2011 Florida Gators Football: Breakdown of Week 2 Matchup vs. UAB

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2011 Florida Gators Football: Breakdown of Week 2 Matchup vs. UAB

It was another successful week for the 18th ranked Florida Gators with their 39-0 win against UAB this past Saturday. 

The week began with a top defensive player Sharrif Floyd getting suspended for another game after already sitting out in the week one matchup against FAU.  A ruling that coach Will Muschamp was not happy with at all.

However, once Saturday came around it was all business for the Florida Gators who shocked most people by throwing in a flee flicker as their first offensive play of the game.  This ultimately set the tone for the rest of the game ending in the Gators first shutout since 2006.


Offense

As for the offense of the Gators, we saw much improvement of Gator QB John Brantley who had a solid day going 12-19 with 195 yards. 

Even with the solid play of Brantley the Gators saw their drives stall on the Blazers side of the field three times leading to three field goals by kicker Caleb Sturgis.  Just something that the Gators have to clean up for next week's matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers.  

One person on the Gators offense that really had a great game was fifth-year senior RB Chris Rainey.  Rainey rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown and overall just looked "nasty."  From what we have seen so far this season from Rainey, it's easy to say that he is a different type of player than from years past.  Chris looks quicker than ever and his cuts are just so smooth.  After being suspended for five games last season, Chris has only showed success in his playing and his role as a leader for the Gators.

Other than Rainey's touchdown, Trey Burton, Mike Gillislee and freshman fullback Hunter Joyer all got a taste of the end zone with rushing touchdowns, proving just how versatile the Gators running game is.

Even with no touchdowns to show, the Gators receiving corp had a pretty decent day.  Led by Quinton Dunbar with 58 yards, the Gators routes looked pretty crisp.

However, none of this success could be possible without the offensive line.  The O-line led by tackle Xavier Nixon held the Blazers to zero sacks while contributing to the 512 total offensive yards the Gators got in the game.

Defense

With a defense that has only given up three points the entire season—the least allowed since 1933—this year's Gators defense looks like a top caliber squad even with their lost of star cornerback Janoris Jenkins who was kicked off the team in the offseason.

After only giving up three points, the FAU the Gators followed up their dominance with a shut out  against the UAB Blazers.  Led by safety Matt Elam, who led the team with seven tackles, the Gators showed the nation that UF is back and they're a force to be reckoned with.  

First-year starter, safety Josh Evans had a great game with four tackles and was present in almost every other tackle.  This kid flies all over the field, which makes sense considering Evans was a state champion runner in high school.  After sitting behind Will Hill for two years, Evans has already shown that he will gladly step up and take Hill's spot and execute it.

It didn't help the Gators that 2010 top recruit Sharrif Floyd was ruled ineligible for his second game this week.  The NCAA officials ruled that Floyd received "preferential treatment" while attending high school in Philadelphia.  However, Floyd should be returning to the lineup this week when the Gators face Tennessee.

Overall

The Gators had a solid game against UAB.  Offense looked strong and the defense looked even stronger.  I believe that the Gators are on the right path to success and I can't wait to see their upcoming matchups with LSU and Alabama.  As long as QB John Brantley keeps performing well, I can't see many teams that will be able to beat this year's Gators.

Next Week Prediction

The Gators start their run to the SEC championship next week when they start SEC play against rivals Tennessee.  Tennessee has to travel to Gainesville to play a Gator team that is looking very good.  I don't think the Volunteers have the ability to win on the road against the Gators. 

I'm not saying it won't be a good game, but I believe the Gators will handle the Vols pretty easily leading to a 34-21 win and 3-0 overall record.

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