HB: What I Liked and Didn't Like

The Gators clinched the SEC East Championship with a resounding 42-14 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday and the score wasn't indicative of how good the Gators actually played. With that said, there was a lot to like in this game, and honestly, not a whole lot not to like. We will make an attempt at pointing out both to you here.

What I Liked…

Tebow polished game…

It wasn't just his aggressive running that we have missed this year and that he excelled at in the game, it was also the way he has learned to step up in the pocket and make passes while the rush is coming around him. The deep touchdown pass to David Nelson was a prime example. Even though Urban Meyer said he held it too long Tebow did a great job of dropping back, then wandering forward after the rush had gone by, buying himself more time, and then throwing the ball deep. Add this to his picked up running game and the Gators have a much more dangerous quarterback than the one that won the Heisman Trophy a year ago.

The polished game certainly compliments his running style and we saw a Tebow like last year's Tebow running the ball on Saturday. He looks to be making a late push for another Heisman Trophy.

Sense of urgency on both side of the ball…

The Gators scored six touchdowns in their first seven possessions and should have been seven for seven had it not been for some shoddy replay calls from the officiating crew. Percy Harvin was called for a fumble that was not. Despite that one turnover, the Gators were very sharp and actually only got to third down on three occasions in the first half, converting on all three.

On defense, the Gators only allowed three first downs and 93 yards in the first half. They played every down like it could be their last. This defense that has the worst tackles for loss numbers in the SEC had five for the game.

Spreading the ball around…

Tebow is definitely learning to get more out of his teammates. A year ago it was the Tebow and Percy Harvin show almost nightly. On Saturday four different people rushed the ball that weren't quarterbacks. Seven different receivers caught the ball.

"(Tebow's) a good quarterback," said Vanderbilt safety Ryan Hamilton after the game. "One of the things that make him so good is the weapons he surrounds himself with. If you put a good quarterback in there with a lot of good players like the players they have, it's pretty tough on a defense."

Big plays abound…

Although the Gators were limited to only three explosive plays on the night, all three happened in the first half of the game where the Gators dominated and put it out of hand. The Gators also had 11 total plays more than 10 yards in the first half. The Gators had nine players make plays of 10 yards or more in the game.

Back up receivers making noise…

It has been a while this season, but the backup receivers are starting to make some noise in the Gator offense. Carl Moore, Deonte Thompson, David Nelson, and Riley Cooper accounted for seven of the 15 catches in the game and 97 of the 191 receiving yards.

Offensive line continues stellar play…

Only one sack on the night and backup quarterback John Brantley missed a blitzing cornerback off the edge. The offensive line also blocked for 231 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, and a 6.1 yards per carry average. The pocket was a thing of beauty all night long against a Vanderbilt team that leads the SEC in sacks.

William Green making a move…

Green has been moved to Sam linebacker ever since the Arkansas game. He lines up at the line of scrimmage just like A.J. Jones does, and when Jones went down with an injury Green came in and did a great job. He finished with four tackles on the night including one tackle for loss and also had quarterback hurry.

Brandon Hicks also looked good…

He had limited time in the game, but Hicks wrapped up the ball carrier very well when he was in. He also laid a few hard hits on Vandy ball carriers. The Gators are starting to build some valuable depth at linebacker.

Will Hill is a thrill…

He helped cause the interception when he blitzed from his nickel back position. Hill played in the game Saturday even though he missed a couple of days of practice because of health issues with his father. Hill is an absolute blur getting to the ball when he gets a bead on the ball carrier or where the ball might be going. He finished with five tackles on the night and continues to earn more playing time as the season goes on.

Punt blocking/return unit is special…

Carlos Dunlap blocked two punts tonight making five for the season so far for the unit. Add Brandon James as the return man and this unit must scare the dickens out of special teams' coaches every week.

The Gators have blocked 15 punts in Urban Meyer's time at the University of Florida. Of the 15, seven were on the opponent's opening drive and first punt from the opposition. This is a testament to scouting and finding holes in the oppositions punt protection schemes.

What I Didn't Like…

Replay officials need some help…

I thought Florida lost on both replay calls in the game. Percy Harvin did not fumble until he was down at the end zone and Vanderbilt scored a touchdown that the receiver was out of bounds. Oh well, it was way out of hand when the calls happened. The replay official must have been felling very benevolent.

Janoris was off…

Even though I thought the official blew the call for the touchdown pass, Janoris Jenkins was beaten on the play. As a matter of fact, he was beaten on the same exact play one down earlier, but the ball was over thrown. This was not very indicative of what we have seen from Jenkins so far this year.

Brantley miscues…

Where back up quarterback John Brantley came in and looked great against Georgia last week, he had a few plays that certainly made him look like he wasn't the starter. I mentioned above, the 12-yard sack that Brantley totally missed a blitzing cornerback. He also threw an interception that wasn't very pretty. Hey, I had to have something I didn't like in the game.


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