Theater of Operations, Florida Vs. Alabama: Reviewing The Gators' Run Defense

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 1: Running back Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes upfield against the Florida Gators October 1, 2011 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

If you were to ask even the most casual of football fans, they would tell you that running the football successfully is imperative if you're trying to win. In Saturday's match-up between the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide, only one team ran the ball effectively. And no, that team wasn't Florida.

The Crimson Tide ran the ball 43 times for 226 yards. The Gators, on the other hand, rushed for 15 yards on 29 carries. 15 yards! That type of success, if you want to call it that, isn't going to beat Furman, let alone one of the top two or three teams in the country.

The Gators did have an edge when it came to passing the football (more on that tomorrow), but it clearly wasn't enough.

Play No. 1: Trent Richardson's five-yard touchdown run:

Trenttd1_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

The Gators have four defenders near the goal line that are ready for this play. They know it is coming. There is no excuse for allowing Richardson into the end zone.

Bamatdrun_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

The fun thing is, all four of the Gator defenders in position to make a play a second ago take horrible angles right after the handoff. 

Trenttd3_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Count 'em. I see three Gator defenders in on the play, all with a chance to tackle Richardson on the three-yard line. I'm sure there is a Gator player underneath the pile.

Trenttd4_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

But nobody does.

I would highlight the holding I see by the Alabama offensive line, but to keep hammering home a point like that is tiresome after a while. Also, making a screen capture of such a moment is rather difficult from CBS videos. But here is the video; you can judge for yourself. Focus in on where the hole is made.


Play No. 2: Trent Richardson's 36-yard touchdown run:

Trent361_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

A simple draw play from the shotgun formation is apparently too much for the Gators defense to handle.

Trent362_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Look at the size of the hole. Again.

Trent363_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Florida safety Josh Evans takes what is probably the worst angle of all time. Okay, maybe not of all time, but at least the worst in recent memory. (Ed.: Since Kyle Jackson, maybe?)

In case you're wondering, yes, Trent Richardson did, in fact, take it the rest of the way for a touchdown.

Play No. 3: Eddie Lacy's 20-yard touchdown run:

Lacytd_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Three for the trifecta, right? Why not?

Lacytd2_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Hey, look, another massive hole (yellow square) for an Alabama running back to run through. Also pictured is Josh Evans (yellow circle), who has taken yet another horrible angle.

Lacytd3_medium

(Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Near the end of the Lacy run, Cody Riggs... well, I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Decide for yourself.

Alabama probably could have won the game just as easily without committing a few uncalled fouls along the way. The Gators surely committed a few of their own (shame on Jon Bostic, by the way), but the Gators' fouls didn't appear to impact the scoring all that much.

Truth be told, Alabama probably didn't even need an offensive line at all. That is how poorly the Gators played. It was as if they were the Kentucky Wildcats and Alabama was Florida. We all remember how that went. Good times.

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