Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are the Gators "Down" offensively?

Certainly the Gators are not scoring the way a lot of fans would like and we were supposed to see a drastic offensive improvement in year 2 under Meyer but are the Gators "down" from last year?

A quick look at the stats says no. The following stats are through 10 games last year and this year.

Passing Offense (YPG)

Rushing Offense (YPG)

Total Offense (YPG)

Scoring Offense (PPG)

Time of Posession

All of these stats are pretty comparable from Meyer's first year to his second year. I think the PPG difference can be attributed to the Gators field goal kicking troubles. In 2006 Chris Hetland is 3 for 10 giving the Gators only 9 points from field goals whereas in 2005 he was 10 for 11. That's a difference of 21 points or 2.1 points per game. But missing field goals doesn't just keep you from putting points on the board, it often gives the opponent much better field position than if you had punted or made the field goal.

Obviously time of posession is a concern. Two minutes difference is a lot. But overall you'd have to say that even though the offense hasn't taken the steps forward that we would like to have seen, it hasn't taken the steps backward that many feel it has either.

The Gators are 9-1 and headed to Atlanta for the Conference Championship game this year and they were 7-3 and out of contention for it last year. Of course the difference has been defense. In 2005, through 10 games, the Gators were giving up 19.5 points per game and this year they've been giving up a stingy 13.3 points per game.

While Meyer hasn't delivered on the big offensive stats, his idea to retain Charlie Strong and have co-defensive coordinators has worked out remarkably.

Besides there is still time to pad the stats (on both sides of the ball) against WCU and FSU, even if those games do hurt our strength of schedule in the computer polls.

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