Florida’s offense exploded for 14 points in the second quarter, the most points the Gators have scored in a quarter this season. That tells you how inconsistent the offense has been and how difficult it has been for the Gators to convert touchdowns once they get into the red zone.
1st Drive: 2 plays – 52 yards – 0:52 – Touchdown
The drive started on Florida’s 44-yard line with a Mack Brown 4-yard carry on first down. Blah, blah, blah, let’s get to the good stuff.
Florida came out in their “10 personnel” (1RB, 0TE, 4WR) on the next play. You can see there are two wide receivers split out on either side of the formation and Mack Brown joins Tyler Murphy in the backfield.
Murphy throws a screen to the Solomon Patton who is split out wide and uses Trey Burton (outlined in blue) to block for him. The pass clearly goes behind the line of scrimmage (marked out in yellow), which makes Murphy’s job pretty easy. The rest of the play is all on Patton.
Patton gets the ball, uses a very good block from Burton and is able to get past two Vol defenders who take bad angles. The first is depicted and the second player is left lunging when he takes too shallow of an angle.
After these two missed tackles, Patton is in a foot race with a defensive back and two linebackers. He’s going to win that foot race 9.9 times out of 10.
This will probably go down as the easiest 52-yard touchdown pass of Tyler Murphy’s career.
Drive Grade: A+
Analysis: Two plays and a touchdown, it doesn’t get much better than that.
2nd Drive: 2 plays – 2 yards – 0:40 – Fumble
This drive can be summed up in one GIF.
What happened on the play was Murphy’s fault. Brent Pease explained that the cadence for the play was first sound. This means that center Jonotthan Harrison was going to hike the ball at the first sound he heard from his quarterback. Murphy briefly forgets this, says something and looks away. The rest is on Murphy.
Analysis: Other than giving us that hilarious GIF, this drive was awful.
3rd Drive: 6 plays – 22 yards – 4:01 – Fumble
Well, at least the Gators ran six plays before fumbling the ball away on this drive.
The Gators line up in the shadow of their own goalpost on the six-yard line. Florida came out in their jumbo package with seven offensive linemen, a tight end, fullback and running back. It’s a run all the way. Jon Halapio had a great pull block (he is Florida’s best pulling guard by far) and Matt Jones picked up five yards. The Gators keep the same personnel on the field for second down and Halapio executes another beautiful pull but Gideon Ajagbe doesn’t pick up his man so Jones is stopped for a gain of two yards, leaving Florida in a third and short scenario.
Tyler Murphy does something on third down that fans have been begging Jeff Driskel to do for two seasons. Sensing the pocket breaking down, Murphy makes a quick, split-second decision to tuck it and run.
Here’s what the play looked like from above as Murphy begins to go through his progression. D.J. Humphries is outlined in blue lying on top of a defensive end. That’s always a good thing. Florida has three offensive linemen covering two defensive linemen and they have created a solid wall there. Kyle Koehne is starting to lose his battle with his defensive end and the pressure will come from Murphy’s strong side. The receiver is being picked up by the Mike linebacker, which takes him away from the middle of the field.
Murphy sees and senses everything that is happening around him and makes a split decision to take off and run. He gains 11 yards and picks up the first down along the way.
In the picture above you can see that Murphy has already ditched the pocket and is now a runner. One linebacker has peeled off and takes a good angle to make a tackle, so Murphy avoids contact and gets down. It’s a headfirst dive instead of a slide but he doesn’t take unnecessary contact. Keeping Murphy healthy is priority #1 for Florida now.
With a new set of downs the Gators went back to the ground. Ajagbe missed another block on the first running play. Ajagbe has been hit-or-miss as a blocker this season. You can tell that he is still adjusting to his new role but he flashes some promise.
Halapio was called for a holding on second down which set the offense back and they couldn’t recover. The drive ended on a fumble by Jones, his second in two games. This fumble was caused when Jones tried to shift the ball from his right arm to his left in the middle of the field.
Drive Grade: D
Analysis: The holding penalty and fumble killed what looked like one of those epic 15-play drives that eat up more than 7-8 minutes of clock.
4th Drive: 7 plays – 40 yards – 3:03 – Touchdown
This drive is exactly what the Gators offense wants to do. Florida ran the ball effectively on six of seven plays.
The first play lost a yard and was bad blocking all around. D.J. Humphries gets beat, Max Garcia was slow to pull and Hunter Joyer doesn’t pick up his man either. On second down, Pease dialed up a designed roll out to Murphy’s left and he hit Trey Burton in the flats for a five-yard pick up.
That brings us to third down and our final play breakdown. I’ve been waiting to show examples of the read option run correctly and incorrectly and finally have examples of both.
On third down, Florida lines up in its diamond package, which you can see below.
The offensive line blocks down (orange arrows) leaving the defensive end with his hand in the ground unblocked (outlined in red). This is the player that Murphy must read. If the defensive end crashes and plays the handoff, Murphy will keep the ball himself. If he slows up and stands his ground, Murphy will hand the ball off to Brown.
Here you can see the defensive end (outlined in red) fully committed to Brown. Murphy has a great fake handoff and is able to use the blocking from Ajagbe and Burton to get out to the edge and pick up 12-yards.
This was the correct read and a beautifully drawn and executed play.
Later in the drive Florida has a first and goal scenario. Florida is in “11 personnel” (1RB, 1TE, 3WR) and again runs the read-option. Florida can run this type of play out of almost all of their personnel groups, which makes it easy to disguise.
Like the last play, Florida will leave a defensive end unblocked (outlined in red below). That is Murphy’s read. This time, the end pulls up and is waiting for Murphy.
Despite making the incorrect read, Murphy is able to get around the end and gain positive yards because of his athleticism and quickness.
You can’t teach athleticism and sometimes it makes up for mistakes.
Florida went back into their jumbo package on second down and got a glorious pull block from Max Garcia. Mack Brown showed great vision and took a wide angle to the outside and found the end zone.
Drive Grade: A
Analysis: Florida drained the clock and was able to take a two-possession lead into halftime because of this drive. Great execution and a great drive overall.