For 30 minutes of football last Saturday at Texas A&M, it looked like the Gators were headed to a bad place — worse than College Station itself, I mean. The offense was playing well early, but the defense was struggling. The game seemed to be following a similar script to the loss against LSU.
Unlike the LSU game, Florida was able to regroup at halftime — and the defense pitched a somewhat surprising shutout in the second half.
Defensively, the Gators were able to clamp down because they made some adjustments. One of their key change-ups was taking away some of Texas A&M’s in-breaking routes. Haynes King throws the ball well over the middle of the field, and Jimbo Fisher’s offense wears out that intermediate area. But Florida jumped a nickel back inside after the snap a few times and took those routes away.
Another factor in the turnaround was simply better execution. There were some mental errors in the first half that the Gators cleaned up at halftime.
On the offensive side of the ball, I thought Florida had a really good plan from the start. The Gators used their motions and formations to manipulate the Aggie defensive backfield. This opened up both rushing lanes and passing windows. Billy Napier and staff did a great job of setting things up early and then paying them off shortly after.
It was a real Chekov’s gun gameplan — and the Gators’ shots ultimately connected.
I took a closer look at the game and found some interesting schematic wrinkles from Florida. If you want to see how the Gators ran away from Texas A&M and shut out the Aggies in the second half, check out the video below.