For Chas Henry, that day is now.
A visitor dropped by Todd Grantham’s Florida defensive meeting room in August during his first preseason in Gainesville. The veteran coordinator was told someone wanted to say hello.
“I walked in there and I started giving him the choke sign and all of the coaches just started dying laughing,” Chas Henry said.
Henry told the story on the same day Grantham began the first game week preparing his Florida defense to face Georgia, where he coached against the Gators for four seasons on the other side of the rivalry.
It was back in 2010 that Grantham again showed his unvarnished fiery side. He put his hand on his neck on the sideline as Henry prepared to attempt a 37-yard field goal in a tied game in overtime.
I wonder who will get the last chuckle on third-and-Grantham this Saturday.
Dawg fans weren’t exactly thrilled with his tenure, an up-and-down stretch in which UGA held up really well against third down in one season and not so great in the others.
- 2010: 42 percent
- 2011: 28.9 percent (No. 3 nationally)
- 2012: 36.5 percent
- 2013: 39.5 percent
That led to #ThirdAndGrantham becoming a thing on social media.
The easy assumption is that Grantham’s defense was blitzing on basically every third down and allowing his defense to get carved up. Perception about Grantham became reality, but regardless of how it happened, his defenses weren’t great on third-and-long.
The Gators aren’t exactly elite on third down overall this season, but have been getting better over the last few games.
Those stats offered by Florida miss an ounce of context, because two of the last three opponents (LSU and Vanderbilt) are among the worst third down teams in the country. But the sentiment is there. For now, Florida is enjoying third/fourth-and-Grantham. It remains to be seen if Florida will continue on this trajectory, or if they’ll regress to the mean on third down.
One could ask the same question of Jake Fromm, who hasn’t exactly been tearing it up on third down this season (passer rating: 101.41). That especially goes for third-and-long, where Jake has thrown three of his four interceptions on the year, on less than eight percent of his total pass attempts. If I’m Jim Chaney, I’m pulling a crayon out of Mike Bobo’s box and sticking to the draw on third-and-ten.
You have to figure between Todd and Jake, though, something’s gotta give.