Offense Feeding off the Defense

In the Gators' last game against South Carolina, the Florida offense started five drives in South Carolina territory. All but one resulted in a touchdown. The point production over the last six games has been incredible, but offensive coordinator Dan Mullen knows they owe a lot of credit to the defense.

And it's not just the defense. The special teams set up a Gator possession that started on the one-yard line, but that's just the kind of team effort the Gators have been getting since the loss to Ole Miss.

"It makes it a lot easier," Mullen said. "Our defense has been doing a fabulous job, and so has our special teams. When you play on short fields, you start gaining confidence on offense. And when you gain confidence, you gain momentum and that's been the big thing for us. We just keep rolling."

Another benefit the Gator offense is getting is going up against a quality defense in practice. Much like the 2006 team, this year's unit provides some stiff competition for the dynamic offense.

"One the best defenses in the league is what we go up against every day in practice," Mullen said. "It makes practices that much harder, but games that much easier going up such a good defense in practice every week."

Although, with the Gators putting up ridiculous numbers in terms of scoring, Mullen said it's not all that much different from the beginning of the season when they were criticized. He admits integrating more of the playmakers into the offense has helped, but the offense was also functional before this run.

"It's never as good and it's never as bad as it seems," Mullen said. "You're not going to have a big day like we did today unless the defense scores and gives you a bunch of short fields. Our guys buy into that team idea and they feed off of the defense and I think the defense feeds off the offense."

That feeding off of each other between the units is one of the things that head coach Urban Meyer has credited as one of this team's strengths. They work together, hang out with other position groups, and chemistry is high.

"It's a real solid team with solid chemistry," Mullen said. "That team was a special team with a lot of seniors who came here to win a championship and they put it all together at the end. This team, there's a lot of similarities to ‘06 in the camaraderie and how they feed off of each other."

Team chemistry aside, a great deal of success is owed to the offensive line. As the offensive line has improved, the play of the entire offense has improved as well.

"They're what makes it all happen," Mullen said. "The don't maybe get the national credit, but it's the heart and soul of the team. We go as the offensive line goes."

"The depth, Steve Addazio is developing those guys and we're later in the season, so we have some guys ready to jump right in there."

The offensive line opens up the seams for the playmakers, but the electric talent the Gators have on offense are also helping them look good.

"We're always at our best when we're not trying to force feed the ball to one guy," Mullen said. "In the big picture of the game, we're just calling plays in the flow of the game, and it doesn't matter who gets the ball. In the end, we know we have guys that can make the play."

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