Nothing New in Offensive Struggles

The struggles of the Florida offense Saturday happened for a reason no different than in the early weeks of the season. It was a lack of execution and rhythm. Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said the players and coaches were confident in the game plan before kickoff, but the inability to put together consistent drives produced only two first downs in the first half.

"We were not able to move the chains, and were not able to get into the flow and rhythm of what we wanted to establish with our tempo," Steve Addazio said. "We couldn't get it going. You can't do that if you don't sustain drives, and that didn't happen."

Addazio said the plan was to use John Brantley at quarterback on the first few drives. They wanted the longer drives to give them a chance to put Jordan Reed and Trey Burton into the game, but the offense sputtered and went three-and-out during the first two drives.

"Part of the whole thing is getting in a rhythm," Addazio said. "We've got to have enough plays to rotate everybody. Series one, we had a five-yard penalty. You're already behind down and distance. Series two, there's a penalty. It's hard to get that thing going, because Johnny is our third down guy. That leaves available two calls."

The lack of diversity in the offense came from no elongated drives, as the Gators ran only 19 plays in the first half. Their plan was to go to Reed on the fourth drive, and he ran for a first down on his second play in, the first time the Gators picked up a first down in the game.

"We couldn't get into a flow because we didn't convert," Addazio said. "That's the one thing where we have to get it going. You've got to convert first downs to get that thing going. Penalties in series one and two didn't help."

The offensive coordinator was asked about multiple players who didn't receive near their touches on offense. The answer was the same as the reason Burton and Reed didn't get many snaps. There weren't enough offensive snaps to get into a rhythm.

"In the limited amount of calls we had, we really did stick to trying to get those guys in the game," Addazio said. "The problem is not enough calls. Why not enough calls? Because we didn't convert enough first downs. We didn't move the chains."

One of those players is Jeff Demps. He hasn't been the same since registering over 20 carries against Tennessee in the third week of the season, as he injured his foot during the game.

The Gators have been on a week-by-week basis with getting Demps back, but even when he has played, he hasn't looked as explosive as before the injury.

"We're trying to rest him as much as we can each week," Addazio said. "He's doing the best he can right now. He's guarded on what his activity can be throughout the week."

The offense has sputtered this year, but Addazio still feels confident in retaining his job for next season.

"Yeah absolutely," he said when asked if he expected to be the offensive coordinator next year.
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