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 Loucheiz Purifoy’s pick-six early in the second quarter of Florida’s 30-10 victory over Arkansas. It was a long time coming for the playmaker with tons of tantalizing talent and gall to wear No. 15 for the Gators. Purifoy recorded his first-career interception -- the eighth consecutive game for the Gators with at least one pick. Overall, the dynamic junior -- riddled by inconsistencies and murmurs of criticisms in recent weeks -- delivered the most complete and dominating performance of his career: an interception-turned-touchdown, a sack-fumble, four tackles, three pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. The pick-six highlighted UF’s win over Arkansas, giving UF an early 10-7 lead it never relinquished. Here’s how it unfolded.
On a 3rd-and-6 close to midfield, Florida is aligned in its base nickel (4-2-5) defense with a one-high safety (Cody Riggs, No. 31) look. Jaylen Watkins (No. 14) is on an island at the top of the screen -- responsible for either Arkansas’ tailback or tight end.
Off the snap, Dante Fowler Jr. (No. 6, the right defensive end) performs a rush-stunt with Gators defensive tackle Jon Bullard (No. 90). Bullard engages two offensive linemen, while Razorbacks all-conference center Travis Swanson is focused on blocking UF’s other defensive tackle -- Leon Orr (No. 44) -- who is also performing a stunt-rush with left bookend Ronald Powell (No. 7).
Florida’s designed rush immediately flushes the pocket (and quarterback Brandon Allen) right -- exactly towards UF’s bracket coverage inside. Fowler Jr. has a free release, as Arkansas’ offensive line is totally confused and tailback Jonathan Williams (No. 32) doesn’t block anyone and accidently runs into his own teammate.
The pass rushes forces Allen to throw the ball too soon and into double bracket coverage (Purfioy and Antonio Morrison, No. 3). Arkansas wideout Keon Hatcher wasn’t ready for the pass and was just completing his break when the poor throw was already in the air.
42-yards to paydirt. Purifoy “took it to the crib” (Quote: courtesy of junior linebacker Michael Taylor), escorted by a convoy led by Orr and Fowler Jr. Purifoy likely didn’t need the block, but UF’s two defensive linemen shoved Allen into the ground for good measure to totally clear the path into the end zone.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton