After every Florida Gators football game, Gator Country will analyze a few points in this “what we learned” segment. Here’s what we learned after the Gators’ 48-10 win over Kentucky on Saturday night.
Florida’s offense has patience
In its first three games of the season, Florida has scored either a field goal or a touchdown in its first drive of the game.
Against Kentucky, the Gators had to wait until their third try to get a score on a one-play drive which resulted in a 45-yard touchdown pass from John Brantley to tight end Gerald Christian.
Despite not being able to get past the 24-yard line in the first two offensive drives, Florida’s offense remained patient and eventually scored twice more in the first quarter.
The Gators also featured a balanced offense in the first quarter going for eight passing and eight rushing attempts.
This balance, along with a 21-3, allowed Florida’s offense to go back to its bread and butter all season – the run game, as the Gators finished the game running the ball 46 times out of 69 total downs.
Gators need to develop a No. 2 option at quarterback
When Brantley got injured in the second quarter, freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel entered the game and looked unprepared for a SEC defense.
Driskel had a rapid two-and-out after his first career fumble, as a result of being sacked for a loss of eight yards.
The true freshman finished the game with minus-5 yards total on the game from two rushing and three passing attempts.
While Driskel’s body and speed out of the pocket reminds many of former Gator great Tim Tebow, Driskel has plenty of work, just like Tebow, to get to where Florida’s offense needs him to be in the future.
As for now, the Florida coaching staff needs to determine if Driskel is the right guy for the backup position and if so, give him more repetitions with the first-team offense. Designing some wildcat plays to grow his confidence may also be a good option.
Florida’s defense continues to impress
The Gators’ defense has been its rock all season and against Kentucky, it shined once again accounting for two interceptions, two forced fumbles, three quarterback hurries, four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Linebacker Jon Bostic led the defense with 10 tackles on the day, including eight solo and one for a loss of seven yards.
Safety Matt Elam secured his second career interception in as many games while also adding four tackles.
And redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Taylor saw significant time in his third game of the season accounting for his first career interception while adding six tackles to the stat sheet.
But the most important stat – Florida’s defense scored a touchdown after a fumble recovery and allowed its offense to score two touchdowns and a field goal off of three more Kentucky turnovers.
Against No. 2 Alabama on Saturday, the Gators’ defense must create more turnovers than the Crimson Tide as both teams go into the game ranked as two of the nation’s top five defenses.
Gator Country reporter Safid Deen can be reached at Safid@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at SafidDeenGC.