There was a little optimism going into last week’s game against the Missouri Tigers for the Florida Gators. Fans were calling for Malik Zaire to replace Feleipe Franks after the Georgia game and interim head coach Randy Shannon made it happen. But the results were not good as Zaire struggled and was pulled in favor for Franks late in the 2nd half. With that being said, I’m still trying to figure out why Florida won’t run Zaire more.
As I watched the Missouri game last week, I can definitely see why Gator fans want offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier out of Gainesville. He consistently kept calling three and five step drop back passes for Zaire, which in my opinion doesn’t make any sense. Everyone knows that Zaire is a better runner than passer, so it would make more sense to call more plays for him to run the ball. On the day, Zaire only had six rushes in this game, but threw 19 passes against an Tigers defense that kept sending pressure.
For a quarterback that is a true dual-threat, six rushes in a game is just not enough. If Nussmeier would have called some more read option and designed run plays for Zaire, the offense could have taken advantage of how aggressive the Tigers was. It would also simplify things when it comes to passing the football because Zaire would have to be accounted for. With Zaire already getting the starter nod this week against South Carolina, the coaches should prepare to run him a lot.
I think that Nussmeier needs to run Zaire over 10 times in this game just so the Gamecocks will have to account for him. I really believe that this will create one on one opportunities for their wide receivers. It will be interesting to see if Nussmeier tries to run him more on Saturday or continue with the same terrible offense that is easy to defend.