Gator on Gator Semifinals: Game 1

We're in the second and next-to-last round of the All-Gator Championship tournament. An eight team drafted field of Gator Greats is now down to four. In this matchup we have the premiers player of the eighties in Emmitt Smith versus the premiere player of the nineties in Danny Wuerffel. The Fun-n-Shotgun offense versus maybe the best overall defense in the tournament. It is a matchup for the ages.

Remember, for this tournament we have calculated SEC Championship rings for the players on each squad as a comparison. In doing so, we included the 1984 and 1990 seasons in that mix because we all know who the SEC Champions were in those seasons.

Here it goes, make sure to follow the link at the end and vote for your favorite of the two teams.

TEAM Go Gata Offense-

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 Go GATA.

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.

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 & Special Teams-

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

Janoris is one of the best ever

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 - 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 - Andra Davis - All-SEC, SEC Champ, All-American
MLB - 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 -


All-SEC Seasons: 14
All-American Seasons: 10
SEC Rings: 14
NCAA Rings: 3

The CGYS backfield is just a two man venture. But with Wuerffel carving up defenses from the shotgun and a stocky Smith who is well equipped to pass protect and certainly a big time runner, it is a deadly duo to contend with.

QB - Danny Wuerffel – 2 x All-SEC, 2x First-team All-American, 2 x Davey O'Brien Award, 2 x SEC Player of the Year, 4 x SEC Champion, National Champion, Heisman Trophy, Draddy Trophy (academic), Johnny Unitas Award, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award. Completed 708 of 1,170 passes for 10,875 yards with 114 touchdown passes, the best in SEC history and second-most in major college history. His career pass efficiency rating of 163.56 was the best in major college history and his percentage of passes which went for a touchdown (9.74) ranked first in collegiate history at the time. He is one of only two Heisman Trophy winners to also receive the Draddy Trophy.

No one threw the fade like Danny

RB - Larry Smith – 3x All-SEC, All-American, finished his college football career with 528 carries for 2,186 yards and twenty-four rushing touchdowns, and 607 yards receiving.

Speed kills and this is speed city with this group. We are a four-wide team and there likely isn't a more accomplished group of receivers in the entire tournament. Spanning four decades from Alvarez to Jacobs, this receiver group has it all and can attack you in so many different ways.

WR - Carlos Alvarez- All-SEC, All-American, Florida career receiving yardage leader (2,563), College Football Hall of Fame.
WR - Reidel Anthony - All-American, All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ, NCAA Champion. As a junior in 1996, he played an instrumental role in the Gators' 12–1 national championship season, catching seventy-two passes to lead the (SEC) with 1,293 yards (an average of 18.0 yards per reception), and setting the SEC regular season record with eighteen touchdown catches.
WR - Willie Jackson, Jr. – 2 x SEC Champ, First-team All-SEC , Honorable mention All-American (1991, 1992, 1993He finished his four-season college career with 162 receptions for 2,172 yard and twenty-four touchdowns—still fifth on the Gators' all-time receiving yardage list.
WR - Taylor Jacobs - SEC Champion, First-team All-SEC, Orange Bowl MVP --Reason he made the team, plays BIG in BIG games,. As a junior in 2001, Jacobs posted thirty-eight catches for 712 yards and seven touchdowns. As a senior team captain in 2002 he finished with seventy-one receptions for 1,088 yards, an average of 98.8 receiving yards per game, and had four 100-yard receiving games.

CGYS made sure to concentrate on the offensive line bringing in four beefy guys with the best of credentials. Again, it is unlikely you find a better offensive line than the one that starts with all-everything Brown, to the only gator ever to win the Rimington Award in Pouncey.

OT - Lomas Brown SEC Champion, All-SEC, Consensus All-American, Jacobs Blocking Trophy (SEC's Top OL), 7× Pro Bowl, Super Bowl Champion. Behind the blocking of Brown and his Great Wall teammates, the Gators' quarterback Kerwin Bell, fullback John L. Williams and halfback Neal Anderson led the Gators to a 9–1–1 overall win-loss record and won their first SEC championship with a conference record of 5–0–1.
OG - Jeff Zimmerman –SEC Champion, 2 x First-team All-SEC , 2 x First-team All-American. Zimmerman was one of the members of "Great Wall of Florida,"
C - Maurkice Pouncey - SEC Champion, NCAA Champ, All-SEC, All-American, Rimington Trophy (Nation's Top Center). As a freshman in 2007, Pouncey started 11 of 13 games for the Gators at right guard. As a sophomore in 2008, he started all 14 of the Gators' games at center.

Pouncey may be the best center to ever play at Florida.

OG - Shannon Snell – SEC Champion, All-American. He was a three-season starter, who played in forty-six games and started thirty-six.
OT - Jim Yarbrough - University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame


All-SEC Seasons: 12
All-American Seasons: 7
SEC Rings: 13
NCAA Rings: 2

My front seven is all about the linebackers. With quickness and agility up front, that continues in the second level with the freaky Myles on the outside as another pass rusher and linebacker hybrid. Siler and green may be the best combo of middle linebackers in the tournament, while Nattiel is a solid fourth guy that played great football for Florida.

DE - Dale Van Sickel – All-SEC, All-American, played both ways on a 1928 team that went 8-1 and outscored opponents 366-44.
DT - Mark Campbell – All-SEC, 3 SEC Championships
DE - Lynn Mathews – All-SEC, All-American.
OLB -Godfrey Myles – All-SEC, SEC Championship
ILB - Sammy Green – All-SEC, All-American.
ILB - Brandon Siler SEC Champion, National Champion

Siler was the glue in the middle of that terrific 2006 defense.

OLB - Mike Nattiel – SEC Champion

The secondary is led by two complimentary cornerbacks. Williams is the biggest head hunter at corner in Gator history, while Smith may have the single greatest year for a corner with eight INT's in 2005 and is a stick'em guy that is relentless on the receiver not allowing him to catch the ball. Bennett and Fleming are solid safeties that will clean up the offensive mess that the linebackers push on opponents. CB - Jarvis Williams – 3x All-SEC, 2x All-American, SEC Champion

Williams may have been the hardest hitting corner ever at Florida.

CB - Ryan Smith - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champion, NCAA Champion
S - Bruce Bennett – 2x All-SEC, All-American.
S - Don Fleming – All-SEC
K - Bobby Raymond – SEC Champion. Holds several UF records including most FG's in a season (23) Most FG's in a row (17), highest career % accuracy 88.8%, longest field goal was 40 yards.
P - Robby Stevenson – 3x SEC Champion, NCAA Champion
KR/PR -Bo Carroll – SEC Champion, 2nd in Gator history with two kickoff returns for touchdowns, has a 100 yard FG return for a TD.

Here are the two teams, which would win in this matchup. Follow the link and vote in the poll.

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