Jacoby Brissett To Start, How Can He Attack Auburn’s Defense?

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Will Muschamp made the announcement that true freshman Jacoby Brissett will start against Auburn.

Huh.

Weird, I thought this was the guy that I said awhile back wouldn’t have a big impact on the Gators. Well, I admit, that was incorrect, but then again I never knew both Brantley and Jeff Driskel would get injured in the same game.

But whatever. Brissett worked hard enough and practiced well enough to win the job, so well done.

Onto strategy.

As you know, football is a game of eleven on eleven. Therefore, each offensive player has a defensive counterpart. At least, that’s how it would work in an ideal situation. But then you have to throw in blitz packages and prevent defenses and double coverages so it doesn’t quite pan out. But it is still eleven on eleven, meaning each offensive player is supposed to have a defensive counterpart.

This means that both teams will have advantages and disadvantages. The team that exploits the other team’s disadvantage will win that play. And since we’re Florida fans, we’re going to take a look at Florida’s offense vs. Auburn’s defense.

I expect Auburn to blitz heavily all game to try and pressure Brissett into making mistakes. Say they blitz seven guys and we only have 5 guys blocking. That means our offensive line plus Brissett is outnumbered 7-6. Which means the Tigers are outnumbered elsewhere- either in the flat to Rainey, deep to Thompson, on a crossing route to Debose, etc. Going five wide or sending Rainey or Demps on a flare route is the best way to beat this, and I’m sure this is something we will see plenty of.

But then say Auburn blitzes 7 against our 5 plus a back blocking. That’s bad, because that’s 7 on 6 in the race to Brissett, (the 7th guy in the backfield) in Auburn’s favor and there is no free option for him to exploit. There could be mismatches, but unless Auburn completely blows coverage there won’t be a wide open man. So I don’t want to see 6 guys blocking.

If Auburn brings 7 against 5 offensive linemen against two blocking backs or tight ends, it’s much better, because even though Florida is now outnumbered downfield, Brisset should have time to wait for a receiver to fully run his route, make a cut and get wide open. With only one extra blocker, Auburn will have a man come for a free shot at Brissett so he cannot wait for a receiver to get open- he’ll have to improvise.

Improvising isn’t horrible, but it isn’t something you plan for. Brissett can use his legs if need be, but that should be saved for emergencies only. You absolutely do not want your third string QB taking on defender after defender. This is why one extra blocker will not help.

So we’ve covered what to do if Auburn blitzes- either exploit the vacancy they leave with five blockers, or match the number of blitzers they bring with blockers.

What if Auburn doesn’t blitz?

That’s a dream scenario for Florida, give the rookie QB time to get comfortable in the pocket and have all day to read the defense and pick where he wants to throw it. But they won’t blitz all the time. It doesn’t always make sense.

Then Brissett can read the defense, and if he doesn’t like what he sees, he can take off. He’s fast enough to turn what looks like a busted play into a big play. Of course, that’s one of his checkdown routes, along with Rainey or Demps running a harmless 5 yard crossing route. He should not look short- he should look deep. Auburn’s secondary is very vulnerable, and taking deep shots whenever he has the time and the mismatch to do it could kill the Tigers. Yes, the Gators will be outnumbered in the secondary, but it just takes one truly evil move by either Debose, Thompson, Burton, Reed or any of the other receivers for the defender to fall down and leave the man wide open.

It’s a numbers game, and Florida should win it if they just… BLOCK and NOT COMMIT PENALTIES.

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