Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators vow to be more aggressive on offense

GAINESVILLE — When the Florida coaching staff sat down to assess the past two games, plenty of problems required immediate attention: penalties, running the ball, stopping the run, pass protection, tackling, the secondary and injuries.

But what stood out most to offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was actually fairly simple — at least in theory: The Gators need to score more points.

"If you score 10 and 11 points on a weekly basis, you're going to lose most of them, if not all of them," Weis said. "So what we have to do is … be more aggressive.

"You're in that Catch-22 when you're dealing with inexperience at the quarterback position, but we will be more aggressive."

Beginning Saturday night at No. 24 Auburn (4-2, 2-1 SEC).

Florida (4-2, 2-2) finds itself in the critical care unit of the SEC race — coming off losses to No. 2 Alabama (38-10) and No. 1 LSU (41-11). Florida is without starting quarterback John Brantley because of a sprained right ankle and for the second straight week will be led by a freshman, Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel. Or possibly both.

Another loss, and it could trail South Carolina (3-1) and Georgia (3-1) by two games in the SEC East with three conference games left (though it has games against both).

"Being an older guy, I've been through this before with last year's team," redshirt junior defensive tackle Omar Hunter said. "The thing is, with this team, we've got a lot of young guys. You would think that those young guys would lose their cool. But actually, they've been pretty tough.

"Everyone's letting the past two weeks go, and everybody's looking forward to Auburn. We still control our own destiny."

Which is why Florida needs leadership before it's too late. And on a team in which more than half is freshmen and sophomores, coach Will Muschamp said it must come from anyone who's willing to take the job.

"It doesn't have to be a senior. We don't have many," he said. "Anybody. That is something I challenged them about (this week). It is really hard to be a leader. We have a lot of guys that want to be a leader one day and then the next day they want to step off the podium and let someone else do it. That's not part of the deal.

"When you want to be a leader, you step in front and positively affect everybody in the organization. Every day you have to be a productive player. That's how we've outlined it for them. When you face adversity, you find out a lot about your leadership and where your football team is."

The stakes are high for Florida, but Weis said he's more at ease after two weeks of preparation concentrated solely on his freshmen.

"I have a lot of confidence in these guys," Weis said. "The big difference is the level of experience. I can't tell you the invaluable price you can put on experience. It's a big difference-maker. The first rattle out of the box has taken place now. It'll be a lot easier to run the operation this week than it was last week."

Antonya English can be reached at Follow her coverage at

Florida Gators vow to be more aggressive on offense 10/13/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning announce events for 25th anniversary season


    The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  2. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  3. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  5. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois


    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.