Talk about an interesting first half. Florida bookended the first half with two impressive offensive drives for 14 points, but was pretty anemic and turnover prone the entire time in between. Austin Appleby threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and another was an insanely impressive one-handed pick by Tony Brown when one-on-one down the left sideline (It sure is good to see one of those prayer balls finally picked off instead of caught for a big gain). The Gator punting unit had a punt blocked for a touchdown and also failed on fake punt to give Alabama the ball near their own endzone.
The Alabama offense was a bit odd, to say the least. They opened with a couple of three and outs, and the Florida pass rush and secondary harassed Jalen Hurts relentlessly. But Alabama did find some success in the run game, and Hurts started to hit a few passes late in the half. Florida also blocked the extra point attempt and returned it for two points right after Alabama blocked their punt for a touchdown. It was all just a big, weird mess of scores.
Stats courtesy espn.com
Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs have both looked awesome in the limited attempts, and I hope to see a steady dosing of them in the second half to open up the play-action pass. So far, the Gator defenders have not been biting on the play action and are making a beeline straight for Hurts on play fakes.
Here’s to hoping for a stress-free second half.