Daily Football Fix: Four tips to better living
It is a fine line between good and great. You have to do the little things to be a really good team and do them even better to become elite. Here are four ways Florida has to take the next step to become an elite playoff team:
1. The obvious thing.
It's not just that Florida has to run the ball better, the Gators have to pick up first downs by rushing the ball. Last year they averaged 6.8 rushing first downs a game. That was 11th best in the SEC. The inability to run the ball puts more pressure on the passing game.
2. The old TOP trick.
Most people will tell you that Time of Possession is an overrated stat. But we've seen it bite Florida in losses under Dan Mullen. Last year, Florida had the ball for an average of 13 seconds a game more than the opposition. The year before, seven seconds less than the opponent. Sure, the Gators won all but five of those 26 games, but we're trying to get them over the top.
3. Two-point conversions.
It hasn't cost Florida yet, but you never know what this wacky season might have in store for the mighty Gators. And in two years under Mullen, Florida is a perfect 0-for-5 on two-point tries. Don't forget that you have to go for two in OT. Ball plays are available on the second floor of the University Athletic Association.
4. Be more aggressive on special teams.
Last year's style was just to get the ball and start the offense. But Florida needs to go back to the Urban Meyer days of winning special teams by a large margin. The Gators only attempted eight kickoff returns in 2019 and were next to last in the SEC in punt return yardage. And the Gators rarely try to block punts anymore. There are other ways to flip the field than just counting on your punter.
Now you may think we're being picky considering what Dan Mullen has done the last two years. But we all know what the expectations are for 2020.