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Get up and go

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In an effort to get his offense going, offensive coordinator Brent Pease went to Florida coach Will Muschamp last week and proposed the Gators go up-tempo to start the game.

The change didn't result in any points, but the Gators did move the ball fairly well and had enough success with the no-huddle attack that there's a good chance it's going to be a bigger part of the game plan for the rest of the season.

"We went with it for two series," Pease said Tuesday. "I would expect that we would use it [more the rest of the season]. We've used it before this in some situations.

"I liked it. We've always worked on it, and we've always had it. I think it loosened them up and got some energy in our kids. It helped us for what we tried to get out of it."

Expect to see UF use the up-tempo against Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State the next two weeks to fine-tune it for the Nov. 24 game at Florida State, which has one of the nation's top defensive fronts.

It's likely the Seminoles will attack UF's offense the way every other team has done: stack the line of scrimmage to stop RB Mike Gillislee and force the Gators to move the ball through the air. UF hasn't been able to do it consistently because of pass-protection issues (with the offensive line and backs and tight ends) and a lack of playmakers at receiver.

But the up-tempo attack forces defenses to be simpler, because they don't have as much time to adjust or substitute. It results in more base coverages and also slows down the pass rush because the rushers tire more quickly. That should help immensely against FSU, which is ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense and fourth nationally in pass defense.

"We like it [the up-tempo] a lot," Driskel said. "Obviously when you're passing the ball you can either move it or get off of the field really quick, so it's kind of win big or kind of get off fast, but when you are going no-huddle and up tempo, the defense can't really get any checks. It's hard for them to kind of know what they're doing, so they kind of really play basic.

"It's nice to see what they're doing and that they're going to stay in their base coverages."

The Gators used it on their first two drives against Missouri. They generated two first downs and would have converted another, but WR Raphael Andrades dropped a third-down pass. UF went three-and-out on its next possession when Driskel's third-down pass to TE Jordan Reed was deflected at the line of scrimmage.

Driskel said he likes using the up-tempo offense because it gets him and the rest of the offense in a rhythm. His stats from last week seem to bear that out: Driskel went 4-for-6 for 22 yards with one drop on the two up-tempo drives and was 8-for-17 for 86 yards on the other drives.

"We go speed-up tempo every day in practice," Muschamp said. "We do offense and defense. I think it helps our football team. It's something our players have executed. Brent came to me early in the week and said, 'I really feel I'd like to change some things up,' and I felt like it was effective. Now granted, we didn't score any points in the first half, but we did move the ball, and it gave us a great third-down opportunity on their sideline that we didn't convert. It was certainly beneficial for us."

The hope is that it will be in the future as well.