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Florida vs. Kentucky, Film Room: Breaking down a breakdown, plus personnel notes

Did Florida’s struggles to score against Kentucky seem familiar to you? That might have been because of family.

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Simplicity is a double edged sword. It’s much like Jack Parkman’s shimmy: When it works for you, it’s great; when it goes against you, it makes you want to puke.

The Florida Gators did not change personnel against Alabama, and it worked like a charm. On that Saturday, Florida moved the ball consistently on a well-coached, talented defense.

The Gators also didn’t change personnel against Kentucky. It did not work quite as well on Saturday — but that lack of success seemed to be the product of self-inflicted wounds more than any type of personnel issue.

By most statistical measures, Florida should have won the game. Unfortunately, for the second time this season, the Gators lost a game in which they had a postgame win expectancy over 60 percent. As Dan Mullen was quick to mention in the postgame, Florida outgained Kentucky, 382 yards of total offense to just 211. However, when you factor in Florida’s 115 penalty yards, how much ground the Gators effectively gained takes quite a hit.

Because Florida only ran out 11 personnel again this week, we’ve decided to combine the personnel piece with the film piece. We’ll start by looking at the personnel from the game and the season to date. Then we’ll take a close look at the film — and see how Mark Stoops may have gotten an assist from a family member during his weekly prep.

Florida vs. Kentucky: Personnel and Performance

Personnel Plays Yards YPP Rushes Rush % Yard YPR Passes Pass % Yards YPA
Personnel Plays Yards YPP Rushes Rush % Yard YPR Passes Pass % Yards YPA
11 - Jones 62 331 5.34 31 50.00% 128 4.13 31 50.00% 203 6.55
11 - Richardson 9 51 5.67 8 88.89% 43 5.38 1 11.11% 8 8
Total 71 382 5.38 39 54.93% 171 4.38 32 45.07% 211 6.59

Regardless of who was in at quarterback, Florida stayed in 11 personnel all game. The Gators gained slightly more on a per play basis with Anthony Richardson at quarterback, but nine plays is a tiny sample size.

For the night, Florida actually threw the ball more often than they have so far this season percentage wise. With Emory Jones in the game, the rush and pass attempts were equal.

The increase in the passing proportion can likely be tied to the Kentucky game plan and those aforementioned penalties. A lot of third and short or third and mediums got turned into third and longs.

And in fairness, Florida also had more success throwing the ball than running it. The Gators ran the ball 39 times for 171 yards, or 4.38 yards an attempt, by far their lowest mark of the season. In contrast, Florida threw the ball 31 times for 211 yards, or 6.59 yards per pass attempt — not a great number relative to the Gators’ own past performance, but the best anyone’s done on a per-pass basis against a surprisingly stingy Kentucky defense.

Florida Personnel + Performance: Year to Date Through Kentucky

Personnel Group Total Plays Yards Yards Per Play Total Rushes Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Total Passes Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
Personnel Group Total Plays Yards Yards Per Play Total Rushes Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Total Passes Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
11 288 1853 6.43 164 57% 1044 6.37 124 43% 809 6.52
12 21 111 5.29 14 67% 68 4.86 7 33% 43 6.14
13 1 0 0 0 0% 1 100% 0 0
20 6 16 2.67 3 50% -2 -0.67 3 50% 18 6
Emory Total 316 1980 6.27 181 57% 1110 6.13 135 43% 870 6.44
11-AR 39 487 21.3 28 80% 362 12.92857143 11 20% 125 11.36
12-AR 1 75 75 0 0% 0 1 100% 75 75
13-AR 2 2 1 2 100% 2 1 0
20-AR 1 1 1 1 100% 1 1 0
AR Total 43 565 13.14 31 73% 365 11.77 12 28% 200 16.67
Total 359 2545 7.09 212 59.05% 1475 6.96 147 40.95% 1070 7.28

11 Personnel

Florida’s percentage of plays in 11 personnel has been steadily creeping up as the season goes on. The Gators have now been in 11 personnel on 91.09% of snaps this season. Florida has gained 2,340 yards and 7.16 yards per play in the grouping.

12 Personnel

12 continues to be Florida’s second most used personnel grouping, even though it has only been used on 6.13% of snaps. On a per-play basis, 12 is the most productive personnel grouping coming in at 8.45 yards per play.

That average is skewed by the 75-yard bomb from Anthony Richardson to Jacob Copeland against USF. Take that play out, and this unit drops 5.05 yard per play.

13 Personnel

This group has only been used in the low red zone. They have only been on the field three times and have gained only two yards.

20 Personnel

This group saw its only action in game one against FAU. 20 has only seen the field for seven snaps and has only gained 17 yards.

Film Review

While watching the Florida offense against Kentucky, I kept thinking back to the first game of the season. The Florida offense sputtered at times in that game and was really unable to get any explosives in the passing game.

It seemed that FAU was content to make the Florida offense drive down the field a little bit at a time, hoping for Florida to make a mistake or to hold the Gators out of the end zone once the space got more constrained in the red zone. In that game, Florida had 12 drives. The Gators drove into the red zone on more than half of their drives, failing on two drives with penalties, a drive with an Emory Jones interception, and the final drive of Jones’s night. (Florida also didn’t make it to the red zone just before half, but that was more a factor of the time on the clock.)

Once in the red zone, though, FAU did a good job of making things difficult on Florida. The Gators scored four touchdowns in those opportunities, but also saw Jones throw a pick and failed on a fourth down.

Is this all starting to sound familiar? Well, the name of the FAU defensive coordinator should also ring some bells — because he’s Mike Stoops, formerly Oklahoma’s DC under his brother Bob, and he may well have given his other brother Mark the blueprint to slow down the Gators offense.

Below, I take a closer look at how Stoops and his Wildcats defense frustrated the Florida offense.

I also review some plays from a mostly excellent performance from the Florida defense. If you would have told Florida fans the defensive stats before the game, I firmly believe every single one would have signed up for that performance. The Gators on that side of the ball definitely played well enough for Florida to win.