Posted: 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
We've all heard and all know the stories by now. Against the Tennessee Volunteers last Saturday, the Florida Gators once again started out slow, lost their starting quarterback and then decided to open up the offense for the first time since the first four or five games of last season.
It remains to be seen if Tyler Murphy is the answer, or can even hold down the fort, but the early results are looking good. I have my doubts, but we'll see. Kind of like our mysteriously bad special teams play.
As for the defense, it was just business as usual.
Play No. 1: Darious Cummings gets an interception
Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Cummings, who will initially rush on the play will drop back to the line after the delayed blitz. The ball will then find him after it slips out of Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman's hand.
Right as the quarterback goes to release the ball, you can see that it does indeed slip out before the blitz gets to him. I have no doubt that the blitz caused him to throw the ball in a panic mode. This is just a great defensive play call to bring five rushers, and good execution of the play: Even if the ball is caught by the Tennessee player behind Cummings, he's not going anywhere.
Interception! It's too bad that on the return it looks like Dominique Easley kind of pushes Cummings down on accident, because Cummings would have more than likely gone to the house for six.
Play No. 2: Murphy's 31-yard pass to Quinton Dunbar
As soon as Murphy entered the game, this was the play I was waiting to see. Murphy puts the ball exactly where it needs to be, where the only outcomes were Dunbar catching it or a harmless incompletion.
Take a look at Murphy's form upon release. Perfect.
And here is the location of the throw, also excellent. Murphy puts the ball on Dunbar's outside shoulder, just beyond the reach of the defensive back. Just a great throw by Murphy, and it led to a touchdown that pretty much sealed the game for the Gators.
This play was reviewed to see if Dunbar got his foot down before going out of bounds, which he did.
Play No. 3: Matt Jones gets a touchdown
Jones is going to bounce it outside, while the defense clearly expects the ball to be going up the middle. Hunter Joyer continues doing what he does best. In this play Joyer takes out two defenders with one block, while Jones meets Tennessee's All-American linebacker A.J. Johnson.
As Joyer takes out his two defenders and Jones takes the play to the outside, the only free defender is Johnson, who doesn't miss and was all over the field on Saturday.
Jones and Johnson meet at the 3, and while Johnson would end up winning the battle, Jones would win the war. He fights him off for the necessary three yards and gets into the end zone for the touchdown.
On to Kentucky.