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Theater of Operations, Florida Vs. Furman: Reviewing The Gators' Offensive Performance, Part One

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The Gators, by and large, were two different teams yesterday against the Furman Paladins. Yes, the Gators won, but it wasn't how it was supposed to be scripted. I guess that's why they play the game. It took a career game from John Brantley (and some timely takeaways by the defense, but more on that tomorrow) to finally put away the Paladins, who hung around until the fourth quarter.

Brantley threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns, Chris Rainey rushed for nearly 100 yards and Andre Debose finally lived up to the expectations we've had for him since he was recruited to play for the orange and blue. Also, the fact that Jeff Demps was a non-factor was kind of surprising considering this game was, on paper, built for him to succeed. 

Finally, Quinton Dunbar deserves some credit for what was his best game since his spring game breakout. Dunbar caught his first career touchdown pass in the second quarter of what was then a close game.

Play No. 1: John Brantley's 14-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Pretty simple play here in the redzone. Jordan Reed is just going to run a little post route and will be somewhat wide open at the goal line. Brantley will enjoy some nice protection even though Furman is blitzing a linebacker.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Chris Rainey (yellow circle) does a great job picking up the blitzing linebacker. Reed (bottom yellow circle) is just about to enter his cut.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At this moment, Brantley (yellow circle) is releasing the ball. Rainey (yellow square) does a great job of preventing the linebacker from getting into Brantley's face as he is throwing the ball. Also, please note the quality of blocking here by the entire offensive line.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

When Reed (yellow square) gets his hands up to make the catch, it is clear that he has beaten the linebacker (bottom yellow circle) who has dropped into coverage, and the safety (top yellow circle) is too far away to make a play on the ball.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Reed makes the catch (yellow square) and gets the touchdown.

Play No. 2: Hunter Joyer's one-yard touchdown run:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Hunter Joyer (yellow circle) gets the call here on this short-yardage play. He is going to take the ball and try to run up the middle. I'm not the biggest fan of this tactic because it doesn't give the runner the space needed to gain the speed (and power) needed a lot of the time to burst through the line.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At the moment Joyer gets the ball (yellow circle), it is clear that the point he intends to attack is pretty well blocked up. The Furman defensive line does a great job of not allowing the Florida offensive line to gain the advantage.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This is why I'm not a big fan of this type of play. Joyer (yellow circle) doesn't have enough speed to jump over the line. This time though, the Gators get a bit of luck and he bounces off the line but remains on his feet.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

You can see at this point, that Joyer (yellow circle) actually gets pushed back a yard.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Joyer (yellow circle) manages to stay on his feet and now has a clear path to the endzone.

Play No. 3: Chris Rainey's run on a two-point conversion attempt:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This play, will be a direct snap to Rainey. Remember when this exact same play worked against LSU?


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Brantley acts as if the snap goes over his head (yellow circle), a move that he should be very familiar with. Rainey (double yellow circle) at this point has the ball and is deciding on which avenue to take.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Rainey (yellow circle) gets great blocking from the offensive line (yellow squares) and has a good lane to try and cross the goal line. The only problem is that there is a free defender (green circle) heading to the play.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

That free defender meets Rainey (yellow square) before the goal line and keeps him out.

Play No. 4: Chris Rainey's 37-yard run for a first down:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Chris Rainey (top yellow circle) just runs a simple draw play right up the middle. Frankie Hammond Jr. (bottom yellow circle) does a great job getting down the field and getting a block.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

When Rainey (yellow circle) gets the ball, you can see that the offensive line is doing a great job in their assignment blocking.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Rainey (yellow circle) uses his speed right here to hit the hole and take the play to the next level of the defense.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As a bonus, Rainey makes a guy miss.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

It isn't the greatest block in the world by Quinton Dunbar (yellow square) but it does allow Rainey (yellow circle) to gain at least five extra yards.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

We'll go ahead and call it eight yards.

What's amazing to me is that while the receivers (aside from Debose) have struggled catching the ball at times this year, they do a fantastic job of getting down the field and scoring a block.

On these plays, the offensive line, aside from the two-point conversion attempt, played great. You really can't ask for better blocking on the touchdown pass to Reed nor the Rainey draw play.

Theater of Operations will continue tomorrow with Part Two.