Florida's offense was one of the primary talking points in college football a year ago. They had a Heisman finalist quarterback, a tight end that was arguably the best weapon in college football, and an offense that put up 39.8 points per game on 509.8 total yards per game.
They were dynamic, they were explosive, and they put up 44 points on a UGA defense that looked like they didn't have too many answers for the Gators.
This year, however, this Florida offense could not be any more different.
In 2020, they threw the football on 56.2% of downs. In 2021, they run the football on 57.1% of downs.
A complete identity shift for a variety of reasons.
Kyle Trask was a relatively immobile pocket passer with elite accuracy and decision-making. Emory Jones is an athletic, run-first, inaccurate rocket arm possessing quarterback. The two could not be any more different. Anthony Richardson possesses a little bit of the qualities from both quarterbacks but is extremely inexperienced and prone to make poor decisions against a defense like Georgia's.
Dan Mullen has always had a developed run scheme, well almost always. The only requirement is a mobile quarterback. Look at the best versions of his offenses. Tim Tebow could run. Dak Prescott could run. He wants to use his quarterback to occupy and manipulate the edge defender of a defense. And last season, without a running threat at quarterback, Florida averaged 131.3 yards per game on the ground. This season they are averaging 254 yards per game on the ground, fourth-best in college football.
They aren't just running the ball because they are great at it. They are predominantly running the football because they don't exactly have dynamic weapons on the outside of this offense. They are scattering touches across a litany of receivers and tight ends but they don't have one or two super stars on the outside like they had a year ago.
Key to Stopping Them
We will certainly get more in-depth into this as the week progresses, but the obvious key is to turn them one-dimensional. Force them into becoming a passing football team and you'll have success, they will turn the ball over in that type of environment. You do that by eliminating their rushing success on early downs.
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