Florida Gators Football: Five Adjustments That Need to Be Made After Week Two
The Florida Gators pulled away late for a 24-point win against USF on Saturday, but for the second straight week it was a slightly underwhelming performance for much of the game.
But, a win is a win (just ask Virginia Tech).
The Gators have certainly shown some good signs in the first two weeks, but there is no surprise that a team that lost so many starters from last year still needs a lot to work on in the early part of the season.
Here are five adjustments the Gators should make before heading into Knoxville next weekend.
5. Focus on Stopping The Run
Other than the opening quarter, when USF controlled the clock, there wasn't too much to complain about on the defensive side of the ball for Florida.
The Bulls ran for 244 yards against the Gators, and while much of that was on the feet of quarterback B.J. Daniels, the Gators will need to step up their efforts with the SEC schedule here.
Tennessee running back Tauren Poole showed that he has the capability to get the running game going, with 162 yards (7.0 avg) against Oregon.
And, that's not even considering what teams like South Carolina, with Marcus Lattimore, and Alabama, with whoever they want, on the schedule later.
Obviously, you don't want to complain too much about this unit, but if there is an area that needs improvement, this is it.
4. Decide What Approach to Take To The Offense
The naysayers are once again going to come down hard on the offense and Steve Addazio's play calling after the USF game.
Whether or not you agree with the criticism, the biggest problem is that Addazio has yet to develop an approach, identity or whatever you want to call it to the offense.
In the early part of the game, he tried to get the passing game going, preferring to keep things conservative for the most part. Then, he went back to the running game for a little bit.
Once Addazio gave the Bulls a heavy dose of Florida's running backs, the offense finally opened the game up. But against stronger opponents, you can't wait until the third quarter to really get things going.
That starts with establishing what you want to do from the outset and continuing to do it throughout the game.
If that identity is a strong running attack, then do it early and often. If you want a passing attack, then open things up.
Right now, it just doesn't seem like Addazio knows what he wants to do. Sure, it's only been two weeks with an entirely new offensive lineup, but the SEC schedule starts this week.
Time to establish that identity, then ride it to victory.
3. Get The Playmakers More Involved
Whatever offensive approach Addazio and the coaching staff decide on, one thing is clear: The playmakers are not being put in a position to take advantage of mismatches.
Other than Jeff Demps' long touchdown run and scamper on a dump-off that was largely called back on a Carl Moore holding call, the playmakers were largely ignored Saturday.
Florida is full of explosive athletes and is so deep that it should be able to put playmakers in position to break plays open almost every down. Yes, the offense is that talented. But, you wouldn't know it after two weeks.
Chris Rainey getting a concussion didn't help matters in the playmaking department. He had one rush for 15 yards.
Give us more of that. And, more plays like the one that let freshman Robert Clark do his thing for 15 of his own yards. And, it was refreshing to see that Andre Debose got on the field, now it's time to get him the ball too.
Florida needs more playmakers in space. There are plenty of playmakers to use. Now, use them.
2. Brantley Needs to Open Up The Field
In all fairness to Addazio, who takes more than enough criticism, all the blame does not lie on him.
One of the biggest complaints about last year's offense was that Tim Tebow locked in on guys like Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez, largely forgetting guys like Deonte Thompson (you may have heard a little controversy stirred up about this in the offseason).
On Saturday, it looked like more of the same. This time Thompson was the guy that Brantley was zoning in on for most of the game, or at least it seemed that way.
Moore also got a lot of looks late into the game, mostly in short routes, but other than that no one else was really involved.
Granted, after one week, Brantley and Mike Pouncey had to correct the snap issues. So, maybe this was just the next step in gaining a comfort level for a starter who has only started two games--find your top target and develop a rhythm and comfort level.
Now, the next thing we would like to see Brantley do is spread the ball around the field to open things up for the offense. He certainly has the capability, and playmakers as mentioned previously, to do so.
1. More Mike Gillislee
The running game showed an ability to wear opponents down near the end of the USF game, but for this unit to take the next step, Mike Gillislee needs to get more touches.
You can count me in the group that wanted to see Emmanuel Moody take on more of a role heading into this season, but after two games, Gillislee has looked like the stronger option for the offense.
He only got four carries, but he seems to make every opportunity count.
Moody always seems to come on strong late in the game, in a position to run out the clock. But until the game was in hand, he did not seem to have many impact carries.
If you were watching the game at home, you may have heard the announcers comment that Moody didn't start really pounding the ball until he saw Gilislee come in and make some nice plays. Maybe he just needs that fire lit under him to get him going.
Moody certainly still deserves a share of the carries, but at this point it Gillislee has shown that more of the running pie belongs to him.