Pease talks red zone, wildcat

The Florida offense has sputtered on the way to its 4-4 record this season, and the offense hasn't shown any signs of improvement through the first eight games. The Florida offense put up 319 yards against Georgia on Saturday in Jacksonville. The heat continues to build as the Gators try to find answers.

The Florida offense is last in total offense, averaging 334.6 yards per game, more than 20 yards less than the second worst offense of Arkansas. When the Gators do get in the red zone, it isn't much better. Florida also ranks last in red zone offense, scoring on 71 percent of drives that end inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

The Gators are tied for the fewest touchdowns in the red zone at 14, less than one-third of the 44 red zone touchdowns scored by Texas A&M, who leads the league in that category.

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said on Tuesday that he's happy with how often the Gators are getting into the red zone, but they need to do better when they get there.

"We do need more touchdowns," Pease said. "We get in situations where we settle. Sometimes you want the big play, you want to immediately score the touchdown instead of -- we've got to get four yards on this play and keep grinding on them, set up a pass off it. If we don't get it executed, we're in a bad second down or third down situation."

Some of the red zone struggles have been because of the wildcat. The Gators continue to use the wildcat with Trey Burton playing quarterback, and it has set the Gators behind the chains.

It happened again on Saturday.

After Georgia shot itself in the foot with a penalty as Florida was going for it on fourth down, the Gators went right back to the wildcat for a loss of two yards. The previous calls have featured Burton running up the middle, but the call on Saturday had him giving the ball to Solomon Patton heading for the corner. It didn't work much better.

The drive ended two plays later and Georgia got the ball back with 8:17 left in the game. The Florida defense couldn't get the ball back, and the game ended. Pease admitted that he second-guessed himself after the play didn't work on Saturday.

"We knew we had it in and a lot of the things we've done with Trey have been more inside with him carrying it," Pease said. "This gave us an option, what we wanted to do with him hitting it and also getting the ball to (Patton). As I look back on it, yeah, I second-guess myself on that play. One thing we do is we go through and say, ‘OK, what plays are good?' And that's something we haven't hit."

Pease credits the play for making the opposing defense adjust before the snap.

"I think with him it takes some adjustment by a defense to play to him and we hope that's what they do defensively," Pease said. "If we just designed the run for him, you're right, those probably haven't been that great this year. I know they were more effective last year. That's why the play was designed more for him to have an option, it's either him or getting the ball to Solo."

FRESHMAN RECEIVERS: The Gators knew Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson would be the two freshmen receivers that helped the team immediately. However, as the season continues, the two continue to go in opposite direction.

Fulwood has taken off. The freshman continues to see an increase in snaps every week and made two catches for 22 yards while returning to his hometown of Jacksonville over the weekend.

"Ahmad has just been consistent," Pease said. "He has been in the flow. By him being more consistent, he's put in that spot in the X position more when he go to four wides.

Robinson has seen his snaps decrease because of his inconsistency. He has been out of position this season while running routes, causing interceptions and incomplete passes.

Early in the season, Pease said he expected Robinson to break out this year. Now, his snaps are decreasing.

"I am a little bit (surprised) because I think he's got up and downs in practice," Pease said. "But you can't get them all on the field at once, so it's got to be the two, three, or four most consistent guys depending on what you're using. And right now, he's a good kid and he's got a lot of ability, but you've got to continue to compete."

Fightin Gators Top Stories