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Florida vs. Tennessee, Theater of Operations: Looking at the defense, part two

We're back for our second look of the day at how the Florida Gators' defense played against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.

Joe Robbins

Earlier today we had a look at the first part of our defensive review of the Florida Gators' 10-9 win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. We're back now with the second and final part, but I'm sure this won't be the last you hear of the Gators as the day goes on.

We'll look now at Bryan Cox Jr., Keanu Neal and others who helped lead the Gators' defense in a game in which the first touchdown would prove decisive. You don't win football games kicking field goals, as the old saying goes. This game was certainly one of those.

Play No. 1: Cox Jr. gets a sack


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The Gators have a blitz set up here as they'll bring two. Cox Jr. is lined up as the right defensive end and he'll be one of the first two or three Gators into the backfield but he also does a great job of not giving up on the play.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Keanu Neal is the one who gets the initial pressure on Justin Worley that causes him to scramble up into the pocket and into the waiting arms of Cox Jr.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

A great power move by Cox Jr. as he just pushes the lineman out of the way. He'll then change course and follow Worley up to the top of the pocket and then get the sack.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Cox Jr. played a heck of a game when considering what he was going through. I know we've already talked about all of that but I think it deserves another mention.

Play No. 2: Jalen Tabor gets sack, forces fumble


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Tabor comes in from a cornerback blitz untouched. He'll leave his coverage area wide open, but Worley is looking in the opposite direction. The Volunteers even have extra blockers in on the play, but that doesn't matter here.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Tabor hits Worley, the ball comes out.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

From this angle you can clearly see that Tabor hit Worley with his helmet right in the chest. He also put his arms there as well in an attempt to knock the ball loose. The play is perfectly executed by Tabor who even recovered the fumble himself.

Play No. 3: Neal's game winning interception


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The post route run by Pig Howard is pretty good and he's open as you'll see in a moment. But he's not going to quite get to the ball.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The receiver is open by a yard or two but the throw is too far in front of him.

You can also see from these next two pictures that Neal does indeed catch the ball and that it doesn't even really come all that close to hitting the ground. It's a very nice catch.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Well, that was fun.

Welcomes to Florida Gators football in 2014. It all seems so similar to the past couple of years. Great defensive play (aside from maybe one or two games) and subpar offensive play.