clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Theater of Operations, Florida Vs. Ohio State: Reviewing The Gators' Offensive Performance

Getty Images

Thanks to Charlie Weis taking the head coaching job of the Kansas Jayhawks, the Florida Gators were without a proven offensive coordinator for the 2012 Gator Bowl. In place of Weis, the Gators had Brain White, who, prior to calling the plays against Ohio State, has primarily been a tight ends and running backs coach while at Florida. He once was the offensive coordinator of the Wisconsin Badgers, so it wasn't like he was entirely unfamiliar with how being an offensive coordinator works.

The results, depending on your point of view, were mixed. The Gators finished with a grand total of 263 yards of offense. In case you were wondering, yes, that's well short of their season average of just over 328 yards. The Gators had 132 yards passing and 131 yards rushing, which, you guessed it, were also short of their season averages.

In the end, the Gators finished the season ranked 105th in total offense. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's going to be a priority heading into spring practices and next season.

Play No. 1: John Brantley fumbles the ball:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Remember how badly the Gators' offensive line played this year? Well, for those hoping that some miraculous transformation would happen and they'd play great, I'm sorry to say that didn't happen.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

What left tackle (green square)? Exactly. It's a shame that John Brantley (yellow circle) wasn't looking the other way, because Mike Gillislee (yellow square) is wide open in the flat.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

I know it was a close play (green square), but I think it was a fumble. The ball (red circle) was moving before the arm was even halfway up to Brantley's shoulder. Right as Brantley was hit, it is clear that Gillislee (left yellow circle) is still wide open in the flat, and Quinton Dunbar (right yellow circle) has become open over the middle.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

For those of you who doubted as to why Ohio State was given the ball following the play, this is why. Even though the ball rolled right in front of Brantley (yellow square), an Ohio State player grabbed it. Even though whistles were blowing for quite some time, still, possession granted to Ohio State. I'm not saying that it was the right call, I'm just saying.

Play No. 2: Deonte Thompson's 17-yard touchdown catch:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This play, was by far the offensive highlight for the Gators. Deonte Thompson (yellow circle) just runs a simple inside route and the defensive back (green circle) makes the mistake of playing outside coverage.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Thompson (double yellow circle) runs downfield, take a look at the pocket (yellow square) that Brantley (yellow circle) has to throw from. The offensive line does a great job of blocking on this play.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Take a look at where the ball (red circle) is at right now. It's just over halfway to its destination. At this moment, Thompson (yellow circle) has the defensive back (double green circle) beat because the defensive back has outside coverage. If he was expecting safety (green circle) help on the play, well, the safety arrives just a little too late.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Thompson makes the catch (yellow square) for the touchdown.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

There was some initial confusion as to whether or not Thompson completed the catch (yellow square) but all angles, including this one, were inconclusive. I still think that he legitimately caught the ball.

Play No. 3: John Brantley's is intercepted by Tyler Moeller:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

While this play was Brantley's only glaring mistake, let's just be thankful that there was only one of them. His target on this play is A.C. Leonard (yellow circle) who is going to run an out-route, but the ball is just horribly thrown. Tyler Moeller (green circle) is going to more or less just be in the right place at the right time. Though he does make a pretty nifty catch.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At the moment that Brantley is getting ready to release the ball (yellow square), you can see that Leonard (yellow circle) is wide open. Moeller (green circle) is playing good coverage in that since it is 3rd down, there is no way that Leonard, if he makes the catch, will get the first down.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Unfortunately for the Gators, the throw wasn't the best. The ball (red circle) is higher than the outstretched arms of Leonard (yellow square). In case you forgot, A.C. Leonard isn't really all that short.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As the ball is tipped up into the air, notice the position of Moeller's (green circle) body. He is going to have to make a great play on the ball to come up with the interception.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Which is exactly what Moeller (green square) does.

The Gators offense struggled to move the ball at times (actually, for most of the time), but it could have been worse. Yes, they did turn the ball over twice, but the touchdown drive was a thing of beauty. On the touchdown drive, the Gators took over seven minutes off the clock, drove 80-yards on 14-plays and actually looked like a real offense against an FBS team for the first time since late September. Or maybe the Vanderbilt game, whichever works best for you.

Just imagine how different this season would have turned out had the Gators had one more drive like that, per game.