Gator on Gator: Round 1, Game 3

We continue our trek through the first round of Gator Greats drafted and playing against each other. Our tournament of eight drafted teams has already lost two in the first two match ups and one of these two will be gone after the final poll is taken. Team orlandogator18 (OG18) takes on team "Go Gata" drafted by gator217.

When paiing these two teams off, we recognize for these Gator Greats that Florida did indeed win SEC Championships in 1984 and in 1990, a right we refuse to give up in the name of all things Gator.

please look over all of this and the work these guys put into it, then join us in the poll on the ‘Insider Message Board" to pick the team you believe would win this match up.


All SEC Seasons- 14
All America Seasons- 7
SEC Rings- 17
NCAA Rings- 9

The backfield for OG18 has a mid-80's to mid-90's flavor. Shane Matthews came along and set all kinds of Gator records in his three seasons as a starter, won the first legitimate SEC title in school history and we give him two counting the 1990 title. He was the guy that helped Steve Spurrier redefine offense in the SEC. You have to wonder with Neal Anderson who finished up his Gator career in 1985, just how well he would have done if he was ‘THE MAN' and not sharing the backfield with two other first round picks in John L Williams and Lorenzo Hampton during his time at Florida. No one dove over his line and line of scrimmage for a score or first down like Anderson who was referred to as ‘Air Anderson' with his ability to jump at the line of scrimmage. Then there is Terry Jackson who we can say a lot of the same. If he didn't share the backfield with guys like Fred Taylor and Elijah Williams for a few years, how different would his rushing numbers look?

QB - Shane Matthews- 3x All-SEC, 2X SEC Champ, 9,287 passing yards, 74 passing touchdowns. 2x SEC Player of the Year, He is also the original championship QB in UF history, beginning that legacy.
RB - Neal Anderson- All-SEC, 2x All-American, SEC Champ, Ran for 3,234 yards, caught passes for another 525 yards and scored 32 touchdowns.
FB - Terry Jackson- 2x SEC Champion, NCAA champ, Jackson is a quality FB and also a legit weapon within the offense. He rushed at UF for 1,794 yards and finished at UF with a total 2,439 total yards and 21 touchdowns.

Not many people will dispute that Percy Harvin is the greatest receiver to ever play at Florida. Most will say he is the best all-around athlete to ever play football. He was the ultimate game changer and equalizer on offense and had all his numbers in less than three years if you count injuries and time missed for those. Jack Jackson was the first really electric receiver to play in the Spurrier era of football. He was leaned on quite a bit in his time here at Florida. Harrison Houston was quite the common target for Matthews and like Matthews was a pioneer in the early Spurrier years that helped change the face of the conference in terms of offensive football.

WR - Percy Harvin- 2x All-SEC, All-American, 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Chamnp, At 3,781 yards from scrimmage he is the ONLY non RB skill player top 10 all time in yards gained at UF. He also scored 32 touchdowns. Made 2 all SEC teams. He is the best all around player you'll ever see, just ask Adrian Peterson.

Harvin may be the best athlete to ever play at Florida.

WR - Jack Jackson- All-SEC, All-American, 2x SEC Champ, 4TH all time at UF with 2,266 receiving yards. scored 30 touchdowns. SEC Player of the Year.
WR - Harrison Houston- 3x SEC Champ, 1,781 yards receiving and scored 19 touchdowns. Was also an excellent kick returner. Put the big play in the early years of the Spurrier offense..

The OG18 offensive line is chalk full of champions, guys that paved the way for rings at Florida. Among the group they have eight SEC Championship rings and six NCAA Championship rings.

OT - Phil Trautwein – All-SEC, 2x SEC champ, 2x National Champion Was a guy whose name was rarely called which is what you want in an offensive tackle. 2 year starter.
OG - Carl Johnson - 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, Big road grader at guard. Johnson was a regular starter from 2008-2010 moving between several positions. Was one of the strengths on the 2008 title team OL and on the 13-1 2009 team.
C - Cal Dixon - 2x All-SEC, 2x SEC Champ, Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner as the best offensive lineman in the SEC.
OG - Larry Gagner - 2x All-SEC, All-American. Helped lead Florida to its first ever major bowl bid with the 1966 Sugar Bowl.
OT - Jason Watkins- 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, Two year starter in 2007 and 2008 at tackle and was a regular part of tackle rotation for the 2006 title team. Like Trautwein, a name rarely heard as a tackle.

TEAM orlandogator18 Defense-

All SEC Seasons- 17
All America Seasons- 7
SEC Rings- 17
NCAA Rings- 6

The OG18 defensive line is all a relatively new bunch which means they have size to them. The thing is, with all that size you have tremendous quickness from all four spots. The Cunningham and Moss tandem is lightning off the edge and Floyd is all but unblockable in the middle. Gaines was a big timer in the middle of the defense in the early 90's.

DE - Jermaine Cunningham- 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, One of UF's all-time leaders with 19.5 sacks, had 34 tackles for a loss. He deflected 7 passes and forced 5 fumbles, intercepting one pass.
DT - Sharrif Floyd- All-SEC, All-American, He recorded 26 tackles for a loss and is not only a run stuffer but also gives pass rush up the middle.
DT - William Gaines- All-SEC, 3x SEC Champion, ‘Big Nasty' was a big part of the 1991 and 1993 SEC title teams. Big run stopper right in middle of the line.
DE - Jarvis Moss- All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, In limited 3rd down action in 2005 and full time in 2006 Moss recorded 15 sacks. If he'd not dealt with that illness his sack numbers could have been off the charts. One of the best edge rushers ever at Florida. Had 2 sacks v Ohio State in the title game, blocked a kick v South Carolina that kept the national title dream alive. Best on the big stage.

The leader at linebacker for OG18 is Scot Brantley. A tackling machine before he was forced to give up football at Florida by medical staff, he may have had every tackle record had he been healthy his entire time here. Brantley was a menace on the field and threw around his body to do whatever he had to do to make the play. Flanked on both sides of Brantley are two savvy backers from the mid-90's. Lots of championships there with Ben Hanks and James Bates. Hanks was the extremely athletic linebacker that came to Florida as a safety and flourished in the box. Bates is the wise-crackin' linebacker that was always there to make the right play for the Gators.

WLB - Ben Hanks- 2x all-SEC, 3x SEC Champ. His interception and TD return v Arkansas in the 1995 SECCG is one of my favorite all time plays in UF history.
MLB - Scot Brantley- 2x All-SEC, His 467 tackles are second all-time at Florida. He boasts two of the best single season tackle totals (193,145).
SLB - James Bates- All SEC, 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, an INT and 2 sacks. He is one of the more underrated linebackers in Florida history. Huge part of winning the first National Title.

Not sure how you plan on throwing on this secondary when they possess the top three career interception leaders in school history. Fred Weary came out of nowhere as a late signee at Florida and went on to become the school leader in interceptions and then onto a multi-year stay in the NFL. White was a big time player by the time he graduated and is a very solid corner opposite Weary. The safeties are the top two career interception getters at the position in history. Black was a key find in 2008 and an instant impact as a true sophomore that didn't play much in his first year. Will White may be the most unheralded player that deserves much more. When you look at what he accomplished, he was a special player while at Florida.

CB - Fred Weary- 2x All-SEC, All American, 3x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ. His 15 interceptions are the most in the history of Florida football. Shutdown corner all the way.

Weary had one of the best careers of any player in the secondary in UF history.

CB - Adrian White- All-SEC, SEC Champ, 3 year starter for Florida including on the 84 and 85 teams that went 18-2-2.
S - Ahmad Black- All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, His 13 interceptions is the 3rd best total in UF history. He also tallied 244 tackles at safety, 14 for a loss. Forced 2 fumbles, recovered 2 and was credited with 15 pass defenses in addition to his interceptions. As complete a safety as you can have.
S - Will White- 3x All-SEC, All-American, 2x SEC Champ, was SEC All Freshmen team, 14 interceptions is still second best at Florida and had been the most when he graduated.
TEAM OG18 Special Teams

K - Bart Edmiston- His 226 pts is 5th all time at Florida. Part of the 2006 national title team and part of 4 SEC title teams. 4 time SEC Champion, 1 National Championship.
P - Kyle Christy- This year he was a finalist for Ray Guy award, made second team for the Walter Camp All American team and was first team All SEC. His 44.3 yard average is second best in UF history minimum 100 punts. His 45.8 yard average in 2012 is a school record. Big weapon for Muschamp and team OG.
KR/PR - Andre "Bubba" Caldwell- Florida's all time leader in receptions. His 2,349 receiving yards is just in second and he scored 20 touchdowns as a Gator. He also had 293 rushing yards. Averaged 20 yards per return. 1 SEC Championship, 1 National Championship.

TEAM Go Gata Defense-

All SEC Seasons- 10
All America Seasons- 2
SEC Rings- 11
NCAA Rings- 10

Doug Johnson is perfect fit for the Go GATA strategy. Has a big time arm, good with play action, which is where most of his passes will come from. By any appreciable measure, Emmitt Smith is the greatest running back in Gator history. Great quickness, vision and balance. He is the gold standard and the centerpiece of Team

I think it's fairly obvious what my scheme is going to be...

We are going to give to the back with the greatest combination of balance, vision and quickness to ever terrify opposing defenses at UF!!!

We will mix in some FB runs, and then just when they are worn out from dominated by the most physical offense in this tournament... DJ (62 career td passes and one of the fewest interception totals in UF history) is going to unleash hell, primarily, via the play action baby!!!!

Starting off in the backfield, Behind this offensive line, Tight End and Full Back, he will slice any defense in this tourney to shreds... The best part of this strategy is the other teams know what's coming and they just can't do anything to stop it!!!! James Jones was a fast, athletic blocker and a great receiver out of the backfield. Who could ever forget the one-handed catch to beat Miami in 1982?

QB - Doug Johnson - SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, 62 Career TD Passes (6th ALL TIME), Gator Record for Single-Game TD Passes (7)
HB - Emmitt Smith - 3x All-SEC, All-American, SEC MVP, College Football HOF, Gator Football Ring of Honor, Most 100 Yard Rushing Games in Gator History (23), Top Two Single-Game Yardage Totals in Gator History (316/224), Top Two Single-Season Yardage Totals in Gator History (1,599/1,341), Most TDs by Gator RB/Season (14), Most TDs by Gator RB/Career (36), Highest Average Yards/Game for Career in Gator History (126.7) * More than 30 yards better than next closest, Fastest Gator to 1,000 rushing yards (7 games) --- twice, Most 100 yard rushing games in a single season (9), Most Consecutive 100 yard games (6), Longest Rushing Play for TD (96 yards)

Smith is also the NFL's all-time leading rusher. FB - James Jones - All-SEC, All American, Led team in rushing for three consecutive years ('80-'82),

This receiver group is large, physical and FAST... they are superior blockers with great hands. My tight end is another HUGE, athletic, monster that is a great run blocker and doubles as a red zone threat.

WR - Ernie Mills - All-SEC, SEC Champ
WR - Louis Murphy - 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ
WR - Chad Jackson - All-SEC, All-American
TE - Erron Kinney SEC Champ, NCAA Champ

My offensive line has a treasure chest of rings. These Hosses AVERAGE 6'5" and 316 pounds... ACROSS THE BOARD... They are BY FAR the biggest, nastiest group of blockers assembled in this tournament. Three of these monsters were recipients of the James W. Kynes (JWK) Award which is given annually to the Offensive Lineman with the greatest physical and mental toughness, who embody the "iron man" mentality.

LT Zach Piller - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
LG Cooper Carlisle - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
C Drew Miller - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
RG Maurice Hurt 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ
RT Carlton Medder - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ

TEAM Go Gata Defense-

All SEC Seasons- 13
All America Seasons- 7
SEC Rings- 11
NCAA Rings- 7

I feel like this is the team's strength. Especially, the back eight...

The Wright brothers are head hunters that will destroy any receiver foolish enough to try and catch something over the middle and Lito and Janoris both can lock down their respective sides.

With that in mind, we will employ primarily blitz schemes, with our extremely large and athletic linebacker corps. The defensive line is phenomenal as well, with Easley wrecking havoc and Roth (very underrated with his 17 sacks) can occupy the middle of any o-line and keep my lbs clean. Robin Fisher will dominate his side in pass rushing situations and hold edge against the run.

Starting in the secondary, you could argue that these are the top two cornerbacks in Gator history. There aren't many that have had the success in the NFL that these two have, especially given the shirt stint for Jenkins. Then you look at the head hunting safeties and you have to wonder if anything is safe thrown in the middle of the field. Take small children by the hand and keep your arms close.

CB - Lito Sheppard - 2x All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ
CB - Janoris Jenkins - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ

Jenkins will go down as one of the greatest to play at Florida.

S - Lawrence Wright - 2x All-SEC, All-American, 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Jim Thorpe Award winner for the best DB in America
S - Major Wright - SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Big, Fast, Athletic

When you look at the linebacker crew you have two reckless hunters on the outside, with tons of speed for the position. Then the rocks in the middle with absolutely steady tackler Davis and the hit-machine Spikes.

OLB - #30 - Earl Everett - 2x All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Big Game/Prime Time Player: Led the team in tackles against Ohio State in National Championship game. Made early play of the game when he chased down Troy Smith on third and long and made the sack helmet-less.
OLB - Mike Peterson - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Ferocious hitter, one of the most feared LB'ers in UF history.
MLB - #45 - Andra Davis - All-SEC, SEC Champ, All-American
MLB - #51 - Brandon Spikes - 3x All-SEC, 2x All-American, 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, Dominant against the run and pass, Most interceptions returned for touchdowns by ANY defender in the history of UF Football (4), Big time hitter

I am using a three man front because of my beef at linebacker. Still, my ends have good size even in a 3-4 scheme. What separates them is their quickness and guile on the outside. In the middle of the line I go with middle-80's plugger Roth. Florida's defenses in the mid-80's were absolutely some of the toughest.

DE - Robin Fisher - 21 Career Sacks, 41 TFL, the only place in the roster that is not HUGE... But before you think you are going to run at him, keep in mind, he is the only defensive lineman in the HISTORY of UF Football to lead the team in tackles for a season.
DE - Dominique Easley - Freakish combination of size, speed, athleticism and tenacity, almost impossible to block one-on-one, double team helps keep blockers off of line backing corps.
DT - Jeff Roth - All-SEC, Dominant inside run stuffer, recorded 17 Career Sacks/44 TFL, anchor of one of the most dominant defenses in UF history.

K - Matt Leach – Semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, second most field goals in a season at UF, his 43 field goals made is 3rd all time in Gator history, went 49 of 49 (100%) on PAT's in 2004. P - Bobby Joe Green - fourth in UF history in career punting average (42.6),2nd best season punting average (44.9), longest punt in UF history (82 yards) vs. UGA. KR/PR - Chad Jackson -

OG18 Defense v Go Gata Offense-

OG18 says… Go Gata has an excellent power running game running behind Kinney and Jones with Emmitt Smith. Fortunately strong up the middle with 2 DTs over 300 lbs in Gaines and Floyd and a big physical middle linebacker (Scot Brantley). This defense was practically put together with stopping Go Gata's run game. Strong defensive line and a great LB group that tackles well led by Brantley along with James Bates and Ben Hanks. With this team being designed to run first and throw off of it, would bring up Black into the box to stack it and then have Will White over the top. Knowing I can trust the All American Fred Weary on one side. I'd roll Will White to Adrian White's side and then go up and challenge Doug Johnson to beat the defense over the top. Taking away which ever two of Jackson, Mills and Murphy would be out there when they line up with Kinney at TE and run power formations. Stacking the box and committing to stop the run would be the primary concern. Have a big front seven and with a tackle machine in Ahmad Black, can commit to limiting the run. Forcing the game into Doug Johnson's hands would be.

That puts the game into the teeth of the strength of this defense where with the ball in the air they go up and make plays. No secondary in the history of Florida football has generated more turnovers than Team OG's (Will White, Weary and Black have the 3 highest interception totals in school history). In long yardage situations can sit with two deep safeties to bracket the outside receivers and Hanks can cover Kinney. In situations where Go Gata goes 3 receivers, Ahmad Black can come up and cover the slot with Will Hill still over the top to erase Doug Johnson passes. If this game becomes Johnson and his receivers v the Team OG defense, it's the game Team OG wants. You have the great pass rush from Moss, Cunningham and Floyd with a playmaking secondary and LBs that can cover the RBs in the check down game.

The OG defense lines up with against the strengths of the Go Gata offense that wants to run the ball first. 3 tackle machine LBs and a great run support safety behind two big mean physical defensive tackles and defensive ends that set the edge well and in pass situations the defensive line can get the penetration and create pressure without committing to heavy blitz. Add to that a punter in Kyle Christy that will create long fields for Go Gata's offense to have to drive and would be a long day for the opposing offense.

From the Go Gata point of view…The match up in the front looks good for Go Gata. The team was built around The running of Emmitt with the supporting cast all about size and strength. Matching up my monster line against pass rushing specialist, but really light Jarvis Moss is clearly a place where Go Gata will dominate in the running game.

Go Gata will have to stay in their game plan and just continue to mash and with the help at tight end with the massive Kinney and two superior blocking receivers in Chad Jackson and Louis Murphy, they should be able to handle the smaller Black at safety and Weary at cornerback while Kinney will. The OG18 defense was built to stop the pass, but Go Gata will just keep pounding the run.

Team OG18 Offense vs. Go Gata Defense

OG18 says… Florida has 9 skill players who have ever scored 30 or more touchdowns in history and 3 of those players are on Team OG. Lots of continuity in Matthews taking snaps from his center and having two of his receivers. Caldwell and Harvin also played together with Trautwein, Johnson and Watkins having experience together as a line. Fire power all over the field with a lot of ways to score and a great line to play behind. Between fire power, explosiveness and familiarity this offense is full of ways to beat you both by big play and pounding you on the ground. All led by a quarterback who overcame long odds to take over the Fun-n-Gun offense and turn Florida into the scoring machine that marked the 90's at Florida. Matthews knows how to win games and put up impressive passing numbers.

Supported by the ability to turn and hand it off to Neal Anderson, one of the best running backs in Florida history, along with Terry Jackson, whose productivity was also impressive gives Team OG18 balance. Percy Harvin is also a dynamic playmaker that could certainly contribute big to the running game along with the passing game where he, Bubba Caldwell, Jack Jackson and Harrison Houston form the MOST dynamic receiver combination in Florida football history. This abundance of weapons allows Team OG18 the ability to pack it in some and attack defenses up the middle as well as spreading them out and attacking down the field. Play action passing, end around plays, its all available with such a diverse group of playmakers.

Certainly this is a strong defense to go up against. There are two main ways I see Team OG18 having some advantage to attack the defense. One would be to not abandon the run despite the strength of that LB group. With a big, physical offensive line to run behind and a good FB, I'd do a lot of pulling especially running to the side with Carl Johnson and pulling Larry Gagner, who is a great athlete, behind to open the holes and wear on the linebackers and defensive line. What might start out as few yards here and there would grow as the big OL and the big fullback (232 lbs) wore on the defense more and more with Anderson running hard behind them. After all the line of Roth, Easley and Fisher is not the biggest and the best way to attack them is to lean on them with a big offensive line. Also once they were softened up some, could slip Percy Harvin into the backfield and look for the big explosion plays out of the running game. Also to freeze the LBs could swing Harvin or Andre Caldwell behind the running play up the middle to fake or eventually pitch the reverse to keep them honest and then test them with speed to the boundary.

Also the run game can set up the play action pass which will be big. Facing a team with two great run support safeties in the Wright boys (Lawrence and Major) it will be important to test the man coverage against speedy receivers like Jack Jackson and Harrison Houston. Does not mean there won't be testing the two corners on the outside but the advantage is in the man coverage off the safeties and that will be tested early and often with the advantage based on speed and playmaking down the field being with guys like Jackson and Houston in the slot. Also sliding Harvin into the slot. Another way to create advantages is bringing Harvin in motion from the back field to try and catch a LB (and I don't care if its Everett or Peterson, advantage in space is Percy's) on him in the flat so he can make a move and get up the field. Would not be adverse to using the Spurrier play from the 1991 Kentucky game either throwing a screen in this case to Caldwell, a HS QB, and having him pump fake down the field and throwing back to Shane for the touchdown play with a wall of blockers. Also would use the run game to set up play fakes thrown to Terry Jackson in the flat to constantly test the defense. Would definitely look to the deep post and the wheel routes to try to take advantage of the Wright-squared safeties aggressiveness to free up the speed burners in the open field. Once the defense respected the pass, would run off the pass with pump fake delayed draws to Anderson both out of two back sets and also one back sets forcing the defense to spread itself out dealing with Harvin, Caldwell, Jack Jackson and Houston. Would absolutely run 4 WR sets. Knowing the other coach has a belief that his secondary cannot be thrown on because of the corners, I would force LBs and Ss to play man down the field against quicker and highly talented receivers, attacking the middle. If they drop into zone, Shane will take what is there. Which just reiterates the strength of having Shane Matthews as QB. Team OG has a championship QB who knows how to make winning plays. In pressure situations he knows how to come through. Shane was the man who helped Spurrier put the Fun'N'Gun on the map and with him running this attack, you know the success will come. All capped by a great kicker that certainly knows all about kicking with an offense that puts up tons of points.

Go Gata counters with… Again this is the perfect match up for Go Gata. Anderson and Jackson are great players, but their strength is in their passing game. Our biggest threat when facing OG18 is Percy, so I will lock him down with Janoris roll coverage to his side top, Will that shut him down? Janoris never lost battles to Julio Jones or A.J. Green during his time on campus, Percy is a little different animal, but the Wright brothers at safety are there to provide some "Joey Kent" style hitting to the match up.

While the match up covering the receivers is ideal for Go Gata, I like the match up of my front seven against their protection and blocking even better. With my beefy and award winning linebackers against a team that doesn't have a tight end and a fullback that is more adept at running than blocking, there will be holes at the loine of scrimmage. No disrespect to all their rings, but the OG18 offensive line doesn't have the accolades of many others in this tournament. That looks like a feast job for my linebackers who plan on spending a lot of timein the backfield.

OK folks, it is time to take all of this in and then go vote for the best team. Click the link and give it a try.

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