8 years and counting: Florida offense remains an abject failure

Doug Nussmeier
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

The Florida offense has done one positive thing this decade: It hasn’t been shut out.

Really, that’s it for the highlights.

The Gators scored for the 366th consecutive game Saturday in their loss to LSU to set the record for the longest such streak in NCAA history. But Florida managed just 306 total yards in losing 17-16 to the Tigers; that’s the 66th time in 95 games this decade that the Gators failed to gain 400 yards of offense in a game.

Indeed, UF is averaging 347.2 yards per game this season, meaning it is well on its way to once again averaging fewer than 400 yards per game for a season. Every other team in the SEC except Vanderbilt has averaged 400 yards per game in a season at least once this decade. Trust us on this: When your football team is coupled with Vandy in anything but grad rates, it’s not a good sign.

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Think about that for a second: Florida, located in some of the most prime real estate of all when it comes to recruiting, hasn’t managed to average even 400 yards of offense in an era in which schools routinely average 450-plus.

Florida has nine games with more than 500 yards of offense this decade; the 2008 and ’09 Gators combined for nine. Conversely, the Gators this decade have had 40 games with 300 or fewer yards. That means that a staggering 42 percent of games played by the Gators this decade have ended with Florida totalling fewer than 300 yards. That’s just sad.

Truthfully, it’s not fair to blame it all on poor recruiting or recruiting misses. A good play-caller can make mediocre players good and an innovative play-caller can make good players great. Florida has not had good play-callers this decade.

Here’s a look.

2010: Steve Addazio. He also called plays in ’09, when Tim Tebow still was around. The offense went south quickly once Tebow left. Addazio is in his fifth season as Boston College coach. He’s not the Eagles’ play-caller, but BC twice has averaged fewer than 300 yards in his tenure and never more than 384.0.

RELATED: Luck runs out for Jim McElwain, Florida in homecoming loss to LSU

2011: Charlie Weis. It seemed like a master-stroke hire when he was brought aboard as OC for first-time head coach Will Muschamp. But once starting quarterback John Brantley got hurt in Game 5 in 2011, Weis seemed to lose interest. He moved on after the season to become coach at Kansas, and now is out of football.

2012-13: Brent Pease. He spent the 2011 season as OC at Boise State (he was the OC for Kellen Moore’s senior season), then was hired to replace Weis. After he was let go at UF, he spent two seasons as Washington’s receivers coach, then was hired as UTEP’s OC last season. He was fired early this season by then-Miners coach Sean Kugler, who resigned himself last week.

2014: Kurt Roper. He was hired off the staff at Duke, where he had worked for David Cutcliffe. His UF offense was nowhere near as proficient as his final two offenses at Duke. After the UF staff was dismissed following the ’14 season, he was hired as an offensive analyst by the Cleveland Browns for 2015. He is in his second season at South Carolina, where he again works for Muschamp. His offense at South Carolina was 13th in the SEC last season (UF was 14th), and his offense this season is 12th (one spot behind Florida’s).

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