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I Wanna SEC You Up: A Cursory Glance at the Florida Offense

Note: I had planned on only doing a one post brief overview of Florida and posting it in the morning, but since I'm still having intenet issues (I'm back to intermittent at best, and the new theory is that someone around here is stealing cable and screwing up everyone's signal since a woman just around the corner from me is having the exact same problems), I'm posting the offense now while I can, and hopefully I can get the defense and schedule up sometime tomorrow.

The reigning National Champion Gators are probably in for some tough times this season. Despite the media's high expectations for the '07 Gators, last year's team boasted plenty of veteran talent and leadership, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Florida returns only 8 starters (9 if you include part time baby rhino Tim Tebow), and only two of those are on the defense. While the schedule stacks up nicely for a team that needs some time to develop, there's still plenty of question marks to make this season frustrating for Gator fans.


Category Rank
Scoring Offense 2nd
Passing Offense 5th
Total Offense 2nd
1st Downs 1st
Red Zone Offense 8th
Offensively, there shouldn't be much drop off for the Gators. I was a little surprised to see how highly they ranked in the conference considering the close nature of many of their games (the Gators won five of their 13 games by a TD or less, and were completely unable to move the ball during the second half of their loss to Auburn), but I suppose the whipping of OOC cupcakes and their offensive explosion in the title game boosted their numbers. This will be the first year that we'll get to see an Urban Meyer Offense with Urban Meyer's players in the SEC, and I'm certainly curious to see how well the Gators fare on offense this season.

QB Tim Tebow
33 22 66.7 358 5 1

89 469 5.3 8
Key to their success this year is a solid performance from last year's uber recruit and glorified fullback Tim Tebow. The second string QB was primarily used in key short yardage situations last season, often as a power back, but he did throw five TDs last season, and there will be even more of an option element to the Gator offense now that a QB more suited to that role is the starter. Concerns over his throwing abilities were quieted after an excellent performance in the spring game, throwing 17 of 27 for 216 yards, 3 TDs, and no picks.

Surrounding him are a group of talented receivers that look to be playmakers this fall. Returning starters Percy Harvin and Andre Caldwell both showed their abilities last season, with Harvin the third leading rusher as well as the fourth leading receiver, all while battling a hamstring injury. He had 75 touches last year (34 catches, 41 rushes) and produced 856 yards of offense and five TDs. He'll likely continue to play on the inside with Jarred Fayson, both of whom will receive the lion's share of the receiver carries in Meyer's spread option. Fayson saw little time last year after struggling to pick up the offense, but a solid showing during the spring earned him a starting position. On the outside, Andre Caldwell is the leading returning receiver (second on the team last season behind Dallas Baker) after catching 57 for 577 yards and 6 TDs last season. Opposite him is Louis Murphy, the star of the spring game after he hauled in 8 catches for 129 yards and a TD. Also contributing this year will be TE Cornelius Ingram. Ingram came on last season, cathing 20 of his 30 receptions in the final five games of the season.

In the backfield, junior Kestahn Moore will likely get the nod at RB after expected starter Mon Williams tore an ACL in spring drills that will keep him from plaing this fall. Meyer has made RBs a recruiting priority, and he landed four star back Chris Rainey, a four star prospect rated as the #4 all purpose back in the country by Rivals. Like Harvin, who made an immediate impact as a freshman last season, expect Rainey to see action and possibly assume starting duties if Moore isn't the right fit for Meyer.

Fortunately for whoever lines up at running back, four starters return on the line. Drew Miller started every game last season at RG, but he's moved over to center while redshirt freshman Maurice Hurt steps into his old position. Starters RT Carlton Medder, LG Jim Tartt, and LT Phil Trautwein all return as well, giving the Gators a veteran and dependable line.