Offense Remains an Enigma

The Gator football team knew one thing for certain entering this season. Florida was going to have a dynamic, explosive offense. Well four weeks into the season, I don't think we know what we thought we knew.

Saturday's shocking loss to Ole Miss did little to dispel concerns that this unit just isn't going to live up to expectations or it's abilities for that matter. Throughout the first half we saw the Gators sink into the same predictable habits that limited them at times in 2007. Then in the second half they became a throw it all the time unit.

While the Gators enjoy a tremendous number of playmakers on the roster they fell into the routine of Percy and Tim, Tim and Percy. Aaron Hernandez, Emmanuel Moody and Chris Rainey each got some cursory touches, but when a play mattered it was the same two guys that Florida would trust. They needed at least one more.

The pattern bit the Gators in a big way in the third quarter. First Harvin fumbled while trying to fight for extra yardage. It was Florida's second turnover of the day after not committing one in the first three games. Ole Miss turned that miscue into a field goal and got another gift moments later when Tim Tebow coughed it up inside the 20-yard line letting Ole Miss tie the game at 17. When Ole Miss went 72 yards on their next possession the Gators were in trouble.

Fourth quarter, Gut Check Time

Florida showed some character in the final 15 minutes. The Gators opened the final period down seven and facing 3rd-and-11 and at midfield. A pass to Riley Cooper got them 10 and then Tebow powered for two more. Tebow eventually finally took off under pressure for a 21-yard gain setting up 1st-and-goal. The Gators scored two plays later.

So there it was. A tie game, in The Swamp, advantage Florida. Or so it seemed. Even more so with 6:54 to go when Chas Henry dropped a punt down at the Ole Miss 11. However a horrendously blown coverage gave Ole Miss an 86-yard score and the lead.

Spread offenses are generally not good at coming from behind, but Tim Tebow led the Gators on a great late drive, only to have a blocked extra point leave the Gators down by one.

When Florida got the ball back with 2:05 to play at their own 22 there was plenty of time for a hero. The Gators got close enough to try a 48-yard field goal but instead went for it on fourth down. When Tebow was stopped short the Gators had another loss to Ole Miss and were left wondering about an offense that is coming up way short.


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