Florida vs. Vanderbilt Film Review: Defense

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In a game Florida pitched a shutout, I hope to keep this review straight to the point and with little nit-picky criticism.

First 3rd and long of the day we arguably get a more creative blitz package vs lowly Vanderbilt than we got during the entire game vs Georgia. The pressure doesn’t get to Deuce Wallace, it’s still an incompletion, more because Deuce Wallace is the worst starting QB in the SEC.

Diabate had a big day vs Vanderbilt. With Moon out for the year, I wanted to see who stepped up in his place. I have not been a fan of Moon getting as much reps as he’s been getting in that hybrid spot so it’s time for someone like Diabate to step up here, and when Diabate isn’t on the field, the position seems to go to Carter as a more traditional rush end.

On this specific play, Diabate has it easy, he doesn’t have to use any pass-rushing move to get this sack, which is a testament to how poor of a line Vanderbilt has (they are currently 93rd in sacks allowed).

The first turnover of the day is a Stiner interception, which I believe had him playing in a robber technique, usually implemented in a cover 1. Here you also notice that Florida only brought their base 4 rush.

Diabate gets his second sack of the day, and again, it’s an easy one for him, he’s unblocked here. But I have no issue with that because here Grantham brings 6, I’m not sure if the call was a cover 0 and the safety backs off when he sees the RB stays into block, regardless, this is what I would like to see from Florida more on 3rd and long, the personnel is comfortable with it.

In action.

I’ll mention this one last time, I didn’t think our offense would miss a beat months ago without Toney and I feel that Florida won’t miss a beat without Moon. Carter is bigger and stronger than Moon and can be moved inside on run downs and Diabate has more quickness and potential than Moon does.

Here, I did my best to highlight Carter who blows this run play up despite not making the tackle for loss. He splits that double team quickly.

Another nice 6 man blitz package here, but I’m mostly focusing on Davis here who looks like Reggie Nelson reincarnate on this play.

Another easy sack for the Gators on the day, another good scheme dial-up by Grantham that brings in Reese untouched. Single high safety and man across the board.

Carter is listed at 263 on the official roster, he looks a little bigger than that on tape, regardless of his weight, he’s played inside more vs Vanderbilt than he has vs. anyone else. If I’m wrong on that, I apologize, but I have yet to notice him getting this much play at tackle. Here he gets the sack from that tackle position as he is lined up over the shoulder of the center.

I like to take one or two screens a game where I don’t add anything to it, just the image. There wasn’t much negative in this game, Vanderbilt’s offense is woeful, but this turns into a first down because Davis misses this open-field tackle.

Diabate again off the edge here, again untouched with Greenard with the nice long recovery for a TD. The untouched aspect matters to me to a certain extent, because there will be people who look at Diabate’s numbers in this game and won’t realize that every sack of his in this game came with him not being blocked. I’m sure a game like this is huge for a freshman’s confidence, but as a Falcons fan who saw this with Vic Beasley during the Falcons Super Bowl run, once teams started blocking Beasley, he became irrelevant. It is entirely too early for me to even begin comparing Diabate to anyone or acting like he’s a bust in the waiting, I’m pointing out how important context is. The plays he has stood out has been 3 sacks in which he wasn’t blocked and one tackle in the run game where the RB ran right at Diabate and he made a standard play. Context.

I apologize for the blurry image, but I wanted to point out the 2nd time Florida had broken coverage. The first time around I wasn’t able to properly gauge who caused the WR being wide open. But here Florida is in a zone and both defenders let the Vanderbilt receiver get open. If Wallace throws this properly, it’s a big completion for Vanderbilt, instead, he under throws the ball and it’s broken up.

Shawn Davis really looked like a star safety on several occasions in this game, this play is one of them as he flies over from his safety spot to drill the RB after a small gain.

Consistency is one of the biggest issues at the safety spot for Florida, here is a simple still of Davis being where he is supposed to be, if the WR put his hands on this ball, Davis was there to greet him.

Carter lining up here as a tackle again and being used on a stunt, gets some double team treatment right off the snap but he hustles his way around to put some slight pressure on Wallace who I’m assuming doesn’t see Stiner creeping over from the safety spot, Stiner steps in for his second interception.

Now I would like to breakdown exactly why I don’t like Miller at linebacker.

Slaton is a large tackle, they list him at 358 pounds on the official roster and here he is getting double-teamed, which is what you want on running plays. The blue is Miller.

I added a red circle here to point out that at this point Miller can see that Wallace no longer has the ball, Slaton is still getting double-teamed (yellow) and Miller (blue) has barely moved.  What is he waiting for? He has no linemen in front of him; he has a clear shot into the backfield.

Now the RB (yellow) is at the line of scrimmage and Miller (blue) has barely moved, maybe a yard total from the original spot from the first screenshot? He doesn’t end up fully attacking until the RB has gained 3 yards. I don’t know if this is how the linebackers are taught, but it’s a lot different than I see well-coached linebackers play the run, especially when that linebacker has a clear shot to the running back because the nose tackle is being double-teamed for the entire play.

Last highlight of the day, another lovely blitz package on 3rd and long, this time I’ll show the play.

Conclusion

This was a very simple game to breakdown, there was very little bad to go over, unlike with the offensive review and the offensive line I didn’t come into this review with an idea of who I wanted to focus on.

Vanderbilt’s offense is bad, their current rankings:

Total Offense: 124
Scoring Offense: 126
Rushing Offense: 118
Passing Offense: 112

I understand that Florida’s performance will make a difference in the numbers, but not a significant amount. It’s not as if Florida shutting down Vanderbilt made them drop from 95 to 124 in total offense, Vanderbilt was already in the 100s in all four categories prior to the game.

It’s just tough to take much away from this game. The defensive line dominated so much that linebackers had an easy day, even with some mistakes by Hill and Kimbrough in coverage, none of them bit Florida because of how bad Deuce Wallace is at the QB position. And trust me, Wallace is bad. His QB rating right now is 58.79, the 12th ranked passer in the conference sits at 118.83. Wallace didn’t make Florida pay for any small coverage mistakes that occurred in this game.

My biggest complaint is that I’m curious why Grantham doesn’t have the confidence to run these aggressive schemes vs better teams? This team was conservative vs. both LSU and UGA and it hurt Florida. Where was the usage of 6 man blitz packages? Why did Carter just now get playing time at tackle? Missouri is a big game for Grantham, he needs to continue showing these looks vs Missouri and not regress back into what he was doing vs LSU and UGA.

The last thing I want to say? Carter should have won the SEC defensive linemen of the week over Greenard. This isn’t to take away from Greenard’s fumble recovery, but Greenard was quiet outside of that play. They both had 3 tackles, Carter also had a sack and was routinely in the backfield altering run plays or flushing Wallace from the pocket. This is a small complaint to have, but this is another example for me to show that you shouldn’t trust people who hand out awards because they hand out awards, Carter had arguably the best day on the defensive line and I’d probably put Shuler above Greenard as well on the day in terms of consistency.

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