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2015 SEC Championship Breakdown: Florida’s Offense

Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

The Gators have had a lot of struggles on the offensive side of the ball so far. Consistency has lacked, especially since starting quarterback Will Grier was suspended near the beginning of October. Treon Harris has taken over the quarterback duties but most of the offense lies in the hands of running back Kelvin Taylor.

The Gators have scored 25.3 points per game this season, which ranks 92nd in the country. Over the last four weeks, Florida has averaged less than 14 points per game. To be fair, two of those games were played against top-15 scoring defenses (Florida State, Vanderbilt) but the other two (South Carolina, Florida Atlantic) rank outside of the nation’s top-70.

In the regular season finale against the Seminoles, Taylor rushed for a season-high 136 yards but the offense could not get past the struggles of the passing game. Treon Harris completed less than 50 percent of his passes and only averaged 3.4 yards per pass attempt. The offense was shutout at home for the first time since 1988.

Harris has improved himself as a passer this season and showed that he was ready to play in the SEC in his first game. The sophomore quarterback made his season debut in Baton Rouge for a top ten matchup. He completed 17 of 32 passes against the Tigers for a season-high 271 yards and two touchdowns. It was his highest passer rating of the season at 144.9.

Since the LSU game, Harris has surpassed 200 passing yards just once (at South Carolina) in a game where he also threw a season-high two interceptions. Overall, Harris has completed 53.7 percent of his passes while throwing eight touchdowns and four interceptions this season. His ability as a dual-threat quarterback has been held in check by opponents so far this year. He’s averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and has been sacked 22 times in his six games as a starter.

Demarcus Robinson has been the main receiving target for the Gators so far this season. The junior wide receiver leads the team with 46 receptions and is second with 503 receiving yards. Robinson was suspended for the game against Florida State but head coach Jim McElwain has left the decision of whether to reinstate him or not up to the team’s seniors. Robinson’s suspension was announced just 75 minutes before the rivalry game kicked off.

If Robinson does not play in Atlanta, Treon Harris will be looking to receivers Brandon Powell and Antonio Callaway. The two underclassmen have combined for seven touchdowns and have averaged more than sixteen yards per catch. Callaway, a freshman, is the team’s number one homerun threat and could be looked at early by Harris to get the Gators a quick start. Tight end Jake McGee 338 yards and four touchdowns on 38 catches as another reliable target for Harris.

Even with the weapons in the passing game, Kelvin Taylor will be looked at to carry the workload in this game with the inconsistency of the offense over the past four weeks. Taylor leads the team in yards from scrimmage (1,127) and total touchdowns (13). The junior running back is averaging 4.4 yards per touch, which is actually a drop off from his 4.7 yards per touch in his freshman and sophomore seasons. Taylor needs just 23 rushing yards to surpass the century mark for the season, which should easily happen if the Gators’ gameplan goes as expected. McElwain said that Taylor was ready for a workload of 30-plus carries if it was needed.

Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter, @CalebTurrentine.

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