We move to the third quarter of our bye week breakdown of Florida’s offense against Miami. Unlike previous quarters, the Gators struggled moving the ball effectively in the third quarter but they were able to put points on the board after getting shut out in the second.
1st Drive: 9 plays – 44 yards – 4:42 – Field Goal
After two long drives in the second quarter produced nothing but turnovers, the Gators started the third quarter with another nice, long drive. Florida came out in heavy running sets and picked up a first down after just two plays. Starting the drive with a read-option, Valdez Showers was able to get outside, turn up the sideline and pick up eight yards. Florida was so successful running read-options on Saturday (and against Toledo) that you have to wonder why they don’t run more of the play.
In the middle of the drive, Driskel found Trey Burton on back-to-back plays for first downs. The first came on an out route with a very impressive throw from Driskel to the sideline. Burton was able to quickly turn up the field and find the first down marker.
The second play, and the first that we’ll diagram, is the only first down that Florida would throw on this drive. The Gators came out in 11 personnel (1RB, 1TE) but Clay Burton was lined up outside. Burton motions in on the play-action pass.
In the above screenshot, you can see how the play is drawn up. Solomon Patton and Trey Burton will both run dig routes, Clay Burton who is coming in motion will run a quick hitch, Matt Jones runs the play action with Driskel and attacks the flat while Quinton Dunbar runs a fly route at the top of he screen.
What makes this play work is great pass protection from the offensive line and very good anticipation from Jeff Driskel. Driskel gets a clean pocket from his offensive line and shows great anticipation in his throw to Trey Burton. In the picture below, you can see Driskel getting ready to throw the ball to Trey who is still in the middle of his break. The pass is behind Burton but the play is still completed for a first down and a 16-yard pickup.
This is the kind of poise and pocket presence that we need to see more of from Driskel. He stays calm in the pocket and steps into his throw. This is what Florida needs from Jeff every passing down.
Following this play, Florida would run an end-around to Patton which lost a yard because, well, if passing the ball on first down yields another first down you should probably run the ball on first down next time, right?
Matt Jones is able to pick up three yards on second down and Driskel is forced to throw to Quinton Dunbar for just three yards on a third and long play. Would you like to see Jeff try and force a pass on third and long that is past the first down marker? Maybe, but his pass to Dunbar was safe, put the ball in the middle of the field and set up an Austin Hardin field goal and points for the Gators, something they desperately needed at the time.
Drive Grade: B
Florida moved the ball well on this drive. Things stalled after an unsuccessful end-around on first down. I don’t know why you would run the ball on 2nd and 11 but the drive yielded points and ate up more than four minutes of clock.
2nd drive: 3 plays – 8 yards – 2:38 – Punt
This wasn’t pretty.
On the first play Florida comes out in 12 personnel (1 RB, 2TE) with Gideon Ajagbe lined up at tight end. Florida runs a play action counter with Ajagbe scraping across the line from left to right, looking as if he is going to block for the run. Driskel keeps the ball after the fake and bootlegs to his right, hitting Ajagbe for a 7-yard gain on first down. A very well drawn up play and a good pickup on first down. Ajagbe did fumble the ball but he was able to recover it.
Second down is when the drive fell apart. Florida attempted a screen pass on second and short but two things thwarted the screen play. First, Trey Burton whiffed on a block resulting in the play losing two yards. Second, Tyler Moore was called for holding, moving the chains back 10-yards and creating a 2nd and 13.
You don’t have to watch much Florida football to know that this offense isn’t built for second or third and long plays.
Mack Brown was able to pick up 11 yards on the new second down with a good read and a quick cut but Miami sniffed out the option pitch on the next play and Florida was forced to punt.
Drive Grade: D
A three and out and a holding penalty, not much to get excited about here.
3rd Drive: 3 plays – 6 –yards – 2:09 – Punt
Another three and out for the Gators in the third quarter (I warned you this quarter wasn’t pretty).
Florida starts with a run (they ran the ball on 4-of-6 first downs in the quarter), which could have gone for more if Kyle Koehne was able to get in position on his pull and make a solid block. Matt Jones was held to three more yards on second down due to another poor block from Koehne, which leads us to third and four.
Florida lines up in 21 personnel (2RB, 1TE) and the play is drawn up nicely, just not executed well by the signal caller. Driskel comes out in shotgun with Matt Jones to his right and Valdez Showers to his left. Both backs will run identical routes mirrored on either side of the field. Clay Burton’s assignment is to get to the first down marker and sit in open space. There are two players to pay attention to here, Burton (blue) and Matt Jones (green)
Burton does what he is supposed to in getting to the first down and sitting down in coverage. Miami’s linebacker reads Driskel’s eyes (he stares Burton down the entire play) and is able to break on the ball. Matt Jones was wide open on the other side of the field for what would have been a first down but Driskel’s mind was made up before the ball was even snapped. This pass was always going to go to Burton.
In the picture above and below you can see how much separation Jones has compared to Burton. Jones would have been the correct read here. In the picture below you can see how the defense is reading Driskel’s eyes and, like Florida’s quarterback, aren’t paying attention to No. 24 who is wide open.
Drive Grade: F
Three and out and it looked bad.