Published October 11, 2010 - 5:02am
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Florida Gators led by offensive guru Urban Meyer have been horrendous on the offensive side of the ball. From injuries to snaps, to special teams to running the ball, it’s enough to make a Gator fan bash his TV in during the game. What’s the deal? Is Urban Meyer overrated? Was his success more due to Tim Tebow than Urban Meyer?
The reality is that watching the Gators play makes it obvious that Urban Meyer and coordinator Steve Addazio have no idea what they want to do on offense. Against LSU, they rotated three quarterbacks, Jordan Reed, John Brantley, and Trey Burton. As each game passes with more anemic production from Brantley, Burton and Reed see more action. There doesn’t seem to be much confidence in Brantley.
John Brantley is somewhat of a talented passer, although his accuracy still isn’t great in my opinion. But, the offensive gameplan is hardly conducive for the type of talent that Brantley is. I think I might be faster than Brantley, and the spread attack just doesn’t seem to work with Brantley at the helm (he’s far from Cameron Newton). Another thing I’ve noticed is that way too many of Brantley’s passes get deflected by defensive linemen. He had several again against LSU, one resulting in an interception. Brantley is either staring down his receivers, throwing the ball too low, or both… probably both.
If John Brantley is the quarterback, shouldn’t the coaches figure out some way for Brantley to put the ball in the end zone once the Gators are inside the ten yard line? Is the strategy to pull out Brantley every time the Gators get close? Reed and Burton can run the ball, but since Kentucky, teams sort of know what is coming. Again, the coaches clearly have no confidence in Brantley running a goal line offense? I’m not sure this is a wise strategy against the SEC teams that do their scouting (i.e. Alabama preparing for the jump pass).
Trey Burton is a great athlete and probably has a great future, but he’s not ready to lead this team. This team needs a quarterback. While Tebow was a great athlete and leader, he was also a great quarterback which is what won so many games. Offenses need quarterbacks.
When will the Gator receivers step up? Are they that bad at getting separation from defenders? The only time Brantley connects on throws down field is when he has an inordinate amount of time in the pocket – after 15 seconds, average receivers can find open space. Under any sort of pressure, the Florida receivers do not get open, and the ball does not get moved down field.
On to the offensive line. It is absolutely ridiculous that Florida’s line is this bad. This group was heralded to be among the best in college football going into the season, and instead, has been one of the worst. Oh yes, our offensive coordinator is also the offensive line guru, how ironic. Whether it is continuously bad snapping from Mike Pouncey or just an inability to block (see the LSU game), the offensive line has been terrible.
Lastly, there is a massive void of playmakers. Who is the go-to playmaker? LSU had Terrence Toliver on Saturday night. He got the job done and helped the Tigers win the game. Florida has… Carl Moore? Deonte Thompson? Trey Burton? Jeff Demps is injured and normally is a playmaker (but still more of a speedster), but again, Florida is missing the likes of Aaron Hernandez.
Florida is an average team right now, and fans should expect to lose more games unless big changes happen. I’m thinking Florida finishes 8-4 at this point and drops two of three games against South Carolina, Georgia & FSU.