Now that Florida has started fall camp (it was 95 yesterday so that’s a bit of an oxymoron), we know that there are a lot of things that Billy Napier wants to do differently than what happened a season ago.
The funny thing is that Florida’s schedule may make it difficult to improve record-wise on 6-7 even if players are showing more discipline and buy-in on the field.
But we do know this – you are what your record is and you are what the statistics tell you.
With that in mind, the High Five gives you the five stats that must be vastly improved for Florida to have a chance at a good season. Your version of good and mine may be different but we all know what bad is. And we saw it last year.
- Interceptions thrown
This is an obvious one because Florida had 18 a year ago which tied Arizona for the most in all of college football. Nobody is saying you can’t take chances, but you have to play smarter at the quarterback position. There is a reason why Florida was 120th in turnover margin last year.
- Interceptions caught
And here is another reason. It hasn’t exactly been DBU around here lately. Florida had its second straight year with single digits in interceptions. In the previous 75 years, the Gators only had three seasons with single digits in picks. Unacceptable.
- Penalty differential
This isn’t a stat you hear about often, but it was a huge problem last year. Florida’s differential in penalty yards in 2021 was more than three football fields – 312 yards. The bench will be an ally for Napier even with his lack of depth.
- Winning percentage on the road
Dan Mullen was really good on the road his first three seasons winning 10 of 12 games. Then came last year and the debacle that was losing four of five true road games. Yes, you need to take back the Swamp, but you can’t have a really good season if you can’t win on the road.
- Defensive scores
Of the 130 teams playing FBS seasons last year, 102 scored at least one defensive touchdown. Ohio State had six, Georgia four. Florida had the same as Blutarsky’s grade point average in Animal House – Zero-point-zero. I remember when we used to see pick-sixes around here.