ARMCHAIR QB: Grading the Gators vs. Seminoles

The Florida Gators defeated the Florida State Seminoles 34 - 7 on Saturday in the SWAMP. Thanks to a dominating defense, big play special teams, and an effective offense the Gators defeated the Seminoles in consecutive years for the first time since 1985 and 1986. Florida's 27-point margin of victory was the Gators largest margin of victory over the Seminoles since their 52 - 20 win in the 1997 Sugar Bowl.


IMPRESSIVE: Defense, Jarvis Herring, Reggie Nelson, Dee Webb Avery Atkins, Earl Everett, Jarvis Moss, Brandon Siler, Special Teams, Reggie Lewis and Marcus Thomas

SOLID: Chad Jackson, Dallas Baker, Chris Leak, running backs, offensive line.

NEED WORK: I am sure there are things that need work, but after such a dominating performance over such a biter rival, we'll skip this part this week


DEFENSIVE LINE: Playing against a beat up offensive line, Florida's defensive line could not be stopped. Tackles Marcus Thomas, Steve Harris and Ray McDonald clogged the middle usually about two yards into the FSU backfield, while ends Jeremy Mincey, Joe Cohen, and rising star Jarvis Moss keep the pressure on from the outside. Florida d-line held FSU to just 49 yards on the ground while recording 2 sacks (Moss, Harris), a quarterback hurry, and 4 tackles for losses, while continually hounding FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford. With the defensive line getting plenty of pressure on the quarterback, Florida didn't have to blitz as much and could drop their linebackers into pass coverage. GRADE A+

LINEBACKERS: Earl Everett had another big day recording 7 tackles including 1 1/2 sacks. Everett seemed to be everywhere, covering the tight end or a back out of the backfield on one play then sacking the quarterback on the next. Meanwhile, Brandon Siler was not about to be out played as he recorded 5 tackles including a sack, recovered a fumble, and had a quarterback hurry on another play. Brian Crum, who saw plenty of action, and Todd McCullough were solid in support. GRADE A

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Florida secondary came up with big play after big play on Saturday despite giving up 285 yards, 192 in the fourth quarter, through the air. Almost every member of the secondary had a highlight moment. Cornerbacks Dee Webb and Avery Atkins, seeing his most extensive playing time of the season, recorded 10 tackles between them (Webb - 6, Atkins - 4), were credit with three passes broken, 2 by Atkins, while Webb forced a fumble and Atkins had his first career interception and his first career fumble recovery. Safeties Jarvis Herring had huge day leading all Florida tacklers with 9, while forcing one fumble and recording an interception at the Gator 1-yard line, which stopped an FSU drive deep in Gator territory. Safety Reggie Nelson who recorded 7 tackles, cornerback Reggie Lewis and safeties Kyle Jackson and Tony Joiner provided solid play in support GRADE A-

OFFENSIVE LINE: The defensive line and linebackers of FSU are generally considered to be pretty good. To counter FSU's strength, Florida decided to use six offensive linemen, as reserve tackle Paul Trautwein donned a different jersey and lined up at tight end to start the game. Weather the Gators used five or six linemen; creating holes for the Gators running attack was a struggle as the Gators gained just 73 yards in the ground. Pass blocking was adequate as the Gators allowed just two sacks, both in the first quarter, against a defense that was leading the ACC in sacks GRADE B-

RECEIVERS: Chad Jackson continues his assault on the Gators record books as he recorded 9 receptions 97 yards and one touchdown. Jackson's final reception of the night was a 29-yard catch in the 4th quarter that setup Florida's final score. Dallas Baker only had three catches for 38 yards, but included a 15-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter. Jermalle Cornelius had two catches for 32 yards including a layout fingertip catch on third down to keep the Gators first scoring drive from stalling. Tight-end Tate Casey had just one catch for 33 yards; unfortunately Casey had the ball stripped at the end of the play GRADE A-

RUNNING BACKS: Tough duty for the running backs this week, Marcus Manson scored on a two-yard touchdown plunge to cap the nights scoring and was the leading rusher with only 39 yards on 11 carries. DeShawn Wynn had the most attempts at rushing the ball, carrying 12 times for 27 yards. Besides Chris Leak the only other player with positive yards carrying the ball was Randy Hand, 1 carry for 1 yard. The running backs did add 4 catches, but gained only 11 yards off those receptions. GRADE B

QUARTERBACK: Chris Leak put up modest numbers, going 19 for 28 for 211 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception, the interception bounced off Deshawn Wynn's hands. Leak added 20 yards on 7 carries. Leak's performance was solid if not spectacular. Leak had a couple of nice throws, got some help from his receivers on a couple of tough catches and generally avoided forcing the ball into bad situations. On the option series Leak at least kept the defense honest and seemed to get the ball to the correct player. GRADE B

KICKING/SPECIALTY: Chris Hetland came up short on his 49-yard field goal attempt and true freshman Jonathan Phillips hooked a kickoff out of bounds, other than those two plays special teams were almost perfect. Punter Eric Wilbur averaged 44.5 yards on 4 punts, Chris Hetland made everything else he tried and coverage teams allowed virtually nothing. The big play came in the second quarter when Marcus Thomas blocked a field goal try by FSU, Reggie Lewis caught the Sunday hop and raced 52 yards for the a Gator touchdown, which turned the momentum and the game in Florida's favor. Outstanding! GRADE A+

COACHING: Offensively, Florida played it pretty close to the vest. Using the running game and the short passing game the Gators were able to move the ball methodically down field consuming clock time alone the way. Florida produced scoring drives of 9, 14, and 10 plays, which covered just 71, 53, and 56 yards respectively. Defensively the Gators dominated. The Gators were able to get excellent pressure from its' front four, this allowed Florida to drop seven men into coverage most of the time. Although Florida didn't blitz as much as they have in some game this season, they were able to get four turnovers, which led to 20 points and held the Seminoles to just 63 yards of offense in the first half. Special teams were special and Coach Meyer had the whole ball club ready to go from the start. GRADE Offense A, Defense A+, Head Coaching A+

FANS: The place was rocking. It was so loud even Jeremy Mincey couldn't hear the whistle when he was flag for a late hit. Once Florida returned the block field goal attempt for a touchdown it really got loud. GRADE A


To all the seniors, Thanks for the memories. Wins against UT, UGA, and FSU in the same year don't happen very often; hopefully we can build a tradition. Randy Hand should keep his regular job as an offensive lineman. Avery Atkins maybe a player. I am looking for huge things from Jarvis Moss in the very near future. Florida State can color this game anyway they want, the bottom line is that the Florida Gators took them to the woodshed. OVERALL GRADE: A+

Randy Platt
The Armchair Quarterback
Later GATORS, after while the rest!

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