What broke the Warriors’ backs, what limited Florida’s number of offensive plays, and what made last Saturday’s game feel so disjointed was a lot of long plays.
The UF offense only had one drive where it really got into a rhythm because it of so many big plays. Of course, that’s the only reason you would want for not getting into a rhythm on offense. Just when you think they’re getting it going, Chris Rainey, Louis Murphy, or Jeffrey Demps ruin it by getting a touchdown on a 30-yard, 50-yard, or 60-yard play.
All told, Florida had six scores on plays that were 30 yards or more. Here’s a video montage that I put together of all of them, one after another:
My favorite part is Dave Archer saying that Urban Meyer “is not off the accelerator yet” right before Demps’ 62-yard run. Nope, and in fact it was about to be pushed to the floor by the ball carrier.
The best part to me of the whole thing was the blocking done by the defense on Ahmad Black’s 80-yard interception return. It’s the very last clip of them all. It shows that Meyer’s investment in great special teams play can pay off in other situations, as most of the guys out there had put time in on special teams somewhere along the line.
Black had a nice juke in the middle, but most of the rest of that return was caused by guys on defense blocking as though it was a punt or kickoff return. It’s those sorts of details that make me love football in general and that make me very hopeful for the rest of the Gators’ season.
Now, it will a lot more difficult to pull these kinds of things off against tougher opponents. UF won’t get that many big plays in every single game all year, though keep in mind that Percy Harvin and Aaron Hernandez still have yet to hit the field because of injury.
However, if these long plays keep happening the rest of the season with any kind of regularity, it will be mighty tough to beat Florida.