Florida Gators: Marques Ivory

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 23-0 victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday -- and what they mean for the Gators moving forward.

Poor tackling

Kim Klement/US Presswire

Instant analysis: Florida 23, JSU 0

November, 17, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Sixth-ranked Florida finished the season unbeaten at Florida Field with a harder-than-it-should-have-been victory over Football Championship Subdivision foe Jacksonville State. The Gators led only 10-0 at halftime before pulling away and winning 23-0, thanks to a defensive score.

It was over when: LB Jon Bostic intercepted Marques Ivory's pass and returned it 7 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter.

Game ball goes to: RB Mike Gillislee, who had his best game in more than a month. Gillislee ran for 122 yards and one touchdown. It's the first time he had gained more than 100 yards and the first time he had scored a touchdown since he ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns against LSU.

Stat of the game: Florida's 23 points were the second-fewest Jacksonville State has allowed this season. Southeast Missouri scored 16. Tennessee-Martin scored 49 against the Gamecocks two weeks ago.

Unsung hero of the game: Florida's punt returners have struggled fielding punts all season. The biggest issue has been letting them bounce instead of coming up to field them, resulting in a lot of lost yardage. But CB Marcus Roberson did a good job of fair-catching three punts in traffic. He also had a 31-yard return.

Best call: Jacksonville State called a reverse pass that went for a first down and jump-started what should have been a scoring drive (K Griffin Thomas missed from 36 yards). Ivory handed the ball to WR Alan Bonner, who hit WR Trey Smith for a 20-yard gain.

Second guessing: Jacksonville State stunned the crowd with a 76-yard gain on the first offensive snap -- WE Kevyn Cooper stayed on his feet after being hit and took off down the sideline -- and had a first-and-goal at the UF 7-yard line. Three plays later they were at the 8, and coach Jack Crowe opted to kick a field goal. Why not try for the TD, especially when you have a kicker who entered the game 9-for-16? You've got nothing to lose when you're playing in a game like this.

Second guessing II: The Gators like to use the wildcat formation with Trey Burton taking the snap. That means QB Jacoby Brissett has to line up wide, which normally just takes him out of the play. However, the Gators ran a jet sweep toward Brissett's side, which meant Brissett had to block a CB. It's a surprising move because QBs usually don't block well and it also exposes him to a greater chance of injury. Considering starting QB Jeff Driskel is already out with a sprained ankle, why take the risk?
ESPN’s GatorNation brings you the 30 things you need to know about Florida’s upcoming 2012 season. For 30 weekdays we’ll preview games, talk about trends, spotlight players and positions, and give you pretty much everything you need to know to be ready for the season before the Sept. 1 opener against Bowling Green.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- GatorNation is previewing each of Florida’s 2012 opponents. Today is Jacksonville State (Nov. 17 in Gainesville).

[+] EnlargeWashaun Ealey
Dale Zanine/US PresswireWashaun Ealey led Georgia in rushing in 2009 and 2010 before transferring to Jacksonville State.

2011 record: 7-4 (6-2 Ohio Valley Conference).

Coach: Jack Crowe, 13th season (81-52); 18th season overall (95-82).

Series record: First meeting.

Top returners: QB Marques Ivory (5-10-0, 56 yards, 1 TD); RB Washaun Ealey (1,082 yards, 8 TDs); LB Rashad Smith (77 tackles); S Pierre Warren (37 tackles, 3 INTs).

Did you know? Former UF coach Charley Pell spent five seasons as JSU’s coach (1969-73) and went 33-13-1, including 10-0 in 1970.

Scouting the offense: Ivory missed the 2011 season after suffering an injury in the opener. He has 2,740 career passing yards and 25 career TD passes. Ealey is a former Parade All-American who spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Georgia and led the Bulldogs in rushing both seasons (717 in 2009 and 811 in 2010).

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