Tale of the Tape: Florida vs. Furman

Every week, Gator Country will take a look at the previous game’s film to make note of things that may not have stood out on the initial view of the game.

We’ll do our best to point out any interesting notes, facts, figures and trends that stand out on a week-to-week basis to provide you with a better idea of what took place on Saturday.

Today, we review the game film from Florida’s win against Furman and hand out some awards for the most impressive player on film and other players who stood out.

Tale of the Tape: Furman

OVERVIEW: Florida came out flat against Furman, and the fact the Paladins ran an offensive scheme they hadn’t shown on film all year only compounded matters for the Gators.

Florida’s defensive front had no answers for the option early on. The defensive ends were over aggressive and committed to the quarterback, frequently leaving the pitch man open for big outside runs.

The Paladins had more success running outside than any team has all season against the Gators.

Even with the scheme changes, Furman was able to break a couple big runs early simply because Florida’s tackling was very poor.

All in all, Saturday’s game was one of the worst outings for the defense all season. The line did play better as the game wore on, but still didn’t exert the type of dominance it should have at any point.

Furman used a variety of chop blocks early on, and some early overpursuit by strong-side linebacker Darrin Kitchens allowed some of the big runs outside.

Ronald Powell was also pretty bad keeping outside contain, though he did force one play inside for a tackle made by Omar Hunter.

Sharrif Floyd also was very average keeping outside contain, though he had one nice play holding the edge on an off-tackle run in the second half.

Florida’s tackles played fairly well inside, but didn’t do a great job getting arms out to stop inside runs. That allowed a couple runs to get to the second level, where the running back was able to break a tackle for a big gain.

In terms of linebacker play, Florida was improved at two of the three spots. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins had a solid game, finally filling the gaps he was responsible for in the running game and making immediate tackles.

Bostic also did a better job in that regard, but he was a little slow in pursuit on a handful of outside runs for big gains. He did have a nice play on a throw over the middle, dropping back in coverage to tip a pass for a potential interception.

Florida’s secondary was not good in coverage against Furman. Part of that appeared to be by design with cornerback Marcus Roberson out for the season and Cody Riggs playing much softer in coverage in his place.

However, communication appeared to be a much bigger issue for the secondary with Roberson out.

All three of Florida’s safeties were caught out of position at times, with Matt Elam beat once for a touchdown and Josh Evans also beat once for a touchdown.

Pop Saunders played an average game, recording a pick six on a nice read over the middle. However, he also missed a key tackle on Furman’s 77-yard touchdown run in the second half.

Offensively, Florida played a sound game.

Though the Gators got off to a slow start with a drive ending in a missed field goal and a high snap resulting in a safety, Florida played one of its most complete games of the season.

Quarterback John Brantley looked as crisp as he has at any point in his career, throwing for career-highs in passing yardage and touchdowns.

His touch on deep throws wasn’t perfect, but he put his receivers in a position to make plays on the ball.

Fortunately for him, the receivers did just that for the first time this season. Andre Debose did an excellent job fighting through contact to make a pair of deep touchdown catches, while Quinton Dunbar was able to get a little separation on a touchdown pass.

Brantley also made a couple excellent throws over the middle to his tight ends, but Furman did a nice job reading them and making hits just after the ball arrived to jar the ball loose.

Though freshman tight end A.C. Leonard dropped one in the end zone on a huge hit, he should have hauled another in at the 1-yard line with a hit that arrived late enough to allow him to make the catch.

Leonard did well getting open, but he has to be able to come up with some of those tough catches over the middle.

On the offensive line, Florida played well in pass protection despite rotating guys in up front again.

Jonotthan Harrison returned to center. Aside from a high snap early in the game and a low snap in the second half, he played well.

Left guard Kyle Koehne played well early in the game before moving to left tackle in the second quarter when left tackle Xavier Nixon was injured.

Koehne struggled some at left tackle, twice getting blown back toward the center of a running play designed to go up the middle. One resulted in a seven-yard loss by Chris Rainey and another resulted in a one-yard loss for Jeff Demps.

Senior James Wilson came in at left guard when Nixon left the game, and the senior played well against both the run and the pass.


A safety has gotten the nod for this award on film the past three weeks, but all of Florida’s safeties struggled this week against Furman.

This week, receiver Andre Debose took his game to the next level, getting open on three passes for nice gains.

Two were for deep touchdowns under fairly decent coverage. Something we haven’t seen the Florida receivers do much this season is win one-on-one matchups.

Debose was able to create just enough late separation to make a nice catch under pressure, while keeping his stride and breaking away for a big gain after the catch.

Honorable Mention: QB John Brantley, LB Jelani Jenkins


There weren’t a whole lot of individual performances to be thoroughly critiqued, as most of the Florida defense played average throughout the game on Saturday.

Defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd gets the nod here over Ronald Powell, mostly due to his overaggressiveness attacking the option pitches.

Floyd was unable to keep contain on the outside edge, which resulted in a couple big gains. Though he had a nice play at the line of scrimmage late in the game, overall his play left a lot to be desired.


  • Florida rushed for 100 yards for the third straight game, though the Gators’ production in the run game has continued to dip over the past three weeks. After rushing for 197 yards against Vanderbilt and 142 yards against South Carolina, Florida rushed for 124 yards against Furman.
  • The Gators have gone away from running to the left side in past two weeks. After running 16 times to the left against Vanderbilt, Florida has rushed to the left just seven times in the past two weeks as opposed to 22 times to the right side. Left tackle Xavier Nixon has been injured and Florida has shifted bodies on the left side as a result. That number bears watching against Florida State this week.
  • Only 9.7 percent of Florida’s runs went to the left side last weekend, the first time the Gators have run in any direction on less than 10 percent of their carries in any game this season.
  • Florida had by far its most succesful game passing downfield this season. The previous best outing for the Gators was against Alabama, when they completed two passes thrown more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage for 95 yards. Against Furman, the Gators completed four deep passes for 214 yards.
  • On the same token, Florida’s passing game was almost exclusively downfield against Furman. Eight-two percent of the Gators’ passing yards came on throws more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. The LSU game was the next highest with 79 percent of the passing yardage coming on throws more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
  • Furman rushed for the highest average this season against Florida on runs to the outside. The Paladins averaged 8.5 yards per carry on runs left and 9.2 yards per carry on runs right. Combined, the Paladins ran for an average of 8.8 yards per carry on runs to the outside.
  • The Paladins also rushed for the second highest average per carry against the Gators this season. Furman averaged 5.2 yards per carry, narrowly coming in behind Alabama’s 5.3 yards per carry. Only LSU rushed for more total yardage than Furman, with the Tigers rushing for 238 and the Paladins rushing for 234.
  • Though the Paladins used a trick play to complete one deep pass, they completed two deep passes on the Gators. They became the fourth team in the past six games to complete at least two passes thrown more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage. Florida had held its first five opponents to just one total completion on a pass thrown more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.
  • With its downfield passing game clicking against Florida, Furman became the fifth team in the past six games to rack up at least a third of its passing yards on deep passes (more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage). Only Georgia has fallen below that mark as the Florida secondary has struggled.
  • Deonte Thompson was targeted five times in the Furman game, the most he’s been targeted since being thrown to seven times in the Tennessee game. he recorded two catches for 45 yards.
  • On the other hand, Frankie Hammond has been targeted just once in each of the past two games. The junior has failed to catch a pass in either game.
  • After averaging 4.3 targets per game in the first eight games of the season, senior running back Chris Rainey has been thrown to just twice per game in the past three outings. He has been injured, which may be part of the reason for his drop in touches in the passing game.
  • Tight end A.C. Leonard has seen his role increase each of the past three weeks. After being targeted once against Vanderbilt and twice against South Carolina, the true freshman was thrown to five times against Furman. However, he only recorded one catch for seven yards.

All statistics cited above are unofficial based upon review of the game film from Florida vs. Vanderbilt. Below you can find an unofficial play-by-play breakdown and offensive statistics beyond the standard NCAA statistics. All statistics compiled by GatorCountry.com.

Unofficial Play-by-Play Breakdown

Unofficial Statistics