Florida meddled through much of its season opener Saturday against Bowling Green but eventually won 27-14. It was a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Driskel to Frankie Hammond in the fourth quarter that helped the Gators seal the win, their 23rd consecutive season-opening victory.
After the game, SB Nation blog Alligator Army picked apart head coach Will Muschamp's offensive strategy and the perceived ideological differences between Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Particularly on third-and-short plays, Alligator Army could tell that more conservative plays were Muschamp's, and more aggressive calls seemed to be Pease's.
And those third-and-short calls that did work looked like Pease's ideas: Mike Gillislee's long run in the fourth quarter came on a fake to a sweep that didn't look like a Muschamp call, and the third and three pass to Latroy Pittman for a first down in the second quarter came in the rhythm of a hurry-up that definitely seems more like Pease than Muschamp.
Pease won't be using trick plays on every down, of course, because that's not something any offensive coordinator does, not even the ones from places like Boise State with reputations for wackiness, but his variety worked better than Muschamp's preferred pounding on Saturday. He's got to be trusted to run his offense, which requires trusting his quarterback(s) to throw the ball and take pressure off the running game and trusting his team to deviate from things that don't work when they fail.
Muschamp is priding himself on a more physical Florida team than 2011, but it seemed they couldn't out-physical Bowling Green at times Saturday. Pease's strategy seemed to reflect back on his time at Boise State: Use what you have as your identity; don't identify and then figure out what you have.
For Florida coverage, insight, and analysis, visit Florida Gators blog Alligator Army as well as SEC blog Team Speed Kills. And for more news and notes from around NCAA football, check out SB Nation's college football hub.