The Gators revealed a new defensive look at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, playing five defensive linemen at the same time to put more size and strength on the field to defend the Vols’ power running game.
Starting tackle Jaye Howard moved to end and end Duke Lemmens assumed a hybrid role of end/linebacker. The scheme worked. The Gators shut down the UT running game, holding the Vols to 29 yards on 23 carries.
“We played a Big Unit, we call it,” UF coach Urban Meyer said at his weekly news conference Monday. “We had Jaye Howard at (end) and Duke Lemmens and Ronald Powell (sharing playing time) at SAM (strong side linebacker). We’ve been working on that quite a bit to get 300 pounds up front across the defensive line. We were very successful in that area.”
Howard mentioned way back early in preseason camp that he would be playing some defensive end, and that’s where he’d definitely will be lining up against Alabama.
Remember after last year’s SEC Championship Game, how the Alabama defensive players said they had been working on the Florida spread offense throughout the offseason and preseason? Well, it looks like the Gators may have done the same thing with Alabama’s power running game. After getting gutted up front by the Tide in last year’s conference title game,UF has come up with a new scheme designed to be bigger and stronger against the run.
We saw Big Unit for the first time Saturday in Knoxville. There’s no doubt we’re going to see it again in Tuscaloosa in two weeks.