Theater of Operations, Florida Gators Season Review: The Defensive Line, Part Three

For previous editions of Theater of Operations' Season Review, please see bottom of article.

In parts one and two of our season review of the defensive line, we focused primarily on the starters. Today, despite being hung-over from National Signing Day, we'll take a look at the guys who contributed, but weren't normally in the starting rotation. These guys, despite not playing starters minutes, still managed to make an impact at a position in which depth was an issue heading into the season.

Who am I talking about exactly? Well, I'm talking about the foursome of William Green, Omar Hunter, Kedric Johnson and Leon Orr.

According to cfbstats.com (which is a fantastic reference), Green, accounted for a half-sack and twenty-one tackles, Hunter had a sack and thirty-one tackles, Johnson ended up with a sack and five tackles and Orr finished the year with a sack and ten total tackles. While clearly those are the numbers of the second-string, they each did what they were supposed to do this year.

The great thing about the four of them is that all of them will return in 2012 except for Green, who was the lone senior of the group.

Play No. 1: Green's half-sack on Furman quarterback Chris Forcier:

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This could also go down as a coverage sack as well. Green (yellow circle) will end up getting half credit for the sack on Forcier along with Jaye Howard.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

After letting the tight end go past him, Green begins to take on his blocker (yellow square).

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Green begins to beat the right tackle (yellow square) but will soon be pushed out of view. However, because of the rush by the other defensive linemen and the coverage by the defensive backs and linebackers on the play, Forcier will soon be under duress and have to try and scramble out of the pocket.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Green isn't even in the picture yet.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

There is Green (yellow circle) getting his half-sack.

From another angle:

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At this moment, Green (yellow circle) is getting past his blocker and will begin to chase down the quarterback.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Green (yellow circle) was one of three Gators in on the tackle.

Play No. 2: Johnson's sack on Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith:

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Johnson (yellow circle) actually drops back into coverage on the play and as a result, the Gators rush four. The extra man is "Pop" Saunders who will be blitzing from the right side.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Johnson (double yellow circle) is sitting out in pass coverage while Smith (green circle) is getting pushed out of the pocket by Earl Okine (single yellow circle).

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At this moment, Johnson (yellow circle) re-enters the picture and Smith (green circle) is trying to run for yardage.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Smith wisely decides to slide down at the same moment Johnson dives to make the tackle

Play No. 3: Orr's sack on Kentucky quarterback Smith:

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Orr (yellow circle) is going to be the beneficiary of a great pass rush and timing.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Smith (green circle) begins his roll-out to the right, you can see Orr (yellow circle) is being blocked fairly well.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As the roll-out continues for Smith (green circle), Orr (yellow circle) is masking him step for step.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Smith (green circle) barely escapes the pressure from Johnson and Michael Taylor, Orr (yellow circle) now has a clear lane to pressure him on the sideline.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Orr chases/pushes him out of bounds for the sack.

As pointed out by Cali Gators in the comment section of part two, the Gators are just an elite nose tackle on the defensive line away from competing against the pro-style big backs of Alabama and Louisiana State. I can't stress to you how true that statement is. The Gators have elite starters and very capable back-ups at every position on the defensive line except for that starting nose tackle.

Previous Season Review editions of Theater of Operations: Quarterbacks (parts one, two, three), running backs (parts one, two, three), tight ends (one part), wide receivers (parts one, two), offensive line (parts one, two) and defensive line (parts one, two).

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