Kevin C. Cox
The Gators have put themselves in a position to make this a game, but they need the offense to get going quickly
It's a good thing that the team that was trailing had a trick play up its sleeve to make this a competitive game. You might have expected to say that at the half of the Sugar Bowl, but you probably didn't expect to say it about Florida. So yeah, things have been interesting so far tonight.
Florida headed to the locker room down 24-10, thanks in part to nearly flawless execution by the Louisville passing attack and in part due to its own flaws. The problems for Florida started on the first play from scrimmage, when Jeff Driskel threw a pick-six to Terell Floyd. Things snowballed from there.
Were it not for a two-minute touchdown drive at the end of the second quarter, Florida would have gained just 75 yards -- about half of what they have so far. That and the Gators' field goal drive so far account for 94 percent of the team's yardage on five possessions. Florida is 0-for-4 on third down and scored its touchdown on a fourth-down swinging gate play that Louisville wasn't ready for.
Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, is 12-of-17 for 180 yards and a touchdown and seems to be finding about any man that Florida leaves open. And Florida has been leaving too many men open at too many inopportune times. The Cardinals are 5-of-6 on third down.
It's not hopeless for Florida by any stretch. The defense has played well against Louisville's ragtag run game, limiting it to five yards on 15 carries. And if Louisville can't run the clock as the game goes on, it gives Florida that much more time to catch up. But they have to start soon, and there are a limits to how many trick plays you can rely on -- especially when you entered the game expecting to be defending them, not using them to survive.