Gators Mailbag: Can the Gators continue winning games with less than 10 pass attempts?

Florida is coming off a huge victory over Georgia. An embarrassing victory at that. Florida only threw the ball six times, but racked up over 400 yards on the ground. Is it possible to continue winning games like that?

Q: Christopher Young: Now that every team in the country knows that our offense is one dimensional… How do we win?

A: You know Georgia entered last Saturday’s game with a fearsome rush defense. And Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor put up more than 400 rushing yards. That’s insane. Florida’s offensive line just manhandled Georgia’s front seven. And Florida’s next two opponents, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, have awful rush defenses. The commodores rank 74th in the country while the Gamecocks are 113th. Florida’s two-headed rushing attack should have no problem eating up yards. But I don’t think fans should expect 400 yard performances again. If for some reason the Gators fall behind or they’re not gaining yards on the ground, freshman QB Treon Harris will have to throw the ball. Earlier in the week, offensive coordinator Kurt Roper said he has all the confidence in harris and knows he has what it takes to lead the offense if he needs to. I still believe Florida will be able to run the ball heavily, but not as frequently as it did against Georgia.

Q: Alexander Alza: Would winning out for the remainder of the season (I know FSU is a long shot) mean Muschamp continues to be the Gators’ coach next season?

A: I still think he needs to beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Eastern Kentucky. The main key to him staying for next season is an upset victory over Florida State at the end of the season or a very close loss. If UF gets crushed or if it’s not really in the game, I believe Florida will have a new head coach next season.

Q: Peter Tromboni: I think we will establish the run early and often. At what point in the game, based on score and how late into the game we are, does Muschamp and Roper let Treon put the ball in the air and give him a chance to make a play?

A: I think we’ll see more of Treon in this game, regardless of the score. Vanderbilt isn’t a very good team, so this is the perfect opportunity to see what he can do with more experience throwing the ball. I think Florida’s game plan was more of a desperation act that happened to work. I don’t think it’s going to be the standard moving forward.

Q: Jeff Crawford: There was no need to pass last week, which explains six attempts. That said, what is the maximum # of pass plays per game that Muschamp/Roper see as a “reasonable approach” with #3 at the helm?

A: Muschamp said if Harris needs to throw the ball 40 times per game then he’s confident that the team can be successful. Roper has all the confidence in Harris and knows he can be successful. But if I had to put a number to it, I would want him throwing the ball 20 times per game. That number would give the team a much more balanced offense and keep opposing defenses on their toes.

Q: Jeff Crawford: After last weeks rushing performance, what teams are we least likely, and most likely, to repeat a similar rushing game?

A: Least likely: Florida State. Most likely: Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Eastern Kentucky.

Q: Kenny Dryden: Does a blow out win help Muschamp get off the hot seat?

A: It definitely doesn’t hurt. But it doesn’t do much for Muschamp’s job status. This is a game Florida is expected to win, and win big. He will still be on the hot seat regardless of the margin of victory.

Q: Victor Rivero: Is the team going to work together like they did last game? Last week’s game WAS FLORIDA FOOTBALL.

A: Yes, expect that energy and camaraderie for the rest of the season. This team loves Muschamp and doesn’t want to lose him. They knew his back was on the wall, and they stepped up and delivered. There’s no reason to doubt that this team will revert to a team with no confidence and no energy.

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