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Gators offense needs to keep defenses guessing

Florida has one of the highest first-down running percentages in the country. Defenses are catching on.

Sam Greenwood

In the aftermath of a tough loss to Georgia, Florida offensive coordinator admitted that he needed to mix things up on offense a bit. According to the Gainesville Sun, The Gators have rushed the ball 78.1% of the time on first down through the first eight games of the season. That percentage is the second-highest in the BCS. Only Georgia Tech, which uses a triple-option offense, runs the ball more on first down than Florida.

The offense has become "probably a little predictable," Pease said. "Now, we're never going to get it back to balanced, is what we say, because the numbers are so skewed at this time in the season, but we kind of go on a game-to-game basis."

The problem isn't as much the predictability of the offense as it is the ability of SEC defenses to snuff out running plays.

"You know in our league, they catch up pretty quick with what you're doing," Gator coach Will Muschamp said. "You've got to stay advanced in what you're doing."

As defenses have geared up to stop the Florida running game with eight-man fronts, running back Mike Gillislee has seen his production drop. Gillislee is averaging only 60.3 yards a game in his last three outings. The Gators will need to get him going again if they want to get back on their winning ways.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.