In an offense that revolves around being dominant on the ground, the Gators figured to have one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
But through five weeks, the ground game has not been as good as it needs to be for Florida to have the type of season that they want.
While the eyeball test may say one thing, taking a dive into the stats could tell you otherwise.
Florida football: More than meets the eye
It’s easy to watch Etienne break off big runs and Johnson run a guy over and say that the run game isn’t a weakness for the Gators.
But a little digging and looking at some advanced metrics will give a reality check to that thought.
When looking at both predicted points added (PPA) and success rate, the Gators are slightly below the median of the country, surrounded by a lot of teams they should be much better than.
Their PPA per run play is 0.139, and their success rate is 42.1%. Neither of those are in the top half of the country.
For reference, the top team in PPA is Oregon at 0.612, and the leader in success rate is Washington at 62.5%. The Gators’ numbers are on par with schools like UTEP, Memphis, and Purdue.
There’s no reason why this Gators running game should be equally as good as those schools. They simply have too much talent to be as low as they are.
So what’s causing this?
It’s likely a mixture of a couple of things. The offensive line is big, but they aren’t creating substantial gaps for the RBs to run through on a consistent basis.
It may also circle back to play calling and having some of these run plays come in bad situations where they’re doomed from the start. Frequently, teams have loaded the box with eight defenders close to the line of scrimmage, begging the Gators to throw the ball. And yet Florida still runs straight into a brick wall.
In whatever case, Florida needs to be more effective on the ground if they want to avoid a game like Kentucky again, and string together some more wins.