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Florida vs. Tennessee, Film Room: Gators serve Vols a poisonous vanilla

It was a vanilla scheme that Florida deployed against Tennessee. But that was more than enough to take down the Vols.

Syndication: Gainesville Sun Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It’s not every day that you can play vanilla football and beat a rival by more than three touchdowns. (Or, well, at least what used to be a rival.)

But the Florida Gators did do that last Saturday.

The tectonic plates of college football have shifted, and they have turned Rocky Top from a vertical rock face that must be respected and climbed with precision into a high intermediate level on the StairMaster. Florida has summited Rocky Top with relative ease as of late, and Saturday was no exception.

The only real spots of trouble came on defense. Josh Heupel’s offense is a true extension of the Art Briles system that Baylor used to come into relevancy. This system is designed to bend and stretch the defense to breaking points both vertically and horizontally. Heupel began running this version of his offense at Missouri, and started to perfect it as head coach of Central Florida.

This system asks a lot of the defense schematically and is built to generate a lot of yards and explosive plays. Florida gave up some of those plays early, but some strong play up front helped slow down the Volunteer attack.

I take a closer look below at how Heupel’s offense challenged the Florida defense early and how the Gators responded.

Offensively, it was business as usual for Florida. Emory Jones continues to get more comfortable as the starting quarterback. He did a great job on Saturday of taking what was there and not forcing things into coverage. You can really see the grasp he has of this offense — something that wasn’t so evident early on this season.

The Florida run game also continues to impress, and all three primary running backs made some great plays against the Vols.

I take a closer look at another stellar week for the offense below.

I keep returning to something simple: Florida was pretty vanilla against Tennessee.

There weren’t a ton of new schematic wrinkles. Florida coaches have even admitted as much after the game. The Gators held some players out and probably held some things back schematically.

As they head to Kentucky for their first big road test of the year, I’m sure we will see some new wrinkles this week.