Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

Your Daily Gator has a question.

Shot.

Chaser.

Beyond that, the real reason to be high on what Daniels brings to the offense is how Georgia’s offense performed as a whole once he became the starter.

In Daniels’ three SEC starts, the Bulldogs scored on 19 of their 31 offensive drives. The offense became much more explosive, hitting 30 plays of 20-plus yards in the final four games (7.5 per game, second-most in the SEC behind Ole Miss during that stretch) after producing 23 over their first six games (3.8 per game) without him. Even their rushing output improved with Daniels on the field, going from 4.1 yards per carry before he took over to 5.35 yards per carry over the last four games.

Sure, small sample size, not the stoutest opposition, and all that.  To which I’ll counter with nineteen months of rust to shake off during a pandemic season in which he and his offensive coordinator were forced to learn on the fly.  All in all, I’ll take that, happily.  Stratospherically, even.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“The spread option is back in Gainesville.”

Here’s another good piece from David Wunderlich, this time on how Dan Mullen looks to be returning to his offensive roots this year with Florida.

Dan Mullen comes from the modern spread-to-run school. It’s a large and decentralized movement with almost as many subgroups as it has practitioners. Depending on how it’s defined, it can include anyone from the usual suspects of Rich Rodriguez and Urban Meyer to Bill Snyder and even Paul Johnson.

We don’t have to guess at the principles of the philosophical line that Mullen descends from. In 2003 an awkward, Utah polo shirt-wearing Mullen filmed a tutorial DVD for Coaches Choice that the company has since uploaded to YouTube.

The initial introduction is no different than what you might hear from anyone in decades past detailing the point of spreading the field. “The theory behind our spread offense,” he explains, “is that we want to attack defenses and make them have to defend the entire field.” Through one sentence, the scheme is indistinguishable from, say, the West Coast Offense.

The distinctive parts come in when Mullen takes just one step beyond that. “Our ultimate goal in having a successful passing attack is to allow the defense to spread out so we’re able to run the ball,” he says in the passing game portion. In the segment on rushing, he says the offense is option-based and that three, four, and five-wide receiver sets are a “deception” designed to make defenses think the Utes are “a pass-oriented team”.

All well and good, but, as David notes, there’s a catch these days.

To combat the zone read option of offenses like Mullen’s specifically, defenses developed what’s called the scrape exchange. The unblocked defensive end will go after the running back every time, and a middle or outside linebacker will “scrape” around the end of the line to pick up the quarterback option. There are ways for offenses to then adjust to that and for defenses to respond and so on, but the plain vanilla zone read doesn’t work as well as it used to if the defense anticipates it properly.

Defenses also began employing different kinds of players who must do more than defenders of the past did. Florida under Todd Grantham uses the Star position, which is like a nickel cornerback who can at times function as a safety or even a linebacker. Other defenses will employ a Spur, which is a heavier position that’s more just a safety/linebacker hybrid. A Spur does less in coverage but must do more against the run than a Star does.

In other words, defenses won’t be caught off guard by Florida going back to the future with a mobile quarterback in the Emory Jones Era.

He thinks Mullen will have a few new tricks up his sleeve, tricks he’s learned over the past season with the Trask, pass-oriented scheme he ran to combat that.  The only thing about that is Emory Jones ain’t Kyle Trask.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics

Your Daily Gator has a bone to pick with Mark Schlabach.

The boys at Swamp247 aren’t happy with ESPN’s post-spring Top 25 power rankings.  That, of course, makes me happy.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Gators’ gaping gaps?

The folks at Athlon get together to discuss the outcome of the Cocktail Party and the conclusion, based on stats like these…

… The Dawgs ranked in the top 40 in FBS last season in each of the five defensive metrics I look at closest: yards per play (10th), points per drive (26th), success rate (33rd), expected points added per play (34th), and yards per pass attempt (39th). The Gators ranked no better than 62nd (points per drive), and as low as No. 102 (EPA/play). Georgia also ranks No. 2 nationally in average 247Sports rating on its current roster (.9355, including transfers and other departures), and ranks in the top six nationally in every position group, including No. 1 at running back (.9548) and linebacker (.9645). In CFB Winning Edge Roster Strength, which adjusts 247Sports’ raw talent projections for experience and career production, Georgia has the No. 1 offense, No. 2 defense and No. 1 overall roster. Florida is very talented as well, but the Gators rank No. 8 in average 247Sports rating (.9120), and the gap between Florida and the Bulldogs is larger than the distance between the Gators and No. 19 North Carolina (.8921). Florida ranks 15th at quarterback (.9384) and offensive line (.8872), and 16th among defensive back units (.8937). Weighted for experience and production, Florida ranks No. 12 in Roster Strength with the No. 15 offense and No. 6 defense – very good, but not elite.

… is that Georgia is a unanimous choice to prevail.

Of course, they didn’t take into account Dan Mullen’s assurance that Todd Grantham’s fixed the Gators’ defense, so maybe we should take those stats with a grain of salt.  Or not.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“… and everyone knows I’d rather have Mullen on my sideline than Kirby Smart.”

Pat Dooley shows it won’t be easy being a Gator shill in 2021.

This is my favorite part:

I actually know people who truly believe that Will Muschamp was placed at Florida by the Georgia Illuminati to bring down the Florida program.

Seriously, they really believe that. And now he is back at his alma mater as an analyst where he can only help the Bulldogs because the dude does know defense and special teams.

Agent Muschamp lives!

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Today, in (preseason) talk is cheap

Barrett Sallee includes this nugget on his list of post-spring overreactions for each SEC team:

Florida: Third-and-Grantham is a thing of the past

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been a lightning rod for criticism after a lackluster season in 2020. That has changed … at least according to head coach Dan Mullen. It’s nearly impossible to have a steadfast opinion on Florida’s spring due to the lack of spring game and access. But Mullen touted Grantham’s defense after every scrimmage, which is music to the ears of Florida fans. If that translates to the fall, then look out, SEC East.

And what song will Mullen be singing after the 2021 season is over, I wonder.

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Filed under Blowing Smoke, Gators, Gators...

Losing the plot

All this recruiting vs. development crap misses a big point — sure, it’s nice to win a “which team had more players drafted” debate, but ultimately, that’s not what they’re paying Mullen and Smart the big bucks for.

This is.

I’ll take a wins gap over a draft pick gap every day of the week and twice on Saturdays.

36 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

As analogies go…

… this one isn’t a bad one.

Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see what fate has in store for Dan Mullen, but it’s fair to say that one game a career doth not make.  Although it does make for a familiar echo from a particular fan base.

20 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Your Daily Gator philosophizes.

Gawd, this is such horseshit.

Allow me to retort.

Furthermore,

When Mullen actually wins an SECCG and makes the CFP field, please get back to us on that debate.  Meanwhile, don’t forget to check that portal while Kirby keeps racking up top three classes.

40 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I think you’ve got two really big questions on… Florida fans’ minds.”

The header on the clip gives away what turns out to be only the second question.  The first?  Well, let’s just say Gator fans are coming around to something we already knew.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...