NEW ORLEANS -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday.
The score: Scoreless in the first quarter.
The situation: First-and-10 from the Florida 31-yard line.
The breakdown: UF was in shotgun formation with RB Mike Gillislee to the right of Driskel and two tight ends (Clay Burton and Jordan Reed) on the right side of the formation. The Gators had two receivers on the left side of the formation: Debose and Raphael Andrades.
Just before the snap, Reed motions from the right side of the formation to the left side. At the snap, Andrades runs a deep route to pull the cornerback down field. Reed runs a flat route and FS Jermaine Reve comes up to cover him.
Reve runs right by Debose, who runs a curl and is wide open at the 38-yard line. MLB Preston Brown is closing quickly, but there’s plenty of open space around Debose.
Driskel’s pass, however, is behind Debose, who lunges toward the sideline and gets his right hand on the ball just inside the numbers. CB Terell Floyd, who was outside the numbers, catches the easy ricochet at the 38 and scores an easy touchdown.
Going forward: The play should have worked. Reed drew the coverage into the flat and Andrades pulled the corner down the field. Louisville rushed five but Gillislee stayed in to help block. Driskel had plenty of time to make the throw. This is a play the Gators like to run because it is virtually a guaranteed completion. It’s a relatively easy throw, too. Driskel needs to spend the offseason working on his accuracy.
Fake field goal
The score: Louisville leading 24-3 late in the first half.
The situation: Fourth-and-goal from the Louisville 1-yard line.
Why it worked: The Gators took advantage of an unbalanced formation and RB Matt Jones was able to bull his way into the end zone.
The breakdown: The Gators appeared set to kick a field goal but instead came out in a funky formation. The ball is in the middle of the hashmarks. Snapper Kyle Crofoot has G Jon Halapio and DT Leon Orr to his right. Trey Burton is in the shotgun with K Caleb Sturgis behind him.
Jones is lined up wide right and motions into the backfield to Burton’s right.
There are four offensive linemen between the numbers on the left side of the field and the sideline. Holder John Crofoot is standing behind them.
It’s a triple option play. Burton can either hand the ball off to Jones, keep it himself, or pitch it to Sturgis. Burton gives the ball to Jones, who squirts through a hole between Halapio and Orr. Orr gets the key block by sealing Reve out of the play.
Going forward: It’s a formation the Gators likely will use at times again and it’s a well-designed play. There are other possibilities, too. Burton could throw the ball to John Crofoot behind the wall of linemen.
The score: Louisville leading 30-10 early in the third quarter.
The situation: Second-and-6 at the Florida 21-yard line.
Why it didn’t work: The Gators didn’t have enough blockers to pick up a blitzer and Driskel didn’t recognize the blitz and held onto the ball too long.
The breakdown: Florida was in shotgun formation with five receivers, three on the right side and two on the left. FS Calvin Pryor is lined up at the first-down marker on the right side of the defensive formation. However, he creeps up to the line of scrimmage just before the snap.
At the snap, Driskel looks to his right and never sees Pryor blitzing off the left side. Pryor hammers Driskel just before he starts to throw the ball and the ball pops up into the air.
Going forward: Driskel is going to have to learn to recognize blitzes better.