Did Muschamp help paint a clearer picture of what to expect from Florida’s offense during his press conference on March 11, 2014?
You can watch the press conference on Gator Vision.
Muschamp definitely made it clear that during his search for a coordinator he went back and reviewed Florida’s 2012 and early 2013 offense as well. While it amazes me to find that it took him this long to discover how effective the Gators were at operating out of the shotgun, I am glad he was smart enough to realize he needed to analyze his offense first before going out and hiring the hot name, just to get the hot name.
For Muschamp supporters, recognize the coach can adapt and learn from his mistakes.
For Muschamp detractors, this calls into issue how cognizant he is about offense, risk aversion being so high he can’t recognize a good thing, and his ability to adapt in simple concepts.
For both, Muschamp continues to state that if Driskell had not gone down we would have seen more shotgun and more QB runs (I personally believe that just based on Driskell’s propensity to scramble). Argue about "what if" all you want, fact is it didn’t happen even when Murphy, who looked just as capable as a runner, was out there (Of course the Skyler aversion factor had to be in play there).
Muschamp found from 2012 to 2013 that running plays called from the shotgun averaged 6.8 yards a carry. Meanwhile all designed runs (including ones in the shotgun) averaged 5.8 yards a carry. A full yard less. Any base package that allows the offense to average nearly 7 yards a carry needs to be moved to the primary package.
You look at all runs from 2012, you're right at 5.8, close to six yards a carry, which is outstanding, the best I've ever been around. Then you look at runs from the gun, you're looking at close to seven yards a carry, 6.8. Runs from under center you're looking a little over four. So, obviously, the quarterback's legs have a lot to do with the run game being so efficient in what we're doing.
- Will Muschamp
But was the running game the only reason to switch to a spread and more shotgun? Nope, Florida, according to Will was also a more accurate passing team from the gun. Some of that may be from the propensity to use quick screens in shotgun rather than under center, but quick screens (which Pease didn’t run a lot of) doesn’t explain a 20% gap.
From the gun, over 60-percent completion percentage, under 50 percent from under center
- Will Muschamp
And the major shift to the spread in Will Muschamp’s football terms is probably answered in one statistic, explosive plays. Explosive plays, yeah you know the ones that happen on offense like once every 4 to 6 quarters lately. If we’re lucky the team will feel generous and give us more than 2, in the same game … yes, that does happen sometimes. If I remember correctly Muschamp calls running plays over 10 yards and passing plays over 20 yards explosive plays on offense. If the shift to the spread is truly to generate more explosive plays, and then you add in tempo as well, you could see the happy marriage of Steve Spurrier’s Fun’N’Gun and Meyer’s Spread Option as the future of the offense. However, prognosticating the future of an offense that has yet to play a snap of college football when it counts is counting your chickens before the egg is even there, much less hatching or not.
Roper’s converted pro style offenses into spread offenses before, with the help of Cutcliffe mind you, but Duke wasn’t some amazing offense in 2008 or 2009. Gator fans expecting an Auburn turnaround need to remember Malzahn recruited as OC at Auburn for a few years before his 1 year hiatus at Arkansas State. He was working with his personnel who were already set up to run his spread system. Roper is working with a mixed bag. There are still Meyer holdovers recruited for the spread option and then there are Weis’s and Pease’s system guys sprinkled in … Yeah Roper had a say in getting Worton, Harris, Porter, and perhaps Powell (Roper was announced prior to the early enrollment period) but he is working with another coordinator’s philosophical players. How well these players pick up Roper’s philosophy is going to go a long way to whether we get the chance to see if Muschamp’s findings will be indicative of the spread or indicative of how a defenses prepared to stop his primary offense rather than his secondary with Pease and Weis.
Personally I hope it is the happy marriage of Fun’N’Gun and Spread Option, that looks like a college version (more shotgun) of San Francisco’s NFL offense. I miss the days of wondering if we were going to drop 50 on the opponent. I am sure most of you do too.
With all sarcasm and negative "nelly" aside, I do feel confident these Gators can drastically improve. I'll be rooting for them to improve, win or lose. So come on Gators, get up and go!