Florida vs. Charleston Southern Advanced Stats Review

The Florida Gators looked a lot different in their first game of the Dan Mullen era than they did in the seven previous years. I will go over the specifics of some of that in film review later on, but for now, here is how the numbers saw things. After all, film and numbers complement each other given that sometimes one can more clearly show something than the other can.

This review is based on Bill Connelly’s Five Factors of winning, sacks are counted as pass plays, and the stats cited exclude garbage time unless otherwise noted. The game went into garbage time by the Football Outsiders definition after Feleipe Franks hit Tyrie Cleveland on the jump pass to put the Gators up 31-0 in the second quarter.


Seemingly everyone has a different definition for what counts as an “explosive play”, but I go with runs of at least ten yards and passes of at least 20 yards.

Team Runs 10+ Pct. Passes 20+ Pct. Explosive Pct.
Charleston So. 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Florida 4 22.2% 3 14.3% 17.9%


The longest play the Gator defense allowed before garbage time was a nine-yard run by CSU quarterback London Johnson on a 3rd & 10. The Buccaneers only gained as many as five yards on two other occasions in their 16 total plays. This phase was well in hand.

The explosive play rate for the offense is good, and it could’ve been even better if not for things like R.J. Raymond’s drop of a high pass from Franks. It’s not off-the-charts good, but the offense did look a little ragged early before it found its stride.


The main measure here is success rate. Watch this short video if you need to brush up on it.

Team Run SR Pass SR Overall SR Red Zone SR
Charleston So. 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Florida 55.6% 57.1% 56.4% 60.0%


You are reading this correctly. Charleston Southern did not have a single success play prior to garbage time. The Gator defense was on fire to start and did its job to near-perfection before the score got way out of hand.

The offenses’s numbers are good but not great given the level of competition. I think the figures broken down by quarter will help shed some more light.

Team 1Q SR 2Q SR
Charleston So. 0.0% 0.0%
Florida 41.7% 80.0%


The first quarter was a little rough, and it was split equally: 43% success rate running, 40% success rate passing. Those numbers would be even closer if the first play of the game had been credited as a pass to Josh Hammond instead of a lateral and therefore a rush by Hammond.

If you happened to read my piece from last week that had a section on efficiency, I warned that the passing success rate numbers from the 65-0 win over Eastern Michigan to begin 2014 sounded an alarm despite the score. The good news is that not even those first quarter success rates are as bad as the sub-30% passing rate from pre-garbage time in that game.

The low 40s is about average for success rate, which translates to a little below average when facing an FCS team. Nevertheless, they had things cleaned up and humming in the second quarter. All four rushes were successes, and nine of the 11 passes were successes. I don’t see blaring warning signs in these numbers.

Efficiency by Player

Player Comp. Pct. Pass Eff. Yards/Att Sacks Pass SR
Feleipe Franks 61.9% 214.9 8.9 0 57.1%


Franks had an outstanding day numbers-wise. He passed the eye test as well, never getting flustered or making the head-slapping decisions he was known for last year.

Kyle Trask gets a grade of “incomplete” for the game, having thrown just three passes with all of them in garbage time. Only one of them was a success play, though getting backed up by a snap sailing over his head was the primary culprit in at least one of his two passes not being a success play.

Player Targets Catches Yards Yards/Target SR
Van Jefferson 5 2 19 3.8 40.0%
Tyrie Cleveland 3 2 10 3.3 66.7%
Freddie Swain 2 2 57 28.5 100.0%
Trevon Grimes 2 1 34 17.0 50.0%
Lucas Krull 2 2 33 16.5 50.0%
Kemore Gamble 2 2 19 9.5 100.0%
Malik Davis 1 1 8 8.0 100.0%
C’yontai Lewis 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
Dre Massey 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
R.J. Raymond 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%


Jefferson emerged as the favorite target, but touchdown aside he had a muted game. It was good to see Swain and Grimes stand out, and Krull definitely has potential we’ve not seen at the tight end spot in years. Beyond that, Franks spread the ball around to so many players that it’s hard to comment on individual guys. It was an empty-the-bench kind of outing.

Player Carries YPC Rushing SR
Jordan Scarlett 6 4.0 50.0%
Feleipe Franks 5 6.8 60.0%
Malik Davis 4 1.5 25.0%
Lamical Perine 2 14.0 100.0%
Josh Hammond 1 11.0 100.0%


Scarlett didn’t wow anyone early, though he didn’t have a lot of holes to run through. Davis looked tentative and perhaps not 100% at first, but he ran with more confidence in the drive right after garbage time set in. For a guy who might be rusty after missing a year and another who was in his first action after a bad knee injury, I guess those are understandable. Let’s see how they look against Kentucky this coming week.

Perine got lost in the shuffle a bit. I assume it was because he was the third back among the three primary ones. Mullen appeared to want to get Davis a few more carries at the end of the first half to increase his comfort post-injury and then play primarily reserves in the second.

Franks looked good running the ball. There’s no reason why he couldn’t have been doing some of that last year, but the time to litigate that stuff is over.

Dameon Pierce looked fantastic in his garbage time work, but he was more explosive than efficient. His success rate was only 44.4%, which was lower than the full-game rates for any of Scarlett, Davis, or Perine. His four success runs went 27, 19, 12, and nine yards, respectively. His five non-success runs went for a total of six yards (1.2 yards per rush). The backup offensive line looking pretty poor hindered him on those five carries, so presumably he’d be more efficient running behind the starters.

Field Position

Team Avg. Starting Position Plays in Opp. Territory Pct. Of Total
Charleston So. Own 23 0 0.0%
Florida Own 40 23 59.0%


The Florida defense gets the most credit here, as they stuffed the Buccaneers so badly that their rather average punter couldn’t get them out of a field position hole. The return game didn’t really flash much in the first two quarters.

Finishing Drives

A trip inside the 40 is a drive where the team has a first down at the opponent’s 40 or closer or where it scores from further out than that. A red zone trip is a drive with a first down at the opponent’s 20 or closer.

Team Drives Trips Inside 40 Points Red Zone Trips Points
Charleston So. 5 0 0 0 0
Florida 6 5 31 4 24


You’d like to see fewer field goal attempts when going up against such a physically overmatched opponent, but the Gators did get points on all but one of their pre-garbage time drives. They also scored on each of their five scoring opportunities and all of their four red zone trips.


The Gators didn’t score any turnovers before garbage time set in, but they did turnover Charleston Southern on downs during that time. They did get three turnovers in the second half though, and it’s worth mentioning somewhere the special teams victories of blocking a field goal and an extra point. All of this came without them coughing it up once. Bravo.


There isn’t a ton to read into with this game since it went to garbage time before intermission and Mullen seemingly wanted to make sure everyone who wasn’t injured or suspended got to see the field at some point.

Yes, the offense was rough at the beginning, but it wasn’t rough in a red-flag kind of way like the pre-garbage time EMU game in 2014 was. The offense found its stride once the first-game jitters wore off and operated like a decently well-oiled machine.

And the defense. Oh buddy, that defense. Before garbage time the Buccaneers completed one pass in five attempts for -2 yards. They ran for 2.1 yards per carry in the same span, and it all added up to 0.75 yards per play. Charleston Southern went for two feet and three inches per play. Monsters, all of them.

The Gators didn’t prove themselves to be true division contenders because it’s impossible to do that in one game against an FCS opponent. They did, however, show themselves not to have any glaring problems like the 2014 Gator offense had after one game. It’s hard to ask for more than that coming off of a four-win season with new schemes on both sides of the ball. The kids might be all right.

David Wunderlich
David Wunderlich is a born-and-raised Gator and a proud Florida alum. He has been writing about Florida and SEC football since 2006. He currently lives in Naples Italy, at least until the Navy stations his wife elsewhere. You can follow him on Twitter @Year2