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Florida vs. Eastern Michigan, Theater of Operations: Defense, Treon Harris finish off Eagles

The Florida Gators posted their first shutout in a couple of years on Saturday, while a freshman quarterback burst onto the scene.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There were a few question marks for the Florida Gators' defense coming into this year after losing a few key starters to the graduation, the NFL, and transfers. After one game, it appears that some of those questions are answered. The Gators' defense allowed 125 total yards, forced five turnovers, had three sacks and scored a touchdown on an interception return against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

On the defensive side of the ball, we're going to only look at the interception return for a touchdown because popular demand wins here at Alligator Army. I've gotten quite a few requests to take a look at Treon Harris's breakout performance on Saturday as well. Harris, who some thought was one of the best (or important) incoming freshman in the Gators' recruiting class, finished 2-for-2 passing on the day, for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Yes, you read that correctly. But you probably already knew that. What a debut!

Play No. 1: Duke Dawson's interception return for a touchdown


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Right after the snap, there is some confusion between quarterback Rob Bolden, a running back, and a wide receiver. The Gators' defense is also going to get some serious pressure on the play.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The pressure by Alex McCalister causes Bolden to throw off his back foot. If you're going to throw off your back foot, into coverage, against this Gators team? You're going to run into some serious trouble.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The picture is a little blurry, but at this point Dawson catches the ball and he'll be going the other way for the touchdown.

Play No. 2: Harris hits Demarcus Robinson for a 70-yard touchdown


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Plan on playing the Gators' receivers almost 10 yards off the line this year? Why? Chances are it's not going to end well for you.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Just before releasing the ball down the field, you can see here that the offensive line — playing with backups in — has done a great job of pass protecting on the play. Harris has enough room to step up into the pocket and get off a great throw.

Which he does.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The throw is just past the diving defensive back and Robinson makes a great high-point catch to complete the play to that point. After making the catch, Robinson will shake loose of the defender, and scamper into the endzone for the touchdown.

Play No. 3: Harris passes to Mark Herndon for a 78-yard touchdown


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Harris' second throw as a Gators football player goes pretty well, if you ask me.

Herndon is going to come out of the backfield and find an opening in the soft man coverage that the Eagles' defense is playing.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Just after releasing the ball to a wide open Herndon, Harris still has enough room in the pocket to stand there for another minute or two. This was also a very well-run route by Herndon.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Herndon will run past three defenders on his way for the touchdown.

At the moment, the Gators are rolling. They get a final tune-up game this weekend against Kentucky before the conference slate really begins against Alabama in two weeks. Here's to them keeping it going.