Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Win Without Tebow: Meyer Ideal Game Plan

Building on that last post, if there is an "ideal" game scenario against LSU for Urban Meyer, it is that Florida controls the game to the point where they can win without playing Tim Tebow.

This is where Meyer's "Plan to Win" comes into play: Defense. Special teams (kickoff coverage; punt blocks and coverage; Brandon James' kickoff and punt returns). Red-zone efficiency. Turnover battle (forcing them from LSU, limiting them from Florida's offense).

None of those are predicated on Tim Tebow playing. 75 percent of the game's result will hinge on nothing to do with John Brantley:

Florida's best-in-nation defense stifling LSU's offense... Florida's best-in-nation special teams producing on coverage and returns... Florida's ability to get points -- any points, including field goals -- when they are inside LSU's 20...

The remaining 25 percent -- turnovers -- is where John Brantley comes into play. Obviously, he can't control if Emmanuel Moody fumbles the ball. But he can control his own ball-security, both on the ground and through the air. Even if Florida forces no LSU turnovers, limiting their own turnovers to zero will go a long way to allowing the Gators to escape LSU with a win.

This won't be pretty. This won't be "best-team-of-all-time" material -- except to the extent that beating a Top 5 opponent on the road at their virtually unbeatable home stadium when your best player is out with injury... well, that's pretty "best-team-of-all-time" stuff.

But the goal will be to get a lead, then hold that lead. If the defense can pitch a shutout -- and the offense doesn't allow for any defensive TDs by LSU (pick-6 or fumble recovery for a TD) -- John Brantley's job just got a lot easier. If the D can hold LSU to 10 or less, there's no reason this Florida offense -- with or without Tebow -- can score 11 or more points.

The ultimate goal feels like escaping LSU without further injury to Tebow. If they can win the game in the process -- without Tebow's help -- that is the ideal.

1 comment:

  1. This Meyer "plan to win" you keep referring to seems fairly humorous, as it's the same "plan" that almost every college football coach preaches. Playing good defense, executing on special teams, not turning the ball over, etc. Just because Meyer has this "plan" does not insure a Gator victory. You keep writing about it as if because he has a plan they will execute that plan and win.

    While I'd also say I think Florida wins this game even without Tebow, I'd say repeatedly pointing to the fact that Meyer has a "plan" just looks foolish.

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