Todd Grantham sounds like a man who wants to stick to his vision even though he knows there’s empirical evidence to suggest another way might be better.
When Harvey-Clemons went down against Vanderbilt, defensive back Damian Swann moved into the nickel and Sheldon Dawson came in at cornerback. Grantham said if Harvey-Clemons is healthy for Saturday’s game, Swann will move back to cornerback.
“I think Damian plays the nickel well,” Grantham said. “… If Josh is back, we’ll continue to let Josh play that role and play cinco outside. But there’s nothing to say that moving forward we couldn’t switch that.”
Swann looked more comfortable playing star against Vandy than he has at cornerback. And Sheldon Dawson played credibly at cornerback. But it’s important to keep Harvey-Clemons at the star position because… well, I’m not exactly sure. Grantham’s the guy who constantly preaches the goal of having his eleven best men on the field at any given time. After Vanderbilt, does anybody think Mauger or Moore qualify for that?
The proof’s in the pudding, so here are the key numbers for Florida’s offense, the season highs:
- Points: 31, against Tennessee
- Total yards: 415, against Toledo
- Yards per play: 6.38, against Kentucky
- Rushing yards: 262, against Toledo
- Passing yards: 291, against Miami
This is a wretched offense. It’s last or next to last in the conference in every significant offensive statistic. Oh, and did I mention that Tyler Murphy has missed almost two weeks of practice with a sprained shoulder? (“He’s thrown about 30 balls up until (Monday),” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “So his arm — his accuracy was off a little bit.”)
It’s time to quit screwing around. Quite simply, this is an offense that can be defended. Grantham’s getting some of his injured and suspended/ejected players back. More importantly, it’s far enough into the season that he’s got evidence of a significant enough sample size to know what has a better chance of working than not. It’s up to him to put the right guys in a position to succeed. All I know is that if any of those five high marks get replaced this Saturday – assuming we don’t have something like 14 points gifted by special teams screw ups, a bunch of yardage getting nullified by a great day on the turnover front or Florida’s passing yardage being inflated because it’s faced with trying to make up a huge second-half deficit – it’ll be time to admit that Todd Grantham’s dead to me.