Sure, a win is a win.
But how the Florida Gators got there during Saturday’s 48-10 win over Colorado State wasn’t pretty. It was riddled with mistakes galore. It wasn’t perfect by any means of the word, and there’s a reason for that.
Before I dive into this column, let me get one thing straight. This is not a bashing Feleipe Franks piece like my colleague Chris O’Brien wrote. It’s not a “Mullen is overrated,” piece either. It’s an honest outlook of a game in which the Gators should have won by a lot more than they did.
I never thought I’d write something like this after UF won by 38 points, but here we are anyway.
This game showed that Florida needs to change something about its offense and fast.
Just take a look at the first quarter. The most telling stat was that Franks had more interceptions (one) than completions (he went 0-for-6). Or how about the fact that Franks had more rushing yards (20) and runs (5) than every UF running back combined? Florida wasn’t utilizing its full offense, which resulted in a quick three-and-out on the opening drive.
If it wasn’t for the special teams, the Gators might not have had any points in the first quarter.
A fumble recovery on a bobbled Colorado State punt put Florida roughly 10 yards from the end zone. UF ended up with a field goal.
To their credit, the Gators played better from that moment. Franks found his receivers in the field, ending the game going 8-for-15 for 119 yards and two touchdowns, mostly in garbage time after UF took a commanding lead. Florida’s runners started moving the ball more, capped by a 30-yard rushing touchdown from Jordan Scarlett in the second quarter.
Let’s not forget this is Colorado State, though. The Gators should be doing this. They should be up big against a team like the Rams.
Florida will not replicate this as easily when it gets into the bulk of it’s SEC schedule. In fact, if it plays this way, UF will struggle to get wins in the SEC.
Something needs to change with the offense.
I’m not saying it needs to be a change in quarterbacks. Franks was fine when he was given time to make his passes and didn’t just run with the ball on every play.
I’m not saying it needs to be a change in Florida’s playbook.
What I am saying is the Gators need to find a way to get the ball to it’s playmakers on both the running and receiving end. Let Lamical Perine, Dameon Pierce or Scarlett run rampant on opposing defenses. Let Franks stay in the pocket and throw to UF’s offensive weapons in Tyrie Cleveland, Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes, just to name a few.
Let the Gators run the offense it needs to run. That’s the way Florida will have a successful season.
At least we saw those mistakes against early, so UF can correct them down the road.
Jake Dreilinger is the assistant sports editor at the Alligator. You can contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake.