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3 posts from September 2, 2013

September 02, 2013

Notebook: Gators release depth chart vs. Hurricanes

GAINESVILLE -- Florida released its updated depth chart for Miami and sophomores Matt Jones (tailback) and Antonio Morrison (linebacker) highlight the few changes.

After missing nearly all of training camp battling a serious viral infection, Jones is listed as UF’s No. 1 tailback ahead of redshirt junior Mack Brown -- who set career highs in carries (25), yards (112) and touchdowns (2) in his first collegiate start last Saturday against Toledo.

Jones will make his 2013 debut Saturday, but how much he’ll play -- considering the South Florida heat, the noon kickoff and the sophomore’s conditioning level -- has yet to be determined.

“We feel pretty good about [Matt’s] progress,” coach Will Muschamp said. “I think you know, as we work through the week we’ll be able to know how much he will be able to contribute.”

Quarterback Jeff Driskel said it’s nice just to have Jones back for experience and depth purposes, but the junior hopes Florida’s starting tailback is totally healthy.

“I know he’s going to do everything he can to be at 100 percent,” Driskel said. “If he’s close to 100 percent, I’ll take it.”

(Jeff Driskel)

Meanwhile, Morrison is officially reinstated following a one-game suspension for a pair of well-documented arrest. In a bit of a surprise though, Morrison is listed as the backup middle linebacker to junior Michael Taylor.

Other depth chart notables include: Suspended wideout Latroy Pittman no longer listed as a backup at the “F” position, while the right cornerback position remains written as  “Jaylen Watkins or Loucheiz Purifoy.”


“I think our schedule is what it is. You guys keep wanting to add the Packers and everybody else. I’m kind of happy where it is right now. It’s been so unsettled just because I know Jeremy [Foley] and the guys have been dealing with the SEC schedules moving forward what are we staying, what are we not. I don’t know that all those things have been defined as of yet.” 

-- Muschamp on the possibility of renewing the yearly rivalry with the ‘Canes


Muschamp said starting left tackle D.J. Humphries (sprained MCL) will return to practice -- in a limited role -- Tuesday but is expected to be fine for Saturday’s game. Backup linebacker Darrin Kitchens strained an oblique muscle and will sit out the first two days of practice this week.

Defensive tackle Dominique will miss Monday’s practice with the flu.


Brown was awarded Florida’s offensive player of the Toledo game, while the Scrap Iron accolade went to transfer offensive linemen Tyler Moore and Max Garcia. UF’s entire defensive line was awarded player(s) of the week for their superb effort creating consistent pressure against the Rockets.


Former Gators and Canes quarterback Brock Berlin -- the hero in UM’s wild 38-33 comeback win in 2003 -- will be Miami’s honorary captain Saturday. … Miami has tallied 500+ yards of total offense in three consecutive games, dating back to the 2012 season. Conversely, Florida didn’t allow more than 370 yards in a game all last season. … UM is 13-14 all-time at home vs. UF. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Florida-Miami: Darling memories

ICYMI: I wrote a feature yesterday on the stakes of Saturday’s (renewed) rivalry game. Be sure to check it out, especially with Ronald Powell’s kicker quote at the end of the piece...

“It’s a big game because we’re [Florida] in it.”

Saturday’s matchup could very well be the final regular-season meeting between the two powerhouse programs for a very long time.

Today, Florida coach Will Muschamp -- who grew up in Gainesville cheering for the Gators -- reminisced on old history.

“Well, it was the leadoff game every year in the '80s. I remember I was sitting in the North end zone when James Jones made the one-handed catch against Miami. I guess '86 or, no, '84 was Kerwin Bell's first game. I think we went through five quarterbacks in preseason, Jeremy [Foley] you probably remember. We went through a bunch of them there, and Kerwin had his first [chace] down in Tampa, I think is where we played that year. But that was a game that when it was in Miami, I remember watching or listening on the radio, and then obviously when it was here in Gainesville I was trying to get in the stadium somehow.”

So shoot y’all. What are your favorite memories in the series?


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

VG3 INT: Anatomy of a play

Each week, I’ll breakdown (in a simplified manner, hopefully) a pivotal play in Florida’s game. I decided against lots of arrows and pointers so as not to distract from the overall picture, but if you’d prefer that in the future, let me know.

This week’s play is freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III’s first-career interception. Florida was sluggishly going through the motions -- both offensively and defensively -- in the second half Saturday before VG3 made an outstanding pick, aided by a great pass rush. The Gators would go on to score their final touchdown of the afternoon three plays later -- capitalizing on the short field.

Take a look. (Note: All screen shots courtesy of ESPN)

# 1

Screen shot 2013-09-02 at 10.43.33 AM
Against Toledo’s up-tempo spread, Florida predominantly oscillated between a traditional 4-2-5 nickel defense and a 3-3-5 base defense.  Here the Gators are in their 3-3-5 alignment, with Hargreaves III in press coverage at the bottom of the screen. 

Screen shot 2013-09-02 at 10.43.59 AM

Off the snap, Florida’s defensive line (specifically DT Dominique Easley) utilizes a stunt rush with linebacker Michael Taylor -- lined up with the slot receiver at the top of the shot -- blitzing off the edge. Fellow linebacker Neiron Ball (No. 11) immediately drops deep into coverage -- similar to a Tampa-2 look. 


Screen shot 2013-09-02 at 10.52.18 AM

Initially, Rockets quarterback Terrence Owens scans the field -- looking right to left. For a very brief moment, Owens actually has a clean pocket but quickly notices zero open receivers on the right side. Hargreaves is mostly removed from the picture here, but he is pushing his man inside where he has safety help (No. 20 Marcus Maye). But now watch what happens…


Screen shot 2013-09-02 at 10.52.38 AM

The pocket quickly collapses, yet Owens sees that his wideout actually has a step on Florida’s freshman cornerback. Maye, in bracket coverage, appears to be a tad out of position (just slightly not high enough), allowing Owens a small window to complete a big third-down throw. Or so the southpaw thought. 

# 5

Screen shot 2013-09-02 at 10.44.54 AM

The ball was poorly throw and a tad behind the receiver, but Hargreaves showed excellent anticipation undercutting the throw. Florida’s defensive line also deserves major kudos on this play, as it funneled the ball to the very spot its defense was designed to stop. 

Now watch the play in real speed

Impressive play by a kid. 

***** UPDATE *****

Here's what coach Will Muschamp said about the play during Monday's press conference:

"The interception Vernon had was an outstanding job of constricting the pocket. [Owens] had nowhere to step up in the pocket, and Vernon made an outstanding play on the ball." 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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