Monday Brunch: Pat Dooley’s tastiest morsels from Florida’s Week 5 win

Because the normal Saturday game was moved to the first ever Sunday game in the Swamp, instead of bringing you Sunday Hash we bring you the Monday Brunch.

Maybe a little avocado toast, a fruit parfait, spicy sausage and orange juice (this is obviously a homage to the late and great Tom McEwen) as you get back to work after a week we will never forget. Prayers go out to all of the people affected by Hurricane Ian.

In some ways, Sunday’s game was the perfect game for Florida (except for a couple of injuries which we will know more about later). It was 75 degrees at kickoff, it was a decent crowd despite all of the stuff people were dealing with, and Florida was able to play a bunch of dudes.

And after the first UF play after Eastern Washington started with a field goal, nobody ever thought UF could lose.

Here we go with Monday Brunch.

With the three new starters, we were interested to see what the defense could do.

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

The answer was not overly impressive considering Florida did allow 27 first downs. Yes, there were a bunch of young guys who got to play who Florida won’t be counting on during these next two home games, but Florida did allow 15 of those first downs in the first half. Not only that, Eastern Washington ran 85 plays in the game, the second straight team to run more than 80 plays on the Florida defense.

Still, Billy Napier was pretty happy with his defense...

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

… despite giving up more than 400 yards again. “We got through the opening script and then after that, we settled down and played pretty good I thought,” he said. “I think we are very much a work in progress there.” Yeah, it seems like the defense has its moments but struggles to play smart football play-after-play.

Florida played 81 players in the game...

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

… and many of those guys knew it was a one-timer because of the opponent and the score. “Those guys had been waiting four weeks for the opportunity,” Napier said.

But I do think we’d like to see a little more of freshman receiver Caleb Douglas. We’re not at practice so we don’t know how he’s practicing, and Napier is a big guy on practicing well. Still, I’d like to see him.

It was a strange atmosphere for sure with an announced crowd of 72,462...

Gator Sports

… and people checking their fantasy results during the game, and the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll coming out, and everything else that was going on. I wondered how Florida would play because of the disappointment of last week and the concerns over families affected by the hurricane.

“Think about what you are walking into here: Sunday at noon against an opponent on the other side of the country,” Napier said. “Do you have enough maturity to show up and play and play fast and physically early and execute? I thought we did that.”

Anthony Richardson was pretty clearly the best athlete on the field...

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

… but he is almost every time he takes the field. On the 45-yard run, he looked like the guy who used to play carefree. Maybe that’s coming back. That is two games in a row.

I think Gator fans were happy to see that there is a backup quarterback...

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

… who at least can be effective against an FCS team. Not only was it good to be able to give [autotag]Jalen Kitna[/autotag] some playing time, it benefitted him getting in the game earlier — which Richardson’s brief injury departure opened up the door for. “We were still in the meat of the game,” Kitna said.

"Meat of the game." I like that expression.

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

I’m guessing he got that from Napier. “He’s a pretty smart player,” Napier said of Kitna. “For the most part, the ball went where it was supposed to go today.” Two other players talked Sunday about getting 1 percent better every day. Clearly, Napier’s message is getting through.

The win was Florida’s 750th all-time...

AlanYoungblood/Gainesville Sun

… and UF is the only school that began playing football in the 20th century to make that mark. OK, so the Gators have that going for them. It’s more important that Florida is 3-2 and the fans were allowed a breather after four straight games that came down to the waning minutes.

Florida now starts its Revenge Tour 2022...

AP Photo/Thomas Graning

… with the next five games against teams that beat UF the last time they played the Gators, four of them last season. Missouri and LSU at home, then Georgia, at Texas A&M, and the last home game against South Carolina. While September was brutally difficult, this is the stretch that will define Billy Napier’s first season as the Florida coach.

Unfortunately for [autotag]Dan Mullen[/autotag], those four opponents helped him earb the boot last season.

And it starts with Missouri at homecoming.

The Swamp fireworks
The Swamp fireworks

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Certainly, nobody saw the Tigers leading almost the entire game against Georgia. The big question will be how Mizzou handles the disappointment of two straight losses that have to be eating at the souls of everyone connected with the program. Florida is a 10-point favorite.

Read more

[lawrence-related id=93302,93148,93132,93036]

[listicle id=93359]

[listicle id=93307]

[listicle id=93291]

[listicle id=93258]

[listicle id=93226]

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.

Let us know your thoughts and comment on this story below. Join the conversation today!

Story originally appeared on Gators Wire