Three Keys for the Dawgs Avoiding a Gator Death Roll

Wes HoltzclawCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 17: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators fumbles before passing in the first quarter against the University of Arkansas Razorbacks October 17, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

According to The Journal of Experimental Biology , the death roll of the gator consists of the animal grabbing a limb in their jaws and rotating around in a spinning movement until that limb is completely removed.

The following are three keys that the Dawgs must accomplish if they plan on avoiding a death roll on the field in Jacksonville against the Gators.


1. Getting Pressure on Tim Tebow

First and foremost, the Dawgs have to put pressure on Tebow. After the first five games of the season, I would have told you that this feat would be impossible. The Gator offensive line only gave up seven sacks in those first five games.

Then came the Arkansas Razorbacks. They exposed a weakness in the Gator line by sacking Tebow six times. To shore up the line, the Gators will start freshman Xavier Nixon.

Will the Dawgs be able to get to Tebow? 

The Dawgs were able to force six sacks against LSU and against Vanderbilt they were able to get to the quarterback three times while also totaling nine tackles for loss.


2. Continue to Force Gators Into Red-zone Mistakes

In the Gators last 15 trips into the red-zone, they have managed to score a total of two touchdowns.

This maybe the most revealing stat in this game. The Dawgs have allowed their opponents into the red-zone 25 times this season and have only allowed 12 touchdowns—a 48 percent success rate.

And only three of the 12 touchdowns were scored on the ground. We all know who gets the ball when the Gators are inside the 5-yard line.


3. Pound the Football with the Run Game

Running been a weakness for the Dawgs this season. The offensive line has not opened the holes that many of us expected them to open this year.

The Dawgs will go with their fifth different combination on the line this year. Will they finally gel and become the experienced, dominant line we all expected them to be?

The Gators are giving up a total of 95 rushing yards per game with a 2.9-yard average rush.


The Dawgs are a 17-point underdog against the No. 1 Gators in 2009. Will this game turn out like 1985 when the Dawgs stunned the No. 1 Gators 24-3 or will it be like 1996 when the No. 1 Gators won 47-7?

When asked about the rushing-touchdown record that he is currently tied for with Georgia legend Herschel Walker, Tebow stated, “That would be really cool and special to break it against Georgia in Jacksonville.”

That statement could be bulletin-board material for the defense to man up and keep Tebow out of the end zone. Else it could be a sad day in Georgia history having a Gator break one of Herschel’s beloved records.