Friday, October 17, 2008

It's not over until Brandon Spikes punts

The Florida Gators defense has come a long way since last year. So far they have been great. But the season's not even half over... and its the second half that will tell us how good they really are.

This is the time of year offenses really start to click. Last year Florida scored 30, 17, and 24 points against Mississippi, Auburn, and LSU respectively. Following the bye week they went on to average 45 points/game the rest of the season. Georgia's offense also took off around this time last year. Coming off a blowout loss to Tennessee and a close win with Vandy, they went on to average 38 points/game.

Offenses get better as the season goes along. As a consequence, defenses get worse. This same trend also happens throughout the course of a single game. Maybe that means you can tell how a team will play the second half of the season by how they play the second half of their games.

One reason for the trend may be that there are a limited amount of ways to stop an offense, but there are an infinite amount of ways to score. So as time goes on defenses have pretty much shown everything they've got. Meanwhile offenses are still running plays no one has ever seen.

Another reason may be that players get worn down over time, which probably has a greater effect on the defense. Offense is mostly about concentration and execution. These things get easier with repetition. Defense requires concentration, but it relies more on strength and hustle- which weaken with repetition.

What does this mean? For the rest of the season, we should expect offenses all over the nation to start hitting their stride. Will Florida's D step up, or step aside?


Sean said...

Some of those Spurrier offenses, even with Wuerffel, would sometimes go into a mini-slump near the end of the year, and then return in the bowl game (see 1996). But they didn't need too long to get going, usually way ahead of other teams in the opening game. (Even Spurrier's first game at Fla was a 50 point show... though, it wasn't against a good team, but still, the offense clicked immediately, and it was a radical offense at that time... no Tony Franklin scenario there.) I guess something like this happened last year, a big game against Tennessee, and then a cooling off. But a lot of points against Tenn are often a result of defense, etc. I'm not being very scientific here so I may need to be corrected.

Dave said...

One thing that might support that is the 2001 Tenn game. Most think if it had been played game 3 like usual, FL would have won. The Florida offense was just as good at the beginning of the season as they were at the end. Tennessee on the other hand got hot at the end.