FOOTBALL: "Reassessing" The Plan to Win

Normally, when I do this column I try and get a jump start on what Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer is going to tell the Gator faithful on Monday about his "Plan to Win". I saw it coming near the end of the second quarter when the defense was playing well and special teams was performing at a good level. When the Gators got in the red zone once in the first half they scored. The plan was coming together, just like Meyer always talked about.

A few more turnovers on the LSU side of the field that resulted in a couple of more scores in the second half, saw Meyer's "Plan to Win" coming to fruition despite the lack of offense being seen on the field.

Meyer's "Plan to Win" graded out as very positive, or at minimum, even in all aspects. It may be time to reassess the "Plan to Win".

It is clear that dominating a team in turnover margin, having a defense that took the ball away five times, sacked the quarterback five times, held the opponent to 2.8 yards per rush and generally made life miserable for the LSU offense, plus going three for three in the red zone when the offense had their chances just wasn't enough.

The time of possession was of course won by LSU, but that was a little misleading. In the third quarter Florida was dominated in time of possession, 12:21 for LSU to 2:39 for the Gators. In the meantime, the Gators took the ball away twice, allowed only 65 yards, and scored 10 points on offense. It is a truly strange set of statistics.

Somewhere in the "Plan to Win" the offense has to be addressed. I understand that Meyer said since the first game, this team is a defensive, ball protection team and that the offense will have to grow into its role. This season the offense is going to have to step up a little bit more and get over some of the growing pains a little quicker. I still don't have don't have doubts in the offense or the personnel for that matter in the long run. What is concerning is of course how long it is taking to get the execution of the offense down.

Meyer said after the LSU game he found his running back and pointed out the Gators need a running back. DeShawn Wynn ran hard all day on Saturday and finished with 93 yards on 16 carries, a very impressive 5.8 yards per carry. That should be enough for the Gators to control the clock and win with the effort the defense and special teams put forth. On this day, it wasn't.

Now, on to my regular assessment.

Defense:

Herring started the game at FS and Tony Joiner at SS. That didn't last long as the Tigers scored in five plays due to Joiner getting beat and Herring not being able to make the deep play. Herring misjudged the ball on the speed burner Bennie Brazell trying to be covered by Joiner. Jarvis Moss was inserted for Joe Cohen in passing situation (3rd and 11) all day long and came up big time after time. Early in the game LSU got mismatches on Joiner and Siler that had ramifications after the plays when the Tigers scored both touchdowns. The Gators fixed the problem and didn't have those mismatches later.

Turnovers: Gators force 5, give up 0. The gators had a great day with turnover margin. On the first one Marcus Thomas forced a fumble and Brandon Siler recovered. Jarvis Herring recovers another fumble that led to a long touchdown for Kestahn Moore. Jarvis Moss forces a fumble on a sack of Jamarcus Russell and recovers the ball. An interception from Herring after pressure from everywhere up front forces Jamarcus Russell to throw the ball up for grabs. Joe Cohen grabs a third quarter interception and sets the Gators up for their second touchdown on the day.

Red Zone:

(3 for 3) You can't get any better than 100%. The Gators just needed to turn that field goal into a touchdown and find an offensive drive in them to make it count.

Special Teams:

Meyer played it safe most of the time with rugby style punts designed to keep Skyler Greene from returning punts. That was probably a very smart move. Wilbur boomed one for 47-yards and had a 51-yarder downed inside the 4-yard line. Vernell Brown twice made bad decisions on a punt he fair caught inside the 10-yard line, he had to back pedal 15 or more yards on one so he lost his bearings. A third time the refs mistakenly said Brown called a fair catch when he was signaling and yelling for his fellow players to get away from a short punt. Reggie Nelson almost blocked two punts. The kickoffs weren't superb, but not terrible.

Offensive Player of the Game

DeShawn Wynn came to play on Saturday and was awarded kind words from Meyer after the game. His 93 yard and 5.8 yards per carry were nice numbers against a great run defense. After the game Meyer said the Gators now have a tailback

Defensive Player of the Game

For a while during the game, Jarvis Moss was someone the LSU offensive line could not deal with. He was constantly harassing Jamarcus Russell and whipping the tackle on his side early on. It appears that Moss has turned the corner rather quickly and become a real player for the Gators.


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