How the Knights trampled the Gators in the Gasparilla Bowl

These are a few of my least favorite things about this football team.

When the flags fly.

When the pass is dropped.

When Emory Jones is bad.

I think of a few of my least favorite things and everything seems … so … sad.

A deep dive into another terrible loss for the Gators with a special Friday Brunch:

This was the third under .500 season for Florida in the last nine seasons.

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

It didn’t seem possible when Urban Meyer left for the season time that Florida would fall to this terrible place. The loss to UCF is something the players will have to live with, but the fanbase is really hurting. Florida lost to a mediocre UCF team because the Knights had better players. And that is really sad. In the end, the argument that this team didn’t play hard is not the problem.

The problem is that Florida does not have very many really good players. Especially when you watch a game like this and wonder why everyone wearing the blue jerseys looked so slow.

And there is no easy answer to how this all happened.

Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner

Perhaps Billy Napier is the answer, but when you watch this team play you know that it’s not going to be a quick fix. Instead, Gator fans are going to struggle with this one because it was an awful end that we could have seen coming. Florida was playing without five defensive starters and with a staff that was coaching its last game. But there is no excuse for getting manhandled in the second half by UCF.

Which brings me back to Jones…

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

… who is a fine young man and everyone wishes him the best wherever he goes. But what a way to go out. If Jones had hit all of the receivers open behind the defense, Florida might have won this game in a blowout. It makes you wonder why Dan Mullen was so attached at the hip to Jones (like he was to Feleipe Franks).

The more I have thought about it, the more I realized that Jones was really good as a backup who had a package for him. But when he has to be THE guy, he just didn’t have it.

Florida gave up seven plays of 20 or more yards.

James Gilbert/Getty Images

Christian Robinson didn’t do himself any favors in his four games as defensive coordinator as his defenses gave up 86 first downs and an even 1,600 yards. And Florida lost this one without turning the ball over. Of course, Florida also did not get any turnovers.

So, the Gators finished with a minus-9 in turnover margin in part because they only forced 12 turnovers in 13 games. That’s how you end up with a losing season.

UCF will probably put up a banner…

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

… to celebrate being the first team other than FSU and Miami from the state to beat Florida since Stetson did it 86 years ago. Let them celebrate, because they played their tails off and Florida had no answer for Isaiah Bowser (35 carries for 155 yards) and receiver Ryan O’Keefe (195 total yards).

If there is one thing that can make Florida fans feel better, it is that you will never have to watch this incarnation of Florida football again. We look forward to the Billy Napier revenge tour.

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