Film Study: Breaking Down Todd Gurley's 78-Yard TD vs. Florida

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent INovember 6, 2013

Todd Gurley scored two touchdowns in the first quarter versus Florida last Saturday.
Todd Gurley scored two touchdowns in the first quarter versus Florida last Saturday.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Returning from an injury that sidelined him for three games, Georgia's Todd Gurley caught the attention of Florida's defense early in the first quarter with a 78-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead. 

I've employed the help of former NFL safety and current Bleacher Report writer Matt Bowen to break down what exactly went wrong with Florida's defense on this particular play. 

It's a 3rd-and-5 pass from a 2x2 receiver, 10 personnel set at Georgia's 27-yard line with 9:32 in the first quarter. 

Linebacker Antonio Morrison (highlighted in yellow) is showing blitz from the weak-side edge. 

Bowen: "This is Cover 1 pressure from the Gators. I like the call. Defensive backs play with outside leverage to funnel the receivers to safety help."

At the snap, both Morrison and safety Jaylen Watkins rush off the weak-side edge. Linebacker Darrin Kitchens retreats in pass coverage to defend Georgia's slot receiver moving up the field. 

Bowen: "There has to be a peel (account for the back releasing) on the running back. The linebacker [Morrison] was using a green dog technique (rush to coverage), but he expected the back to stay in on protection." 

Live by the blitz and die by the blitz. Aaron Murray takes advantage of the quick sight-adjust "rail" route by Gurley. 

Bowen: "[Morrison] took his eyes off his coverage on the rush (poor eye discipline) and let the running back [Gurley] get out of the gate."


Gurley bursts out into the open field with Florida's linebackers in a trail position. 

Bowen: "The free safety [Cody Riggs] has to make the tackle. Have to break down and get the ball carrier on the ground in that situation. [Riggs] has to shorten the distance to the running back in the open field."

"Great play call, poor execution by the Gators."

The sophomore, who missed the prior three games due to an ankle sprain, scored his second touchdown of the opening quarter following a five-yard run to give Georgia a lead on its opening possession. 

Over these last few weeks, Florida's defense has looked nothing like the same unit that surrendered just one play of 40 yards or more in the first six games. 


Follow Charles on Twitter at @chuckkingsbury and Matt at @MattBowen41