The Ephesians Bartley Report: Lights out defense

Once again, no coup de grace but the Wildcats were vanquished rather expertly. But for one blip, Tyler Murphy showed great poise and command of what’s expected of him in this offense. Even on a pick that could have easily been six, we saw great hustle and drive to meet expectations.

I can’t go further without expressing a concern for a lack of killer instinct by the head coach. I understand the motto of great defense and ball control wins games and supposedly championships but if that’s the case then someone forgot to give Louis Oliver, Clifford Charlton, Trace Armstrong, Rhondy Weston and all the other great defenders of the late 80’s that I had the opportunity to play with their SEC championship rings. One thing that playing for the Ole Ball Coach those last two years showed everyone was that complete teams win championships. The propensity to go ultra-conservative is nerve-racking to say the least. It harkens back to the Pre-SOS era of hoping and praying to win instead of expecting to do so. I’m really happy to be winning but I still have way too many flashbacks of games that could of been won if there had been even a smidgen of aggressive offense.


The guys deserved a shutout and props to them for putting out the fire for Murphy after the interception. We looked more like a more traditional defense tonight but when you loose the Chucky the O-line wrecker you just have to do what you have to. I loved the way that defensive tackles such as Darious Cummings stepped up and Jonathan Bullard (1.5 sacks) went inside for a few reps, too. Were a little shaky at times on run but still sound. Ronald Powell (four tackles, lots of disruption) seems to incrementally get better every week as Dante Fowler (two sacks) gets the free pass awards for the week. I wonder what he told that left tackle to make him ignore him like that?  Sorry, something is up with that Chucky Doll he carried in the game repping Mr. Easley.


These guys played lights out. Michael Taylor (eight tackles) and Antonio Morrison (seven tackles) make a pretty good tandem supported by Neiron Ball and Darrin Kichens. I like the way they got good coverage in the middle on backs and crossing wide receivers. I liked seeing freshman Alex Anzalone out there, too.


Okay, somebody remind VH3 (Vernon Hargreaves III) that he is a true freshman just five months from his prom. He is not supposed to have that degree of technique and ball skills. Good Lord that kid is going to be good and he will only get better. Loucheiz Purfoy and Marcus Roberson can cover like the early draft picks they will be someday but dayum, neither of them might be the best corner on the team. Cody Riggs (six tackles) is still the hardest working man in the safety business and it was great to see better play from the position overall as Jaylen Watkins (10 tackles) made some good plays.


Okay, I’m sorry but what the hell is up with these refs? Maybe someone needs to explain the targeting rules to them one more time because they are either incredibly subjective or equally inconsistent. Last week Brian Poole got flagged and ejected as he should have been. Jabari Gorman’s hit against Kentucky excited me because of the exquisite violence and I was concerned for his imminent ejection. Fortunately, they got it right and they’ve gotten it right both weeks, but the more I watch college football the more I see that the application of the rule is flawed. How is it that the penalty can stand even though the booth overturns the targeting? That’s just dumb but we saw it in the South Carolina-UCF game.

It was a great game to win. Thanks for your time.

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Ephesians Bartley
Former Gator linebacker Ephesians “Fee” Bartley defined the 1990 season for the Florida defense when he laid out LSU wide receiver Todd Kinchen near midfield on the West sideline of Florida Field. The entire crowd stood silent as Kinchen lay motionless on the turf. It wasn’t until someone shouted, “He’s alive! I can see the spit bubbles in the corner of his mouth!” that the crowd breathed a sigh of relief. An All-SEC linebacker in 1991 who spent a year in the NFL and a few more in the CFL, Bartley runs a business and tax consulting firm in Jacksonville but he’s never lost his passion for Florida football.


  1. Great article and while we’re on the Targeting discussion, shouldn’t there be a degree to the offense? in a face mask violation there’s a 5 or 15 yard penalty, or has that been changed. I appreciate the concern for the safety of the player, but in a “Bang – Bang play” it’s hard to zero in on the intent. Anyway, great article, it’s nice hearing from someone who’s been there done that