If you have read any of my articles you know that I like numbers and statistics. I do copious amounts of research finding the right statistics to tell the whole story.
Therefore, in the first part of a three part series, I will analyze the season, thus far, in statistics — highlighting both positive and negative.
The Gators winning an average game 30.5 to 12.8, with the highest number of points score being 38 (Kentucky) and the fewest points allowed being 0 (Kentucky).
Time of Possession
Florida is winning the time of possession on the season averaging 34:47 each game to their opponents 25:12. The highest number of minutes the Gators have controlled the clock this season was 37:41 (Kentucky), and the fewest number of minutes they have held the ball was 33:08 (Bowling Green).
Jeff Driskel has a 158.01 quarterback rating compared to an average of 88.33 of opposing team quarterbacks. Driskel’s two highest quarterback ratings came against Texas A&M (166.30) and Tennessee (194.98), when the Gators needed their quarterback to step up the most.
Mike Gillislee is rushing for an average 100.5 yards per game. As a team, the Gators are averaging 224.5 yards per game, a huge improvement from 2011, where the Gators averaged only 143 yards per game behind leading rusher Chris Rainey’s 71.75 yards per game. In comparison, Florida’s opponents are averaging 119.25 yards per game.
The Gators have amassed 32 penalties for a total of 256 yards, giving them an average of eight penalties per game for 64 yards. The Gators have amassed significantly more penalties at home (21) compared to away games (11), with a season high 14 coming against Bowling Green and season low of three in UF’s win at Texas A&M. Comparatively, Florida’s opponents were penalized 28 times for 207 yards and average seven flags per game for 51.8 yards.
Third Down Conversion
Florida has converted on 23 of 58 third-downs into first downs this season, for a third-down success rate of 39.66 percent. The Gators had their highest third-down conversion percentage against Kentucky, converting 70.59 percent, or 12 of 17 third downs. Florida’s lowest third-down conversion percentage occurred against the Tennessee Volunteers, converting only 3 of 13 opportunities, or 23.08 percent. UF’s opponents fared much worse, converting on 18 of 62 opportunities, or 29.03 percent.
Red Zone Conversion
The Gators’ offense is statistically performing at an exceptional rate in the red zone, scoring on 13 of 14 opportunities. Florida has scored eight touchdowns (61.54 percent of scores) and five field goals (38.46 percent of scores). UF’s opponents have had similar success, scoring 8 of 10 times times in the red zone, including seven touchdowns and one field goal.
With a slow start to the season, the Gators have improved drastically on their turnover margin. The Gators have taken away one fumble and have gained six interceptions, while only losing one fumble and one interception — a turnover margin of plus-5 on the season and plus-1.25 per game. This is an impressive improvement over last seasons’ minus-12 margin on the year and minus-0.92 average margin per game.
Caleb Sturgis has done well on his quest for the Lou Groza Award. Sturgis is 8 for 10 on the season and 14 of 14 on extra points. This season follows up a spectacular junior campaign for Sturgis, who last season, was 22 of 26 (84.6 percent) and 31 for 31 (100 percent) on extra points.
Tackles for Loss and Sacks
The Gators have had some trouble stopping opponents behind the line of scrimmage. So far, Florida has 20 tackles for loss (five per game) for 56 yards, while opponents have had 23 tackles for loss for 93 yards. This marks a considerable decline from last season where the Gators averaged 7.23 tackles for loss per game. Further, the defense has only had five total sacks on the season (1.25
sacks per game) for 31 yards and has given up 12 total sacks for 70 yards (three sacks per game). Last season, the Gators averaged 2.15 sacks per game and gave up
1.77 sacks per game. It is worth noting, that Florida has piled up eight sacks against Texas A&M and three sacks on Saturday against Kentucky.
The Gators have 77 first downs on the season (41 rushing, 30 passing, six penalty), an average of 19.25 first downs per game. This number is an improvement over last season, where Florida averaged 17 first downs per game. The Gators’s current first down rate is the highest it’s been per game since 2009, where UF averaged 22.42 first downs in its potent offense.
We can’t really surmise much from this season thus far, other than the Gators are 4-0 (3-0 Southeastern Conference) and seem to producing well on offense and making great second-half adjustments. When we explore this same topic in four weeks we can likely delve more into continued successes or discover what is causing new failures.