As is usually the case with Florida-Georgia, the Gators had a bye last week, which is always a good opportunity for some self-scouting. After the South Carolina game the prior week, I wrote that I didn’t think the Florida passing scheme had changed all that much. I just thought Florida executed at a higher level against a poor defense playing a lot of man coverage.
I received a few questions about that piece, so I decided to answer a few in a video. I took a look at all the dropback passes against South Carolina and found previous examples of Florida running the same concepts. I also tried to explain concept based passing games and how they are structured. If you’d like to learn about the Florida passing game under Billy Napier you can check that out here.
With no game from last week to review, I thought I’d take a look at a couple scheme things to watch for from the Gators upcoming matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs. First let’s start with something from the Georgia offense.
The Bulldogs offense has seemingly always gotten second billing to their stellar defense under Kirby Smart. However, under previous OC Todd Monken, the Georgia offense became a really efficient unit capable of winning games themselves. One of the biggest areas they excelled in under Monken was the screen game. Georgia was one of the best screen teams in the country. It’s a great way to get your skill guys the ball in space and it’s typically easy on the quarterback. Under new(?) OC Mike Bobo, Georgia has actually seen the screen usage rise. In 2021 and 2022, Stetson Bennett threw screen passes on 14.7% and 21.1% of dropbacks respectively. So far this season, Carson Beck is throwing screens on just over 25% of his passes. They use them to generate easy first downs.
And they also use them to generate explosive touchdowns.
How the Florida defense handles the Georgia screen game is definitely something to watch.
On the other side of the ball, Florida has another great test. Last year, the Gators had a plan to attack Georgia vertically. There were some open shots that were missed, but there were also times that the offensive line couldn’t hold up in protection. Georgia moves a lot on the defensive front in addition to bringing pressure from all over.Here’s a good example from last season’s game. The Gators actually get the receiver wide open on a dig and go. Georgia plays a game upfront between its interior defensive lineman and the protection breaks down before Florida can throw the pass to the open receiver.
So far this season, Florida has not done well against defensive lines that move a lot post snap. I would expect to see a lot of movement for the Georgia front. The Gators picking those moves up will go a long way towards having success on offense.