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Insider

Gators are thin at defensive tackle

12/14/2011 - Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's run defense was good in September and November and pretty bad in October.

The difference, obviously, was the level of competition. Against the Southeastern Conference's elite teams, the Gators' defensive front struggled to make plays. The defensive line got handled pretty easily at times.

The tackles' job is to hold gaps and occupy blockers so that the linebackers can come in and make tackles. At times they did that, but they struggled with consistency. Plus, they weren't able to help much in the pass rush, either. One of the hallmarks of a good defense is the ability to pressure the quarterback without blitzing. To do that, you need your tackles to get a push up the middle so the ends can swoop in and make plays.