Offense Just Needs an Ice Breaker

Although the scores didn't come in bunches, Florida waited again until the second half to get untracked on offense. Once the first touchdown was scored in Saturday's win, the go ahead score wasn't far behind. It has pretty much been the status quo of an offense that seems to have to feel their way in the first part of the game and rely on a stingy defense to keep getting them the ball.

Against the Missouri Tigers it was senior receiver Omarius Hines who ‘broke the ice' for Florida. On a receiver sweep, Hines took the ball from Trey Burton in the ‘wildcat' formation and raced around the right side where he saw a huge hole open up. Once the hole was there, Hines used his speed to dart for the end zone on a 36-yard scamper.

"It felt amazing," Hines said of scoring on the play. It's always good to put points on the board.

"It was motion across… a handoff from Trey. It was a great block from Hunter Joyer and then I saw the end zone. I was surprised, but I knew my guys would get it done."

It hasn't been easy on the offense this year. The second half has been kind to the Gators, but the low production in the first half has kept the overall production of the offense down.

"It's tough in the SEC," Hines said. "We just try to make plays when our number is called. I am just patient and cheer on my teammates. When my number is called I just want to make a play."

Florida has scored 207 points total on the season and only 24 points in the first quarter all year. They put 125 of the 207 points on the board in the second half of games this year.

The Gators have had five games this year where they trail at halftime and won the game. They lean on a defense that has been very stingy and has come through for them time and again.

On Saturday, Florida's defense intercepted four passes from quarterback James Franklin. They have collected turnovers all year.

"We said it is the main goal of the defense," senior middle linebacker Jon Bostic said. "We need to make sure we give the ball back to the offense as much as we can."

Bostic has faith in the guys on the other side of the ball that they will get it done.

"They are going to do their job like we will do our job," he said. "With turnovers or whatever happens we will do our job and have faith in the offense. There are no heads down and we understand that stuff happens. It is a game of inches, the game of football. It may not go how you practice. At some point they are going to do what they have to do and we have to keep doing what we have to do."

Florida's defense was stout a year ago, but one thing they could not capitalize on is turnovers. The Gators finished with just 14 takeaways during the entire 2011 season. They have 15 interceptions already this season and also have seven fumble recoveries. The interceptions are a group effort according to junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

"It feels great," Floyd said of the new found success at taking the ball away. "The DB's are playing well. Our D-line is a big part of it as well by putting pressure on the quarterback, making him throw off of his back foot, making him throw passes that he normally wouldn't throw. It's just a compliment to the defense. It's just understanding the play that is called and the play they are running. It's us as a unit getting it done."

The defense has stuck behind the offense knowing they will take care of their business eventually during the game.

"It's bigger than one player," Floyd said. "It's bigger than just me, bigger than Dominique Easley. It's the team, we have to do what the team needs, offense puts points on the board and defense needs to keep points off the board."

It took just about 36 minutes of play clock for Hines to finally put the ball in the end zone. Another ten and a half minutes later the Gators scored again from a long screen pass to running back Mike Gillislee. This is what they have basically done all year and they just don't seem to worry about the score an continue to punch away until something happens.

"We just can't let people get their head down," Hines said of the slow starting offense. "It is a 60 minute game and at halftime it is 0-0, we just need to treat it with a 0-0 mentality."

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