Florida vs. South Carolina, Theater of Operations: Defense gives up some big plays

Streeter Lecka

The defense gave up field goal after field goal on Saturday, but eventually they gave up a touchdown. It's tough to win games when the offense scores only 14 points.

It's tough to win football games when you score only 14 points. I don't care who you are. It's tough. The Florida Gators' defense on Saturday against the South Carolina Gamecocks gave up 19 points, which isn't bad, but it's still a little high from what we've come to expect.

The Gators defense held the Gamecocks offense to 377 total yards which seems like a lot, but if you take away some big plays, it was actually a pretty good performance. The Gamecocks finished with 213 yards passing (7.6 yards per pass) and 164 yards rushing (4.7 yards per rush). For comparison the Gators on Saturday finished with the same average passing the ball and a higher rush average.

Once again though, the Gators were behind in penalties and they lost the turnover battle.

Play No. 1: Ronald Powell gets a sack

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Powell is going to come on a blitz from right up the middle. It's a simple play and I like the play call here because it's something that you don't really expect.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Right after the snap you can see that along with Powell, Michael Taylor is also in the backfield. Everybody else is doing their job as all the receivers and backs are covered.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Both Powell and Taylor get to the quarterback at roughly the same time. There was some question as to whether or not Powell got some facemask or grabbed the collar of the jersey when making the tackle. I'm still not sure what exactly he grabbed, I'm still leaning towards the collar but it wasn't a penalty either way.

Play No. 2: Connor Shaw hits Bruce Ellington for a touchdown

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Steve Spurrier knows you don't win football games by kicking field goals. On 4th down, Shaw and Ellington, who is just going to run a deep route hook up for the score that changed the game. Shaw is going to roll out to his right.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The Gators have this play covered very well. There isn't any room for Shaw to dump this ball off for the first down or run for the first down as the Gators have that option covered as well.

His only option is to throw it down the field into one on one coverage.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The coverage on the play isn't bad by Brian Poole at all. Only problem is that he gets turned around and falls trying to make a play on the ball.The result of which is a touchdown for the Gamecocks but there's not really any fault to go around.

Play No. 3: Shon Carson runs for 58 yards

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This is the play that sealed the Gators' fate. A run right up the middle, pinned back inside the five yardline and somehow the Gators allow Carson to run right up the middle for nearly 60 yards. Something tells me that if Easley's here that doesn't happen.

See folks, injuries.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

It looks like Carson is touched, but he actually isn't.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Once Carson makes it past the linebackers he's gone. He's eventually caught by Jaylen Watkins among others but it's too late.

It's tough to blame a defense that only gives up 19 points and the majority of them are field goals. Especially on the road against the No. 10 team in the country. However, the big plays you'd like to see have gone another way. That's something entirely different.

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