A Portrait of Offensive Malaise

Note: this has been updated to correct an error in analysis of the line.

A replay from the South Carolina-Florida game provided this image that sums up nearly all of Florida's offensive problems in a single frame:

  Fail2_medium

Let's count off all the problems...

  • John Brantley had to jump to catch a bad snap. That threw off the timing of the play.
  • Carl Johnson is double-teaming someone while nose tackle Travian Robertson (who didn't disguise a thing by lining up in a three-point stance and by being the NOSE TACKLE) came through unblocked. Johnson must have figured Mike Pouncey was going to block Robertson, but Pouncey is picking up a blitzing linebacker.
  • The play is for Chris Rainey, who is running sideways to the flat behind the line of scrimmage.
  • It is Florida's tenth offensive play of the game (including two false starts), and the ball was snapped with 4:16 to go in the second quarter.
  • On nine of those plays, you could tell who it was intended for. Eight of those plays were either runs by or passes intended for Rainey.

The bad snapping problem is still there, the offensive line blows an assignment, it's yet another in a long line of plays with nothing but short options, and it's predictable because it's for the guy they had locked onto. Not only that, but the latest offensive wrinkle (in this case, the hurry-up) only worked for one game (Vandy) and is now hurting the team. The result of the play was an incompletion, as Robertson hit Brantley as he tried to throw and the ball sailed out of bounds.

I was going to write a long and in depth post about what's wrong with the Gator offense, but I don't really need to. This frame tells you all you need to know. The problems that arose in the first game haven't gone away, the O-line execution is bad, there's no imagination, and the band-aid from the previous game didn't stick.

South Carolina's defense played a heck of a game, and Ellis Johnson dialed up the right blitzes at the right time. I don't mean to take away a thing from what he and his guys did. But as you can see in this snapshot, all the Gamecocks needed was Robertson not to trip over his own two feet in order to disrupt the play.

But, when you make up an offense as you go along, it's not surprising that it doesn't work.

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