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Florida Gators' Thundercat Offense stranded on Planet Tebow? Not quite.

GAINESVILLE -- The Florida Gators innovative Thundercat Offense had a rough go of it on Saturday. Even Gators coach Urban Meyer seemed slightly concerned after the game when he admitted that "I don't think we are on the same planet as we were last year statistically."

Meyer's planetary observation begs the question: Exactly what planet does the Thundercat Offense call home? For now, we're calling it Planet Tebow. UF's quarterback carried the football 27 times on Saturday for 69 yards. Take away the six sacks from those stats and Tebow rushed it 21 times for 110 yards. Through the air, Tebow completed 17 of 26 attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown. Through six games, Florida is ranked No.1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Those are good numbers. Tebow's two fumbles against Arkansas ... not a good number.

TimTebow2 Must the Gators rely on Tebow to win games? Obviously, yes. Should they? Absolutely. Is he not one of the greatest college football players in the history of the game? OK, so don't complain when the guy goes out and wins games.

[PICTURED, Time machine Timmy, circa 2007. Early permutations of the Thundercat Offense.] 

Gators fans should step back from the ledge, relax and embrace the Thundercat. All this talk about a struggling Gators' offense seems to be a little overstated. Here's what Mark Schlabach of the ESPN wrote after Florida's 23-20 win against Arkansas: "The offense struggles to run the football unless Tebow is doing it, and there is hardly any threat of a down-field passing game."

We love Mark Schlabach, but he was a little ... off the mark in that analysis of UF's running game. In reality, the Gators have no problems running the football until they reach the red zone. Check this story in Monday's Miami Herald for accurate and fair criticism of the Gators' offense. LINK!

Consider these statistics, Gators fan, before you even consider writing off UF's offense. Florida is ranked sixth in the nation (and first in the SEC) in rushing offense (259.83 ypg), sixth nationally (and first in the SEC) in total offense (470.50 ypg) and 11th nationally (and first in the SEC) in scoring offense (36.33 ppg).

As for interceptions, Tebow has only thrown two, which is tied for second fewest in the nation. Florida leads the nation in passing efficiency (167.25 quarterback rating) and is ranked sixth nationally (and first in the SEC) in third-down conversion percentage (51.35).

Then why all the fuss? Because Florida is ranked eighth (80 percent) in the SEC in red-zone offense. (Alabama is only ranked sixth (86.1 percent), by the way.) In conference games, Florida is 6 of 20 (30 percent) in converting red-zone opportunities into touchdowns. Last season, Florida finished conference play with a 73 percent success rate in converting red-zone chances into touchdowns.

Fumbles have also been a problem. Florida has lost six fumbles this season. In 2008, the Gators lost eight fumbles all season.

What about sacks? Florida is ranked ninth in sacks allowed (13 for minus-79 yards) in the SEC.

So, there you have it. Red-zone touchdowns, fumbles and sacks are the three areas where the Gators' offense needs to improve. Oh, and passing offense. Florida is ranked fifth in the SEC in passing offense behind Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina. But do the Gators really need to pass the ball more? Probably not. The combined conference record of Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina stands at 8-9. Florida's conference record: 4-0.

-jo-

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The Problem with the florida offense joe is that they havent opened it up and thrown the ball around the field thats the problem. They are using the same offensive strategy they used last year until they lost to ole miss then they opened the offense after reqalizing they needed to blow teams out to play in the national championship. they are to predicable offensively its either a give to rainey or demps, a tebow keeper or a shovel pass to hernandez. this team is not scoring points and there very susceptible to an upset
-Griff

Florida is averaging 25 points in conference play. If Florida scores 25 points a game for the rest of the season, they'll go undefeated and win the national championship.

-jo-

Jo,

I was at the game. Though the Gators played poorly, they won. A couple fluke plays by the Arky O were eye openers. Swap the turnover number, and it is all good.

GO GATORS

As poorly as the Gators played Saturday, they were in the red zone on FOUR other occasions that ended in a missed FG and three fumbles. You cannot go back and add points, of course, but just give them one of those touchdowns and it is a completely different game. The fumbles made the gameplay appear worse than it actually was. Series-by-series, they did move the ball pretty well.

jo, Did YOU nickname it the "Thundercat" offense...?

I agree Adam S. Game wasn't as bad as it seemed.

Joe Haden played a great game but Janoris had a terrible game.

Also I hate the way they have been using Brandon James. They need to run some screens for him. Against LSU they ran that reverse that he couldn't get around the corner. James is elusive in the open field but doesn't have that first step.I'd like to see Rainey, Demps or Thompson on reverses.

Tebow should be carrying the ball 10-12 times a game NOT 21. Moody could easily takes some of those between the tackles runs. Demps is a very good RB and Rainey is best served in space where he can excell. These guys need REPS REPS REPS, especially if the coaching staff doesn't believe in the receivers. Brandon James need to concentrate on special teams.

Tebow and Adazio are not reading defenses well. When you are dared to pass, why not protect (hold in a TB, FB or TE-although hard when Hernandez is our best pass catcher) and pass. When you establish nothing except Tebow can pound into the line for 4-5 yards what do you really have? The only play you can fake is Tebow running into the line and then throwing off it. The offense is so unimaginative is screams for even a Mullen makeover.

This Thundercat offense is nearly impossible to run and if it wasn't for the shear brut force and heart of #15 it would be sent out to pasture. Tebow is a great great college football player, of all-time. TEBOW IS NOT LITERALLY SUPERMAN. Despite what the coaches think. The Tebow/Harvin spinner that Mullen passed down has apparantly no other space to land on.

If they run anything remotely looking like this next year with Brantley, the Gators will be doomed. If Brantley was running the "Leak style" offense for the last 2 weeks, UF would have scored more points versus LSU and Arkansas. I bet Pridemore could pick up as SS blitz, but they would probably rather flex him out into the 5 wide too. There is a massive talent underutilization on offense and an overreliance on a defense that may have an off day some game.

Jo,

You may be right that Florida could go undefeated on 25 points a game but they also could lose to nearly any team on their schedule if they have a ton of bad breaks. See Arkansas.

Talent wise they are light years in front of any team I've seen this year. They are just comfortable driving down the road in 1st gear.

It will be interesting to see next year when Meyer will be forced to have a balanced attack with Brantley throwing the ball. We will still have Demps, Rainey and Moody; most of the Offensive line; a more experienced Deonte; and a healty Debose. I think our offense may actually be more high-powered next year because Brantley is a better thrower than Tebow. However, Tebow wins games that Brantley cannot (at least right now).

As much as I love Tebow, we'd be 6-0 with or without him.

Agree that Tebow last year wins Alabama. Harvin and Murphy won Oklahoma.

I was in the stadium as well and it seemed to me (much like the UT game) that Ark's d-line had success rushing their front 4, nothing fancy. They had a spy (#10) on Tebow the whole game who seemed to get to him when he was tucking and running or trying to move the pocket. As I noted in this blog a few weeks back our O-line can't seem to make things "click" when it comes to pass blocking. Why don't we try to implement a true no-huddle (ala FSU late '90's) and keep defenses on their heels vs that hurry-up-and-stop offense they utilize now that ends with a tackle dive play. Addazio (play calling/line play) seems to me the weak link in the chain here...

Florida just needs to step it up. That goes for Tebow (my man!!), Spikes, cooper, Stirgis, haden, and Urban Myers! we need to play like a team, and last Saturday, that wasn't happening. something just wasn't clicking Saturday and I think we can and will get back on track before the championship game....which is ours! Go gators!

Florida cannot count statistics that resulted from any win except for conference play because just because they ran for 500 yds against charleston southern doesn't mean they have a good rushing attack. Play some real teams already.

Adam,

Yes, I named it the Thundercat Offense last week.

Koclassic,

You're discounting Tebow's ability, my friend. The Thundercat Offense would be nothing without him. He sets the tempo, provides the stability, is money in short-yardagle situations and, as we learned on Saturday, has the ability to lead a game-winning drive. That was a ridiculous throw on 3-and-10 to Cooper.

-jo-

So just gonna keep running with that name then, huh? J/k.

As far as Tebow's rushes...he pulls the ball down more than any QB in the NCAA. They are not all designed rushes. Those are his choices. They probably only call 10-12 a game for him.

Adam,

That's not entirely accurate. UF likes to say that but Mike-Mike and I have kept up with Tebow designed runs v. Tebow scrambles. Tebow is running the ball like a running back now. It's the Thundercat Offense, baby.

-jo-

The real offensive malaise happened when Adazzio forgot that the option worked really well and began to call the DIVE! play every time someone not named "Tebow" rushed.

I think Tebow has some happy feet after getting his clock cleaned. He pulled down too many times. I think the same thing will happen that happened last year. The O will open up and kick it into gear this week.

GO DAN MULLEN AND THE MISSISSIPPI ST. BULLDOGS..

Sorry 4 the extra 'the'. just tryin 2 stutter like all u gaytor hillbillies..

win your sorry conference chump

I got gator envy, tim tebow envy, rawpimple envy, erin andrews envy, urban meyer envy, shelley meyer envy, jo goodman envy, jeremey foley envy, albert and alberta envy.

you can say that again Sarasota. You envy every single thing about UF. And you know UF history more than most Gator fans do. Get a life loser.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4577932

Same group that called the LSU/UGA game! Huh, who would have guessed? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Go 'canes!

Who cares about the link you post loser. Nobody will read it. Go read your ancient history book LOSER

Jo,

Compare the ip's for Alan's, er, I mean "D" Bags 7:52pm post, 8:16pm post, and his 8:17pm post, and then tell us all know what we already know! It's the same loser!

Just do it once Jo, c'mon! The guy ruins your blog as much as ours! Just tell us if it's the same PC.

Beat it chump? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm........

Go 'canes!

JOooooooooooo???

wahhhhhhhhhhh!


get off this blog pansy ass

Throw in the 8:2pm post Jo. The guy is completely schizo.

Go 'canes!

win that pansy conference then come back here and whine to the author you whining punk

JOOO????? check his 3:12 post and his 4:57 post and his 6:03 post. Nobody gives a slice of cheese but its your job to be the hall monitor because I spam this blog and don't like that guy. Step up Jo. Post the name of every commenter and their address and bank account numbers Jo. Tell me the names of their children JO ! I'm a delusional idiot who is hated like poison but I demand justice JO! C'mon Jo.

Jo,
just the opposite, Timmy t is the only one who could carry this offense off. As far as the 3rd down pass- an all American heisman guy makes those plays. They aren't reserved for a first quarter drive against troy

My opinion was not made up based on what they said in the press conference. It is very easy to tell when he has to tuck it and run because he either chooses to or has to.

I think you are missing something important here though. The Gators were struggling to run the ball early in the Arkansas game. They were struggling because in the last 2 games MEyer has been trying to run Tebow less early in the games. Later in the games they used Tebow for more designed runs and then the entire offense opened up.

Without Tebow running our runners are NOT good. And when your running game is stagnant then it kills our passing game because the defense can focus on our receivers without worrying about our running game hurting them.

Harvin was probably our best runner outside of Tebow.. and he wasn't a very good runningback without Tebow either. But you lose him and it makes Tebow's load even greater.

Supposedly Meyer hasn't been able to get good runningbacks because runners don't want to play in his system because it will hurt their NFL prospects.

"""I think Tebow has some happy feet after getting his clock cleaned. He pulled down too many times. I think the same thing will happen that happened last year. The O will open up and kick it into gear this week."""

You are right in a way but not how you think. Tebow isn't afraid of getting hit because of his concussion.. the problem is that because of his concussion Meyer is trying to run him less. But running Tebow less exposes our entire offense for what it really is without Tebow running -- not very good. Our runners are too weak. With weak runners in the SEC you have no chance of getting your passing game going.. even if Payton manning is your QB.

So in reality, by Meyer trying to protect him he makes life harder for Tebow.

It's ironic that the author used that picture from the Auburn game.. because I noticed the same exact thing in that Auburn game. Meyer was afraid to run Tebow earl yin the game.. so he tried to protect him form running too much. The offense bogged down because the Gators had no other reliable runners.. which killed the passing game. This put the Gators in a hole in that game.. then Tebow had to try to get them out of the hole by running himself. He ended up running more than if Meyer had just ran him from the start. And the Gators were in such a deep hole by then Tebow couldn't get them out. The EXACT same thing happened in the LSU and Arkansas game.. EXACT same thing.

BTW, "Thundercat" is pure genius!

I hope that takes off and becomes the description of the Tim Tebow system when he goes on and dominates the NFL like he is college.

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