GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's coaches and players have been saying it over and over again: The offense will be better in its second season under coordinator Brent Pease.
The players know the playbook, the system, the motions, and shifts. They know the sight adjustments and protection calls. Everything is second nature.
Therefore, the coaches and players are convinced the offense won't be a liability for the Gators. It won't rank 103rd nationally in yards per game or 114th nationally in passing in 2013.
They're probably right.
Other SEC teams can back up their claim. The first and second seasons under other conference teams' most recent offensive coordinator at the school for multiple seasons showed improvement in the second year. Not in every case -- Kentucky under Randy Sanders in 2010 and 2011, for example -- and sometimes the numbers weren't markedly different, but offenses generally performed better in year two.
Alabama (Jim McElwain in 2008-09), Arkansas (Paul Petrino in 2008-09), Auburn (Gus Malzahn in 2009-10), Mississippi State (Les Koenning in 2009-10) , South Carolina (Steve Spurrier in 2005-06) and Vanderbilt (John Donovan in 2011-12) showed the most significant improvements in the coordinators' second season. Scoring went up an average of 5.6 points per game, total yardage increased by an average of 53.0 yards per game, and the touchdown-to-interception ratio went from 1.2:1 to 2.7:1.
Surprisingly, improved production wasn't dependent on having the same quarterback each season. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and MSU had different starters in year two. That is, at least, something the Gators don't have to worry about, though junior Jeff Driskell will have to be much better if the Gators are indeed going to improve.
"I think in year two, you're looking at execution being much cleaner in what we're doing offensively, and obviously Jeff being in his second year [helps]," UF coach Will Muschamp said. "… Year two in the system, the game slows down a little bit. [Driskel will have] a better understanding of the protection, a better understanding of where the ball needs to go, where you're protected and where you're not protected. … That'll slow down for him in his second year."
To read the rest of Michael DiRocco's story, click here.