Pease plans to simplify red zone for Driskel

After two red zone interceptions in Florida's loss to Miami, Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease wants to dial things back for quarterback Jeff Driskel. The offensive problem didn't have anything to do with what happened until reaching the Miami 20-yard line. Florida moved the ball for 413 yards, but once it got in the red zone, decision-making limited the offense.

To avoid that from happening again against Tennessee on Saturday, the Gators will dial things back once they reach the red zone. Brent Pease wants to simplify the offense when the Gators get inside the opponent's 20-yard line, forcing Jeff Driskel to make less difficult decisions.

"I've got to do a better job of maybe limiting or controlling what we give him," Pease said on Tuesday. "He's mature enough. He'll handle things.

"Understand, I think we have a pretty good kicker and we have a good defense. We need to play off of those at times and handle that."

Pease put most of the blame on himself Tuesday for not putting players in the best position to succeed in the red zone. He shouldered the blame for going for the fourth down situation, saying that right after he called the play, he recognized it might not have been the best call since Miami would stack the middle of the defensive line.

Regardless of what Pease could've improved, Driskel still made mistakes on his own. The junior quarterback threw his first interception into triple coverage near the end zone. Trey Burton took the blame for the second interception because he ran the wrong route, but Driskel's decision making throughout the game against Miami left plenty to be desired.

The improved confidence for Driskel could be a negative thing. Pease said his comfort in the offense could've contributed to him trying to do too much.

"He is a lot more confident in knowing things this year," Pease said. "Some of the decisions, our red-zone decisions the other day, were not good — including some of mine. He'll get better from it. You didn't want it to happen."

The Gators spent the week before Miami preparing for different looks in the red zone. Teams can play different coverages near the end zone, trying to confuse the quarterback and give them something they weren't prepared for. That also went into some of Driskel's decisions, making throws that were covered against a different coverage. Pease said they went through different looks the Miami defense could provide and the looks Driskel would have in that situation. If all else fails, throw it away.

The bad decisions in the red zone stole the highlights, but Pease was happy with how Driskel played outside of the Miami 20-yard line.

"I don't think anybody deserves all the blame," Pease said. "We look back on it as an offense, and there's calls that I didn't put him in a good situation. I've got to do a better job of controlling that and helping him out.

"I'll tell you this about Jeff Driskel: the kid has a lot of heart and passion. He loves the University of Florida. He understands when he makes a mistake, but he's a competitor. He's never going to just give up. You've got to appreciate him at some point in time on that.


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