The Florida Gators (3-1, 2-0) have the best defense in college football. Will Muschamp has to be happy with this bunch, which ranks in the top 10 in virtually every defensive category: eighth in scoring (12.8), second in total yards (202.5), sixth in passing yards (149) and first in rushing yards (53.5). Further proof can be found in the fact Kentucky’s leading rusher last week was its kicker, who racked up an earth-shattering 25 yards on a fake – the Wildcats’ lone score of the game.
Also, the Gators appear to be just fine offensively without Jeff Driskel. This is officially Tyler Murphy‘s team, and he’s been solid since replacing Driskel at quarterback. No one is really expecting much from the passing game going forward, placing the load on the Gators’ running game (again). It didn’t seem to be a problem last week, as the offense racked up 246 yards on the ground in the win over Kentucky.
But don’t write off Florida’s passing game completely, as things could get better as Murphy gets more comfortable. All in all, he’s been efficient in just under two games of play, going 23-of-32 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also added 120 rushing yards and two more TDs.
In fact, Murphy has a 96.1 passer rating, which would be second in the FBS if he had enough snaps to qualify. But in nine fewer drives than Driskel, Murphy has guided the Gators to more touchdowns (seven to Driskel’s five), fewer turnovers (three to Driskel’s seven) and fewer three-and-out series (four to Driskel’s eight).
What to look for in Week 6: Will Murphy and the Gators’ passing attack make any strides? All indications point to continued improvement from Murphy, but nothing’s a given, especially in SEC play. Arkansas’ defense has struggled against the pass in recent weeks, so now’s a perfect time for coordinator Brent Pease to open things up for Murphy and see what he can do.