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2 posts from November 5, 2013

November 05, 2013

Notebook: Ghastly red zone numbers, coin toss musings

GAINESVILLE -- Florida’s offense has scored just 14 touchdowns on 31 red zone attempts -- good for No. 118 in the country (45.16 percent) and 20 percentage points lower than the national average (65 percent).

For a team struggling to generate explosive plays, red zone efficiency is key, and yet the Gators are one of the worst offenses in the country inside opponents’ 20-yard line.

“I think we’ve been good about getting in there. Our percentages show that,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “But we’re not getting there enough. We do need more touchdowns. We get in situations where we settle.”

(courtesy gamedayr.com)

Or come away with nothing.

Thanks to weekly kicking woes and inconsistent playcalling, the Gators rank last in the SEC -- scoring on just 70.97 percent of trips inside opponents’ 20-yard line.

Florida tallied points on 3-of-4 red zone opportunities in the loss to Georgia last Saturday.

Pease acknowledged the offense’s fear of getting stuck behind the sticks influences his playcalling close to the end zone.

“Sometimes you want the big play. You want to immediately score the touchdown instead of OK, we’ve got to get four yards on this play and keep grinding on them, set up a pass off it,” he said. “Probably trying to hit a big play, but if we don’t get it executed we’re in a bad second down or third down situation.”


Florida has won the coin toss four times this season, deferring possession until the second half every time -- including its current three-game losing streak.

Despite a defense constantly surrendering early leads, coach Will Muschamp detailed his coin flip thought process.

"It's game-to-game first of all. It's not something we always try to do,” said Muschamp on deferring. “Sometimes we don't win the toss and they defer or they take the ball. But it's, the other situation Saturday and the last ballgame [Missouri] I believe there's a wind factor. We wanted the win in the fourth quarter. And sometimes the wind comes through the stadium from the north side back through the south end zone, and we wanted to make sure we had the wind in the fourth quarter Saturday. It's a game-to-game thing.


“No because in the heat of the game a lot of stuff can happen. It’s all a matter of keeping our composure. A lot of the times we will get 15-yard penalties and like I said before, if it’s for a personal foul, like [Jon] Bostic’s hit last year in the Sugar Bowl, I mean that’s a perfect [hit], but that’s a penalty. You can’t take that away from him because I wouldn’t have held up either. I mean, like, or a facemask or something like that, it’s just, in the heat of the moment and you’re going to make a tackle, no telling where you can grab. But if it’s something like shoving after the play or, you know, something extracurricular, that’s stuff that we don’t need. That’s stuff that’s detrimental to the team, you know, but we just gotta play through it and keep our composure.”

-- Junior linebacker Michael Taylor on perception Florida is an undisciplined team

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Muschamp shoulders blame for Florida's penalty problem

GAINESVILLE -- Two days removed from lobbing a conspiracy-filled grenade at Southeastern Conference officiating, Florida coach Will Muschamp reneged on his vague criticism of league referees and shouldered much of the blame for his team’s steady undisciplined play.  

“It’s something we coach it every day, obviously we’re not doing a very good job,” he said. “It’s something we emphasize, something we talk about. We talked about this is an emotional game. There’s gonna be some things that we gotta learn to walk away from in those situations, and it’s something I’m going to address with the team again today.”

The Gators were penalized seven times for 70 yards in their 23-20 loss to archrival Georgia last Saturday and following the game Muschamp hinted at some ulterior agenda, citing how Florida has finished first or second in the conference in penalties 20 out of the last 24 years.

UF currently leads the conference in penalty yardage per game for the third consecutive season, averaging 62.1 y/g in 2013.   

Senior safety Jaylen Wakins admitted too many players lost their composure at key moments against the Bulldogs.

“The emotions were high, we were coming back,” Watkins explained. “I think a few guys kinda let their emotions get too high and it really defeated the goal of winning the game, but that comes with, like I said, the atmosphere. We have to be more disciplined in that point, especially when we're making a good comeback and everything. Every moment is critical. It's a combination of not being disciplined and the high emotions of the game."

Florida was flagged for seven personal fouls in the loss. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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