UF D-line gets dominated

Florida Gators defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (6) tries to get to Vanderbilt Commodores running back Brian Kimbrow (25) during the second half in Gainesville Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:46 p.m.

Florida's run defense hasn't been the same since senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley tore an ACL in late September, and the numbers show it.

The Gators held opponents to fewer than 70 rushing yards in their first four games of the season.

In the past five, including Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt, they have given up more than 100 rushing yards to each team.

Florida entered the weekend boasting the No. 2 rush defense in the SEC (107.6 yards per game), while the Commodores came in with the league's worst rushing offense (141.5 ypg).

The Gators' statistical advantage did not show up on the field. Excluding two sacks for minus-15 yards, Vandy rushed right at its average of 141 yards.

UF coach Will Muschamp thought the 'Dores gutted his defense carrying the ball.

“They did,” he said. “They were able to get some things in the run game ... and that right now I think is happening too much to us.”

Vanderbilt scored all four of its touchdowns on the ground with runs of 10 yards or less. On several occasions, including some of the scoring plays, Florida's front seven was beat at the point of attack, appeared out of position or simply missed tackles.

“People were getting washed or headed out of their gaps,” defensive end Jonathan Bullard said. “I really don't know what (the problem) is. We just have to keep working hard and getting better so we can finish the season strong and not have this taste in our mouth.”

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