Posted: 3:43 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
New season, same old result.
The Florida Gators began their 2013 season against the Toledo Rockets and they impressed. In certain areas, of course. The Gators defeated the Rockets 24-6, by running the football behind second-string running back Mack Brown, who got the start because starter Matt Jones is still out due to a viral infection.
Brown's 97 yards and two touchdowns provided all the offense the Gators needed in the first half as they cruised rather easily to a 17-7 halftime lead. Brown would add only 10 yards in the second half as the Toledo defense began putting all but two defenders in the box to slow down the Gators' rushing attack.
Jeff Driskel was nearly perfect on the day, going 17 for 22 with 1 touchdown while not really attempting too much down the field. Driskel also had two fumbles, but both of them were more the result of bad blocking than anything else. Eight different Gators receivers got into the action with Trey Burton leading the way with 5 catches for 69 yards
The Gators finished with 415 yards of total offense against a Toledo defense that isn't expected to be among the better defenses in college football this season.
For its part, the Gators defense gave up 205 yards and looked the like a top 10 defense all game long. Freshman defensive back Vernon Hargreaves had a nice interception, Dominique Easley looked like his old self and Ronald Powell looked like he hasn't missed any time at all while recovering from a knee injury.
The only blatant issue moving forward is the penalties. The Gators committed a total of 10 penalties for 70 yards in the first game following a season in which the Gators were nearly last in the FBS in penalties. Some of the penalties called on the Gators won't be called as the season goes on, because teams like Arkansas, Florida State and LSU won't get very far trying to illegally simulate the snap.
We'll have much more on the Gators' victory over Toledo tonight and in the coming days, but for now just enjoy the victory.