After two straight games without an offensive pointing the second half it’s time for the Gator offense to make some changes. After all, it’s not like the Gators were lighting up the scoreboards before the recent second half issues. Florida has yet to score 30 points in an SEC game this season and in SEC play they are averaging 23 points and 342 yards.
Those are not miserable numbers, but they certainly are less than impressive. Still, I believe the talent is on hand for the Gators to do a lot more in the final four games than they have in the previous six contests. There are several things that the Gators need to do to make the stretch run a more prolific one offensively.
Stop Playing Such Good Defenses —– In the last four games the Gators have faced four of the top defenses in the country. LSU (1), Georgia (14), Alabama (18) and Auburn (24) all rank in the nation’s top 25 in total defense. Playing tough defenses makes it more difficult to execute any offense. Playing tough defenses puts more pressure on players to make plays and that can lead to mistakes. Florida gets a bit of a breather the rest of the way with only one team (FSU- 16) in the top 30 on defense.
Cut Back on QB Rotation —– While I’ve been a big advocate for getting meaningful playing time for Tim Tebow, Florida has not been effective with that the last two weeks. Tebow ran with the ball on just about every play he was in for against Auburn and Georgia. That’s just a bit predictable. Florida needs to get back to the variety of plays he ran against LSU. Shuffling back and forth during a single series of downs needs to be eliminated.
Punish Offenders in Trenches —– The Gators seem to have no trouble sitting down runners or receivers or even quarterbacks who fail to execute. I know they are not comfortable with their offensive line depth, but surely they could run a few plays with Ronnie Wilson and/or Jason Watkins and/or Simon Codrington in there. Just one series would deliver the message that all these false start and holding penalties have got to stop.
Run Wynn Baby —– DeShawn Wynn has been in and out of favor more times than I can count, but he’s clearly the best the Gators have. Florida’s tried to get more out him, but it’s time to get out of him whatever is there. Percy Harvin between the tackles isn’t going to accomplish much. Wynn keeps linebackers and safeties honest.
Don’t be so Cute —– It would be a good thing for the Gators to employ the “KISS” theory the rest of the way (keep it simple, stupid). Percy Harvin runs about six miles a game with all the stuff they have him doing. I think if the Gators just lined up and ran a play without motion the other side might pass out from shock. Break out that Iowa game plan and get back to basics.
Get Cocky and Arrogant —– The Gators have gotten away from downfield passing and big plays. Florida has not put anyone away in conference play. It’s time to put the hammer down and hang a one-sided loss on someone. No, Western Carolina doesn’t count.
Quit Screwing Up —– Florida has committed more turnovers in eight games (17) than it did in 12 games (13) last year. That, plus an SEC worst nine-plus penalties a week has contributed to the failure to put points on the board.
Speed it Up —– My last suggestion would be to try and get plays off more quickly. I have always thought your blocking suffers when you put those big fellas in a three point stance and leave them there for 20 seconds over and over and over again. Plus constantly taking the play clock to the final two seconds helps the defense anticipate the snap and cuts down on the number of plays you can run.
If the Gators can do about half those things, look for 30+ points each of the remaining four games.