Danielson: Waiting for Florida's Passing Game

The CBS Television Network carries the game of the week in the SEC in the fall and there's no denying what game that is this week. The lead broadcast team includes Gary Danielson, an ex-NFL quarterback and one of the very best in the business. You might not agree with everything he says, but he's always timely with his analysis. Danielson talks about the upcoming game between Florida and Georgia.

Danielson has seen Florida play a couple of times live and seen plenty of film. He believes he knows what the Gators are capable of on offense. The Gators are not lighting up the offensive stats this season, but they have shown toughness on both sides of the ball and the offense gets stronger as the games go on.

Still, there is no wow factor if you are talking about a team ranked in the top two in the country, especially in the passing game, and Danielson compared the Gators to some past great teams that accomplished a lot. He believes this group of receivers and quarterback are due.

"To win the championship in this conference, sooner-or-later Florida is going to have to show everybody that they can throw the ball effectively," Danielson said from a release early on Thursday. "It happened to Alabama last year. It happened to LSU and it happened to Georgia. Even Cam Newtown's year, Auburn had to come back against Alabama and do it through the air. It's coming and we'll see if Jeff Driskel has made the growth necessary to lead the team.

Florida uses personnel on offense to create confusion for the defenses they face. Danielson recognizes offensive coordinator Brent Pease's use of personnel to create mismatches for defenses and pointed out two of the bigger contributors.

"Florida has been able to create pressure points on offense with tight end Jordan Reed and slash back Trey Burton," he remarked. "They have both made a world of difference to this Florida offense."

Florida has also gotten a lot ut of their special teams. Punter Kyle Christy leads the country in net punting and has been a real weapon for the Gators.

"Their punter Kyle Christy has been a huge tie-breaker," Danielson said. "It will be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can neutralize those factors (including the specialized personnel)."

Danielson sees holes in Georgia but believes quarterback Aaron Murray is a good one.

"Their defensive unit is the most disappointing unit in the SEC," Danielson said of the Bulldogs. "The defense is underachieving. I bet they are shocked at how they're playing, especially with the number of returning players after last year's run to the SEC Championship. The second area of concern is a deficiency at offensive tackle. They're competent, but not great. One tackle is a true freshman and the other is a converted guard. They have trouble with very athletic defensive ends. Aaron Murray has yet to win the big game. He showed last week that he might be ready to carry the team. He'll need to because you can't beat Florida just running the ball."

Florida's head coach is a story line himself and especially for this game. Will Muschamp played and starred at Georgia in the mid-90's. His demonstrative nature on the sideline has also become folklore. Danielson has his take on Florida's second year coach.

Will Muschamp is a bit like Bill Cowher. Bill was the special teams coach for the Cleveland Browns when I was there. He was a very emotional defensive coordinator when he first got the job at Pittsburgh and was in everyone's face. And he learned over time not to lose that but to use that emotion at the proper times. And I think Muschamp's growing into that very nicely too.


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