Florida will look to disrupt Woodson in SEC survival game

Originally Published: October 18, 2007
ESPN The Magazine
Editor's note: Each week, analysts from ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine will tackle a game plan for one of the biggest games on the schedule.

Yes, Florida has beaten Kentucky 20 straight times. But the Gators have also lost two straight this season, and this bunch of Wildcats doesn't look like an SEC doormat. We asked our former coaches, Bill Curry and Mike Gottfried, to pretend they were coaching this weekend's matchup. Then Jim Donnan picked a winner. On paper, anyway.

Gottfried takes over Florida

I'd emphasize to my guys that we're in desperation mode -- lose one more, and we're out of the BCS hunt. On defense, we have to take something away from QB Andre' Woodson, or else he'll use play-action to kill you deep. We want to stuff RBs Tony Dixon and Derrick Locke. Even with starter Rafael Little out, those two are dangerous. We'll use two guys, DE Derrick Harvey and safety Tony Joiner, to really disrupt the ground game. Harvey is known mostly as a pass rusher, but holds up well against the run. Harvey's a superb backfield-crasher. Joiner just has to play lights-out. We'll creep Joiner up toward the line as an extra linebacker, but also put him in charge of containing TE Jacob Tamme. That's a tough pair of tasks, but Joiner's the kind of athlete who can recover and hang with Tamme on pass routes. On offense, we'll spread out Kentucky and pound Tebow, who can destroy the Wildcats on read-options and draws. We'll call WR Percy Harvin's number early and often, and expect a trick play involving him on the first series. Kentucky's cornerbacks, Paul Warford and Trevard Lindley, are athletic enough to hang with Harvin and our wideouts on deep routes. But we'll free up Harvin and company by calling lots of crossing patterns.