Predictable: an adjective based on the transitive verb predict which means,
to declare or indicate in advance; especially: foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason
according to Merriam-Webster.
It could also say, See Also: Florida Gators.
I’m reminded of the old saying,
There are only three things in life that are sure: death, taxes, and the Gators running inside on 1st down.
I know that’s not exactly how the old saying goes, but if Pease and Co. don’t start changing things up a little it will soon.
What else can you say about an offense that runs 78 percent of the time on first down? That’s as often as Georgia Tech, which runs an offense that throws the ball less than a mini-mite football team.
When asked about their propensity for first down runs Pease responded,
“Probably a little predictable,”
the understatement of the year.
Since gashing LSU’s vaunted defensive line Mike Gillislee has averaged only 60 yards per game as opposing defenses have loaded the box with eight man fronts. It’s definitely not Gillislee’s fault, however, as ALL his yards have come come after contact and he’s fought diligently for every one of them.
So what does all this mean. Throw the baby out with the bathwater per se? Not exactly.
We know the Gators are not going to get away from the running game, the core of Muschamp’s philosophy.
We know that they are not going to go to switch to a spread passing game and try to be something their not. The only thing they’ve struggled at more than run blocking is pass blocking.
What needs to be done is mix-up play selection by down. Run some play action passes or zone read runs on first down to take advantage of a loaded box.
Run some screens on first down. As much as Nick Saban’s offense is criticized for it’s plodding mentality, the one thing they do quite successfully is first down screening.
It works well against aggressive 8 man fronts and can lead to some big plays if blocked properly. Florida almost scored on one against Georgia last weekend.
Finally, try some third down draw plays, especially on long down and distance. While the chance of converting is low it plays into Will’s philosophy of playing safe football and relying on a strong punting game and tough defense.
You want the worst thing to happen on 3rd down is a fourth down punt. Against Georgia they tried to force third down throws which created turnovers and gave Georgia easy points.
So Florida is predictably not going to change who they are offensively, but they do need to find a better mix of play calls that keep defenses off-balance giving their lineman, backs, and quarterback a better chance of success.