Comparison: Florida versus the Citadel and Charleston Southern

Since we only have a week of football under our belts, the only thing we can do right now for comparison's sake is look at what teams did last year versus what they did this year. So with that in mind, let's take a look at Florida versus the Citadel last year and versus Charleston Southern this year. I chose the Citadel for last year's comparison game because it was a I-AA opponent (like CSU) and because it was after Jeffrey Demps and Chris Rainey emerged.

OFFENSE

CATEGORY vs. CITADEL vs. CHAS SOUTHERN
Total Yards 705
624
Passing 311
255
Yds. per Pass 14.1
9.4
Rushing 394
369
Yds. per Rush 10.6
11.2
Turnovers 0 0
Time of Poss. 25:06
22:26
Sacks All. 0
0

 

Florida's offensive output was a bit muted in this I-AA tussle versus last year's but I'm not inclined to read much into it. Had Deonte Thompson not dropped a deep bomb from Tim Tebow in the first half, the stats of the two games would probably be roughly identical. The time of possession drop is not surprising either since UF debuted its new hurry up offense that it calls the "banzai" package.

The yards per pass did dip a bit though. Even if you give Florida 50 yards for the Thompson drop, the average comes out to 11.3 yards per pass. That's still better than most offenses do, but it's a result of Tebow and Brantley going 18 of 27 (67%) instead of 17 of 22 (77%). It's nitpicking, but that's about the only other notable thing about the offense. It was predictably potent, and the starters legitimately had a chance to score on every play.

DEFENSE

CATEGORY vs. CITADEL vs. CHAS SOUTHERN
Total Yards 341
323
Passing 214
228
Yds. per Pass 5.8 4.7
Rushing 127
95
Yds. per Rush 3.7 3.5
Turnovers 3 1
Time of Poss. 34:54 37:54
Sacks For 4 (-26 yards)
0

 

It's not a huge difference, but the numbers are slightly better for the most part. The decline in turnovers sticks out, as does the goose egg for sacks. Part of that second point had to do with the fact that CSU did a lot of quick throws that don't give a defense a chance for a sack, and part of it probably has to do with two starting linemen (Lawrence Marsh and Jermaine Cunningham) not playing. Still, you would have figured Carlos Dunlap would have gotten one at some point.

Some Gator fans were concerned about the stats for CSU, but they were not materially different from the Citadel game. If you put sacks back in total yardage (making it 317 total yards) and survey Florida's 2008 opponents, you find that only six of the Gators' 13 other opponents beat that mark. The important guys all were taken out in the second quarter, and really, this game shouldn't even count towards the season stats.

There was never much we were going to learn from this game, except for who's red shirt was going to get burnt. Of note, though, is that Tebow's new throwing motion cause his deep balls to fly with authority instead of be floating rainbow throws. Other than that, it was a meaningless scrimmage.

Previous Comparison: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn.

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