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Some simple math to fix the Gators' offense (UPDATED)

Math-games-for-kids As an astute reporter (not me -- locked my keys in my car so I didn't go) pointed out during Urban Meyer's press conference Monday, the Gators scored on all seven drives where they used a dual-threat quarterback against Appalachian State and their only non-scoring possessions came when John Brantley was the lone signal-caller.

This was Meyer's response:

"I guess we've got to get some dual-threat quarterback in there. I usually know all the stats. I'm going to go up there and write that right up on the board. I think that threat is real, especially the quality of player that they are and the threat that they give you, so it's interesting."

Damn right the threat is real, and that's something Meyer shouldn't need stats to prove to him. Every step of his head-coaching career, he's leaned on a dual-threat quarterback, and this is the first time he hasn't been able to choose one from among players he recruited (Cam Newton certainly hurt that streak).

Here are some more stats for Meyer's board from the last three games since Jordan Reed joined Brantley and Trey Burton at QB.

In those three games, Florida has had 37 offensive drives, not counting kneel-downs. Of those, 14 have featured Brantley as the lone QB. The other 23 have used either just Reed or some combination of two or three. Here are the numbers:

Brantley-only: 14 drives, one TD (a 3-yard drive), 142 yards, two INTs, eight punts, two turnovers on downs and a fumble.

Combo/Reed-only: 23 drives, 13 TDs, 1,075 yards, INT, five punts and four turnovers on downs.

The average Brantley-only drive yields 10.1 yards, with a TD every 14 possessions and a punt 57 percent of the time. The average "Other" drive leads to 46.7 yards, a TD every 1.77 possessions and a punt 22 percent of the time.


Here it is game by game:

vs. App St.

Just Brantley: three drives, zero TDs, 110 yards, INT, punt, turnover on downs.

Other: seven drives, seven TDs, 431 yards.

vs. South Carolina

Just Brantley: Six drives, zero TDs, 27 yards, INT, four punts, fumble.

Other: Six drives, one TD, 184 yards, two punts, three turnovers on downs.

*Other QBs were used for 10 plays on the final drive, compared to just 11 before that point. Meyer admitted to panicking and abandoning Burton and Reed too early in the game.

at Vanderbilt

Just Brantley: five drives, TD, five yards, three punts, turnover on downs.

Other: 10 drives, five TDs, 460 yards, INT, three punts, turnover on downs.


Now, this doesn't just come down to "Brantley sucks, get him out of there." He still contributed to those other successful drives. The point is, Florida can't win by just using Brantley. It's a combination of UF's coaches not knowing how to run an offense without a mobile quarterback (especially with banged-up RBs) and Brantley not playing very well.

The other thing to consider is that App St. and Vandy are terrible, and those games really skewed this comparison. But there are only three games to go off of here, and all three have held the same conclusion. The Gators can't win without some creativity at quarterback.

UPDATE: Since I posted this, some of you have raised a good point: What about all the times Brantley drives the team down the field and then gets yanked in the red zone? In those cases, he's doing a great job and then Reed/Burton come in and hijack the drive, thus ruining my little study.

Except it doesn't. Remember, these are only from the last three games because those are the games where all three QBs have been used. Of those 13 TD drives, there was only one where he ran the show all the way to the red zone. That came against App St., when the Gators marched from their 42 to the ASU 4 and then Reed came in.

Here's the point folks: Whether you think it's his fault for not playing well or the coaches' for not using him correctly, Brantley can not run this offense alone. I'd say that has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt at this point. He either needs a healthy Jeff Demps to go nuts out of the backfield (probably not going to happen this season) or he needs the regular threats of Reed and Burton to mix things up.


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Until Adazzio is gone, the offense is doomed. Don't be fooled by the last game. The main play was still the dive, and it worked some because of the talent level of who was being played. Adazzio is still an idiot. Nothing is going to change. I'm beginning to wonder about Meyer, too. He's the reason Adazzio is out there.


Sorry. I misspelled 'Addazio' three times in my previous post. (But I got 'IDIOT" correct.)

I think every coach has a throwaway year, where you have a confluence of circumstances go against you. '05 was his first year in the "Big League", '07 was a simple question of inexperience everywhere, which incidentally paid massive dividends the following year.

This year is a combo of both, because it is the first Tebowless season since '05, and there was massive player turnover ('07). Throw in an essentially new D coaching staff.

Driskel is the real deal, and - to your point finally - the Gators will be in much better position to run the offense Meyer has always run and preferred to run next year. They are not going to abandon that philosophy because of Brantley. This was essentially an audition season for I formation drop back QB at UF under Meyer. And it did not work for many reasons, several of which will be around next year.
I like Brantley very much ,think he's a good kid who would have thrived at Miami, for instance. But he knew what Meyer expected out of his QBs when he chose UF, and it really never did jibe with his strengths.

Again, this year is a throw away - most Gator fans have already come to terms with that - but i really feel next year the QB spot - and hence the offense Florida principally chooses to run from day one - will be prominently affected by how well Reed, Burton, Murphy and Driskel (yes,i did mean to put him in there) demonstrate their grasp of the offense.

Then Florida can get back to being Florida under Meyer.

And drop back QBs will have to weigh this fact so long as they are considering college choices and Meyer is at UF.

To Mr. RicoPallazzo! Not one word about Addazio. I have to assume you feel the last two years debacles were the players doing.

It appears to me (and thousands of others) that every since that obnoxious clown took over the offense, its been downhill, and getting worse as time goes on. Last year, you could sense that an implosion was coming; the only surprise is that it didn't happen up until the end. There is no excuse in the world that last years team should not have won the national championship. No excuse except, yep, you guessed it: Addazio.

I also think Driskel is a special talent. He certainly doesn't deserve Addazio. Let's hope for his sake he goes somewhere that will not totally screw him up.

One has to wonder what is going on in Meyer's mind. If he continues to ride it out with this buffoon, his career at UF is near its end. Let's hope he comes to his senses sooner than later.

Mike, great article. Also, enjoyed reading everybody's commentary, particularly RicoPallazo! and Gordon. Personally, I feel sorry for John Brantley. I think he has the potential to be a great QB, but I think Meyer and Addazio have failed him. All of Meyer's past talk about "you tailor your offense to fit your talent" is a bunch of bull. Brantley has been far from perfect, but apart from the offensive line woes, it's the coaching that has been most detrimental to him. There's nothing wrong with being a pure, pro-style, passing QB. Good coaches take a guy like that, add a couple of good backs, and capitalize. Meyer and Addazio have failed in that respect. I think coaching with a dual threat QB is just way easier than coaching a pro style QB. When the play falls apart, when nobody is open, the dual threat QB pulls a Tebow and gets the first down, automatically making the coach look like he knows what he's doing. Why not convert Reed into a fullback until Brantley graduates? I agree with Gordon: Addazio sucks, BIG TIME. We all know our offense sucked ever since Mullen left, and it was because we had major NFL caliber studs (Tebow, Hernandez, Cooper, the Pounceys) that Addazio didn't look completely inept. As Gordon says, even Meyer's coaching competency is looking suspect, since ultimately, he allows Addazio to do what he does. I've been very disappointed in Meyer this year, and Addazio, without question. Addazio needs to be fired, and if we don't show up against the Noles, Addazio needs to be crucified in the middle of the Swamp!

i will say it once more in perfect harmony: addazio is to the gators what an iceberg was to the titanic. our Titanic team struck an iceberg last year when addazio took over and the players last year were the first and only survivors who made it onto the life rafts. this year, the remaining players drowned. hopefully we stay out of icey waters next year.

Dive Play - you deserve the Pulitzer Prize for Gator Clause commentary. That was beautiful. I almost shed a tear.

I know this is off topic, but it is something to think about.....if Miami of Florida fires RS, Meyer would be best served to hire him as DC. He has excelled in the past as a DC. Our defense looked inept many times this year (e.g. LSU, 'Bama, S. Carolina) and there is no doubt Teryl Austin will bolt to the NFL when he gets the chance anyway.

If you read the blog by Manny yesterday about Sam Shield's coaching at UM you might change your mind about Shannon as the great Defensive Co. The guy is not getting it done, and anyone could claim they were a great DC with Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and the rest of the 1st rounders they had back then.

I'm a cane fan so if you want him, you can have him.

Moe, I think you made my case (indirectly), most NFL guys are not "made" in college. They'd be going to the NFL whether they played at Bethune, Chadron, or Mississippi Valley. Randy recruits well and as I see it, we just don't have the guys on defense (Trattou and Lemmons?). He'd get these guys for us on defense. A wicked defense covers up the ills of mediocre or poor offenses.

Sorry about your Canes dude. We don't have much to crow about either.

id trade my pulitzer for a freakin offensive coordinator worth a darn. lets hire mike leech for a couple million for one or two seasons. hey, hes not doing anything but relaxing in key west. we do not want randy shannon and im sure he doesnt like urban anyways.


You can take shots at Addazio all you want, but i don't think he deserves the majority of the blame. Meyer put him there and HAS LEFT HIM THERE. That falls on Meyer. No one else.

And I'm certain that you were a critic of Dan Mullen while he was at UF. Funny how the view seems better from the rearview mirror as the distant grows greater.

I think last year is a greeater indictment of the offensive problems of this team than this year. Tebow's three main weapons from last year nare seeing significant playing time in the pros. not thta the two translate to anything, but last year's offense was awful with lots of talented receivers and TT.

This year there are glaring, obvious reasons for the disjointed poor efforts - bad OL play particulalry at C in the beginnig of the season, poor WR play, and remarkably poor execution from the QB spot, (Burton goaline int v. Bama, Brantley fumble @ Bama 13 yard line, picks galore.

I think Addazzio is a good OL coach, the players like him, recruits he's been responsible for prior to signing with Florida have liked him, Florida has gotten some very good OL recruits during his tenure. There's no question that the OL played has suffered since Addazzio became the OC. I think he should stick to the OL, period.

No offense, concentrating the fault for all the poor play on offense this year soley and exclusively upon Addazzio is easy and small minded.

There are issues everywhere on the team, particularly on the O side of the ball.

Addazio is the Gator's Jeff Bowden. Hopefully Meyer won't have the patience FSU had with their offensive coordinator and let him destroy an elite football school (I think FSU is still trying to recover from the Jeff Bowden era). The Gators have had top 5 recruiting classes for years. The Gator's offense shouldn't be that bad. Coming into the season the offensive line was suppose to be one of the strong areas of the team. It's become one of the weakest areas. Addazzio is the O line coach. He needs to go back to coaching the O line fully and let someone else take over the OC job. If he continues to be the OC, those recruiting classes in future years won't be that good and the program will drop a level. But I think they'll continue with him into next season. It's hard to believe Meyer is so blind. But he's going to feel a lot of heat if the Gators struggle on offense again next season and may not have a choice in the matter.

Jeff Demps next year will be tearing up the field, I assure you.

Don't fall for the trap... Meyer was told this week that Brantley is transferring, that's why he gave the math lesson to prove he is right and Brantley is wrong! Brantley is a GREAT QB; he runs this offense better than Dan Marino, Breeze or Brady. The ELEPHANT in the room is MEYER'S (not Adazzio's) inability to create a hybrid office for John to succeed. We expected power football with the spread - four returning linemen, 33% under center, fullbacks and 20% I-formations; we got nothing. Meyer is a one trick pony, that's why Mullin posted 10pts and dared Urban to open up his offense to score 11pts. He knows how ridged Urban can be and we are living with it everyday!

Since we are on math lessons, I figured that I would take an honest look at solving our team's woes with another equation. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a compound algebraic equation

Since we are on math lessons, I figured that I would take an honest look at solving our team's woes with another equation. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a compound algebraic equation one which leaves the person solving for "X" and "Y" without a frigging clue what "Z" really is. We all agree Addazio is a dull pair of scissors and Meyer is the cracked wet stone that is supposed to sharpen those scissors. Friends or not, they dont work well as a team of head coaches on game day and practice. It is clearly evident that Meyer relied alot more on Mullen than we previously gave credit too. Mullen makes adjustments and tweaks, meyer fires up the special teams. When Mullen tweaked the offense for leak, how'd we do? Remember that was a Gators team with half the talent we supposedly have now, two QB system, one triple threat slash player (harvin), a bunch of young talent waiting to be developed - it was a Gators team that survived a bunch of close games, even at home, but made all the adjustments and eventually showed up in a national championship game ready to play. Sorry, but the X and Y to our equation is obviously Dan Mullen. Meyer is the Z. Adaddio is just the broken bits of lead from my pencil on my side piece of scratch paper.

Well said Dive Play. In hindsight, we were all prob too harsh in criticism of Mullen, obviously the creator and caretaker of the '06 2 QB system. I know i was all over him.

Addazio is superfluous to the problems on the offensive side of the ball.

I always liked Mullen and knew he was a big component in our offense. in fact, remember how he stayed in the press box to get a better view of the game. he was able to make immediate adjustments feom the press box and could get a better perspective of the game and field from a Gods eye view.

further analysis of X and Y. was charlie strong the Y and mullen the X? after some deep thought, i still think strong was a better recruiter and motivator for our players than he was as a true defensive coordinator. yes our defense was top notch during the champ runs, but even with a young defense this year, austin has managed to field a defense that kept our team in the games since our offense was horrific. regardless, when our defense is on the field for 70% of a game, fatigue plays a huge factor and its almost impossible to rely on them to win every game on their shoulders, let alone, bail us out everytime we cant sustain a drive longer that 3 plays. bottom line, losing mullen hurt more than losing strong. just my opinion and its usually flawed, but many probably share a similar one. also, i remember many games where i was yelling at strong to blitz the LBs or atleast a CB... and we stuck with some zone coverage that gave the opposing team more offensive options. when our speedy defense blitzes, we cause many turnovers in our secondary

not sure who is next best team after FSU (in Florida). you stink, we stink!. lol

hey thank god they whipped our butts. i would hate for foley to give addazio a third chance. hey gators fans, maybe we only lose 4 next year. this is pathetic. how many of you were screaming at the tv or radio when they put brantley back in knowing we were doomed.

The blame game with Brantley should have stopped after game#4. With an offensive line that was to be the strength of the team- unable to protect and his lack of athletic ability (see snaps)...why has Reed not started (South Carolina). Not one player on this defense got better(except Floyd and Jenkins).

Urban needs a (short passing game) Offensive coordinator and a few 245 LBS that can pressure in this type of defense....

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