After having dozens of missed tackles in the previous two games against Tennessee, the Florida Gators placed an emphasis on tackling heading into last Saturday’s game.
The emphasis did not translate to results. The defense missed almost too many tackles to count, especially in the fourth quarter, when UT tailback John Kelly consistently ran over and through weary UF defenders.
“Late in the game we didn’t tackle worth a hill of beans,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “What bothered me was the secondary tackling, especially from some of our, quote, some of our good guys, veterans. That’s been pointed out and will continue to be pointed out.
“(It was) just guys not doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Outside linebacker Vosean Joseph said the defense lost some focus and players got out of their gaps. He also gives a lot of credit to Kelly, whose running style is relentless.
“John Kelly, you see how he like cuts, step and then he’d go right up field on you,” Joseph said. “So, the biggest thing for us is staying in our gaps really.”
McElwain was asked how the Gators can improve their tackling in practice when there is so little contact work during the week.
“The tackling was good the first three quarters of that game,” he said. “I give that running back (credit). That guy can stiff-arm now. He’s pretty good. But those are every-day drills and you’re able to do them. Just something we have to continue to do.”