Scrimmage Report: Offensive in the End Zone

When Ron Zook named Larry Fedora as the Gator's new offensive coordinator, the big question was how will things change? After the Florida offense ripped the defense in the red zone during Monday Night Football, a revision is in order…Are they really that good?

The answer lies in that grey area known as yes and no. There is no question that the Florida offense has improved in most areas, save tight end. And it all starts up front. This offensive line looks much better than it has since the man who turned a nifty fifty last April took over the Florida program.

The defensive front seven seemingly had little or no answer for an offensive front that provided superb protection when passing and created seams for C-4, D Wynn, and M&M to run to daylight. They combined for two sacks, against an offense that threw 40 passes.

There is no doubt that Florida defensive coordinator Charley Strong held his cards close to his vest. The defense was expectedly vanilla. Overall, there were very few blitzes, stunts surprises, etc. But, this performance still has to sting. No finesse'. No fluff. Just a bunch of guys putting on the gloves for bragging rights in that first big scrimmage.

Hand, Degory, Butler, Mitchell, Colon, Rissler, Miller, Griffin, Dowdy, Guerrero, and Watkins combined to open a 55 gallon drum of "New and Improved Whoop Ass" on a defense that should be better than they demonstrated tonight.

That's right defense. These guys hustled. For most of the red zone drills, this offensive front smacked you backwards, and just for kicks, went downfield and slapped your secondary guys around too. There were defensive moments, but few. Defensive standouts, but very few. This measure of O-Line pride is exactly what Coach Joe Wickline had hoped for at this point in August. It is something to build upon.

Defense…Where is the heart? Where is the Gator gang style mentality? There were far too many plays where guys weren't flying to the football. Far too often guys seemed to be thinking instead of reacting. This was in large part the same defense that stayed late for practice on Sunday. How else do the top three backs run for 198 total yards and 5.07 yards per carry? M&M hadn't run that much since 2003.

Quarterbacks Chris Leak and Gavin Dickey combined for 24 of 40 and seven touchdowns. That's right, one touchdown for every 5.7 passes. Their receivers played well, averaging 9.75 yards per catch. But, none of the skills position players will tell you that this was their "A" game. Fedora and staff have them competing and progressing, where any coach would hope to have a largely inexperienced, but talented to group. They just aren't that good, yet. They know the best is yet to come, if they continue to work.

Fightin Gators Top Stories