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Florida vs. Alabama: Breaking down personnel groupings and production

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The Gators didn’t do anything too tricky against Alabama. In fact, they didn’t deviate from their primary personnel grouping at all

NCAA Football: Alabama at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The film review for last week’s game was titled “Is Florida ready for Bama?” It was a question that was difficult to answer based on the first two games.

As I stated last week, Florida was holding some stuff back for this game. Dan Mullen and the various players interviewed early last week stated as much, and Saturday’s game confirmed it. Florida built off some concepts it ran early in the season offensively and threw out some new wrinkles on defense.

We’ll get into those schemes in the coming days. For now, let’s take a closer look at some numbers.

Not only was Florida ready for ‘Bama, by a lot of numbers Florida was better. Unfortunately, Bama got the better of the Gators in the only place the numbers really matter: The scoreboard. Regardless, the numbers can give us some context for the game.

Based on the numbers above, Florida had a 91 percent post game win expectancy. That number is based on pure play-by-play data. But even with penalties and special teams factored in, Florida still had a postgame win expectancy above 50 percent.

Obviously, there is no substitute for winning. And they don’t hang banners for playing Alabama close. However, it is interesting how close Florida has played Alabama over the last two seasons while playing two totally different styles of offense. In the 2020 SEC Championship game, Florida threw the ball on 61 percent of plays; on Saturday, the Gators ran the ball 61 percent of the time. It’s a real testament to Mullen and the offensive staff for adapting to their personnel.

Hey, speaking of personnel..

Personnel Groupings: Florida vs. Alabama

Florida vs. Alabama: Personnel + Performance

Personnel Total Plays Total Yards Yards Per Play Run Plays Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Pass Plays Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
Personnel Total Plays Total Yards Yards Per Play Run Plays Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Pass Plays Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
11 70 439 6.27 43 61.43% 258 6 27 38.57% 181 6.7
Florida Total 70 439 6.27 43 61.43% 258 6 27 38.57% 181 6.7

11 Personnel

One thing that didn’t change from the first two games is that Florida is an 11 personnel offense. In fact, from my charting Florida was in this personnel grouping for every play in this game. The Gators showed some 12 in both earlier games, as well as some 13 personnel in the low red zone. There was none of that on Saturday.

There was also no Anthony Richardson. Emory Jones took every snap and the Gators’ offense performed well.

Florida actually outpaced the vaunted Alabama offense in yards per play, yards per rush, and tied on yards per completion.

Year To Date

Florida Personnel + Performance: Through Week 3

Personnel Total Plays Total Yards Yards Per Play Run Plays Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Pass Plays Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
Personnel Total Plays Total Yards Yards Per Play Run Plays Run % Rushing Yards Yards Per Rush Pass Plays Pass % Passing Yards Yards Per Pass
11 168 1079 6.42 99 59% 668 6.75 69 37% 411 5.96
12 11 49 4.45 8 73% 33 4.125 3 33% 16 5.33
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 186 1144 6.15 110 59% 699 6.35 76 41% 445 5.86
11-AR 30 436 21.3 20 80% 319 15.95 10 20% 117 11.7
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 34 514 15.12 23 73% 322 14 11 32% 192 17.45
Florida Total 220 1658 7.54 133 60.45% 1021 7.68 87 39.55% 637 7.32

The only changes to the per play numbers from last week are, obviously, in 11 personnel. No other grouping was used, so they all just saw their usage percentages decrease.

11 Personnel

Florida’s performance on Saturday dropped some of the season averages, but that’s to be expected when playing a quality opponent. After Saturday’s game, the dominance of 11 personnel on the play call sheet has been firmly established.

The Gators have been in 11 for 90 percent of snaps this season. Florida has run the ball on 119 (60.1 percent) plays in 11 personnel. The Gators have gained 987 yards or 8.29 yards per rush. Florida has thrown the ball 79 (39.9 percent) times for 528 yards or 6.68 yards per attempt.

Florida didn’t use different personnel groupings to try to confuse Alabama. And Florida didn’t play like a plucky underdog. The Gators simply lined up in their base group and went right at the Tide. It remains to be seen if staying in 11 was specific to this game plan, or if Florida will transition back into being almost exclusively 11 personnel.

Either way, we’ll keep tracking it here every week. Now it’s time to watch some film.