- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 27-14 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday. The first two are scoring plays in which the Gators did a good job of blocking and picking up a blitz. The third, however, is an illustration of what can go wrong when blocking breaks down and the quarterback is too tentative.
Mike Gillislee’s TD run
The score: Game tied at 7-7 in the second quarter.
The situation: First-and-10 at the Bowling Green 38-yard line.
The breakdown: Reed motions across the formation from left to right and settles in next to Green. Joyer moves from directly behind QB Jacoby Brissett to an offset-I formation behind LG James Wilson. It appears the play is supposed to be a run to the left side of the formation.
At the snap, Halapio blocks DT Ted Ouellet while Green tries to block down on DE Charlie Walker, but Walker manages to twist Green around so he’s facing Bowling Green’s sideline. Reed is matched up one-on-one with defensive back Aaron Foster and he drives Foster 4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Gillislee takes the handoff from Brissett while Joyer heads toward the left side of the line of scrimmage.
Halapio and Green, however, get a good push on the right side while the left side fails to get much movement. Joyer heads right and joins Green in blocking Walker. Swan runs up into the hole between Halapio and Green and is in good position to make the tackle for a minimal gain.
But Gillislee sees Swan and cuts to the right and past the Green-Joyer tag-team on Walker and then cuts back to the left inside of Reed’s block on Foster. Swan gets caught behind Joyer and can’t make the tackle.
Gillislee makes a move on S Jude Adjei-Barimah at the 30 and cuts to the sideline and outraces everyone to the end zone to give the Gators a 14-7 lead with 5:03 remaining.
Hammond’s TD catch and run
The score: Florida leading 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.
The situation: Third-and-7 at the 50.
Why it worked: UF’s offensive line picked up Bowling Green’s blitz and WR Frankie Hammond broke a tackle near the first-down marker.
Just before the snap, Bowling Green’s two linebackers creep toward the line of scrimmage. At the snap, the linebackers rush through the gaps between the center and guards while three of Bowling Green’s defensive linemen rush straight up the field. DT Chris Jones stunts and tries to loops behind a blitzing linebacker. LG James Wilson gets enough of a block on Jones to slow him down. The other linemen hold their blocks, and Gillislee comes out to help Halapio. The other blitzing linebacker pauses for a second before bursting through the gap between RG Jon Halapio and C Jon Harrison. But that delay is enough for Driskel to get the pass away.
Hammond, who had run a simple comeback route, catches the ball at the Bowling Green 41-yard line. He immediately spins to his right and Falcons CB Cameron Truss slides off his hips. Hammond nearly loses his balance but puts his right hand down and regains his footing.
Hammond cuts inside at the 30, which catches S Ryland Ward off balance. Hammond heads down the hash marks toward the end zone. Ward makes a diving swipe at Hammond’s feet at the 14 and Hammond dives into the end zone from the 2-yard line to give the Gators a 24-14 lead with 13:18 to play.
Sacked in the red zone
The score: Game tied at 14-14 midway through the third quarter.
The situation: Third-and-2 at the Bowling Green 10.
Why it didn’t work: RT Chaz Green missed a block and QB Jeff Driskel failed to get the ball to TE Jordan Reed, who was open for a potential first down.
What happened: Driskel is under center with RB Matt Jones 7 yards behind him. Reed motions from the left side of the formation to the right and lined up next to Green.
At the snap, Driskel turns and fakes the ball to Jones on the left side of the formation and then rolls to his right on a bootleg. Reed engages DE Charlie Walker for a second then releases and slides to his right just beyond the first-down marker near the numbers. Green takes a step to his left, but DT Chris Jones goes outside and blows by Green and heads for Driskel. Driskel is able to put on a burst of speed and elude a diving Jones at the 19-yard line.
DT Ted Ouellet disengages from C Jon Harrison as Driskel eludes Jones and runs toward Driskel, who is now standing at about the 22-yard line. Driskel has about 6 yards of separation between himself and Ouellet and has Reed open beyond the first-down marker. It would have to be a tight throw, but it’s a very makeable one. Instead, Driskel hesitates and keeps heading toward the sideline.
By that time, Ouellet has closed the gap, but Driskel puts on another burst to evade Ouellet at the 20, but he’s too close to the sideline and steps out of bounds at the 17.
3dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough