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3 posts from October 1, 2013

October 01, 2013

Nasty Hogs

Arkansas center Travis Swanson was a preseason all-conference pick and has conducted the SEC's second-leading rushing attack. 

The senior's play -- both before and after the whistle -- is ever-present on tape according to one Gators defensive lineman.

UF nose tackle Damien Jacobs spoke highly of the Razorbacks' physicality before quickly adding, "I think they're a little chippy. They're a little dirty. So we're going to have to be ready for it all this week.

(Courtsey ESPN.com)

"I just see, from film, a lot of stuff after the play, especially with the center, No. 64 [Swanson]," Jacobs said. "He’s a good athlete after the play. He makes you want to do something to him. We’re gonna have to try to keep our temper and keep cool on that.”


"Just him in the mouth, first. Just keep hitting him until he quit. That’s how we do it.”

Behind Swanson and underclassmen tailback duo Alex Collins (FR) and Jonathan Williams (SO), Arkansas is No. 21 nationally in rushing offense, averging 237.0 yards per game.

However, the Gators lead the nation in rushing defense, surrendering just 53.50 y/g. The Razorbacks average more yards per contest than Florida has allowed all season (214).

Something's got to give Saturday night. 

“They gonna be physical. They gonna definitely try to come out and establish their will," Jacbos said. "They’re a team just like our offense. They gonna line up there and run it there and they gonna run it there until you stop them. We’ve gotta strap it up this week. It’s gonna be fun.”

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Pull: 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.

Today's play is Matt Jones’ 67-yard scamper early in the second quarter in Florida's 27th consecutive win over Kentucky. The sophomore tailback tallied career-highs in attempts (28) and yards (176) in the victory, but his long sprint really kick-started Jones’ red-letter day. Although the Gators force-fed Jones on their 13-play, 93-yard opening touchdown drive, he wasn’t particularly effective. Jones had six carries for just 12 yards until his explosive run. Here’s how it unfolded.


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.45.55 PM

The Gators are in a pistol set, with Trey Burton (slot) and Solomon Patton lined up to the left. Tight end Clay Burton (No. 88) is also lined up on the left of the offensive line. 


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.46.45 PM

Off the snap, center Jon Harrison (No. 72) pulls to the outside, as does left tackle D.J. Humphries (No. 70). Clay Burton does an excellent job sealing the edge. Immediately, Kentucky is doomed to surrender a big play. The Wildcats have eight blue shirts in the picture (sucking inside), and UF’s pulling linemen had a free release and are already chugging towards the second level. Meanwhile, T. Burton and Patton are in position to make one-on-one blocks to seal the sideline. Look what happens just a split-second later…


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.47.09 PM

There are now nine Wildcats in the picture, but seven are already beaten and are now chasing the play. T. Burton locks up the UK nickel back, while Harrison has yet to block anyone yet. Humphries is in position to take out two 'Cats with a single pancake.  


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.54.53 PM

Now six yards down the field, Harrison is finally forced to engage a defender and he subsequently (along with Humphries) manhandles a pair of Wildcats. Patton delivers a strong block too, giving Jones daylight up the sideline.


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.55.13 PM

See: here…


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.55.27 PM

Jones then displays great vision, cutback ability and explosiveness to Scooby-Doo the UK safety and charge inside towards the end zone.


Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 1.55.40 PM

Well, about that. It looked like a sure touchdown until teammate Quinton Dunbar eventually (accidentally) tackled him. It was a well-intended hustle play that ultimately mattered naught, as Tyler Murphy tossed a nine-yard strike to Wildcat killer T. Burton two plays later. The Gators went up 14-7 -- a lead they never relinquished in route to a 24-7 win.

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Nothing but bad luck

GAINESVILLE -- Since training camp, No. 18 Florida has lost six players -- four starters -- to season-ending injuries.

When Dominique Easley tore his right anterior cruciate ligament last Tuesday, it was UF’s third (Andre Debose, Matt Rolin) non-contact knee injury in six weeks.

While some questioned Florida’s training program, Muschamp remained adamant the Gators are “doing nothing wrong.”

UF’s head coach said he reevaluated the strength and conditioning program and talked extensively with medical personnel and chalked up the injuries to brutal luck.    

Muschamp also dismissed the notion Easley was hurt because of soggy practice conditions (it poured in Gainesville last Tuesday) -- quieting the angry townspeople demanding an indoor practice facility.

Muschamp’s full statement on UF’s run of injuries…

“We’re constantly looking at those things. You go back. I went back. You’re always looking from a strength and conditioning standpoint the things you’re doing. I’ve been asked the question about the ACLs. I did date research after Matt and Andre both had [theirs] within a four-five day period ACLs, totally non-contact situations, plant and change direction. No. 1, football is a very violent game. Guys have gotten stronger, their bodies have gotten stronger. Sometimes it’s harder for their bodies to hold based on the orthopedic surgeons I talk to. Sometimes things just happen. In our first two years here, we had two ACLs with Dominique Easley against Florida State when he was rolled up down there in the south end zone. Then you had Ronald Powell in the spring game [in 2012]. That was it. We’ve had three in two months.

“There’s nothing that we can look at from a standpoint of strength and conditioning that shows any information that would show you something’s not going right. We also look at shoulder injuries from a standpoint of, a lot of the shoulder injuries, we’ve had six since we’ve been here in three years and four of them had labrums coming into Florida. That’s a preexisting situation. Also a preexisting situation as you look at Ronald’s re-tear and you look also from the situation with Matt Rolin. Matt had an ACL in high school. Your percentage of patella tendon, tying the ACL back is 1-of-12 change for re-tear. If you use a cadaver, it’s 1-of-4. So all of those things, when you’ve had a preexisting injury, which we’ve had in a lot of those situations, there’s a chance for that to happen. I’m not saying that it should happen again, I’m just being realistic here.

“But two in three years is good. You never want it to happen. Two in three months, then you’re scratching your head a little bit in how you practice and are you practicing the right way. It’s three non-contact situations. It’s a guy planting and changing directions, that can happen in the offseason program. That can happen walking to class. They’re gonna go to class. We constantly evaluate those situations, absolutely. And making sure we’re going the right things. I’ve pulled our medical staff in, our strength staff in. I’ve consulted with outside orthopedics to make sure and watch the film in certain situations. There’s nothing we’re doing wrong.”

*** NOTE *** Not saying Muschamp is incorrect, but I have yet to confirm the statistics he offered on ACL re-tears. 

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