Notebook: Adjusting to jumpstart the pass

Notebook: Adjusting to jumpstart the pass

When the Florida offense gets to the line of scrimmage before the snap, there isn't much freedom for the quarterback to switch the play. That's by the design of the Florida coaching staff. The Gators are trying to build a mindset into the team of tough, hardnosed football that features the running game. There isn't much freedom to switch to pass plays if the defense dictates it.

"We probably haven't done that situation a lot," Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "I think we're capable of doing it, but I think down the road if people continue to outnumber us, it's something we have to have in our back pocket and develop to."

Comfort and experience in the offense is part of it. The Florida offensive players are in their first under of Pease's offense, and with a first-year starting quarterback, they're trying to eliminate Driskel, or if Jacoby Brissett starts this weekend, from thinking too much. However, it has hindered the offense from being as multiple as possible.

In the beginning of the season, opposing defenses weren't sure what was coming from the Florida offense simply because of the unproven parts involved in it. Ever since the South Carolina game, opposing defenses are loading up to stop the run.

"Sometimes they're getting numbers in the box and their run fits are just plugging all of our gaps," Pease said. "What we saw early is big runs. Now people have seen those plays. They're making sure they're sound on run fits. And those runs are turning into four- and five-yard gains."

It hasn't produced an impressive offense to watch, but it's still a part of building the type of program the coaches have agreed they want to turn Florida into. On his way back to the press box on Saturday for the second half, Pease was yelled at by people in the stands to "quit running the draw…up the middle."

After pointing out on Tuesday that there wasn't a draw in the game plan, Pease pointed out that the dependence on the running game is a part of what the team is becoming.

"We're making a statement," Pease said. "We're getting first downs and kind of developing our attitude. It's still a process of what we're trying to build every time we're out there."

Pease said that he is "confident" in his play calling and also mentioned that the execution by the players has been "solid." However, the level of execution has to come from every player on the field.

The coaches and players are confident in the offense and the personnel on that side of the ball, but the issues have come in the smaller parts of the offense.

"You can't have one guy messing up," Pease said. "That's just what offense is about. It's fine. We've got to execute. We're not going to pull back from it."

OFFENSIVE LINE HELP ON THE WAY: The offensive line showed improvement early in the season and dominated the strong defensive front of LSU to secure an early-October win. Freshman Jessamen Dunker enrolled early and was expected to play at some point early in the season.

However, when the offensive line played well in the early season and the Gators didn't need him, Dunker didn't get on the field. This late in the season, the coaches don't want to burn his redshirt.

"You get to a point in the season where you have him on the shelf in case you need him and then you get to a breaking point where you get diminished returns playing him at this stage," Pease said. "That's just our plan. The kid's going to be a great player, and he's worked himself into shape and started to learn more. He has become well rounded. I think he's on the right track, and now we'll have him for four years.

"I think he's become a more consistent person. I think he's got himself into shape, and I think he's starting to understand the scheme of football a lot more."

The Gators will also get a boost from Maryland transfer Max Garcia. He has spent the season working on the scout team and has turned himself into a versatile lineman that can play guard or tackle when he's eligible next season. Pease said they will make a decision on his future position during spring practice.

"Max is a great kid," Pease said. "He works hard. Sometimes in that situation, we hear more from the defensive guys because they are with him every play and we're not. They say great things about him. He'll do whatever you ask and he's tough. He's getting himself into shape physically and a solid kid in school."

JACKSONVILLE STATE DEFENSE: The Gamecocks are 108th in the country in total defense out of the 121 teams in the Football Championship Subdivision, allowing an average of 446 yards per game. Jacksonville State is also 110th in passing defense and 86th in rushing defense.

This should be the week the Florida offense builds confidence in preparation for playing Florida State, but Pease thinks the unit is better than their statistics.

"They combine all this pressure they give you," Pease said. "They're coming from the boundary with a corner, from the field with a couple guys and up the middle with guys. You never know where it's coming from. It's tough to prepare for."

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