Dooley: It’s Florida fans’ turn to vent

Florida fans look on in defeat Saturday after LSU beat the Gators during the Homecoming game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun] The Back Nine comes at you after a rough week. Let’s try to have a better one this week.

10. A week ago at this time, we were talking about how loud it was in Knoxville and Baton Rouge. Today, there is no place louder than Gainesville. Gator fans are angry and for good reason. They are sick and tired of the product on the field and any defense of the coaching staff might as well be relayed with a dog whistle. This is the dark side of college football, especially in the SEC. I like to say that nobody suffers winning like Gator fans, but when it comes to losing they are pretty much like everyone else — angry, frustrated and condemning. And you feel like nobody is answering your questions. Certainly, everyone has a right to vent and be heard. And you also have the right to expect the best from your team even though there will only be one champion at the end of the season. I suggest you start paying attention to volleyball.

11. On to Eddy Pinero’s missed extra point. Many of you chastised me for blaming Pineiro and not Johnny Townsend on the hold. Townsend did let the ball go a little early and it tilted slightly forward. I missed that for a number of reasons, including operator error. “It wasn’t the perfect snap, the perfect hold,” Jim McElwain said. “Sometimes it happens. Rick Barry missed a free throw once.” The bottom line is that missed kick isn’t why Florida lost the game. The Gators had multiple opportunities and could generate nothing on offense after two touchdown drives. We can point to the Knucklehead Nine as a big part of the reason or the injuries to Tyrie Cleveland and Luke Del Rio and a million other things. Those are just excuses.

12. And while there may be reasons, there are no excuses for Florida’s offensive rankings right now through five games. The Gators are 103rd in offense, which is actually an improvement from 116 last year and 112 the year before. Florida is also 112th in long plays from scrimmage and 123rd in first downs and the latter is part of the problem because the Gator offense isn’t getting many plays because of its inability to stay on the field with conversions. The pace is slow and, as a result, Florida is 121st in the nation in the number of plays run this season. I know, you don’t need all of these ugly statistics to know what offensive futility looks like. You have eyes.

13. And then you look at the rest of the schedule and see a lot of difficult games and wonder if this isn’t a season to drag out the old motto that haunted UF fans for so many years before Steve Spurrier — […]