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October 9, 2012

Notebook: Florida winning with heavy O-line



Florida's offensive line wore down a highly-touted LSU defensive front-seven Saturday and Brent Pease knows why.

You know what they say, 'Mass kicks ass,'" Pease said, "so that's our theory behind it."

The Gators' ability to physically dominate the Tigers was something of a shock to anyone who watched the two teams play just a season earlier. But with better training under new strength coach Jeff Dillman and elite conditioning, Florida outlasted LSU in Saturday's second half, and when they noticed what was going on, it was time for reinforcement.

While the name has not been clarified - jumbo, chief, God's play and others were all tossed around Tuesday - the Gators' offense went to seven-lineman sets. That meant that defensive ends who were used to going against 240-pound tight ends were now going against a 303-pound tackle like Ian Silberman or a former five-star tackle like freshman D.J. Humphries.

Pease said some of it has to do with getting the team's best athletes on the field, but plenty of it has to do with the preferences of offensive line coach Tim Davis.

"He just likes getting big guys out there, ya know," Pease said. "2,100 pounds coming at you. That's probably not - I don't know that I would want that falling on me."

Regardless of the reasons, the result Saturday was a victory for Florida. The Gators scored their first touchdown of the day using seven offensive linemen, including pull blocks for two of them. They didn't stray from it regardless of the situation.

Pease said it was just important to use it heavy packages on first and ten as it was short-yardage situations.

"Defensive coordinators got calls to down and distance," he said. "Some have personnel packages. We've showed that we're willing to use it in a lot of different areas, a lot of different times. We've just got to make sure we're flexible enough with what we're doing with it that we have some balance."

Working with Driskel: Pease explained quarterback Jeff Driskel's game against LSU with the phrase: "Something had to give." The Tigers brought a dominant pass rush, something Driskel had only seen in a lighter variety against the Texas A&M Aggies.

Pease admitted Driskel didn't get rid of the ball as soon as he should have a few times, highlighted by the second-quarter fumble, but said he didn't feel Driskel "struggled" either.

"There's probably going to be a game where he has to air it out," Pease said. "I don't know when, we'll see. But the thing that we still want to strive for is that we have balance in what we're doing and everybody is still being productive."

Ever-changing: One of the compliments Pease's offense has gotten is that it evolves enough on a week-to-week basis to keep opponents out of the loop. He said he knows defensive coordinators around the league will begin to catch on to his shifts and motions, which is where coaching truly comes into play.

"That's why you've got to be creative," he said. "You've got to have the ability to have change, and then I think as you add more of the parts to it and the athletes, you know, it's just like the run game. When they get so concerned about the run, you've got to be able to go over the top and throw the ball."


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