Notebook: Gators find humor in blocking blunder


A screen capture from Saturday's game shows Florida players Jon Harrison and Quinton Dunbar blocking each other on an end-around against Georgia Southern. (Screen capture courtesy of Fox Sports Florida)

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.

The video showing two Florida offensive players blocking each other in the Georgia Southern game has become a big hit on social media this week, drawing lots of laughter from across the country.

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A screen capture from Saturday's game shows Florida players Jon Harrison and Quinton Dunbar blocking each other on an end-around against Georgia Southern. (Screen capture courtesy of Fox Sports Florida)

Well, it got basically the same reaction from the Gators during film sessions earlier this week.

“Sometimes you have to laugh, I mean, I’m just like that is … come on,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Tuesday.

Pease said the tape was rewound about 10 times, giving the players and coaches a light moment following an embarrassing loss.

The tape shows center Jon Harrison and wide receiver Quinton Dunbar going head-to-head blocking each other while wide receiver Solomon Patton is running inside the Georgia Southern 5-yard line on an end-around.

“I thought it was comical,” senior offensive guard Jon Halapio said. “We’re all in the locker room joking around about it. I don’t even know what happened on that play. I honestly don’t know. (Harrison) was supposed to pull to the right, and I think Solomon had the ball or something. I guess Quinton got in his way. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Many on social media are watching it and making fun of the Gators, saying it typifies the bumbling, stumbling they’ve been doing during their 4-7 season.

The reality is, it was a positive play and the Gators scored a touchdown a few plays later.

Pease said Dunbar is the reason he and Harrison got locked up like they did.

“It’s Quinton, you know and he’s coming down and he’s cracking on a linebacker, and then also with the reverse we had a guy pulling (Harrison),” Pease said. “The other thing I’d say is, hey, I know what Jon was doing, he’s trying to get around. I guess I’d tell Quinton to keep his eyes open a little bit.”

Some of Dunbar’s teammates said they’re just glad Harrison, who weighs 310 pounds, did not pancake block the 194-pound wide receiver.

“He could have gotten hurt,” senior offensive guard Kyle Koehne said.

Gators cheering up

Only three days after saying the Gators’ morale was at an all-time low after Saturday’s loss, Halapio said the morale has rebounded among the players as they prepare for Saturday’s game against No. 2 Florida State.

“Yeah, it has,” he said. “I sensed that a little bit yesterday during the morning lift we had. And then we just went out there in practice yesterday and everybody was flying around, running around, getting things done on the practice field. I think we got that out of our system."

Near picks were a factor

In only his second start at quarterback, Skyler Mornhinweg threw three passes early in the Georgia Southern game that could have been intercepted, but weren’t. It made Pease have some second thoughts on some aspects of the game plan.

"I got him over the headphones and I said, 'OK, let's think about what we're doing here. We're trying to put you in good situations, don't fundamentally do things I'm not asking you to do — throw across your body on the move. (When) guys aren't open, throw it away,’ " Pease said.

“After that, I think he got the points, settled down. It's always my job to try and get him into situations where he can get into a rhythm, so you've kind of got to go back and find some rhythm and throws for him and get his confidence back up. You've got to make some production out of it."

Gators practicing for Winston

There still is some speculation about whether or not star FSU quarterback Jameis Winston will play in Saturday’s game, but that’s not affecting the Gators’ defensive preparation.

“No, we're preparing like he's playing,” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “Their offense, they have a really good system. They do what they do, they've done it for years, since Jimbo Fisher's been there. We expect to see that.”

There are reports out of Tallahassee that no decision will be made this week by the State Attorney’s Office whether or not to charge Winston with sexual assault. If that’s the case, he will play Saturday.

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