Florida Football, By The Numbers

Nick The OnlyAnalyst IOctober 12, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 10:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators looks on during the game against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Just a list of Florida's strengths, statistically speaking.  At the end, I add a few of my thoughts on the stats and some interesting differences from last year.

All rankings are national (only FBS), and therefore the ranking number is out of 120 teams.

Number 1 in the AP and Coaches' Polls.

5-0 against a top-10 strength of schedule.

No. 2 in the county in rushing offense and yards per carry.

No. 6 in total offense.

No. 3 in offensive passing efficiency.

No. 6 in offensive first downs per game.

No. 2 in third down conversion percentage.

No. 11 in rush defense.

No. 1 in pass defense.

No. 1 in total defense and yards per play allowed.

No. 1 in scoring defense.

No. 1 in passing efficiency defense.

No. 2 in first downs allowed.

No. 5 in third down defense.

No. 4 in punt return defense.

Punted less than any other team.

No. 3 in kick returns.

No. 8 in kick return defense.


Obviously, Florida is a very complete team.   They lead or are at the top of the rankings in almost every important defensive category, and their offense and special teams are top-10 in many important aspects.

The interesting thing about Florida is the punting return and turnovers-gained/turnover margin statistics.  Last year, Florida was one of the top ranked punt return teams, and they were in the top two in turnover margin; but they are no where near the top-10 in either stat this year.

I think the decline in turnovers gained (and thus, turnover margin) is due to Florida's defense being better than last year.  The defense is stopping the opposition quicker than last year (allowing four first downs less per game), resulting in fewer plays and fewer chances/need for turnovers.

The decline in punt return yardage is troubling, but is likely due to the propensity to go for punt blocks and/or teams kicking away from Brandon James.

Punt returns and turnover margin aside, the stats show that Florida is a very strong team.