With a Week Off Before Georgia, The Florida Gators Need an Offensive Rebirth

The Florida Gators don’t play this Saturday. Some of you may actually be breathing a sigh of relief knowing that. I am with you. I need a break, and I’m just a fan. I’m not a player and I’m definitely not the head coach or offensive coordinator. The players need a week off, Will Muschamp and Brent Pease need an extra week to determine the direction they’re going to head, and fans need a nice, relaxing Saturday with nothing on the line.

Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs

I will be perusing college football betting at TopBet, looking for games I can watch in a calm environment that doesn’t include me pacing in front of my television. Surprisingly, this season has been a calming one for me when experiencing our losses. I know that sounds, well, off and not right at all, but here’s the scenario: the losses to Miami and Missouri had me at home alone with my one-year-old son and the loss to LSU saw me in Minneapolis for a wedding. The losses stung like they always do, but I had plenty to distract me immediately following their conclusion. I didn’t have the opportunity to stew in the pain of defeat; I had to move on quickly. If another L works its way on to the Gators’ record, I hope I can find something else to take my mind away.

During the bye week, I’ll be relaxing (actually, I’ll be taking a redeye back from San Francisco only to return home to a pile of housework). The Gators, however, will not be. They will be wondering what happened to the defense against Missouri, but—most important—they will continue the hunt for offense. Are we at the point where tweaks are no longer the answer? Does the entire offense need to be re-imagined and reborn? The answer to both is yes. Muschamp, Pease and the Gators need to try something new. Slogging through the rest of the season with the current offense will see a team with talent crash and burn several more times.

We could make a list of aspects of the offense to look at. Actually, let’s go ahead and do it:

    • Big Plays
    • Kelvin Taylor
    • Big Plays
    • Offensive Line Play
    • Big Plays
    • The Receivers
    • Big Plays
    • Utilizing the Tight Ends
    • Big Plays
    • Better Play Calling
    • Big Plays

Do you see a pattern? Of course, because you’re smart enough and have played enough NCAA Football to know that the Gators need big plays. No, not plays that end up being big even though they are designed as seven-yard routes. The Gators need true big plays and it starts with taking chances.

Pease doesn’t want to take chances and that seems (if the rumors are true) to be because Muschamp is holding him back. Neither wants to make mistakes, but a loss is the biggest mistake of all. Let me take you back to 2009 for a moment…

In 2009, the Tennessee Volunteers had a brash, young head coach by the name of Lane Kiffin. Kiffin had ruffled some feathers by being nothing more than a jackass. He had talked so much that when September 19, 2009 came around, Gators’ fans wanted nothing more than an old-fashioned, Steve Spurrier-esque blowout. But they didn’t get it. They got a win and a double-digit one at that, but the 23-13 victory felt no more than blah. The reason was because Urban Meyer didn’t want to lose. He decided that losing to Kiffin would be such a setback that he played not to lose, he didn’t play to win. Meyer had the team to win when playing like that; Muschamp does not. Playing not to lose in 2013 gets you losses to teams like LSU and Missouri. Playing not to lose will get you a loss against Georgia.

By not taking chances on offense, Muschamp and Pease are playing not to lose. Painfully, they are losing. The Gators are 4-3 (GREAT!), but the schedule shows that they could easily be 6-6 when the regular season is said and done. If that’s the case, why not take chances? Why not go downfield once in a while? Why not open the playbook to the page with the big gainers? Why not let the talent shine through instead of doing your best to cover it up?

I can’t answer those questions; only Muschamp and Pease can. The game against Georgia will answer many of them for us. If the Gators come out flat and (when not picking himself off of the ground) Tyler Murphy is throwing the ball no more than 10-12 yards down the field, we know Muschamp and Pease aren’t ready and may never be. If we see an aggressive offense that is taking chances and an offensive line playing nasty like they should be, we know they’re coaching for their jobs. And maybe they should be.

Maybe that’s exactly what Muschamp needs. A fire under his seat may change his ways. He may take the handcuffs off of Pease and open up the offense. Alternatively, maybe Pease will push more. Maybe he’ll realize he wants to remain a coordinator in the SEC and to do so he has to fight for his offense. Whichever one of the two decides this is about their job security as well, the Gators need that rebirth. This offense isn’t working and it’s not keeping up with the rest of the conference. The defense was bound to break eventually and that happened against Missouri. A tiring defense coupled with an ineffective offense spells disaster. It’s up to Muschamp and Pease to save the season.

About The Bull Gator

I like orange and blue things.
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14 Responses to With a Week Off Before Georgia, The Florida Gators Need an Offensive Rebirth

  1. Reality says:

    The Cocktail Party will definitely interesting because both our teams have significant injuries and severe issues on one side of the ball or the other.. I think its going to be a ugly game with :

    1 a targeting call on both sides at least once or a targeting call that is unnecessary but still called costing one of our teams dearly
    2 too much jawing .. I hate that and there always is in this game
    3 the winner will capitalize on who turns it over last

  2. armygator says:

    We really need to play well in this game- the offense finding some sort of rhythm and the defense finding itself again. Supposed to be a lot of prospects at this game (and FSU).

  3. Tater Gator says:

    Yeah, I can easily see us getting blown out against Uga, SC, FSU. No doubt. Can anyone say Danny Boy Mullen and Timmy T, Yet?

  4. Tater Gator says:

    Don’t sound so smug, as though you’re a real sportswriter. An original thought would be just maybe you shouldn’t write an article about Boom needing to be on the hotseat if you’re going to criticize a reader’s opinion on who to replace him with. Besides, Tim will be a great recruiter, if not the best, when he decides to return to the SEC. Just hope its with us.
    Deuces

    • Whoa there. I’m not criticizing you at all, or being smug. I’m merely stating my opinion. I don’t know if Tebow will one day coach and if he does if he’ll be a good one. What I do know is my opinion and that is that I want more experience if the coaching staff does go through a change. At this moment in the program’s history, I think we need proven experience. Maybe one day that will be Tebow, maybe one day it won’t be, but right now he’s too green for my taste.

      Again, not criticizing at all. We can disagree without it being an attack.

      As for recruiting, I tend to agree. It would be hard to turn him down. Maybe there’s a role there. Of course, that all depends on if that’s what he wants to do.

  5. Big Ed says:

    “It’s up to Muschamp and Pease to save the season.” Really?………..Read Andreu’s article in todays G’Ville Sun regarding the offense………..The offense 104, 105, and 106th in the country since he became head coach. He has no inclination of fixing the offense, and worse yet I think he could care less as he believes solely in defense.
    Is there a rule saying a team cannot be good at both? Mushmouth is in over his head………..Save the season – give me a break. Beating a mediocre Georgia team saves the season?

    • Beating Georgia doesn’t save the season. Saving this season saves the season. If that makes sense, which it doesn’t, but stay with me for a second…

      We’re 4-3, the offense has bottomed out, and if the Mizzou loss is any indication the defense is starting to bend on having to always be the savior. But what if (and this is a huge HUGE what if) the Gators not only beat UGA, but go on to beat South Carolina and FSU? I’m not saying it will happen, I’m merely putting out the what if. What if 4-3 is suddenly 10-3? Did we really think the Gators were better than a 10-win team before the season started? Probably not. I put about a 0.001% chance of that happening, but if they somehow get to 10 wins, they have saved the season…and here’s the kicker…FOR THEM. They may not have saved it for us or anyone else and the offense may still look like the ____storm that it is, but 10 wins definitely saves the season for them and pushes them into 2014 with Foley’s continued support.

      It’s much more likely the Gators are 6-6 (UGH!) one month from now, but if they are 9-3 with a chance to win a 10th, they have saved the season at least for themselves.

    • As for Muschamp fixing the offense, there’s only two things he can do to do so…

      1) Take the handcuffs off a Pease…

      …or…

      2)…hire a new offensive coordinator and don’t put handcuffs on them.

      Either way, he has to let go and let someone run an offense without him holding it back.

  6. Big Ed says:

    Understand that my posts are not directed at you – mostly my frustration being vented. I get your point. But my contention is that reality needs to be dealt with, not what ifs. The reality is that the offense is HORRID and it does not look better in the near future. Obviously Pease is here through this season, as is Mushmouth.

    In my opinion Foley tried to get too cute with this hire. Mushmouth being a first time head coach was a risky endeavor, and it is showing. He has no idea how to run an entire program. The offense stinks and he cannot even get a punter and kicker in place in his third season. I like his defensive style, but there are numerous d-coordinators who could be good. The team in Tallahassee looks to be good on both sides of the ball. Imagine that – and with a redshirt freshman QB.

    Mushmouth is paid millions for the crap being displayed on Saturdays, and that is one of my main gripes. He is paid a handsome sum to win football games and the team right now is not very good by UF standards. He handpicked Chesseburger Charlie and Pease, and we get 104, 105, and 106th ranked offenses.

    I hope they win out and get to play in a decent bowl game. But what if they lose 2 or 3 more games? Do we still play what if games?

    I will probably post more as my frustration mounts when talking about this team. All of this and we have not even talked X’s and O’s…………

    • No worries. I completely get you and I’m always up for a healthy debate. Some don’t understand that two fans of the same program can disagree amicably. I like the discussion and, again, welcome you to keep it coming. (Hopefully I can keep generating new content to spark it.)

      I didn’t mind the Muschamp hire because at the time if there was one coordinator that was going to get a head coaching gig, it was him. BUT I was also against hiring a first-time coach. I don’t think any of the big 10, 12, or 15 (whatever number you want to make it) should have to go that route. FSU did it too with Jimbo and it looks to be working this year, but they struggled previously and who knows what this year looks like without Winston. There’s too much history for programs like these to have to go the first-year coach route.

      And yes, sadly, we still play what if games if only because what else do we have?

      On to X’s and O’s I guess…

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