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EMAILS I GET: How do you improve the Gators' offense?

This email comes to us from Daniel Fassman, a Gators fan who is genuinely concerned about UF's perceived offensive struggles. Daniel, using the power of his iPhone, writes:

I would like your opinion on the offense...Why not put Demps and Rainey in the backfield in a Wildcat? Also, more screens on the outside to use their speed. As for the red zone, or this year the "black zone," the answer is Moody. Running Tebow is becoming too predictable in short-yardage situations. (Moody) can get those tough yards you need. And I definitely agree putting Tebow under center will help. It's a new look I don't think we've shown and the one time we did, we scored a touchdown.

GAINESVILLE -- Daniel, thanks for the great email. I think your concerns reflect the concerns of a large portions of Gator Nation. In the words of UF offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, the only problem with the Gators' offense has been turnovers in the red zone. I agree with Steve. Too much is being made of the Gators' supposed offensive struggles. This team is ranked first in the SEC in total offense.

Why not put Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey in the backfield in a Wildcat? Well, for starters Demps is questionable for Saturday's game due to a neck strain, so I don't think I'll be writing about Demps in the Wildcat against Georgia. As for Rainey, do you really think UF's offense would be better if Rainey ran the Wildcat? Florida's Thundercat Offense with Tebow under center has been nearly unstoppable. It's the Wildcat on steroids. Tebow can run and, obviously, he gives you the option to pass. I don't see Rainey providing that type of versatility. The only thing that has stopped the Gators' offense is the Gators themselves. Limit the turnovers in the red zone and the idea that UF's offense is struggling seems ludicrous.

As for using Demps and Rainey more on screens, this topic has come up during press conferences and it's not a bad idea. Demps has four receptions in seven games and Rainey has one reception. Rainey's lone reception came on a screen pass and he carried it for a 14-yard gain against Arkansas before fumbling. More screen passes to Rainey, Moody or Brandon James are likely against Georgia.

Has Tebow become too predictable in the red zone? Yes, but that doesn't mean he isn't effective. Tebow remains the Gators' best short-yardage option and, in my opinion, that shouldn't change. Tebow was stuffed twice on the goal line against Mississippi State. This doesn't bother me. More often than not, Tebow is going to get those yards. The Gators are ranked No.1 in the SEC in third-down conversations for a reason: Tebow. A good offense converts third downs about 40 percent of the time. Tebow and the Gators are converting on third down 45.98 percent of the time, which ranks 22nd in the NCAA or 11th among BCS teams.

Should UF run more out of the I-formation? This is an interesting idea. Faced with a goal-line situation, I don't see the problem with putting Tebow under center and then running a QB sneak into the end zone. In short-yardage situations, the I-formation could be used as a nice change of pace (as in Rainey's touchdown run against Mississippi State), but, again, the Gators are not struggling in converting short-yardage situations. The best option, in my opinion, remains Tebow. That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't room in the playbook to give Moody some carries in the red zone. I think Moody should get the ball in the red zone a few times against Georgia and he probably will.

In a nutshell, cut down on the turnovers and don't lose faith in Tebow in the red zone.

-jo-

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We could also remove Brandon James from the 'Percy position'. I love the guy as a player, but it's just not working. I think Demps would do better. Have Rainey running off tackle and Moody or Demps up the middle. Rainey just is not built for the inside run game. Demps can do it becuase he hits the hole so fast and Moody has the power.

THESE WORDS FROM THE MOUTH OF JOSEPH GOODMAN. "Florida's Thundercat Offense with Tebow under center has been nearly unstoppable. It's the Wildcat on steroids."

The left side of the O line has been the problem- the hit that caused or led to the concussion,and the Miss. State sacks all came from Tebow's left side. I hope that's where the changes you mention are taking place.

THESE WORDS FROM BIGBIRD1966:

"Jacory is a legit Heisman candidate. UM is back and will be in a BCS bowl this year. "

What's you record bigbird1966? I heard you get a pretty certificate for finishing third in the ACC. What's it going to be Emerald or Midas Bowl?

Go back to the UM blogs,they are serving all you can drink Koolaid.

Joe I have to disagree. I went over the red zone plays against Mississippi State and about 80% were Tebow runs (designed or otherwise but mostly designed). We have to be a little more creative than that.

Why not roll him out or try and find Hernandes (a big target) in the red zone? We have to mix it up. As good of a short yardage threat as Tebow is predictability kills. Of course the turnovers are atrocious and with those you don't have a chance. But assuming no turnovers we still look fairly impotent when we cross the 20. Don't be afraid to throw down there. We have to keep teams off balance. Tebow up the middle is still ver good but not 4 plays in a row.

Along with looking for Hernandez, how about some fades to Riley or Nelson (let them use their size). Like I said, roll T out and let him have the option to run/pass. The option game out wide would have worked in that series against M state where we got stuffed from the 1...the entire D was bunched up in the middle.

Protect the ball down there and don't rely on Tebow designed runs 80% of the time.

Nice one tbone1999!

Go Gators, glad we get Spikes back this week.

I agree Tim is the best short yardage option but it needs to be mixed in with other options. Tim was more effective on the short yardage plays at the end zone last year because the "D"also had to watch Percy, Demps, Moody, and the pass. Tim is a great athlete but we need to give him the chance to succeed by mixing up the plays.

While watching two to three of the last games the announcers from the networks were calling out the plays that were coming from the gators based on sets. And they were correct. If these guys who don't study film on us can call out the upcoming plays by the way we line up then the opposing D is sitting waiting for the play. We have the talent just spread it around more and run new plays from the old formations.

Oh and isn't it great to be "fixing" our offensive issues while being 7-0 :).....it's a good problem to have!!!!!

I wanted to see the play distribution INSIDE THE OPPONENTS 20. I decided to take SEC play only.

UF has 71 plays inside the 20
Our run pass play call distribution is 52/19 (73%run/27%pass)

Running (52x):
Tebow,as no surprise, has 37 carries (52%)
Demps has 11 carries (15%)
Rainey has 3 carries (4%)
James has 1 carry (1%)

Passing (19x):
Tebow has been sacked 5 times (7%)
Tebow has attempted 14 passes (20%)
Tebow has completed 4 passes (6%)
Tebow has been intercepted 1 time (1%)

Its pretty easy to see why we are struggling in the red zone.

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