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Florida Football

Film Study: Breaking down the O&B Game

April 16, 2018
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Coming up, 10 Orange & Blue Game observations from a former Florida football player

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Florida’s Annual Spring Game ended with the final score 35-30 in favor of the Orange Team.

While taking into consideration that a spring game isn't a real game and Florida's intent was to have fun, thus they dialed it down a bit defensively, it was clear from the outset that the offense was looking to be more assertive. There was good pace by each of the offensive units and the ball was spread across the field both vertically and horizontally.

Gator fans can look forward to a highly effective spread rushing attack in the Dan Mullen Era. I emphasize rushing, because spread offenses can often be mistakenly thought of as pass-first systems. That was not the case with Urban Meyer and it is not the case with Mullen.

Florida is looking to establish the running game. The quick screens are an extension of the run game. Then they will take their shots down the field.

On Offense

The offensive groups showed several variations of 3x1 sets with three receivers to the field or to the boundary. They often had a “nub” tight end to the boundary which means the tight end is alone on that side of the field. Mullen’s 3x1 formations are meant to jumpstart the running game with quick screen capabilities.

Of course, every spring, the main question revolves around the quarterback position.

Feleipe Franks and Kyle Track both showed good rhythm early distributing the ball evenly. Franks seemed more comfortable in the pocket and through his secondary read. The coaching staff gave him more opportunities to operate their empty, five wide receiver formations. Trask led some very effective drives, but struggled when pressure got to him.

Franks showed some speed, but his second quarter breakaway run was a little misleading since the quarterbacks were not being “live” tackled during the spring game. Emory Jones flashed a big arm and elusiveness that excited the crowd.

The Gators have some skill position players that can make some huge plays for them in 2018, the key will be to utilize all of them. At times, it seemed like Franks was locked onto Van Jefferson.

The Ole Miss transfer is a great pickup for the offense and if he gains eligibility he will be a go-to playmaker on the outside for the offense in 2018. The key to getting the most out of him is to involve those around him more.

Take for instance Kadarius Toney - he  is probably the Gators most dynamic playmaker. Mullen will surely find a multitude of ways to get the ball in his hands. He definitely flashed on Saturday.

Both Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine ran hard and effectively throughout the game.

The most effective offensive play run by the Gators was their “Dart” or “Tackle Wrap” play. The tackle to the same side as the running back pulls and leads the running back to the second level. This play kept the run game moving early and broke some big plays later. An athletic quarterback makes this play even more lethal.

The Gators have several offensive lineman who are imposing, but also move well pulling and getting out for screen passes. Both Jawan Taylor and Martez Ivey move in space particularly well.

On Defense

The Spring Game is usually not meant to highlight the defense, fans want to see points scored, thus the defenses are usually kept in check, by the coachign staff. Howwever, several players stood out on film, none more than Jachai Polite. Big No. 99 played from sideline to sideline making tackles on screen plays:

And getting after quarterbacks:

Defensive end Antonneous Clayton brought a lot of pressure later in the game. On this play you see Polite, Clayton and Jabari Zuniga all winning on a 3 & 21 play to get the sack.

The defensive line will be a strength for this unit because they will be able to generate pressure without the aid of blitzing.

A player who really stood out to me in the secondary was cornerback Brian Edwards. He looked extremely long and athletic. Even though he gave up a few catches, he looks like he will be able to track elite SEC wide receivers.

The Newcomer

The O&B Game 'Newcomer Award' was definitely Emory Jones. He is young and raw, but his physical tools showed up in a huge way. Fans shouldn’t put too much stock in his Spring Game statistics, but these throws are SEC throws. Even though it fell incomplete, I am especially excited by the first throw. It is a rocket! As he becomes more comfortable in the offense, watch out.

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Dan Casey is the head coach at St. David’s School in Raleigh, NC. He played collegiately at Davidson College as a safety and was a member of the AFCA Allstate Good Works Team in 2014.

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Video clips courtesy the SEC Network

Film Study: Breaking down the O&B Game

Verobeachgator
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Can't wait for the observations.

Is there a chance we might see Jones as the starter by mid season?
Verobeachgator
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Any chance on Jones? 10%, 50% what?
OrangeandBlue
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The enthusiasm is great but I was there and it was fun but you can't tell anything about the offense because the defense wasn't trying all that much.

On that one long run by Franks he should have been tackled five different times.
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