’s airing it out, or running hard, the Gators will have to settle for touchdowns rather than field goals.