Brantley Helps Offense Control Clock

With a big lead in the second half, the mission for John Brantley and the Florida offense was clear. They wanted to control and run time off the clock. It was the message spread throughout the offensive meetings at halftime, and the Gators used the clock to get out of their second game of the season with a 39-0 win. It was practice for a situation that could occur in a game later this season.

"The running game was working and our line did a great job opening up those holes for the running backs," John Brantley said. "If it's working, stay with it. That's Coach Weis' mentality, and that's what we did."

Rainey ran for 119 yards and after Jeff Demps went out with an injury, Mike Gillislee carried the ball eleven times for 79 yards and a touchdown.

While the offense was eating up clock on the ground, the defense did its part to solidify the shutout.

Things didn't start out quick for the Florida offense. They got on the board with field goals on back-to-back drives, but those came after stalling in the red zone. Head coach Will Muschamp blamed communication and injuries for the problems that happened, but no one talked about the issues like they would be tough to fix.

"We had some communication problems," Brantley said. "It's easy stuff that we need to just work on and clean it up."

The offense stalled again in the red zone during the second quarter, producing a third field goal for kicker Caleb Sturgis.

It's not all bad news that the struggles occurred. It gives the coaches something to pound into the minds of the Florida players this week at practice. The injury to Jordan Reed, who was expected to get multiple red zone looks this season, also might have slowed the offense down.

"In the first games, we've just been able to fix the little bugs and clean everything up. We're just going to clean up everything from this game and get better from it."

The Gators opened the game with a flea flicker and also added in multiple new plays later in the game. They showed some wildcat formations, as well as a jumbo package that featured Trey Burton and Hunter Joyer taking handoffs. The bigger backs could cure some of the red zone struggles.

The flea flicker caught the UAB defense off guard. Brantley was hit on the play, limiting the accuracy of the pass, but Quinton Dunbar came back to the ball and made the catch to start the game of well.

"We were working on it all week and were hoping to get the right look, and we did," Brantley said. "I got hit on the play so I didn't see it, but I heard the crowd screaming on the play so I knew it was good."

Brantley was also able to throw downfield more against UAB than he did against FAU during the first week. FAU gave Florida as many throws to the flats as it wanted, but UAB covered some of them, giving Brantley some openings downfield.

"UAB gave us more chances to throw downfield," Brantley said. "They knew we liked to throw (to the flats), so we took what the defense gave us. When they take away those short routes and flares, that opens it up downfield."

Once the game ended Saturday, it was obvious that the focus was shifting. Brantley dealt with the switch to conference play last year as the Gators went to Knoxville and left with a win. He learned a lot about what changes before that first SEC game.

"The mentality and game planning don't change," Brantley said. "Because it's a rivalry game and everything, we crank it up. There's a lot more energy."


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