Brown Makes Mistake…Makes Amends

Sophomore Jeremy Brown is trying to make up for lost time. Two years away from the game due to injury, Brown is part of a Florida defense that has flexed its muscle in terms of turnovers. Brown had a big day on Saturday and was able to experience the highs and lows of playing the game he loves, all in one afternoon. The whole time, he continues to live the dream.

The Florida defense came out Saturday stressing pressure up front and forcing the issue with five down linemen at times to stop the running game. After four quarters, Florida finished the game with Tennessee and allowed only 29 yards rushing.

The assertive play meant that Florida's cornerbacks were going to be put on an island in the game and more times than not, they answered the call.

"We put a big emphasis on it all week," Jeremy Brown said of the Gators' rush defense in Saturday's game. "One of our plans to win was to stop the run first. We wanted them to take shots deep. That's what we did and came away with the ‘W'."

The 31-17 win over Tennessee was chock full of momentum swings and game changing plays. It was the type of game where every player on defense had to get themselves ready on every play. To that end, the Gators have collected 12 turnovers in three games.

"This is the SEC, the best conference," Brown said. "We are going to be put in a bind week in and week out. We're going to have to make a play. Whether it's on a pick, a fumble recovery, or whatever, we are going to have to make a play and we're doing a good job with that."

They have done it different ways so far. In game one and three, the defense has held the opponent's running game well less than 100 yards. Against USF in game two, they allowed more than 200 yards rushing but kept the passing game in check. Either way the defense has come up with big plays to help win the game.

"The expectations for the defense have been put on us since the beginning of the year because of the '08 and '09 teams," he said. "Coach Meyer tells us at Florida we play great defense so the bar is set high. We are just trying to live up to those expectations and doing a good job."

All the accolades aside, there were a couple of big mistakes in the game. Jeremy Brown wasn't without blame on one of them. Brown was suckered into a play that Vols receiver Denarius Moore caught for 49 yards and a touchdown.

"It was a good scheme, the way they set it up," Brown said about the play. "We haven't seen it on film and they kind of caught us off guard.

"The best get beat. We comboed it, which is an in and out concept. When he came out, I jumped it and he turned it up and went to a ‘Wheel' route. As a DB, you have to have amnesia and forget about it. I put it behind me. My teammates told me to keep my head up and go out there and make a big play."

Brown was busy watching the quarterback and letting him dictate the move that Brown made on the field.

"I got caught, eyes in the backfield," he said shaking his head. "He ran out and up and I jumped out thinking I was going to get a pick, and he turned it up on me."

The very next series the Gators were on defense, Brown made amends for his mistake. With 3rd-and-6 at the Vols 40, Brown jumped a pass and came away with his second interception of the season.

"It felt real good, especially after giving up a big play on the road," he said. "It was definitely something I had to do. I felt like I owed it to the team and I did."

Brown explained that the Gator defense teased Vol quarterback Matt Simms into making the throw.

"We played a two-man concept where we bait them," Brown said. "We knew they were going to go quick game, so I just said I was going to bait this quarterback and started out and came inside. I knew he was coming in and I jumped the route.

"I knew with the (formation) split, watching film before, when he was off the ball, he likes to come in. It was something that we studied and I picked it."

Brown further explained that the way the quarterback took the snap and with the formation on the field, it was quite obvious a short pass was on the way.

"They were in a formation where they usually throw the quick game," he said. "I figured when he came out and two was on the ball, they were going slants. Sure enough, he ran that slant just how he ran it on film."

Later in the game, Brown was targeted on a trick play from Tennessee, a hand off to the running back, who flicked the ball back to the quarterback with tight end Luke Stocker running a seam route. Brown stuck to his assignment and was able to defend the pass, batting it away from Stocker.

"(Every) week the coaches get on to me about my eyes," he said. "I leave them in the backfield a little too long. Given that, I keyed on that tight end. When I saw him pass release, I made a big play."

Brown continues to live a dream that just a year ago was something he wasn't sure he would be able to even participate in. he passed his first road test in a tough environment in front of a top SEC East foe.

"This is big for me," he said. "Moving forward, this is a game I had to have. When we get into SEC play and the competition turns up, (I want) to be out there and a big part of the defense is a step in the right direction for my career."

As good as this game feels he knows it can get better.

"It is special feeling," he said. "Words can't explain how I feel and I've come a long way. It is definitely something I can improve on. I don't want to talk about the interception too much, because I gave up a big touchdown. I just have to improve and get a little better."
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