The Gators are taking the field tomorrow with the hopes of putting an end to a humiliating 3 home game losing streak. This is an unprecedented home losing streak that has everyone in the Gator Nation embarrassed and agitated.
I said earlier this year that I’m not the sort to call out coaches and advocate they lose their jobs, but quite honestly enough is enough. The Gator coaches as a whole, including the head man Urban Meyer, have done a great diservice to this team this year by poorly coaching and poorly preparing this team from the get go. The Gators have 4 and 5 star talent at nearly every position, but they are playing like a high school team. But I don’t think all the coaches need to go, in fact I remain a Meyer backer, but his offensive cordinator is a disgrace to the previous Gator offensive coaches who made Florida a perennial offensive delight to watch. Addazio constantly makes excuses for why his team is not producing yet never blames his play calling or the team’s preparation, when its rather apparent that his playcalling is dubious at best and his offense is rarely prepared.
Simply put the Florida Gators are not playing Florida Gator football. John Brantley is not playing Gator football. The offensive gameplan IS A JOKE. In fact, the Gators have no gameplan. It seems like the plan is to give Chris Rainey a handof and see what happens, or even worse, to throw the ball on a swing pass 3 yards behind the LOS and see what happens. Of course there is no blocking, whether that be at the line or on the perimeter, despite the fact our O-line coach (who doubles as offensive cordinator) assured everyone we had one of the best O-lines in America before the first game. Also, forget about anything related to scheming and adjusting to an opponent. The Florida offense seems to be running about 10 different plays, all game, everygame, no matter the opponent or situation. The result has been catastrophic and if the coaches march on Florida Field with the same BS gameplan, then Appalachian State will be making headlines for defeating another traditional college football “powerhouse”.
I am not kidding folks. This upcoming game is a toss up because the Florida offense under Steve Addazio simply cannot move the ball to save their lives. 2 touchdowns in their last 8 quarters at home ! To be fair though, due to the veil of secrecy that has fallen on Gainesville since the summer, it is unclear how much this falls squarely on Addazio only and how much of this is on Urban Meyer. There are those who say that Addazio is simply Urban’s “Yes Man” and he is simply executing the offense that Urban Meyer has insisted on running. Then there are those who claim that the offense is run by committee with Addazio as the head man. Either way, Urban Meyer managed to send Gator Nation into further panic earlier this week when he stated that he felt Addazio would be back as O.C. next season. If that proves to be true, I predict Florida loses at a minimum 4 games next season. Steve Addazio has become public enemy number one in Gainesville and time will tell if he that is justified or if he is being made a scapegoat.
The reason for my ranting against the offensive coaching is simple. The coaches have made several inexplicable decisions and have been guilty of saying one thing and then doing another, but not in the “fool the opposing defense” kinda way, which would not only be totally acceptable but also very welcome. For example, after the meltdown against MSU, the coaches made an effort to revamp the offense and the result was a mini revival. The games against Georgia and Vanderbilt were the most successful in terms of offensive production because QBs Trey Burton and Jordan Reed were given a lot of snaps in the Spread Option game. Then against South Carolina the coaches went back to what wasn’t working, namely using John Brantley for every play, and the result was an epic failure. Now I don’t want to come down too hard on John Brantley. I must admit I drank alot of the “Brantley cool aid” over the hot summer, but can you seriously blame me, it was almost 46 degrees one day! I will also admit that he has fallen well short of expectations despite showing that he has a good arm.
Brantley’s “failure” to lead the Gators is more on the coaches, especially Addazio-Meyer, than anyone else. For starters, Addazio-Meyer, despite their coachspeak, never truely adapted the offense to his strenghts. The offensive line has been a complete joke in pass protection. For the first 6 games Brantley was expected to be a Spread Option quarterback, when we all know he is as slow as a drunken turtle, and is simply not a running threat. The Gator gameplan has never focused on his abilities to pass the ball. Earlier in the season, Brantley was not being given time to find receivers and the “run on first and second down” gameplan constantly put him in 3rd and long situations. More recently the line has been giving him a little more time but Johnny appears to have regressed in his read and when he does manage to find an open receiver he misses him with his eratic throws. This might be a result of him splitting time with Burton and Reed, but against S.C. that is not a valid excuse.
In any case, it is senior day at the Swamp so the Gators will surely leave it all on the field. It is difficult to imagine that the once mighty Florida Gators can lose AT HOME to a Div I-AA opponent, but that is what can happen when a team is poorly coached for an entire season. If I were a betting man I would stay away from this game altogether.
Logic dictates that Florida wins this one, but I will believe it when I see it. Appy St can move the ball very well so if they can score a couple touchdowns that might be enough to beat Florida. On the bright side of losing to a I-AA squad, Meyer would be forced to clean house and set course for a better 2011.
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Written by The Gator Great