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.
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…
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.
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.
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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