Another excursion, another massively disappointing performance. No. 6 Oklahoma didn’t seem to have to try. Everything the Sooners worked offensively. For a while, the missed duels, the blown covers and the costly premature penalties were harder to deal with than the scoring.
But then Oklahoma did what only two teams had done before the 2020 Florida season: It was over 600 yards long and hit a whopping 684 on the way to a 55:20 win over No.. 7 Florida.
That’s right. Only twice had the Gators given up more than 600 yards in one game before 2020. Since? Three times this year alone.
So yes, the questions came after the game. Defense Coordinator Todd Grantham is Public Enemy No.. 1 in Gainesville. Fans are ready to see him leave yesterday. But Grantham is clearly not that despised in the Florida locker room.
« He can only do his part, » said Edge Rusher Khris Bogle. « We are the ones who are in the field and we just have to worry about what we can do. «
All four Florida defenders who spoke to the media at the post-UF press conference have vigorously defended the embattled defense coordinator. After each rigorous defense, another player intervened unsolicited to follow suit and add more.
« At the end of the day, the players had to play on the field, » said a lit Mohamoud Diabate. « It’s your responsibility to teach us that, but we have to do the pieces. If I’m not playing a game out there, I can’t blame coach Grantham for being on the field.
« I know Coach Grantham will take care of this because I left something in the facility during game week. I came back at 2 o’clock. m. and coach Grantham’s car is still there. Nobody’s car is there. I won’t listen to someone who says they don’t care. No. Coach Grantham has had a long and successful career. He’s respected in this league. He is respected in the NFL. We respect him.
« He’s taught me a lot about the game in those two years with him, and I know Bogle can say the same thing. We were both in his room. That’s how I feel about it. The players have to play games, period. «
« Coach Grantham has been calling the same defense throughout the game, » said Dean. « We should be able to execute. Even if the offense is known, we should be able to carry it out. At the end of the day, as he said, the players had to play games. Coach Grantham is a great defensive coordinator. But as Mohamoud said, I saw him late at night and slept in his office. I know the time coach Grantham used. He will give us everything; We have to give him everything. He’s been calling the same defense all along. We must go to an execution. «
« Coach Grantham isn’t the one with us on the field, » he said. « Trainer named the piece; we all got to know the piece. A person out of position who messes up the entire defense. Everyone must hold each other accountable. If we screw it up, all coaches want to blame Grantham. It is not his fault. If we go to see movies, if we go to the plays that Coach Grantham called and they are all doing, then we will stop them. «
Florida coach Dan Mullen has been determined to back Grantham for weeks as long as what the Gators schematically do is solid. If that is the case, what the UF players are saying will worry fans who believe that Grantham’s last game in charge of the defense should have come weeks ago.
Mullen, who was asked again if his assessment of the defense staff might change given that he has scored more than 50 points in two consecutive games for the first time since 1917, trod out a most familiar line.
Read into it if you will, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a man who could turn around and pull the plug 24, 48 hours later.
« I rate everything in our program, » he said. « This season is now officially over, so I am evaluating all aspects of our program as we move forward. «
Teams are meant to evolve over the course of the season, elite programs in an upward trend generally get better every year, with occasional setbacks.
Florida’s defense only scored 35 points or more three times in Grantham’s first two seasons at Gainesville. This year? The defense has made it a whopping six times, including in each of the last three games, when opponents averaged 569 yards and 48 points per game.
Mullen claimed after the game that staff wanted to use the Cotton Bowl as an opportunity to give younger players meaningful reps to provide useful ratings and playing ribbons for 2021. And while Florida certainly had some bright spots (Bogle had a stellar game for one), it is clear that the Gators still have a long way to go.
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Florida Gators Soccer, Todd Grantham, Oklahoma Sooners Soccer, Defensive Coordinator, Dan Mullen
World News – USA – Defensive players hit after Coordinator Todd Grantham
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– COTTON BOWL: Quotes from Diabate, Dean, Burney and Bogle as well as Q& ; A
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