Florida vs. Vanderbilt Film Review: Offense

Posted by

It’s time to look at the Florida offense in today’s film review session. In a blowout game like this there won’t be much to be nitpicky at but I’m sure I’ll find something.

I already knew what I would spend the most time on in this film review, and that’s the consistently, never changing poor play from the offensive line. Delance gets beat badly on an inside rush here and it forces Trask to sidestep the pressure. Trask does nothing wrong, if Vanderbilt didn’t call a corner blitz on this play then a different result happens, but Perine can’t hold on to the block for very long. I don’t pin this on Perine either, once Trask stepped forward, it gave the corner a chance to shed the block. This play fails because of Delance allowing that inside pressure, it’s also a good play call by Vanderbilt, if they didn’t call the corner bilitz, this play gains yards.

Versus Georgia, Florida threw the ball on 4th and 1, I hated the play call and even in the review of that game, I hated the play call. But this time I didn’t. Why? Because the play call worked, the execution failed. And the reason the play failed? Delance. Again. Perine is open on this go route but because Delance cannot hold on to his block Trask cannot square up, set his feet and throw a proper ball. I don’t have an issue with anyone who would prefer to run the ball here, but this play works if Delance can ever figure out how to just do his job.

I’m not sure what to say here. This ball is underthrown so badly that I’m not sure if Trask and the receiver were on a different page or if Trask’s limited arm strength was the cause for this, but this is just bad.

Trask is a creative QB for a guy who doesn’t have all that much experience. He pulled out a similar trick out of his bag vs Kentucky on an option that looked to fail, and here he gets tripped up pulling from under center and can make something work.

Florida’s wide receivers are a lot better at blocking than Florida’s offensive line is right now. As Dan Orlovsky stated during the game, the RB and WR screen game is Florida’s run game and I don’t foresee this changing over the rest of the season. This turns into an 11 yard gain because of how well the edge is sealed off by the WRs.

In comparison, here is our offensive line attempting to block. The yellow lines show what I believe is a hole for Davis to run through, but Nick Buchanan gets shoved back into Davis’ face, and Davis side steps it to the left. I think if he cuts to the right, he can make something out of this run. But again, as has been the case with failures in pass protection, there are so many instances of one guy killing the entire play and I strongly believe Buchanan killed this play by not being stronger at the point of attack.

Delance again getting beat here by a spinm

During the game, when this interception occurred, I and many other people said, “You can’t throw this into double coverage.” In review, he didn’t throw this into double coverage. I grabbed a screen of this play right as the ball was hitting the back of the corner. You can see the safety in relation, he’s several yards away on the play and if the ball isn’t tipped, no one says anything. The ball was still thrown poorly by Trask, this ball needs to be thrown at the yellow X, right where the official is standing.

Since several people on Twitter or Reddit had an issue with what I said about his ball location, I quickly present to you two screen grabs of the ball location from Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott over the last month. I realize that Trask is not an NFL QB, but NFL QB’s are usually a good example to follow in terms of an educational on ball location.

Now as I get to the second half, I foresee this review staying more on the positive side, especially considering how dominant Florida was in the second half.

Grimes is underutilized. I still believe he is Florida’s best wide receiver and is as much, if not more of a mismatch than Pitts is. He is 6’5″, so he has a height advantage over every single defender in the secondary, he has also shown that he is very difficult to bring down to go with legitimate runaway speed for a guy his height. I don’t know if Grimes will declare after this season, but if he does, don’t judge him by his numbers at Florida, most NFL teams would be happy to take an early round chance on Grimes.

This is just fantastic from Trask. Vanderbilt comes off the edge with a corner and linebacker blitz. Pierce quickly picks up the linebacker and Trask quickly spots Cleveland on the deep route. Cleveland’s NFL Draft highlight package will be full of a lot of highlight catches like this.

It’s plays like this that make it difficult to keep Toney off the field even though he’s not on the level of the other wide receivers in terms of doing things wide receivers are supposed to do well in this scheme (blocking well in the screen game, route running, hands). Unfortunately, Toney is very inconsistent in this area, when you eliminate his two biggest plays this season (this play and the Miami run) his averages are very low. There is no consistency in his game.

This is the longest run play of the day by a Florida running back on a traditional running play. What I mean by a traditional running play is a straight hand-off to an RB, not using any gimmick or package plays like an end-around, jet motion hand-off to a RB . But this goes for 13 yards and it’s run like a read-option (I have no idea if the play call WAS a read-option), that seam is created with the end coming upfield and reading the option versus crashing down on Perine. Outside of this play, the three longest run plays by a running back were all in the 4th quarter (three 5 yard runs).

There are a variety of ways to run the read-option and since I do not understand what this exact play call is, it stuck out to me regarding how quickly Emory pulls and makes something out of what looks to be nothing. For me, I think there are two traditional ways to run a read option, one would be the RB (in this case Toney) taking it wide off tackle or Emory keeping it on a dive (yellow arrows), or second, the RB taking the ball and then cutting it up the A or B gap or Emory pulling and going wide off tackle the opposite way (blue arrows).

Instead, what I see here is a defender crashing straight down into the mesh point, Emory pulls, which is the right decision, what stood out to me was how he took off running in the direction Toney was designed to go. There is nothing breathtaking about this play but I think it stands out in terms of Emory growing and getting comfortable turning nothing into something.

It’s the 4th quarter of a game that is at 42-0, I’m not losing sleep over this next play. For one, Pitts is starting to earn the double team as I circled. Second, I would have liked to see Trask take advantage of there being no safety in the middle of the field and take the shot to the top route. Instead, he goes to the underneath route, and the ball is knocked away.

I don’t hate running out of the shotgun on the goal line like so many people do, especially if you go 3 or 4 wide and force the defense to not stack the box. But this is just more abysmal run blocking by a very soft group of offensive linemen. I paused this right as Trask is pulling his hand away from the gut of the RB. Every single linemen are getting pushed backward and Davis is hit a yard behind the line of scrimmage. Vanderbilt came into this game ranked 107th in rush defense, and this offensive line could not handle them.

The last play I wanted to show was a deep ball from Emory to Copeland. I’m assuming that Vanderbilt had their backups in at this point, but it’s plays like this that make me wonder why Emory doesn’t get to run the full offense more.

Extra Stats

I want to try focusing on a specific statistic that stands out to me every week, sometimes it may be the same statistic. This week I wanted to point out the air yards for Trask. I am a big fan of air yards over passing yards. Every statistic has its own use, but passing yards is one of the most misunderstood and misused statistics in football. There is rarely any context added to the statistic. When you see “QB throws to WR for 80 yard TD” you do not understand how far the QB threw the ball unless you watched the game, so passing yards lies to you a lot.

Air yards is a pure passing metric for QBs that removes the work the receivers do after the catch. I wanted to focus on it because I wanted to see how many yards Trask is responsible for throwing vs Vanderbilt.

Trask is credited with throwing for 363 yards versus Vanderbilt. I logged his air yards at 95 yards on the day. That gives the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs 268 yards on the day in terms of yards after the catch.

Trask threw 11 balls behind the line of scrimmage. The longest play he was credited with was the 66-yard pass to Grimes, that ball only traveled 3 yards in the air. His longest completion in terms of air yards was the 33-yard throw to Tyrie Cleveland on the drive following the Grimes TD. Trask had an additional five balls travel between 10-20 yards.

Conclusion

I know it’s not my job to do any of this, but I view it as kind of my duty to watch the film and be as nitpicky as possible. There are thousands upon thousands of “analysts”, “experts” and commentators who will sit there and tell you all that is right with a team out of fear of being called a “hater” or losing followers on Twitter, now multiply that number by 1000 to get the number of fans who refuse to see the negative in a game that finishes 56-0, because if you beat someone by 56 points, you’re elite, right?

Florida played well, it’s silly to say otherwise in a game that ends in that final score. But there are still issues with this team on the offensive end, primarily, if not entirely with the offensive line.

Vanderbilt currently ranks 103rd (196 YPG) in rush defense and 116th in yards per carry allowed (5.21 YPC). Florida running backs ran the ball 13 times for 34 yards, that’s 2.61 yards per carry. Awful on both accounts. Florida only got to 150 yards on the day because the offense got 57 yards on gimmick plays from Swain and Toney and another 59 yards from Trask and Jones on QB draws, scrambles or designed keepers.

I get that at the end of the day, the goal is to move the ball and score points and Florida did that in this game. But Florida now has to go on the road to Missouri and win a game. Missouri is not a good football team right now, but their rush defense ranks right now are 47th in yards per game and 42nd in yards per carry. More concerning for me? Vanderbilt ranks 116th in passing defense, Missouri ranks 4th. Missouri has only allowed 2 teams to throw for over 200 yards on them, South Carolina and Ole Miss.

I don’t expect Florida to be held under 200 yards in this game through the air, but Florida will have to run the ball better to win this game, and I have zero confidence they can do that. The offensive line has shown zero progress as a unit in that area and entering their 11th game, I have no reason to expect that suddenly in 40-degree weather on the road that they will now figure it out.

I have no issue with the play calling if it works, I would like to see Trask push the ball downfield more, it will open up the offense more because I don’t think Florida can beat Missouri and FSU if Trask has to throw another 11 balls behind the line of scrimmage.

The only issue I have right now is the usage of Emory Jones. I don’t understand what Mullen is doing. He was comfortable using Jones at LSU, but outside of the last drive in this game, they rarely used Emory since that LSU game. Emory has been a bit of a drive killer, but I’m not sold on that being entirely on Emory as much as Mullen has him running a playbook that is one page long. It does no one any favors. I’ve said it before, I’ll repeat myself here, highly recruited QB’s have no issue transferring if they feel misused, Trask will start next year which puts Emory on the bench for the third year in a row. IF Emory transfers, there is only person to blame, and that’s Mullen.

I want to end with this, Florida is ranked 11th in the country and should finish the regular season at 10-2. There is nothing to be ashamed about with those numbers, but I feel strongly that Florida’s current coaching staff puts Florida’s ceiling at 10-2 every year. There are many assistants I want to see Mullen replace, even if Florida wins out, and John Hevesy is one of those guys (I’ll focus on the defense in that film review writeup). He is not a good recruiter; he is not a good offensive line coach. I believe our fans thought he was a great coach after the play from the offensive line a year ago, but after seeing zero progress in 2019? I don’t see how you can rationalize keeping Hevesy on staff with his on-field and recruiting results. It’s just not going to cut it if this is the offensive line play we’re going to get yearly because we’re limited so severely by a lack of elite talent on the front.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *