Florida vs. FSU, Theater of Operations: Defense does its thing, part two

Sam Greenwood

Our second-to-last Theater of Operations post of the year continues to look at how the defense of the Florida Gators stood up to the Florida State Seminoles' offense.

In the first part of our defensive review of the Florida-Florida State tilt on Saturday we looked at the defense and just how a few calls (both good and bad, I guess) changed the game. Today, as we near the end of our reviews, we'll look at a few more plays, but this time there are no flags or questionable calls.

I won't bore you with a lot of words just to fill up space. We're all past that at this point in time.

Let's get this thing over with as fast as we can.

Play No. 1: Bryan Cox Jr. gets a sack

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This play was blown up by the Gators defense from the start. Jonathan Bullard comes through the line on the snap and gets to Jameis Winston before Winston even has full control of the ball. Cox Jr. (yellow circle) comes in right behind Bullard.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Bullard hits Winston, you can see that Cox Jr. is free as well. Bullard would end up missing the tackle as Winston spins out of it, but there are enough Gators there arriving as backup.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Swarm! Once Cox Jr. puts his arms on Winston there is no more escaping. Cox Jr. would have gotten Winston down by himself, but three other Gators arrive to make it an non-issue.

Play No. 2: Defense misses numerous tackles, Kelvin Benjamin scores

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

We'll just go ahead and fast forward this play. As Benjamin catches a pass over the middle you'll see that he is in the process of being tackled. Well, he'll break that tackle and make the other Gators defender, Brian Poole (yellow arrow) miss.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The cavalry arrives, but every player is unable to take down Benjamin. So far that's five missed tackles.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Poole is going to take another crack at Benjamin before he arrives into the endzone for a touchdown. He'll attempt to just punch the ball out but will be unsuccessful.

Play No. 3: Devonta Freeman's touchdown

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Freeman is going to take the handoff and go up the right side of the offensive line. He'll get a great block down the field and end up getting into the end zone. At this point, you can just tell that the Gators' defense has just had enough.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Once Freeman breaks through the offensive line and gets to the next level, he's in the clear as long as tight end Nick O'Leary maintains his block.

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(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

O'Leary pushes his man back about five yards and clears more than enough space for Freeman to get to the endzone for the touchdown. At this point, halfway through the third quarter, I'm not sure any Gators game in recent memory had the feeling of just being over.

Maybe next year, right?

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