I seriously doubt there is a single Gator fan in existence that does not remember the fake field goal by LSU last year to save the game for the Tigers and seal a win in the Swamp.
That was one of the games that Steve Addazio got plenty of help from his defense and special teams and still lost. Of course, if the offense functions at all then there’s a 50-something next to Florida’s name on the scoreboard and there’s nothing to worry about, but still, had the football not bounced like a basketball on Derek Helton’s pitch to Josh Jasper the Gators would have won.
But forget that for a minute. There were obvious deficiencies that were concealed a year ago until Alabama exposed them, and instead of getting together to discuss the issues and how to solve them, Urban Meyer took a Tylenol for his chest pains and took a nap, and the rest of the coaches followed the leader. The rest of them, that is, but Addazio.
Steve Addazio isolated himself in his room and worked on a number of things in his free time. They included writing invitations to linebackers for free trips through the A-gap tunnel and into the backfield, drawing up more creative ways to throw 3 yard hitch routes, and how to turn one of your most explosive players (Trey Burton) into a QB despite his obvious inability to throw the ball.
This coaching staff is nothing like this, as they are all hard workers who follow Will Muschamp’s (and, I guess, Nick Saban’s) example of not leaving the office until the problem appears fixed. Then, it gets tested out in practice and if there are still problems, get right back in there and work on them some more until it’s fixed for real.
So forget working on fake posters with phony quotes from Jarrett Lee. Forget stomping on the eye of the Tiger or telling your band to spell out “Geaux Heauxme You Heauxmeauxs” or anything silly like that. Don’t even think about doing the Gator Chomp after a score. Just play football. Work on your issues.
This is what I want to see in Baton Rouge:
The blocking was simply horrendous against Alabama. Horrendous as in Steve Addazio horrendous. Maybe even worse. It’s got be reversed against a nasty Tiger defense that will harass Jeff Driskel 24/7. If Florida wants any chance whatsoever, they have to block a decillion times better than they did last week. This will free up Rainey and Demps, who were grounded a week ago completely, which should open up one on one matchups for Driskel to exploit and slowly gain comfortability as Florida’s QB.
Not only did AJ McCarron have all day to throw, not only did Trent Richardson take handoffs and have enough time to play eenie-meenie-minie-moe over which gap to rumble through, the Gators often sent a heavy number of defenders and produced ZERO pressure. The Gators absolutely cannot allow Jarrett Lee any time to throw, because he can hurt Florida deep. And if Michael Ford or Spencer Ware get comfortable running up the gut… game over.
Driskel slowly worked in
Warm him up with soft, easy tosses to Rainey and Demps on screen plays, and if LSU covers them to start with, toss an easy hitch route to Burton or Jordan Reed. Slowly get him acclimated with being a Florida QB, and eventually begin to exploit those one on one mismatches that Charlie Weis is so fond of.
Great special teams
It was special teams that ultimately doomed the Gators last year, despite Andre Debose returning a kick for a TD. It could doom Florida once again if they aren’t very careful of Lesprechaun Miles and his bag of tricks.
It’s a business. The Gators have issues that need fixing. This is a business trip to Baton Rouge, and if the business part goes well, then the fun can begin.