Coming off a huge win, there’s always a danger of a let down. Some guys make a living betting against teams in those types of spots. When you add in a big game the following week, you have the classic makings of a trap game. Florida’s game against Charlotte would qualify under those parameters.
However, I don’t think Florida fell into the trap. Which is nice to see. Usually you see a team sleepwalking a little to open the game. Florida came out really sharp. You forced a 3 and out on defense and then proceeded to go 95 yards on 9 plays to take a 7-0 lead. The next defensive drive is another 3 and out allowing only 1 yard. Your offense then gets the ball back and drives inside the opponent 10 yard line. That’s when the real issue in the game began. You were able to move the ball well most of the night, but couldn’t finish drives in the redzone.
The redzone woes were the biggest issue in the game. You punch a couple of those in early and you’re up 21-0. I’m going to take a longer look at each redzone possession in my video this week, but for today let’s take a look at a couple of nice schemes. We’ve got a great play call by the defense and we also take a closer look at the one redzone trip the Gators did cash in. Let’s start with the defense.
For the fourth week in a row, the defense played really well. Florida gave up really only one drive in the game. Charlotte’s TD drive was 75 yards and the Gators defense gave up 135 yards outside of that eight play sequence.
One of my favorite plays came on a 3rd and 8 in the first quarter. DC Austin Armstrong dials up a play with a couple levels of deception. Up front he shows an even front look with two stand up ends and two backers in the box. On the back end he shows two safeties deep, but they are somewhat displaced. When the safeties are on different levels, it can sometimes mean rotation. The Gators will rotate post snap, but it isn’t from either of the two safeties.
Florida is going to run a creeper that brings both backers in the A gap and drops both ends. On the back end, the Star rotates to the deep half and your field safety becomes a robber as you run an inverted Tampa 2 coverage. In typical Tampa 2, you play two safeties in the deep half of the field and your linebacker “runs the pipe” protecting the middle area between the safeties. When inverted you bring a safety down from the top to Rob routes over the middle. Florida’s rush gets a hand on the pass knocking it down, but the coverage was in place regardless.
One of Florida’s favorite plays in the run game is Duo. It is sometimes referred to as power without the pullers. You get double teams at the point of attack and the back can get downhill. It often looks like inside zone but the center works to the backside instead of the frontside. A play diagram is below.
On their opening drive touchdown, Florida runs a play action and makes it look like duo.
As I said above, Duo is a downhill play. Charlotte was pretty aggressive, so you had to feel like those linebackers were going to fill for run. They did.
The 49ers were also in man coverage, which was confirmed by the motion. At the snap, Arlis Boardingham steps down just like he would on Duo. The defense flies up for run and, due to the man coverage, the backside clears out. Boardingham continues along his path on a tight end throwback and pops wide open. By the time the defense realizes what has happened it’s too late.
There was a lot of good in what very well could have been a trap game. The defense was great and you now feel pretty good about your kicker. The offense started well but much like many of their redzone trips, they were unable to finish strong. You can’t win a lot of games kicking redzone field goals. If the execution doesn’t get better this week all that pressure you got off your back by beating Tennessee will come flooding back.