Gators' quiet contributors

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With all those big scoring plays in the Gators’ 37-20 victory at Tennessee on Saturday night, a lot of key contributions quite naturally went somewhat overlooked. Going back over the overall UF performance, here are some of the quiet performances that contributed greatly to the win:

* Sophomore punter Kyle Christy played a huge role, averaging 48.6 yards a punt and flipping field position with each kick. This is a guy who is really starting to come into his own after he had a so-so true freshman season in 2011. He didn’t really boom a lot of punts last season, but he’s really started launching them this season. Experience seems to have put him in the comfort zone.

* Junior wide receiver Solomon Patton continues to emerge as a key playmaker on offense. He’s not only making big first downs on speed sweeps, he’s starting to develop as a wide receiver. Against the Vols, he rushed for 34 yards on three carries and caught a critical 17-yard pass. His role will continue to expand in the passing game as the offense moves forward with Jeff Driskel. Charlie Weis thought this kid was too small to be a player in the offense. Brent Pease thinks he’s too fast and too talented not to play.

* True freshman Antonio Morrison had a big game stepping in for the injured Jelani Jenkins at outside linebacker. He played fast and physical, recording five tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry. The Gators didn’t really miss Jenkins, which is a compliment to Morrison. Morrison is showing all the signs that he has a chance to be a big-time SEC linebacker.

* Junior safety Matt Elam did much more than just intercept a Tyler Bray pass in the second half. He also led the Gators with 10 tackles, had a sack and broke up a pass. He basically made plays all over the field.

* With Chaz Green and Matt Patchan sidelined with injuries, the Gators needed someone to step up big-time at offensive tackle, and that’s just what Kyle Koehne did. He’s one of UF’s most versatile offensive linemen, and that versatility paid off in a big way in this game.

* Wide receiver Quinton Dunbar hasn’t been really flashy yet, but he continues his emergence as a possible playmaker. He caught three passes for 30 yards against the Vols. The wide receivers seem to becoming more involved in the offense as Driskel grows as a quarterback.

* De’Ante Saunders came off a two-game suspension and played well throughout the game in the secondary. With Cody Riggs out with a fractured foot, Saunders’ return was good timing for the Gators.

21 COMMENTS

  1. The U.T. game was the classic TEAM WIN, and truthfully, there’s nothing BETTER than a TEAM WIN! Coach Boom even said, when you get more players involved – the more they’re ‘into it’, and I hope this continues. This team has PLAY-MAKERS, as Wilson’s BLOCK (to spring Trey Burton’s 80 T.D. run) was a MAKER of a PLAY! And, this team has the 2nd half toughness, the reality of what this team ‘CAN DO’ has been achieved; it’s up to them to dot it CONSISTENTLY NOW! GO GATORS! Keep BELIEVING! Ain’t nobody expecting a ‘National Championship’, but I DO BELIEVE that this team can SPOIL some team’s plans for Miami!

  2. Roll Tide is secretly a Gator fan, he follows every Gator story. If we can beat UK pretty good I’m sure (with a week of rest and practice and home field advantage) we’ll challenge LSU more than ppl are giving us credit for

  3. I have never visited apposing teams boards so I dont get the need for them to come here and be childish and try to stir things up when we are having a conversation. Maybe its just an age thing. I dont know. Anyhow, I am proud of the overall improvement I have seen in the last couple weeks. I know we are not there yet, but we are on our way! Driskel has made huge strides and everyone seems to be getting it. Go Gators!

  4. I really like the way this team is shaping up — all three phases of play. Special teams is especially good with Christy and Sturgis. But I have one nitpick, why do the punt and pat lines have to shuffle around right before snap? What is really to gain? I say spend that practice time on blocks and fakes.

  5. Robbie, how could you overlook Joyer. By definition, the FB position is a “quiet contributor.” The block he laid on A&M LB/CB’s to allow Gillislee to score and the one on the TN LB to spring #8 were things of beauty. Every HS coach should show those clips to any wanna-be RB to demonstrate how it is done. Blocking, like playing defense in basketball, is all about want-to! Joyer is the best blocking FB we’ve had at UF since Mobley and Bilkie

  6. Roll Tide generally does not bother me too much, especially when she mentions hard data, game scores, W/L records, etc. But when she foolishly claims that ‘Bama has 14 legit NCs, that is just too much. What is it about Roll Tide that she is so insecure about her favorite team’s real football prowess that she has to include BS NCs in the claimed total of fourteen? Maybe that fundamental insecurity comes from the fact she is from Alabama in the first place. I mean really, if one ever has the misfortune of spending any extended time in Alabama, then one truly knows what a ghastly place it is. If 14 was a legit number of NCs, then why do the Rammer Jammers have to stoop so low as to poison trees at Auburn? The trees can’t help it they are growing in Alabama.
    On the other hand, maybe it isn’t Roll Tide’s fault she really thinks ‘Bama has 14 NCs. Counting, literacy, and general intelligence is not exactly hallmarks of the citizens of Alabama, now is it? (Note to Roll Tide, literacy means being able to “reed and rite” with some facility.)
    Go Gators!

  7. “She” is a “He”. And fine, take away Bama’s 5 claimed titles from pre 1960 and only count the AP / UPI modern era ones if you want. Still have 9 to UF’s 3. 9 of the last 51 is pretty significant. Roll Tide. Hope to see you in Atlanta for yet another butt whoopin.

  8. Dear Roll Tide,
    We really hope you make it to Atlanta. We look ofrward to seeing you there.

    You may have peaked too early though and LSU has your number this year.

    If you do manage to somehow make it to Atlanta we hope you aren’t too banged up.We want to acquaint you with our to 5 ranked defense, our O-Line that can pound the rock, the SEC’s leading rusher, the SEC’s best new QB, and oa special teams that is really special.

    Good luck!

    Lakeland GatorNaught

  9. You are acquainting me with defensives rankings after 3 games? You O-Line wouldn’t rush for 75 yards against Bama. Nobody does. Have fun when everyone knows you are passing Driskel. Just like the last 3 (101-29 total points), it wouldn’t be close. Maybe in a few more years, but you aren’t there yet. I’d be happy to get to prove it to you though.

  10. Now Roll Tide, that is not being very lady like, now is it? However your feminine side is showing quite nicely when you so easily gave up your “claimed” NC. How about this, I hereby “claim” 6 NCs for the Gators, now we are role tied.

  11. If you want to claim 6 non-AP non-UPI titles, then I’ll add the 1966 undefeated team to ours. After winning it all in 64-65, the 66 team went undefeated and should be the only 3 peat. However, the media did not give it and many believe it was backlash for the segregation issues going on in the state at the time. I am not “giving back” our 5 pre-1960 titles, but since everything was not clear back then, I’m happy to say we are up 9-3 (AP/UPI only).

  12. Again, Roll Tide, talk is cheap. You have to first make it to Atlanta. We hope to see you there, but we won’t count on it.
    We can count on several Saban meltdowns though, between now and then.Buckle up your chin straps, your’e in for a bumpy ride.