Improving pass protection

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease didn't hesitate when asked where the fault deserved to be for Saturday's loss at LSU. It was up front, where the Tigers pushed the Gators around on both lines of scrimmage. When Florida tried to throw, the offensive line struggled to get time for quarterback Tyler Murphy to find receivers down the field. The focus now turns to fixing it.

The Gators will have to make adjustments before Saturday's game at Missouri. Pease expects to see more blitzes as the season goes on after LSU showed the Florida struggles with picking it up.

Most of it is before the snap. Quarterback Tyler Murphy took blame for not making all of the correct adjustments to the offensive line, but Pease also put the blame on the offensive line. It starts with center Jonotthan Harrison and Murphy before the snap. They have to recognize where the pressure is coming from and how the defensive line is set up before the snap.

Once Harrison and Murphy detect what's going on, it is on both of them to spread the word through the rest of the offensive line. The key to it, and what Pease said the Gators would work on this week, is making sure the offensive linemen understand their responsibilities before the snap.

"We've got to get better pass pro, maintain our blocks," Brent Pease said. "Sometimes you try to reduce the number of guys you're putting out in a route so you don't get so much one-on-one situation up front."

That could be the plan this weekend at Missouri. Pease mentioned going to six- or seven-man protections, sending less receivers out to run routes. The downfall of that is that Missouri defensive scheme. The Tigers like to send four linemen after the quarterback while dropping seven men in a zone.

With only two or three receivers running routes against seven defenders in a zone, there aren't many windows for Murphy to get the ball downfield. And for an offensive line already struggling to keep Murphy standing, giving extra time for the opposing defensive line to get into the backfield is the last thing the Gators need.

"We run routes to beat coverage, but it's kind of a give and take," Pease said. "You've got to make sure you dial up calls correctly."

The loss of Matt Jones may not seem like a big one with Mack Brown proving capable and Kelvin Taylor having a big game against LSU. In reality, the Jones injury comes at the worst time possible. He was the running back that the coaching staff trusted the most in pass protection. He knew his responsibilities and where he needed to be, which wasn't always the case for the Florida running backs in the second half on Saturday when Jones was out of the game.

After the game, Murphy took the blame on himself for holding the ball too long and not getting the offensive line in the correct protections. Pease made it clear on Tuesday that Murphy saying that was simply him being a team player and not exactly the truth.

Murphy went 15-for-27 for 115 yards through the air and no touchdowns or interceptions. The stats weren't impressive, but Pease liked how his quarterback handled his first tough road test.

"He played solid," Pease said. "I thought he saw some things well. He missed some throws. He missed a few throws that he's hit at that stage up until then. That probably needed to be a little better -- his accuracy."

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