Possible Chink #2:
2. UF pass defense has not faced a quality, experienced quarterback this season. If this is true, how have they fared against the QBs they have faced? I recall that Jevan Snead made a few plays on them, but I don't know if any other QB has had any success at all. So, which QBs have they faced and how will they fare against our passing attack?
Here are the numbers on the Florida Pass Defense: on the season they have allowed 225(att) - 126(comp) - 1195(yds) - 10(int) - 5(TD). The completion percentage is 56%. Yards per attempt = 5.31 and yards per catch = 9.48. Yards per game = 171. Average passer rating = 99.
The numbers from last year: 466 - 277 - 3361 - 11 - 19. 59% completions, 7.21 yards per attempt, 12.13 yards per catch and 258 yards per game. Average passer rating = 129. This appears to be a much improved pass defense based on these numbers alone. But, we need to look at the QBs they have faced this season to see who has put up such shoddy numbers against the Mighty Gator.
Here are the QBs they have faced:
Hawaii: used three ineffective QBs who have an average passer rating of 111 (81 vs UF). Their line against UF: 21/39 for 181 yds, 1 TD and 4 Int.
Miami - 2 Freshmen (Marve and Harris) with an average passer rating of 113 (85 vs UF.) Their line against UF: 12/22 for 79 yds, 0 TD and 0 Int.
Tennessee: Now-deposed Sophomore Jonathon Crompton with an average passer rating of 96 (106 vs UF.) His line against UF: 18/28 for 162 yds, 0 TDs and 1 Int.
Ole Miss: Sophomore transfer from Texas, Jevan Snead beat the Gators. He has a passer rating of 128 (139 vs UF.) His line against UF: 9/21 for 185 yds, 2 TDs and 1 Int.
Arkansas: Senior Casey Dick with a passer rating of 115 (107 vs UF.) His line against UF: 24/38 for 220 yds, 0 TDs and 1 Int.
LSU: Freshman Jarret Lee with a passer rating of 135 (117 vs UF.) His line against UF: 25/41 for 241 yds, 2 TDs and 2 Int (Hatch had two of these completions.)
Kentucky: 50/50 between Hartline (So) and Cobb (Fr) who combine for a passer rating of 103 (71 vs UF.) Their line against UF: 17/36 for 127 yds, 0 TDs and 1 Int.
If you thought they had not faced an experienced QB this season, you would have been absolutely correct. Here are the total collegiate pass attempts prior to this season for each of these QBs they have faced:
Hawaii - Gang of 3 = 15
Miami - Marve = Zero
Miami - Harris = Zero
Tennessee - Crompton = 12
Ole Miss - Snead = Zero
Arkansas - Dick = 493
LSU - Lee = Zero
LSU - Hatch = 2
UK - Hartline = 6
UK - Cobb = Zero
If you remove Arkansas's Casey Dick, in the other 6 games, all of the QBs combined had only 35 tosses at the college level. That barely equates to the equivalent of one game of experience, and that is among 11 QBs. I will let you draw your own conclusions about this one! The only experienced QB they have faced is Casey Dick and I have thought him to be a consistently mediocre QB at best over his years at Arkansas.
Here are Stafford's numbers through 8 games this year: 141/229 for 1946 yds, 12 TD and 5 Int. He has 61.6%completions and averages 8.5 yds per attempt and 13.8 yds per catch. He leads the SEC with 243 yards per game and has a passer rating of 146. Stafford will be the best QB that UF has faced since the WLOCP last year and it ain't even close.
Here is Stafford's line against UF last year: 11/18 for 217 yds, 3 TDs and 1 Int. That was good for a passer rating of an astronomical 206.
Here is a contrast between the type of QBs Florida had faced at this point last season and at this point this season: In 2007 UF saw Troy's exceptional senior Omar Haugabook, UT Senior Erik Ainge, Ole Miss Seniors Seth Adams and Brent Schaeffer, Auburn Senior Brandon Cox, LSU Senior Matt Flynn and Kentucky Senior Andre Woodson. (Their other game was against W. Kentucky and I didn't look them up.) So in 2007, Florida faced senior QBs every week coming into the WLOCP and Stafford ate their lunch. In 2008, the Gators have faced consistently below-average Casey Dick and a slew of QBs that had less than one game of experience between the 11 of them. I think it is fair to say that their secondary has not been adequately tested. Snead, Lee and Dick all had decent outings against UF in terms of yardage. If being a Junior with 34 games of experience can help Stafford throw at least two TDs, he will have another memorable outing against these Gators.
The answer to the original question is a resounding NO. UF has not faced a quality, experienced QB all season. That will change in about 2 more days. I think Stafford will throw the ball about 23 - 28 times in this game. I see no reason that he would not complete 60% which would give him around 16 completions which should be good for at least 200 yards. However, I truly expect his yardage to be closer to 250. If he can stay away from the costly INTs, then Stafford and Moreno should be able to lead the Dawgs to close to 30 points in this game. Will that be enough? Stay tuned.