Thursday, October 28, 2010

This Week in the Dawg House: Florida Defense

While the Gator offense has been horrendous (knocking on wood), the defense has been very serviceable. The new DC for Florida this year Teryl Austin, who was formerly the Defensive Backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals, and replaces Charlie Strong. Here is where UF's ranks in the SEC:
Yards allowed per game (297.9, 3rd), yards per play allowed (4.8, 3rd), scoring defense (18.7, 4th), and turnovers forced (16, 2nd). So as you can see, we shouldn't expect to rack up 40+ points for the 4th straight game. Let's take a look at each position group:

DEFENSIVE LINE: Up the middle, they are led by #6 Jaye Howard (6-3 302, and the most unlinemany lineman number you can have) and #90 Lawrence Marsh (6-5 290). Howard leads the team in sacks with 2.5. Backing these two up are none other than #99 Omar Hunter (6-0 307) and #92 Terron Sanders (6-1 309). On the ends, they are led by #94 Justin Trattou (6-4 255), who leads the defensive linemen in tackles with 32. On the opposite side is #44 Duke Lemmens (6-3 250), who is second on the team in sacks with 2.0.

Personally, I'm a little concerned about this defensive line getting pressure and causing chaos in the backfield. This is probably the most talented group of defensive linemen we have faced all season, so our O-Line and Fullbacks are going to have to STEP IT UP!

LINEBACKERS: Entering his 17th season at Florida, OLB #16 A.J. Jones (6-1 226) leads a talented but somewhat inexperienced group of linebackers into Jax. Redshirt Freshman MLB #43 Jelani Jenkings (6-1 223) is second on the team in tackles with 37, and also has an INT. The other outside linebacker is senior #40 Brandon Hicks (6-2 228 -- pretty sure this is NOT the same guy that pinch runs all the time for the Braves....not positive but I'm fairly confident I'm right about this). #52 Jonathan Bostic will also see ample playing time, as he is third on the team in tackles with 36.

UF has a very talented linebacking core, but does not have a ton of experienced depth. The next leading tackler (not mentioned above) is #26 Lorenzo Edwards, who only has 7 tackles all season. Hopefully a couple of the starters will get hurt in the first quarter and....wait...let me rephrase that -- hopefully we can block these guys and put together a nice string of first downs and subsequently wear the gator linebackers down.

SECONDARY: The best player on Florida's defense is SS #35 Ahmad Black. He leads the team in tackles with 60 AND interceptions with 3. He has a ton of experience and will be all over the field Saturday....hopefully he will get hurt during warmups and... nevermind...hopefully we will be able to throw the ball despite his veteran savvy in the secondary. The Free Safety is the very talented #10 Will Hill. Hill doesn't have an INT yet (knocking on wood again) but does have 29 tackles and was like...the best high school player in his class and stuff. The corners are #1 Jenoris Jenkins, (him and Jelani are not relation) who has 2 INTs and a pick six and #28 Jeremy Brown (did some research...pretty sure this is NOT the same ex-Alabama catcher who was featured the in Michael Lewis book Moneyball...but I'm not totally positive).

This is probably the best secondary UGA has faced, although South Carolina's corners were probably better. Black and Hill will be everywhere and I'm a little worried about how Murray will handle these guys..hopefully we will only have to throw it 12 times again, but I seriously doubt it.

Many are calling for us to "blow out" the Gators this year, but I just don't see it. I think their defense is good enough to keep them in the game regardless of what their offense does. No matter what the score is, I'll never be completely comfortable unless we're up by 78 with 26 seconds left in the game.

Here is the depth chart (from their rivals site):


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