Monday, November 5, 2012

We can  mark up another SEC win for the Florida Gators. It wasn't pretty but we got the W and in the end the win loss numbers are all that really matter. Before the game started, we had the dubious honor of leading the nation on running the ball on first down. We opened the game with two throws on first downs and quickly converted both times. Sadly it didn't take long before we were back to our old predictable self.

Statistics show that passing on first down is a smart play. Statistics also show that teams who jump out to a good lead often win the game. Just ask South Carolina about that. They had Georgia down 21-0 almost immediately and never looked back and we had the same effect on them when we manged to get 21 points without so much as a first down. That's why I'm confused why our strategy seems to be to score as little as possible, especially the first half. Our defense is one of the best in the country and our special teams has come through every time we needed them. But the rules of the game dictate, you must score the most points in the game to win, not merely keep the other team from scoring. When our offense does score it is usually because our defense or special teams gave them the ball on the pretty side of the field. Sometimes even that isn't enough for our offense though. Take for example the Missouri game when the defense gave us the ball only 20 yards from the goal line. We somehow managed to come out of that with zero points. Indeed if it had not been for all of Missouri's turnover's we had little hope of winning a game against one of the easier SEC opponents.

Brent Pease has a history of being aggressive and throwing the ball around to win. I wonder if he has changed his style this drastically or if Muschamp has him on a very short (and predictable) leash. In order to run the ball, we need to be able to confuse defenses. They need to line up and have no idea if we are going to run or throw. We have plenty of weapons but we seldom use them. I was shocked to hear during the game that Trey Burton completed his tenth reception for the year. How can we have that kind of talent and use him so little? Also passers and receivers need to be in sync and in order for that to happen, you need to throw the ball (a lot). My heart fluttered when we threw a beautiful pass to the end zone for a touchdown. Even though a holding call brought it back, it still was working, but we still prefer 2-5 yard passes over airing one out and catching the defense off guard.

Our next two games will provide little challenge and I for one am hoping the Gators use these fluff games to develop their passing game. We can still hold our heads high as  beloved fans this year, especially if we manage to crush Florida State. That won't happen though without a strong passing game and maybe some "Spurrier" type tricks up our sleeve.

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