David Cutcliffe explains his philosophy in exploiting inexperienced defensive coordinators:
“I’m a big believer in speed. You know long I’ve liked spreading a field. My theory basically is this: Defensive players have continued to get bigger and faster. We’re on the same size field as when we played. Really, the players are nothing like that.
“As you look at attacking a defense, it’s important to lengthen the field two ways. You’ve got to use the entire width of the field, and you have to try to take some form of vertical attack downfield. We’re not what people call ‘spread.’ We are a no-huddle, which I went to the second time at Tennessee. We are trying to find every way we can to run the ball vertically, to run it right at your mouth. In the process of doing that, I love being able to spread it deep with play-action, but we are also looking at how people defend the width of the field. So many young defensive coordinators do such a poor job of doing that. We’re going to take what they give us, still. We just do it a lot faster.”
Boy, do I remember that.
When Cutcliffe went to a three-receiver set before the end of the second quarter in that 2006 game, you could sense that Georgia’s defense was struggling to keep up. 37 second-half points later – the Dawgs had only given up 34 points the entire season before that game – we had our first real clue that Willie Martinez was no Brian VanGorder.
I bring this up because Florida’s sparkly new offensive coordinator is a disciple of Cutcliffe’s. I’ll be interested to see how he matches wits with a young Jeremy Pruitt and a not-so-young John Jancek.