Florida signal-caller Jeff Driskel is a big-time talent. When talking about athleticism, he is probably the most athletic quarterback in the SEC. When talking about pure arm strength, he probably has the lead in that area too. In only his sophomore year, he has proven himself to be an excellent decision maker when it comes to knowing when and when not to deliver the football. With that said, Driskel isn’t a polished passer just yet, but is getting better every game. His play making ability, at least at this point, is in his legs and he has proven he can do big things. Driskel has a long touchdown run of 70 yards on the season, and is averaging almost five yards per carry even with a number of sacks mixed into that total. He tends to hold the ball too long if his first progressions are covered, but he will take a sack before throwing into coverage. In 127 pass attempts this season; Driskel has thrown eight touchdowns and only one interception.
Senior Mike Gillislee is finally the Gators feature back in his final season in Gainesville, and he is getting the job done. Gillislee has 139 carries for 652 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, and he has proven that he can handle the pounding between the tackles against the big boys of the SEC. He has been quiet for the last couple of weeks, but had a huge game against LSU earlier in the month with 34 carries for 146 yards and two scores. The Gators don’t use him much as receiver as he has only caught five passes for 23 yards on the season, but he does have three 100-yard games, and will probably be licking his chops against a Georgia defense that has been consistently sub par against the run for three straight weeks. Other than Gillislee, the Gators don’t use their other tailbacks much as Mack Brown and Matt Jones have combined for just 49 carries on the season. Most of those attempts have been in mop up duty.
If there is a weakness for the Gators on offense, it is at the wide receiver position. It isn’t that they don’t have talent, but offensive coordinator doesn’t really have consistent go-to target on the outside. Jordan Reed is the wide receiver/tight end hybrid in Florida’s offense, and he is the teams leading receiver with 25 catches for 281 yards and three scores. He has shown that he is fast enough to run the seam routes and separate, and he done a great job of settling into zone coverage to set up easy throws for Driskel. After Reed, Omarius Hines, Quinton Dunbar, and Frankie Hammond are the receivers Driskel turns to the most. Hammond has excellent speed and can make big plays in space. Dunbar and Hines have been used as possession receivers for the most part, but Hines, as well as Patton, have taken a number of handoffs this season in jet motion.
There are few teams in the country that will play as many offensive linemen as the Gators do. Chaz Green and Matt Patchan are listed as the starters at tackle, but Xavier Nixon gets quite a bit of playing time at the position as well. The Gators will also use freshman D.J. Humphries and sophomore Ian Silberman as blocking tight ends in some situations. They used both quite a bit against LSU and it helped as the Tigers’ smaller defensive ends wore down as the game went on. The Florida tackles aren’t the greatest pass protectors, and they aren’t physically dominant at the point of attack, but they do play with excellent leverage and quickness. The guards, Jon Halapio and James Wilson are physical run blockers who enjoy firing off the ball. Both guys are very good athletes that make the most of great angles on their targets. Jonotthan Harrison mans the center position, and he a very consistent help blocker with a solid ability to work to the second level. The Gators have very few holes up front, but they do struggle a bit against big time pass rushers on the edge.
• First Down �" The Gators are predominantly a run team on first down as they have kept it on the ground 74% of the time in SEC play.
• Second down and long (7 or more yards) �" This is a straight drop back down for the Gators, but not by much. The Gators go to the air 56% of the time this down and distance.
• Second down and medium (4-6 yards) �" This situation is another one that leans toward the run. The Gators run the football 61% of the time on second and medium.
• Second down and short (fewer than 4 yards) �" The Gators also like to turn to the run on second and short as they do so 71% of the time.
• Third down and long - The Gators see this as a pass situation. They go to the air almost 70% of the time, and the majority (68%) of their runs are of the quarterback variety.
• Third down and medium - This is a perfectly balanced down for the Gators as they are an even 50/50 split.
• Third down and short - This, as a number of other down and distances are, is a run down. The Gators use the ground game 84% of the time on third and short.
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