Florida football comes in 132nd out of 133 in key offensive line stat

The Gators OL struggled last season, and one advanced metric shines light on their issues even more

Sep 16, 2023; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Richie Leonard IV (67) and
Sep 16, 2023; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Richie Leonard IV (67) and / Chris Watkins-USA TODAY Sports

Florida football, as we all know, had a season to forget in 2023, going 5-7 and failing to qualify for a bowl game.

The Gators had lots of issues on the field, and we can't really point to just one area that caused Florida to struggle throughout the season.

One area that we know Florida had problems with was the offensive line. The Gators' inability to consistently protect Graham Mertz and create running lanes set them behind week after week.

But when it came to grading how well teams blocked on running plays, the problem for UF seems even larger than we originally thought.

Florida football: Just about rock bottom

On run plays, each blocker has their own assignment to help open up running lanes and create space for the ball carrier. When these assignments are blown, it's hard for the offense to get anything going.

The Gators had a blown blocking assignment on 20.5% of their running plays last season. That ranks 132nd in FBS. As a reminder, there are 133 FBS teams. Only Kent State blew more assignments than Florida.

It's very alarming to see the Gators' logo that low on any chart. It's not what Florida fans are used to seeing out on the field. And there is no question that unless they get significantly better along the OL, Florida won't improve.

One positive here is that Billy Napier has created a lot of change along the offensive line this offseason. Several guys have left the room with a number of new faces coming in to replace them.

While some fans don't like the idea of a massive overhaul, sometimes it's what a team needs in order to take the next step.