Silver lining in the red numbers

Whether it is the failed wildcat plays, the lack of big plays on the offense, a porous offensive line, a struggling linebacking corp or lack of productivity from the special teams, obviously, watching the Florida Gators has been tough this season.

The Gators who have been dealt with a rash of injuries, a tough schedule, and poor depth, cannot seem to have anything fall their way this season and the numbers prove it.

Across the board, the Gators are struggling over last season, not only in their record, but also in just about every offensive, defensive and special teams category.

Let’s take a deeper look at the numbers.

Category2013 (National Rank)2012 (National Rank)
Offensive Scoring: Points/Game21.0 (104)26.5 (78)
First Downs/Game18.6 (98)17.4 (111)
Rushing: Yards/Attempt3.68 (98)4.53 (50)
Total Offense: Yards/Play4.89 (107)5.25 (98)
Long Scrimmage Plays (10+ yards/game)11.375 (115)12.46 (88)
Total Defense: Yards/Play4.92 (19)4.35 (4)
Scoring Defense17.1 (11)14.5 (5)
Turnover Margin+0.25 (47)+1.15 (8)
Defensive Sacks/Game1.63 (85)2.31 (40)
Red Zone Conversions70.97% (118)82.61% (50)
Tackles for Loss Allowed/Game7.25 (111)6.08 (87)
Field Goals (By Percentage)60% (97)82.8% (16)
Punting Average40.91 (70)44.68 (8)

 

In almost every statistical category the Gators have regressed.

However, there has to be a silver lining correct? Well there is, even if it is minimal.

Primarily, freshman running back Kelvin Taylor is far exceeding his running back counterparts. At 5.17 yards per carry, his leaps and bounds ahead of Matt Jones and Mack Browns per carry average of 3.74. Only two players (Showers and Herndon) have higher per average carries, although they have only carried the ball seven and four times respectively.

Moreover, Solomon Patton has proven to be a true threat in his senior year. After being sidelined with a broken arm against Georgia last season, Patton has had his best season on offense yet with 464 yards receiving (14.97 yard per catch average), 56 yards rushing (5.09 yard per rush average) and is tied for a team high four touchdowns. Further, Patton has done just fine filling in for Andre Debose returning kicks averaging 28.79 yards per touch (seventh in the country) and one touchdown.

Finally, Vernon Hargreaves, the incredible freshman cornerback, has proven to be just as big of an asset as the expectations put on him. Vernon Hargreaves was expected to be a stellar cornerback, but very few expected him to lead the team in interceptions, passes defended and pass broken up.

It looks as if the season will be a wash, but there is at least a silver lining with three Gator players whom have seemed to buck the trend.

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Daniel Thompson
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan oversees the IT consulting practice of a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, bourbon, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan can be found on Twitter at @DK_Thompson.