For starters, we looked at why Florida doesn’t play any Thursday night home games. Weekday traffic was brutal.
That said, it was a great night in many ways: perfect weather and a huge crowd (an estimated 45,000 for Billy Napier’s first spring game at the University of Florida.
It felt like a spring sport, but it was taken more seriously than it had been in many years. No stupidity, just football.
The Gators didn’t look like a team trying to re-invent the wheel, but Florida fans had a few things in common with them.
One was the fact that there were 317 recruits in the game. Not all of them are going to be recruited, but UF had a higher-than-usual five-star attendance for a spring game.
Here are five takeaways from the game, which the Blue won 34-0.
…or any game for that matter. Sure, they came back for the Johnny Townsend fundraiser for pediatric cancer research, but the thing is, they came back. He was like the greats at the fundraiser Who’s Who of Gator in the parking lot of the North End zone.
And this (sort of) continued until halftime when all awards given to current players were named after former Gator players. Giving prizes at halftime is something Steve Spurrier used to do at halftime at his spring games.
Speaking to former players, they seemed really excited to be back and welcome back. It has certainly had a mixed reception over the past decade and is expected to continue.
… who thwarted the opening kickoff and then stumbled early in the second half to hand the Blue a play and a 12-yard touchdown drive.
Monterrell Johnson seemed like a guy who would be a starter when he came to town in Utah. He has the art of finding holes.
Bowman finished with 61 rushing yards and Johnson had 55 for the Blue and seven for the Orange. Lorenzo Lingard was again the forgotten man with only four carries.
He left no doubt about something that everyone already knew, and that was a crime that is vanilla.
Behind him are the issues of Florida. Jack Miller threw a terrific throw in triple coverage in the end zone for a pick by Donovan McMillan, who made a better catch for the pick than anyone last year.
Miller ended up passing 13-for-23 and it was also clear that Florida was far behind him.
It’s difficult to recruit someone from the portal as a third-team person, but Florida may have to.
…but a close second walk-on would be Noah Keeter, who took three catches for 53 yards, including 42 yards after his catch.
It was larger for less offense on the tight ends and the room could possibly be smaller as you entered the transfer portal.
But Florida still lacks outward momentum in the receiver position. The longest advantage by a receiver was Keeter (29 yards).
This is still a state of need in the portal.