Florida Beat Tennessee 37-20. And Now, The Fallout Has Begun

Posted: September 18, 2012 in College Football

There was 3:27 remaining on the clock in the 3rd quarter. The Tennessee Vols were up 20-13 on the Florida Gators. The crowd was into it. Florida had the ball 80 yards away from the end zone. Trey Burton would run right and then down the sidelines 80 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. It was Florida’s first touchdown in the second half and it all went downhill for UT from there as the Gators would go on to win for the 8th straight time 37-20. Florida scored the last 24 points of the game. They did this by capitalizing on major defensive miscues by the Vols.

On the play Trey Burton scored, there were multiple errors committed by the Vols defense. (Going into Jaws mode…first..cue up the YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ehSrSdjYWo) Let’s look at the tape. The Gators were in the shotgun with the strong side of the formation on the left (2 wide receivers, 1 tight end to the left). The lone receiver on the weakside of the formation goes in motion towards the strong side. Here is the 1st key error. The defensive back checking the receiver in motion tells the free safety to check him as he takes the free safety’s spot. This idea is ok by the DB but when Trey Burton fakes the hand off and runs through the line, the DB (now playing the role of free safety) takes a horrible angle towards Burton to make the tackle. No way Burton should beat him to the sidelines.

How did Burton get through the line untouched you ask? Check out the weak side outside linebacker (UT plays a 3-4 scheme, 3 down linemen, 4 linebackers). He basically gets whipped. He saw the play moving initially away from him and did not pick-up the left guard pulling down the line for the trap block towards him. What he was supposed to do was to attack the pulling guard creating a pile up making it hard for the fullback to find a hole to lead Burton through. The fullback was untouched all the way to the second level! That is absolutely unacceptable! The 2 middle linebackers pretty much had no chance as you see the weak side middle linebacker trying to fight through 2 blockers to cover the gaping hole left for Burton to go through. *Play the YouTube video if you haven’t played it yet* Finally, the poor angle by the defensive back allows Burton to run down the sidelines for the score. This was one of many situations where Florida took advantage of errors made by the Tennessee Vols.

So what happens now for the UT Vols. Where do they go from here? Of course they will say that there are many more games left on the schedule to play and there is still plenty to play for. But talks of Dooley’s replacement have already begun and a date with their lovely friends from the south (#5 Georgia Bulldogs) is looming in 2 weeks. Things could get ugly quick if Dooley doesn’t right the ship fast. A dominating performance against 1-2 Akron is a must. Next is the locker room. Dooley cannot lose control of the locker room. Despite what everyone else is saying, if Dooley wins the locker room, he may win his job. After that, a 7-win season. While this won’t guarantee his job, a 6-win season will guarantee his firing. A win over a ranked opponent would be nice. Derek Dooley is 1-8 against SEC opponents and 0 for against ranked opponents.

Yes we’ve only played 3 games in the 2012 season. But like I said in my previous article, the Florida one was crucial. The fallout is already being felt in Knoxville. Dooley has put the blinders on and find a way to do what he has not been able to do since his arrival at UT. Win a big game. I imagine by Halloween we’ll know if Derek Dooley will be the Tennessee Vols coach next year.

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