Napier talks busted coverages and two-point conversions

Sep 26, 2022 | 1 comment

(Photo courtesy Florida Sports Information)

On Monday, Florida football head coach Billy Napier met with the media to recap the team’s loss to Tennessee and preview Saturday’s matchup against Eastern Washington.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Florida went for a two-point conversion twice in the loss to Tennessee. The first attempt, in particular, brought a barrage of second-guessing from writers, analysts, and fans.

    “I’m glad you asked that question because I probably got more questions about that than anything else. There’s two avenues, when you really dig into the numbers, about the approach there. First of all, you start talking about playing for a tie, right? When you’re on the road, there’s a slight advantage for the home team in overtime, and there’s certainly a bigger advantage when you’re a two-score favorite. I think it’s around 63 percent advantage if you’re the home team playing overtime, and you’re a two-score favorite. So that goes into your decision-making. Really all you’re trying to do is declare the path early in the game. So you go for two there. If you get it, you’re at 9, and now you’re in a position to win the game with an extra point whereas, if you don’t get it now, you still have two scores with an additional opportunity to go for two. So if you kick it, ultimately, the numbers are going to tell you to go for two at the end of the game anyway to win the game. So you’re just declaring the path quicker, and that gives you a chance to adjust your strategy the rest of the game.”

  • Tennessee completed a couple of passes on Saturday when there wasn’t a Florida defender in the same zip code as the intended reiver. Napier wouldn’t name names, but he pointed out the obvious.

    “I think there’s two in particular where we just have one player bust the coverage, right? I think there is a communication element to that, but a lot of it has to do with discipline to execute, the ability to do your job at a critical moment in a critical time.”

  • On Saturday Anthony Richardson turned in the best performance of his career. According to Napier, the process that led to that started at the beginning of the week.

    “He probably had his best week of practice. I thought he was really tuned in to the preparation throughout the week.”

  • Though Napier has put a renewed emphasis on special teams, giving them a mental boost by referring to them as ‘Game Changers’ – the truth is their impact to this point has been mostly negative, especially the return units. Out of 131 DI programs, Florida currently ranks No. 126 in punt returns and No. 108 in kickoff returns. The kickoff return unit in particular has had issues with both penalties and the decision as to when to live to fight another day by not attempting a return.

    “In my opinion, those are undisciplined penalties, some of those in particular,” stated Napier. “Those are decision-making where you’re doing something that you know is absolutely not in the best interests of the team. Then I do think, from a strategy perspective, we need to make better decisions relative to when we bring the ball out and when we don’t. I think we’re learning there. There’s no question we need to adjust our strategy there.”

  • Since starting right tackle Michael Tarquin went down during the loss to Kentucky, redshirt freshman Austin Barber has stepped in to fill his shoes.

    “I’m proud of Austin. He’s a freshman that’s never played in a game before, and all of a sudden he’s got to run out there and play and do his job for the team. He’s one of the guys that I think has really developed a lot since he got here.”

YouTube player


WCC: A complete transcript of everything  Billy Napier had to say can be seen HERE.

Never miss the latest news from Inside the Gators!

Join our free email list