Going conservative makes sense

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The more I think about Urban Meyer’s no-risk approach on offense, the more brilliant it seems.

Heading
into the season, there were still some serious questions about the
defense – at the tackle positions and in the secondary. Meyer and the
defensive coaches were confident the defense would be better than a
year ago, but they couldn’t be certain how much better.

So what
Meyer has done through three games is keep the defense out of difficult
situations by taking care of the ball on offense and winning the
field-position battle with exceptional special teams play. When you
think about it, the defense has been in only a few difficult spots, and
they weren’t put there by turnovers or mistakes committed by the
offense.

Opposing offenses haven’t started a single drive on
Florida’s side of the 50. Now, that’s taking care of your defense, and
giving it a chance to play free and fly to the football.

What it’s done is give the defense a huge dose of confidence as the Gators dive into the heart of their SEC schedule.

We
still don’t know how good this defense is, but it’s certainly
much-improved from a year ago. And those guys on defense now have one
thing they never seemed corral last season – confidence.

The
defense will get its most demanding test Saturday. The Ole Miss offense
is balanced, and sophomore quarterback Jevan Snead is emerging as a
big-time passer. So the secondary is facing it toughest challenge to
date and the line will have to find a way to put some heat on Snead.

As
for the Florida offense, I think the goal will be the same it’s been
all season: take care of the football and keep the defense out of bad
situations (which usually occur with turnovers). It’s a low-risk
approach right now, and as long as it continues to work, Meyer is going
to stick with it.

Last year’s offense was highly entertaining
and wide open from the start. But the mentality a year ago was that the
Gators had to score on almost every possession because the defense was
so porous. Now, the priority is to manage the game and take care of the
football.

And win the game.

As long as the plan succeeds, we’re going to continue to see conservative play from the offense.