Saturday, November 10, 2012
Florida running out of time to fix offense
By Michael DiRocco
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp's hair was pretty mussed up. It was sticking up and out while he was standing at the podium during his postgame news conference.
It was most likely because of the celebration after the wild finish in the Gators' 27-20 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. It's not often that teams win games by returning a blocked punt for a touchdown with two seconds remaining.
But it also could have been because of the way his offense played.
No. 6 Florida (9-1) managed just 162 yards passing and 311 total yards against a ULL defense that was giving up 294.6 yards per game passing and 433.2 yards per game in total offense, stats which ranked 114th and 89th nationally. And the Gators had starting quarterback Jeff Driskel running the offense for nearly three quarters before he left with an ankle injury.
Watching the Gators flounder and stumble around Florida Field the way they did against one of the nation's worst defenses is enough to make even a former defensive coordinator want to pull his hair out. Then again, you'd think he'd be used to it by now.
Florida's offense hasn't been the same since a 38-0 rout of Kentucky. The Gators gained more than 276 yards once in their next five games (403 against Vanderbilt) and posted a season-low 183 yards against South Carolina. The same issues that plagued the Gators against ULL (5-4) have been present in each game: receivers not getting separation, the pass protection breaking down, the quarterback holding onto the ball too long, and the line struggling to consistently open holes in the running game against stacked defensive fronts.
Add in undisciplined penalties, dropped passes and poor throws, and you've pretty much covered every reason why the Gators are having trouble moving the ball and scoring points -- even against non-BCS opponents.
Read the complete story here.