Monday, September 28, 2009

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

With a tip o' the cap to recently passed conservative pundit William Safire, Saurian Sagacity appropriates the colorful description of Vietnam War opponents he penned in 1970 to describe the growing number blathering that offensive deficiencies leave us more vulnerable than 2008.

The negative nabobs natter that the 2009 offense is one-dimensional: overly reliant on Tebow as a rusher without a downfield passing attack and, therefore, inferior.

In the words of Mergz, I dissent.

A comparison of 2009 statistics through 4 games (Charleston Southern has been excluded to prevent accusations of statistical skewing) with those from 2008 demonstrates that our current offense is much more productive than the 2008 version. In fact, the 2009 offense puts significantly more points on the board (the ultimate mesure of success) and generates more yards per game. We tend to forget how many points the 2008 defense scored.

The offensive numbers from 2008:

1. Hawaii-255 yards rushing on 38 carries (Tebow 9 for 53 yards) and 151 yards passing. 35 of UF's 56 points were generated by the offense (21 points from a B. James punt return, a M. Wright interception return and an A. Black interception return). Total offense: 55 plays for 406 yds.

2. scUM-89 yards rushing on 27 carries (Tebow 13 for 65) and 256 yards passing. 24 of UF's points were generated by the offense (defensive safety). Total offense: 62 plays for 345 yds.

3. University of Tennessee-147 yards rushing on 39 carries (Tebow 12 for 31) and 96 yards passing. 23 of UF's 30 points were generated by the offense (7 points from B. James punt return). Total offense: 54 plays for 243 yds.

4. Ole Miss-124 yards rushing on 35 carries (Tebow 15 for 40) and 319 yards passing. UF's offense generated all 30 points. Total offense: 73 plays for 443 yds.

The averages:

Total offense: 359 Rushing: 153.8/4.4 per carry Passing: 205.5 Offensive Scoring: 28 PPG

Tebow's Numbers? 50 (12.5/game) carries for 189 yards, which equate to 3.8 yds. per carry and 47.25 yards per game.

Tebow generated 30.8% of our rushing yards from 36% of our carries.

The offensive numbers from 2009:

1. Troy-291 yards rushing on 46 carries (Tebow 13 for 71) and 372 yards passing. UF's offense generated 56 points. Total offense: 663 yards on 82 plays.

2. University of Tennessee-208 yards rushing on 44 carries (Tebow 24 for 76). UF's offense generated 23 points. Total offense: 323 yards on 63 plays.points. Total offense: 323 yards on 63 plays.

3. University of Kentucky-362 yards rushing on 52 carries (Tebow 16/123). UF's offense generated 34 points. Total offense: 495 yards on 68 plays.

Total offense: 493 yds/game Rushing: 287 Passing: 206.6 Offensive Scoring: 37.6 PPG.

Tebow's Numbers? 53 (17.6/game) for 270 yards which equates to 5.1 yards per carry and 90 yards per game.

For 2009 Tebow has generated 31.3% of our rushing yards from 37% of our carries.

Notice any similarities in Tebow's numbers between 2008 and 2009?

That's right, virtually the same percentage of carries and same percentage of our rushing yardage.

Notice any differences in Tebow's numbers betwen 2008 and 2009?

That's right, Tebow is averaging 1.3 more yards per carry in 2009.

What's really happening here?

Our offense is kicking ass in 2009 and it didn't through the first 4 games of 2008.

The proof:

The 2009 offense is averaging 37.6 PPG while the 2008 offense averaged 28 PPG, an increase of 34%.

The 2009 rushing offense is averaging 6.1 yds/carry while the 2008 offense averaged 4.5, an increase of 35.5%. It's small wonder that we have run the ball 66% of the time in 2009 against 55% in 2008.

The 2009 offense is generating 493 yds/game while the 2008 offense generated 359 yds/game, an improvement of 37.3%.

The 2009 offense averages 71 plays per game while the 2008 offense averaged 61, an improvement of 16.3%. Think clock control. Difficult to lose if you've got the ball, especially if you're winning.

So, teams are taking away the downfield passing game with deep safeties and are compressing the line of scrimmage with various schemes and looks. They still can't stop us. With such a rushing game, why take risks with deep safeties and the likes of Eric Berry (UT All-American safety) or Trevard Lindley (Kentucky All-American corner)?

This Florida offense is different than years past. This is an in-your-face, tough, nasty, down in the trenches team with lightning fast skill players. This is a "stop us if you can" offense that defies defenses. There's no sleight of hand and no need for it. That this is accomplished without a blocking fullback or the possibility of setting up a second tight end is impressive.

Natter Not Negative Nabobs.


Ethan said...

Wow. Great post. I have to admit I was one of those that linked fewer down-field pass attempts to a less productive offense, although I have taken notice of Tebow's open field runs of more than 15 yards.
Every fan (or complaining college sophomore wearing the colors of a fan), whould read these numbers.

Ethan said...


Anonymous said...

Not saying you are wrong, but I would like to see the numbers without Miami. I think that would be a cleaner, apples-to-apples comparison.

himmelwolf said...

I'd like to see less reliance on Tebow (may now happen by default), and put the ball in the hands of Moody in short yardage situations. I continue to be puzzled at the lack of confidence in Moody. Example was the third and one where the ball was handed to Raney for no gain and a subsequent Kentucky touchdown. Raney and Demps are great given space but they are not the power backs that can break a tackle.

Gator KGB said...


Making the adjustments you suggest, the conclusions remain unchanged.

The Gators 2008 yds per rush increases to 4.87, still 21% less than 2009.

Tebow's yds per rush decreases to 3.4 (scUM was his best game).

Offensive production increases to 29.3, still about 21% less than 2009.

Also, this adjustment negatively impacts the passing statistics from 2008 to 188.66 per game, approximately 5% less than 2009.

We had 62 offensive plays against scUM in 2008, so the 2008 plays per game average remains unchanged.

Gator KGB said...

That should have read 27% less offensive production than 2009, not 21%.

Gator KGB said...


Who knows what goes on between Meyer's ears.

I think more Moody would improve the rushing statistics even more, I haven't check lately but isn't he averaging around 9 yds./carry?

I think there's another fallacy in play here, the Tebow is irreplaceable. He's not, Brantley is extremely good and capable of running the spread or doing something Tebow cannot, going under center and using the "I" formation, a formation which lends itself to the use of Moody.