Behind the Numbers: Florida Gators vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Dan Thompson breaks down the Florida Gators win over the Ole Miss Rebels 51-35.

University of Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham coaching on the sideline during the Florida Gators win over Vanderbilt- Florida Gators football- 1280x853
University of Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham coaching on the sideline during the Florida Gators win over Vanderbilt / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

It had been 271 days since the Florida Gators last took the field – and after months of uncertainty and a nebulous future – it was simply a great feeling to just watch the Orange and Blue take the field, almost regardless of the outcome.

The Gators took the field, in what was expected to be a game of unknowns due to Lane Kiffin’s arrivals at Ole Miss, the toll COVID-19 has taken mentally on participants, and of course, with a much more limited practice schedule.

Sure, the game wasn’t always perfect – there are a lot of areas to improve on especially in the linebacker and safety positions – but scoring 51-points (the most points Florida has ever scored in an SEC-opening game) and setting the school record in yards in a game (642) isn’t all to be disappointed in.

And yes, the defense needs a lot of work – especially in the linebacker and safety rooms – but after replacing a number of starters from last year’s defense and missing at least a few potential starters against Ole Miss, it is certainly a work in progress, not a lost cause.

With its 51-35 win over Ole Miss, the Gators have moved up the number three spot in the AP and Coaches Poll – the highest ranking the Gators have been ranked since the October 21, 2012, AP Poll.

While there are a lot of numbers that will change throughout the course of the season, as we always do – let us look behind the numbers on the Gators win over the Rebels.

  • The Gators are now 12-12-1 all-time against Ole Miss and won against Ole Miss in consecutive games for the first time since 1994/1995. Also, despite some perception, the Gators don’t travel well to Mississippi – the Gators improve to 6-2 all-time against Ole Miss in Oxford.
  • The Gators 8.7 yards per play set a Gators record against an SEC foe.
  • The Gators 446 yards passing were the most they have had in a game since Tim Tebow’s final game against Cincinnati to end the 2009 season (482).
  • Kyle Trask’s 67.2% career completion rate is the highest of any Gators quarterback with at least 100 passes. Tim Tebow ranks second with 66.4%. Kyle Trask was most successful (highest quarterback rating) in the middle of the field greater than 20 yards, where he was 3-for-4 for 104 yards and three touchdowns. He was also 1-for-1 for 22 yards and a touchdown on the outside right of the field.
  • Kyle Trask was 9-for-13 for 155 yards with three touchdowns when Ole Miss blitzed him, which complemented his 66.7% completion rate when blitzed last season. Strong performance.
  • The Gators had 32 first downs – the fourth time they have done that under Dan Mullen. They had previously done it just three times between 2009 – 2017.
  • Jean Delance allowed three quarterback hurries – more than the rest of the line combined. Stone Forsythe allowed the only sack.
  • The Gators defensive backfield struggled with Marco Wilson and Kaiir Elam allowing 9-of-14 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown, including 93-yards after the catch. Marco Wilson also missed three tackles.
  • The Gators had 22 missed tackles in the game
  • Zachary Carter had a big game with seven pressures, including two quarterback hits and five hurries.
  • Brenton Cox is the best defenseman the Gators have – the numbers show it, and the eyeballs show it.
  • The Gators allowed Ole Miss in the red zone eight times – the most they have allowed since at least 2005. While only allowing four scores, the Gators allowed touchdowns all four times.
  • With only four penalties, the Gators now have 21 straight games with less than 10 penalties again.
  • Evan McPherson went 3-3 and is now 37-of-41 in his career and is officially the most accurate kicker in Florida Gators history in both field goals and extra point success.
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.