Man, campus is dead. There’s no one walking around anywhere, the classrooms I saw were half-full, and the union was deserted at 11:15. The Student Government flier people looked bored and listless because there was no one to harass. I even went by Leonardo’s to see what it looked like, and just after noon the place was practically empty. The only chatter I heard as I was walking around was either about special teams, play calling, or the fact that USF is #6 in the AP poll. The students are taking this loss [i]hard[/i].
I really don’t have much more to say about the game that I haven’t already, because this was a game with no hidden attributes. It really speaks for itself.
First, I found out today on Heath Cline’s radio show that Dan Mullen had an emergency appendectomy on Friday night and still called the plays on Saturday. That’s admirable, and I know that appendectomies are a routine surgery. However, I can’t help but think that it had an effect. Plus, if Mullen wasn’t 100%, it might explain why UF had to use several timeouts because of confusion.
Also, the special teams had three huge plays against them that turned out to be game changers: the blocked field goal, the roughing into the punter, and the shanked punt. The blocked field goal cost us three points. The roughing the punter penalty (which was questionable) erased a three-and-out by Auburn and enabled its first touchdown. The shanked punt all but ensured that the Tigers were getting their last-second field goal. When you combine those with the fact that Florida had first-and-goal at the 5 and had to kick a field goal, you understand why the loss was so infuriating. That’s 7 points Florida’s way and 10 fewer points Auburn’s way, and suddenly you have a nondescript 24-10 win.
Where was this in all those goal line situations?
It’s been reported in several places that Florida had a statistically better game offensively on Saturday than they did in Glendale last January. The difference was time of possession (way down for Florida) and turnovers (2 versus 0). The former is on the defense, the latter on the offense. It was a total team effort to blow this game, so blaming one side or another is fruitless. We took it, it’s time to learn from it and move on.