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Slow Starts - Not Just a Rebel Problem

As of me writing this, The University of Florida Gators, a.k.a. like teh best team EVAR, are struggling to put the ball into the edzone against the Trojans.

Stop.  No.  Not those Trojans.  I'm talking about the Trojans of Alabama

Florida is having a slow start.  Yeah, the weather is nasty and Florida has a pretty bad case of fumblitis, but a slow start is a slow start.  Yet I highly doubt you'll see folks on TigerDroppings, Blogs, and media talking heads belaboring the Gators for this.

Last week, Ole Miss beat Memphis by a score of 45 to 14.  Superficially, that's good.  That's a top-10 team blowing out a CUSA team, just as it should happen week-in and week-out.  Problem is, it didn't happen that way.  The Rebels had several poor drives, a few Jevan Snead picks, and what is apparently a nasty case of the Swine Flu, all of which led to comments from talking heads and message board "pundits" (mostly Arkansas fans) alike that Ole Miss is overrated, not a top-10 team, and "lmao Hooten nutt QB Killa whoooooooo."

But how often do these slow starts happen to ranked teams, especially during the first week?  Let's look at a few games:

San Jose State @ USC | 3 to 56
USC's first six drives ended thusly: Punt, Fumble, Punt, Fumble, Punt.  They then scored on the following six drives.

Navy @ Ohio State | 27 to 31
While Ohio State did score early, they still struggled greatly against the Midshipmen.  Out of their first seven drives, three ended with a Buckeye fumble. 

Georgia @ Oklahoma State | 10 to 24
In an uncharacteristically poor offensive performance, the Cowboys managed no more than 21 yards in any of their first four drives. 

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech | 34 to 24
Hell, even Alabama struggled to get the ball in the endzone, kicking field goals on their first three drives.  Two of those drives ended in the red zone.  A punt and a pick later, Alabama managed a touchdown.


Slow starts, even by top-10 teams, are completely normal.  This is especially true during the earliest parts of the season.  Our slow start was, without a doubt, the slowest of starts this last weekend.  We did not play like a top-10 team and Jevan did not lay like an elite quarterback.  Thing is, we are, and he is. 

Unfortunately, as a non-traditional top-10 team who is currently in the top-10, people are going to do their damndest to find any reason they can to argue we shouldn't be as highly touted as we are.  It just comes with the territory, I feel.

Just now, Florida scored on a nicely placed ball from Tim Tebow to Riley Cooper early in the 2nd.  Their slow start is ending, it seems.