Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why There's No Reason For The Orange & Blue To Panic

So far this season I've heard more than one Gator fan talk about a win as though it were a loss. Close victories against Tennessee and LSU have been met with skepticism about the lack of a flashy, explosive passing game instead of enthusiastic banter about just how incredible this year's defensive squad is. Which is a bit odd considering that just about everyone in the country pegged Florida's returning two-deep defense as the reason they had a shot at repeating. Besides, is this year's team that far off from last year's through the first five games?

In one word, no.

In a few ways they're actually much better than last year's team was at this point.

The 2009 squad is undefeated, unlike the '08 team that started 4-1. They're also stronger on both sides of the ball. Check out the stats(through the first five games):


Rushing Offense: 178.60 yds/gm
Passing Offense: 211.60 yds/gm
Total Offense: 390.20 yds/gm
Scoring Offense: 36 pts/gm

Rushing Defense: 99.60 yds/gm
Passing Defense: 165.40 yds/gm
Total Defense: 265 yds/gm
Scoring Defense: 11.40 pts/gm


Rushing Offense: 284.60 yds/gm
Passing Offense: 201.80 yds/gm
Total Offense: 486.40 yds/gm
Scoring Offense: 39 pts/gm

Rushing Defense: 87.40 yds/gm
Passing Defense: 115.20 yds/gm
Total Defense: 202.60 yds/gm
Scoring Defense: 6.40 pts/gm

Last year's team really didn't get it going until the second half of the Arkansas game in week 5, and if this year's team improves at all on its current numbers it's definitely going to have a great shot at repeating.

Already, the offense is averaging more yards and points, and the running game that's been missing for a few seasons is running roughshod. The defense is stifling opponents, and is giving up an average of less than seven points per game. In fact, they've only allowed two touchdowns in five games so far. If they continue putting up those type of numbers, then they have a chance of being the best defense to ever take the field for the Gators.

So, cheer up Gator fans. Yes, there have been a few games where the score was closer than you might have liked. Though, I think that has more to do with the team playing a little under par in the red zone than anything else. This year's squad is every bit as good, if not much better, than the one that was able to capture both the SEC and BCS titles last year.