The 11th-ranked Florida football team is off this week, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Brent Pease discussed the team’s approach to the bye week and what areas are being addressed.
This is the first time Florida has had a bye after just four weeks since the 2009 season. It comes at a good time for the Gators as they have several injured players who would be questionable if there was a game this weekend, but most of those players are probable for LSU. Those nursing injuries include defensive end Dominique Easley (knee), athlete Trey Burton (back), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb) and tight end Jordan Reed (head).
In addition to giving the banged up players time to heal, the Gators have used Tuesday and Wednesday to work on what they needed to improve on themselves rather than start preparing for next week against LSU. Quinn said that the open week has allowed each player to examine his game.
Once the team moves on from working on its weaknesses, it will begin preparations for LSU. One new challenge the Tigers present with their offense is the use of two back formations, something the Gators have not seen much this season. Quinn said his unit will be ready for it after two weeks of preparation, but it is unusual to have not gotten more two back looks four games into the season.
Offensively, Pease said he has been pleased with the production of quarterback Jeff Driskel, who has a quarterback rating of over 100 on the season and has turned the ball over just once this season. Pease added that Driskel has progressed in his ability to stay calm in the pocket, but he still has room for improvement.
While Driskel has improved as a passer, Pease said that he intends for his offense to have a different identity.
The Gators won’t see if all their work this week pays off until a week from Saturday when they host third ranked LSU, who Gator coach Will Muschamp said the team would begin preparing for on Thursday. Only one of Florida’s four wins has come against a ranked team this season, so Pease says the matchup with the Tigers will be a true test of where the Gators stand.
Coaches will also take advantage of some time off practice by being out on the road recruiting Friday.