Addazio Adjusts Personnel in Big Win

The Florida Gators were firing on extra cylinders when their game started Saturday night in Lexington, Kentucky. Scoring 31 points in the opening quarter, with a new look offensive line, the Gators cruised through the rest of the game to a 41-7 victory over Kentucky. Addazio used some new personnel and a whole lot of backup quarterback John Brantley in the game.

Steve Addazio knew before the game that his offense was ready to play. Their backs were kind of against the wall with a third of the entire roster sick or injured for one reason or another. Their mindset before the game gave it away to Addazio.

"I think this was a great team win and a team effort," he said. "Our team came out really emotionally ready to play this football game and fired up and rallied up together. I thought that was the best thing that happened here tonight. Offense, defense, and special teams...we played together and rallied up together. We could sense that in the locker room before the game and even at the hotel. That was really cool to see."

The offensive line stayed focused throughout but in the opening quarter, they and the rest of the offense rolled up 24 of the 31 points the Gators scored. On the night, the Gators accounted for an astounding 362 yards rushing, a fine achievement inside of conference play.

Addazio changed up his offensive line this week going with Mike Pouncey at left guard instead of right guard. The new member starting on the line was Maurice Hurt at right guard, and Carl Johnson started at left tackle where he has alternated between there and left guard all season. James Wilson and Matt Patchan were sick some last week and they didn't start, but played significant minutes rolling in with the first group in the first half.

"I wanted to roll the guys I said I wanted to roll," Addazio said. "That was Mo (Hurt), Matt Patchan, Carl Johnson, and James Wilson. That was the plan going in and we wanted to stay fresh and stay on the attack the whole game. We knew we wanted to run the football on them and I think we did a good job of that."

As well as they ran, Addazio hinted that this was a more experienced group of guys and actually the plan was to utilize their pass protection skills against a team that likes to put pressure on the backfield.

"They are all good run blockers now, all five are good run blockers," Addazio said when asked if the five starters were there because of their run blocking ability. "I wouldn't say those were the best five run blockers, but when you put a couple of young guys in, it is pass pro that comes a little later."

"We ran the ball really, really well. We probably could have just kept doing that."

The Gators got a big scare in the third quarter when quarterback Tim Tebow went down with injury. In stepped sophomore quarterback John Brantley and on a 2nd-and-16 threw a dart on an outside out route for 14 yards. On third down he complete a four yard pass to get the first. Brantley would also complete a fourth down play to get another first down. He fumbled a play later on a snap from under center that went awry, but the early part of the drive showed what Brantley was capable of doing.

Addazio believes he can count on Brantley if he needs to, but he saw no need in having Brantley throw the ball over the place just to prove a point.

"We have great confidence in John and obviously we have some packages set for John, we will adjust," Addazio said. "John can do everything, but you also compound it at the point where you are saying to yourself 'how do we want to finish this thing off right now?' John has a rocket arm, but you aren't going to be throwing the ball at that point in time. That was the best way to protect the runs at that point in time. We wanted to protect John, and the runs, so we went into a little bit of a cover up mode at that point. That might not necessarily be reflective of what we would do, but that's what we wanted to do then, at that point."

The Gators are putting up astounding offensive numbers at this point. They are currently second in the country in rushing yards at 307.5 yards per game. They are third in total offense at 526.25 yards per game. The Gators score 45.5 points per game to rate second nationally. They make 25.25 first downs per game which places them sixth nationally. To top it off, the Gators are first in the nation in 3rd down efficiency at 59.18 percent.

These numbers are more impressive when you consider the starters have played only about half of the time in these games. This makes it a little easier for Addazio to adjust his personnel.

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