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Gatermetrics- The Passing Game

Sabermetrics: the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics.

Gatermetrics: the analysis of the Florida Gators through objective evidence, especially statistics.

One concern heading into the LSU game was the Gators' slow starting offense in the first half. UF scored three in the first at Baton Rouge, for 17 first quarter points in SEC play (4.25 average). The 14 spot in the second quarter at LSU gives UF 42 points for SEC second quarters, one less than the amount in fourth quarters. The only quarter UF has not been shutout in is the third, where they have scored 30 points.

The Gators are protecting Tebow very well, as their four sacks allowed is second in the conference, two behind Tennessee. That has also led to Tebow and the Gators being third nationally in passing efficiency.

That leads to a closer look at how the passing game is working. On first downs, the Gators are 43 of 65 (66.2%) for 835 yards and have seven touchdowns. On second down, the percentage rises to 70.5% (31-44) with 368 yards and four TDs.

But on third down is when it gets interesting. UF is 23 of 40 (57.5%). On plays between 7 and 9 yards, UF is 4 of 13, with two of the catches becoming first downs. When it's 10 or more yards to gain, UF is 6 of 9, converting four first downs.

UF has great success between 1 and 6 yards. Out of six pass attempts, UF has converted 4 for first downs when the distance is between 1 and 3. Move out to 4 and 6 yards, the Gators are completing 9 of 12, with seven conversions.

Obviously, teams lock down on third, so a lower completion percentage is understandable. But to be 10 of 24 on third down plays with seven or more yards to gain is fantastic.