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The Florida defense continues to struggle in 2020. After giving up almost exactly 400 yards per game (399.5) through two games, the unit was shredded by Kellen Mond and the rest of the Texas A&M defense on Saturday.
The Gators came into the game ranked No. 3 in the country, which was a factor in them being 5-point favorites against the Aggies. Instead, Dan Mullen’s undefeated squad leaves College Station with its first loss of the season.
How did it happen? A crushing last-second field goal by Texas A&M that gave the Aggies a 41-38 lead as time expired. But there were so many other factors that played into the final result, including a defense that has been atrocious through the first three weeks of the season.
Florida allowed 543 yards on the day while also letting Texas A&M to convert a whopping 12-of-15 third-down attempts (80 percent).
It was a balanced attack too.
Kellen Mond had his way with the defense to the tune of throwing for 338 yards and three scores while having zero interceptions. His 71.4 completion percentage, passing yards and quarterback ratings were all season-highs.
Isaiah Spiller was every bit as effective on the ground for the Aggies. The Gators allowed over 200 rushing yards, and 174 of them came from Spiller. He also added two scores as well.
So, what is going on with Florida’s defense? How do they struggle this much through three weeks? It’s not just the Gators, as every SEC defense outside of Georgia has looked pedestrian at best, but it seems to be worse for Todd Grantham and company.
Well, this tweet from Roll ‘Bama Roll sums things up nicely. Check it out:
Look at the defensive coaches the SEC has lost in just 5 years, guys who are now off to run their own programs: Aranda, Pruitt, Muschamp, Kirby, Mel Tucker.
That’s a lot of outstanding scheming and fundamental teaching gone. And that’s just in this conference.
— Roll ‘Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) October 10, 2020
That’s a lot of talented coaches who have moved on from roles creating ways to attack opposing offenses, and the defenses as a whole have suffered as a result.
Things will start to even back out at some point, but it’s a concerning trend for a conference that has been known for elite defensive play for decades. Florida, more than others, have even more reason to be concerned.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.