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Florida vs. Jacksonville State, Theater of Operations: Gators' first drive on defense

The Florida Gators posted their second shutout of the season against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Saturday. Here's part one of how they accomplished that feat.


Once again, the Florida Gators defense was there to save the day. Though it wasn't needed quite as much as they normally were against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, the defense posted its second shutout of the season. Of course, the Gamecocks missed two field goals, including a chip shot, and that helps on the scoreboard.

Especially when you give up the longest play of the season because you forget how to tackle.

After that first play in which the Gators gave up 76 yards, they gave up a grand total of 166 yards the rest of the way. The Gamecocks ended up with 48 yards rushing and 194 yards passing.

Play No. 1: Marques Ivory's 76-yard pass to Kevyn Cooper


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

You'd think that as soon as Cooper catches the ball, he's going to be easily tackled by either Matt Elam (top defender) or Marcus Roberson (bottom defender).


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

But apparently Roberson isn't ready to finish the tackle yet.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Which is okay because Elam isn't ready either.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

A nice block in the back helps to spring Cooper for another 60 yards.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Jonathan Bostic, who never shows speed and seems to play the game at a slow pace, was actually the one who caught Cooper at the end of this play. If Bostic had played this fast his entire career, he'd have been an All-American.

Play No. 2: Dominique Easley's and Josh Evans' sack


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

In what is more of a coverage sack than anything else, Easley does do a good job of eventually fighting off two blockers as Evans comes on a blitz.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Ivory (green circle) continues his roll out, Easley and Evans continue their pursuit. The coverage in the end zone remains perfect as well.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Easley and Evans finally get their man.

From another angle:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

This sack probably ended up setting the tone for the game, as it occurred at the end of the drive in which the Gators gave up that big passing play profiled above. Throw in the fact that the Gamecocks would miss the chip shot field goal, and, yeah, the game was probably over.

I have no idea where this team would be without their defense.

Probably sitting somewhere like Tennessee.