Florida’s offense didn’t put on a show vs. Missouri, struggling mostly to protect Trask upfront, so now I’ll look at how the offense looked vs. Missouri.
Trask has had some issues with this back shoulder throw this season, his ball location is not thrown towards the sideline enough, but the first pass of the game is good for Trask.
I am no offensive line coach, but I follow a lot of scouts on Twitter, some of them specialize in offensive line play. One theme I see in great OL play is eyes downfield looking for the next block, here Gouraige is looking behind him for a block, makes little sense to me, especially with a defender right in front of him.
Missouri gets to Trask quickly here, and they do nothing creative upfront. It is a 3-man rush and both Gouraige and Buchanan get beat, it’s Buchanan that gives up the sack.
This is the only way Florida can run the ball consistently. While it’s true that Florida heavily uses RB and WR screens as a substitution for a lack of a true run game, when you talk about pure running the ball, this is the only way that Florida can gain chunk yards on the ground without Trask throwing the ball.
Here is the general look of from the front 6 of Missouri on this play. The two outside linebackers are not rushing the passer, I don’t know their responsibility, but they’re either spying Trask or reading the RB for a screen pass. The lone linebacker comes on a slightly delayed blitz directed at Forsythe.
Forsythe completely stops blocking his man (the DE in this case) once he sees the linebacker coming at him, the initial pressure on Trask comes from the defender that Forsythe was responsible for. Gouraige ultimately gives up the sack, you will notice Gouraige is on the ground here, watch the play several times and you will notice that Gouraige just gets pulled onto the ground. This is a failed job by Forsythe in terms of how he mentally handles Missouri and Gouraige is just too weak.
I really dislike the angles you get from Missouri home games, it’s awful. But this is the 11th game of the season and somehow the offensive line has made zero progress in the run game. Perine has no room to run here, all you need is one yard and the offensive line just can’t clear out a simple seam for Perine to hit.
Grimes is really underused. I know part of this is the depth at WR; You need to feed the ball to all the talent at that position, but Grimes is the best receiver on the team. Prior to this desperation throw from Trask, Grimes made a basic back shoulder throw catch where Trask put the ball a little over Grimes helmet, at 6’5″ he can shield off defenders and go high point the ball.
On this play, the interior of the offensive line falls apart once again and Trask has to quickly step out of harm’s way. This is an excellent throw by Trask considering he is throwing this off his back foot, and a great job by Grimes going up and using his size to high point the ball.
There are some people who have an issue with my criticism of Trask’s ball placement, but I’m sticking to my guns on this topic. Trask struggled to throw this ball vs Vanderbilt, getting one pass picked off, and right here I believe that the ball location is too far inside again. The red is where the ball is, the yellow X is where I believe Trask needs to place this ball. The ball is broken up because the corner has an easy play here to break it up.
One of the common themes from the offensive line this year has been four guys doing their job and one guy ruining the play with poor fundamentals, but vs. Missouri it was a case of two or three guys all playing poorly on one play.
Delance initially allows the pressure from the edge, not sure what he is doing here as it looks like he doesn’t even try to engage in the defender until he’s lost the battle. Heggie gives up the sack after Trask moves up into the pocket to escape the first defender.
On 3rd and 3, Mullen calls a run play, not a fan. I understand the argument that if it worked, I would like it, but with this offensive line getting cute and trying to sneak in a run play here is just an odd call. Trask throwing a 4-yard slant or a screen pass to Toney would have been a better call than this, especially considering that Perine gets hit one yard behind the line of scrimmage.
I once read from a scout that an offensive lineman should pretend that their rear-end is a camera and it should be pointed at a QB at all times, otherwise the odds are great that the linemen are giving up the pressure. You could probably also steal that basketball saying “you reach I teach”, because not only is Forsythe wildly out of position here, he is too tall to be bending over this much.
First Florida touchdown of the day is a great route by Jefferson from the slot.
Trask’s ball location is solid here, puts it on the outside shoulder of Jefferson and the corner has no chance to make a play on this ball.
I’m not here to focus on officiating, so I’m only focusing on the pass and the catch. This is an excellent catch by Pitts, it’s not a poorly thrown ball by Trask, but once again I think a ball thrown more to the outside shoulder of Pitts results in a clean catch that makes the defender’s job more difficult. I also want to point out White here at left guard, I’m liking what I see from him in this game, he’s done a good job of passing off blitzes and stunts directed at him. The two DTs twist here and White quickly passes off the initial defender he engages and picks up the twisting linemen.
This is my favorite highlight of the day because you don’t normally see college running backs make this kind of play. Trask does a good job with the ball location here, it’s more to the sideline and neither defender makes a clean play on the ball while it’s in the air, so no complaints from me here.
A well-thrown ball by Emory here possibly results in a TD for Toney. I was so surprised to see Emory throwing the ball I didn’t notice in live-action how badly underthrown the ball was.
This is a great play call by Mullen that fails because of awful execution by Lang. You see the amount of free room if Lang picks up his block properly, Grimes is running 10 yards, maybe more, before the closest defender comes into play.
For the last highlight, I wanted to go back earlier in the game to point out something I noticed White is great at for a true freshman, that is handing stunts.
I’m only focusing on the right side of the line, the DE hits White and then directs his pass rush to Delance, the OLB here follows the red track, he loops around and targets White. I like the play call by Missouri here because historically on the season, Florida has been awful at handling stunts like this.
Now look at the RG, that is White, he handles the initial DE engaging with him, he spots the linebacker twisting around and he quickly passes off the DE to Delance. Now, this is also a good job by Delance to pick up the edge defender here once White moves onto the linebacker. But what’s happened in the past is Heggie or Bleich, or even Forsythe at LT, would get overwhelmed by all the movement and give up pressure.
It wasn’t the cleanest offensive performance on the season, but Florida won in a convincing enough fashion, running away in the second half.
Florida’s offensive performances look a lot more impressive in film review with the context of how poor the offensive line is, which leads to having no traditional run game. Florida running backs had 13 rushes for 34 yards against Vanderbilt, versus Missouri, Florida running backs totaled 23 yards on 9 carries. Florida is basically running an air raid offense right now, but even Washington State averages more yards a carry than Florida does.
Regarding the offensive line, Gouraige likely saw the most snaps he has seen all season, and with that came his worst performance of the year. This is nothing I’m worried about considering that he is a redshirt freshman who has been eased in this season, but he struggled with the strength of Missouri tackles, getting whipped to the ground once and overall just struggling to find a groove. Ethan White may have had the best day of all the linemen, which is impressive because this is the most he has played in one game, and it was on the road.
Sticking with the subject of the offensive line, the staff experimented in this game with moving guys around. My guess is they are clearly looking to figure out how they want to shape this offensive line heading into next season. Gouraige played primarily at LG, but moved to LT for a drive. Heggie moved from RG to LG in this instance. Heggie was not benched, it looked like the staff was giving Heggie two drives at RG, then White two drives at RG, Heggie two drives, etc. To end with the offensive, I only noticed two plays where White allowed a pressure, one led to Trask getting hit, but that’s it, and I’m ok with that for a true freshman getting this kind of playing time on the road.
I was happy with Trask’s play overall. I was, as I usually am, more aggressive on game day. But Trask hasn’t developed the bad trait of getting trigger-happy behind a bad offensive line yet. He looks like he trusts the line until he can’t. He’s grown more comfortable playing behind a line that can’t consistently protect him and his accuracy throwing off his back foot shows here. He still has some issues with his ball location on throws to the sideline, but I think it’s getting better. I strongly believe that if this offensive line gave Trask the protection that Franks got a year ago, Florida puts up an additional 14 points in this game. There were numerous plays where Trask rushed his throw and overthrew a wide-open WR that he potentially hits with a clean pocket to step into.