We continue our offensive tape breakdown today with the second quarter against Miami. Unfortunately for the Gators, this was their worst quarter. The Gators moved the ball effectively running 23 plays in the quarter and even possessed the ball for 11:16. Despite that dominance, the Gators failed to put any points on the board and both drives ended in turnovers.
1st Drive: 11 plays – 56 yards – 5:10 – Turnover on Downs
The most interesting thing about this drive is the play calling. Florida ran the ball on all four first down attempts and ended the drive with eight consecutive running plays. Driskel was 1-2 for 17 yards passing on the drive and you have to wonder why the Gators didn’t mix up the play calling here. Yes, the run game was effective on the drive (4.11 ypc) but the passing game also hit on a big play and should have hit on another.
The first passing play went incomplete to freshman Demarcus Robinson. Florida comes out in “10 personnel” (1 RB, 4 WR). The three receivers on the bottom of the picture (Solomon Patton, Trey Burton, Quinton Dunbar) run deep routes that clear out that side of the field for Robinson who is running a shallow crossing route.
Miami dials up a corner blitz on the play, Mack Brown picks it up well and the blitz leaves Demarcus Robinson all by himself in the middle of the field. The deep routes at the bottom of the field cause the linebacker to drop into a deeper coverage, leaving Robinson with nothing but green all around him. In the picture below you can see that Driskel has locked on to one of his receivers on the other side of the field and hasn’t even looked back to Robinson’s side of the field yet. You can see Driskel staring down a receiver while Robinson runs free in the middle of the field. In the picture, the ball should be out of Driskel’s hand and on the way to his athletic playmaker.
The blue box shows you just how much of a cushion Robinson has between he and the linebackers. Driskel waits too long to throw the pass and then when he finally does recognize that Robinson is wide open, throws the ball behind him for an incompletion.
Driskel had a clean pocket and plenty of time to deliver an accurate throw. He doesn’t and the Gators are forced into a third and long.
Brent Pease made up for his quarterback’s throwing error by drawing up a beautiful play on the next down. Trey Burton will catch this pass and it ends up being a 17-yard gain and a first down but the credit here belongs to Pease for drawing up this play and Clay Burton for doing an excellent job of blocking.
In the picture below you see the play diagrammed. Quinton Dunbar runs a deep in from his spot as the X receiver. This takes his cornerback across the middle of the field and away from where Trey Burton will run his route. Clay Burton’s assignment is to block his man and take him out of the play, while Patton is running a hitch to the sideline and is likely the second or third read here, with the first read being Trey Burton.
Dunbar’s route clears his corner just like it was drawn up, Clay Burton can be seen blocking his man clear out of the picture (outlined in blue) and near midfield and Trey Burton gets separation on the play because his corner reads the play slowly and then Clay’s block gets in the way. Despite some horrendous pass blocking, Driskel finds Burton who picks up the first down and then shakes the same defender twice for a big gain for the offense.
This would be the last pass attempt that Florida would have on the drive. The rest of the drive is a litany of missed assignments and poor blocking by the offensive line. Florida’s most successful run came on a read-option, something Florida has had a lot of success running with Driskel and it’s puzzling as to why you don’t see more of these runs dialed up. This is also the drive where Driskel likely suffered his knee sprain.
The drive stalled in the red zone as the offensive line wasn’t able to get a push on back-to-back obvious rushing downs, especially on fourth down. Florida tried to run a quarterback sneak but the Miami defensive line pushed the entire Florida offensive line back more than a full yard and Jeff Driskel never had a chance to convert.
Drive Grade: D
Florida showed some nice things on this drive but the offensive line was plain awful. Jon Harrison was not in on the drive and Kyle Koehne really struggled at center.
2nd Drive: 12 plays – 66 yards – 6:16 – Fumble
After watching the running game stall on the previous drive, Florida threw more on their second drive of the quarter. Florida threw five times (four times on first down) and Driskel was very efficient completing 4-of-5 passes for 44 yards.
Jon Harrison missed this drive as well and the offensive line continued to struggle pass and run blocking.
While Driskel’s numbers were good, there was one play that stood out and showed that Driskel still lacks the confidence and presence that Florida needs him to have. On a 1st and 10, Driskel connected with Patton on a deep dig route for 18-yards and a first down. What you couldn’t see on television was Miami’s busted coverage that left Quinton Dunbar all by himself streaking down the field. It’s first down, have the confidence and presence to see Dunbar and take a shot down the field. If Driskel would have recognized the blown coverage this play would have been a 68-yard touchdown rather than an 18-yard gain. It’s just another example of how much work Driskel still has to do and how much he needs to progress for the Gators.
Despite less than adequate blocking from the line, the Gators moved the ball seemingly at will against Miami before Trey Burton’s fumble ended the drive. The Gators had worked all the way into the red zone but once again came up short.
Drive Grade: F
Any drive that ends up with a turnover in the red zone will give you a failing grade.