Chris Rainey Drafted No. 159 Overall By Pittsburgh Steelers

With the 24th pick in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft (No. 159 overall) Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Pittsburgh, Rainey will join former his former Florida teammates Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert.

Rainey was expected by many to be drafted, but there was a range on exactly where he would fall. Some said the former star could go as high as the second round, while others saw him sneaking into the draft late. In the fifth round, the Steelers – who have had some success with former Gators – took a chance on the speedster.

The remainder of the draft went as expected with Rainey and defensive lineman Jaye Howard not being joined by any additional former Gators. The 2012 draft would mark the first since 1993 that the first three rounds didn’t feature a Florida athlete. We wish both Rainey and Howard the best of luck, but hope 2013 is more kind to the Gators.

Jaye Howard Drafted No. 114 Overall By Seattle Seahawks

113 picks went by in the 2012 NFL Draft before the Seattle Seahawks selected defensive lineman Jaye Howard with the 114th pick. Howard was the first Florida Gators player taken (if you don’t count Janoris Jenkins). With Chris Rainey being the only other Gator expected to be drafted, it could remain quiet for Florida fans.

A defensive tackle that also played some defensive end, Howard is a versatile lineman that could line up at any position and in any formation. He has the strength and power to play inside, but also the surprising speed to play outside. Howard has the ability to stop the run, but also rush the passer. He still has some development ahead of him, but given the right situation he could definitely become an every down lineman over time.

The Seahawks are this year’s proverbial winner as the first team to select a Florida Gator in the draft. Congrats to Howard and mythical trophies to Seattle have been dispersed.

Round 1 Of The NFL Draft Ends; Former Florida Gators Wait

Round 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft came and went on Thursday night and as expected no former Florida Gators were selected. It wasn’t surprising, but to many indicates just how far the Gators have fallen off the map.

That’s true, but it also isn’t. College talent doesn’t always equal NFL talent. It’s a different game and employs different types of players. A great college player doesn’t always become a great NFL player, but it can have a link to recent success or a lack thereof. There’s a reason Florida, Florida State and Miami were all shut out in the first round for the first time since 1980. Alabama on the other hand; well, you only have to look at the top seven picks. Where the biggest link comes to life is when you look at the Gators record over the last two seasons. Programs that go 15-11 end up in a situation like this.

A Gator will eventually go, but the question is when. Jaye Howard and Chris Rainey are the likely candidates. Howard’s potential and strength have some teams interested, while Rainey’s speed and overall skill set could push him into the first half of the draft. They’re both expected to be selected, but we have no educated idea of when that will happen. Some say Rainey could go as high as the second round or as low as the fourth. Howard is a likely sixth or seventh round pick.

That they will be the only former Florida players drafted says something about the recent roster, but again it doesn’t. It says something about the NFL talent level. Of course, in the SEC, that can mean much of the same. While we’d all like to see Gators fly off the board each year come draft time, we’re much more concerned with how they play when they suit up for Florida.

Jeff Demps, Jaye Howard And Chris Rainey Invited To NFL Combine

Jeff Demps, Jaye Howard and Chris Rainey have been invited to participate in the NFL Combine in preparation for the 2012 NFL Draft. The former Florida Gators have a chance to improve their draft stock by participating in the various drills offered at the combine. For all three, it presents a good opportunity to be seen in front of a number of NFL scouts, and that’s where it gets interesting.

It would seem like it’s a no-brainier for Howard and Rainey to accept their invitations. The defensive lineman and running back/returner are both looking to continue their playing careers, but have some work to do before the draft. Participating gives them the opportunity to potentially move up the draft boards of some teams. “All three” is a different story though.

During January, Demps announced that he was done with football and would not be persuing a career in the sport. Instead, he was shifting his efforts toward track and focusing on his future there. It was thought of as a wise decision at the time as many believe track presents him with the best career opportunity. With the invite to the combine, might he be reconsidering? It’s doubtful, but it’s hard to imagine it hasn’t at least crossed his mind.

Defense: Florida Gators 48 – Kentucky Wildcats 10

Part two of what plans to be a four-part series. Check out the offense here.


The first item that has to be mentioned is the difference from one week to the next is the number of penalties committed by the Florida defense. The Gators only had five penalties for 45 yards total against Kentucky, and not all of those five were on the defense. Let’s hope the improvement from the last game to this one wasn’t a fluke and we’ll continue to see an increase in discipline by Florida on the field.

I watch games in a variety of ways and take notes throughout using numerous methods. When with friends, those notes are usually mental and then remembered during replays of the games the following day. When watching at home, they are either kept via Twitter or my trusty yellow legal pad. Saturday night was one of those legal pad nights and a note that I kept making was something to the effect of “good pressure from the defensive line.” We can say Sharrif Floyd was the missing piece and we may be right. Since Floyd’s return against Tennessee, the Gators have gotten into their opponents’ backfields much more often. The pressure provided by the front four has allowed the linebackers to roam almost freely and not provide as much blitz support because it’s needed. They can now do so as an added dimension to the defense. This time around it wasn’t just the four we’ve been mentioning since early in the offseason. Against the Wildcats, we also saw Omar Hunter provide plenty of push from the middle of the line. It may have been Hunter’s best game in quite some time.

It wouldn’t be a complete, or any sort of linebacker play, recap for that matter without mentioning Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins, but for just a moment let’s look at the player who is quickly, and no longer all that quietly, making a name for himself. During the 2006 season, Brandon Siler played his heart out and was the leader of the defense both on and off the field. Behind him, a player wearing no. 51 was “learning the business.” It was an apprenticeship of sorts as Brandon Spikes was able to learn the college game from a great and then turn himself into one of the best to play the position at Florida. This season, Bostic has made himself the defensive leader. With every game, he seems more sure of his ability and is becoming another in a great line of Gator linebackers. Both he and Jenkins are providing examples of what the young linebackers can grow into. Much like five seasons ago, behind them, a player wearing no. 51 is “learning the business.” That player is Michael Taylor and Saturday may have signaled his coming out party. Bostic led the Gators with 10 tackles and also added a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and a sack. Taylor wasn’t far behind, finishing with six tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception which showed very quick reaction time from the young linebacker. We may have another star in the making.

Some statistics jump out at you and make you think “wow.” This is one of them. Kentucky completed 22 passes on 44 attempts. Numbers like that would make you think a team totaled more than 165 passing yards. The Wildcats did not. The Gators’ secondary – which has been questionable at times – held the Wildcats to an average of 3.8 yards. They may have given up 22 completions – although that’s not a bad number considering the 44 attempts – but they didn’t allow many yards. The long of the night only went for 29 yards. The secondary is still trying to find which two individuals will round out the top four consistently, but they aren’t giving up the big play. Some of the younger players are giving up a lot of room off the line when in a cover zone defense, but the big play isn’t happening. Even on the 19-yard touchdown pass from Morgan Newton to La’Rod King, you could argue that King gave Moses Jenkins a shove before making the catch. The secondary has room to improve, but are actually playing better than many may believe. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a while before they play another quarterback any would consider in the upper echelon of NCAA passers.

Causing turnovers is always a good thing and Matt Elam was in on the party with an interception in a second consecutive game. Taylor added his pick and the Gators recovered two fumbles, including one resulting in a Jaye Howard touchdown. Florida also turned over the ball three times, but when you’re on the positive side of that statistics, it’s usually a very good thing.

Four games into the season the defense is allowing nine points per game. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take it. We all knew what the Gators were getting when Will Muschamp was named the new head coach and now we’re seeing it in action.

Next up: special teams.

Preview: Florida Gators @ Kentucky Wildcats – Saturday, September 24, 2011 – 7:00pm

Later than usual because I was playing the role off plumber this morning as we had a slight sink mishap is the TBG household. All is well, but some choice words were uttered as water that should be going down decided to come back up. After the situation was resolved and everything was put back together, I sat down to begin a preview that should have been up a day or two ago. Better scheduling to come, although I’ve been promising that since sometime around the day TBG started. Oh well, at least I’m consistent. On to the preview…


The Facts

Opponent: Kentucky Wildcats
When: Saturday, September 24, 2011 – 7:00pm
Where: Lexington, KY
Broadcasting: ESPN, ESPN3.com, Gator Radio Network, GatorZone, Sirius 217, XM 200
Records: Florida: 3-0 (1-0), Kentucky: 2-1 (0-0)
Point Spread for Those that Enjoy Betting on Florida Football: Florida -20
Over/Under for Those Mentioned Above: 44
Betting Score That Would Calculate To: Florida 32-12
Scoring Offenses: Florida: 37.7, Kentucky: 19.3
Scoring Defenses: Florida: 8.7; Kentucky: 13.3
Our Gators’ Win Factor (See Here): TBG: 95, OEW: 95

10 Things About Kentucky From Wikipedia

Learn a little something about the school of the opponent. And some football. But mostly the school. And not much football. The school. Got it? For more football, keep scrolling.

1. Kentucky is home to 16 colleges, a graduate school, 93 undergraduate programs, 99 master programs, 66 doctoral programs, and four professional programs. I don’t know what other schools have, but that seems like a lot.
2. The University of Kentucky began as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky and was a part of Kentucky University. Oddly enough, Kentucky University isn’t part of the University of Kentucky today. Instead, it became part of Transylvania University.
3. Lyman T. Johnson became the first African American to attend UK when he was admitted as a graduate student in 1949.
4. Before the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, UK operated 14 community colleges.
5. Kentucky is home to 15 libraries. That – like the various programs – seems like a lot to me, but could be perfectly normal. I can count the times I stepped foot into university libraries on one hand. Then again, I went to school before wireless Internet existed.
6. The Wildcats nickname came about in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1976 that Kentucky would have a costumed mascot.
7. The men’s basketball team was the first ever to reach 1,000 wins. It was also the first to reach 2,000.
8. Among the 28 fraternities present at Kentucky is the Triangle Fraternity. I had never heard of it despite the fact that it has been around since 1907.
9. 91.3 FM WUKY was the first university owned FM radio station in the country.
10. Notable alumnus: Ashley Judd.

When The Gators Have The Ball

What you’re hoping for here is excitement, firepower, and downright dominance. The Florida offense has been good, but hardly great. It’s hard to really complain as we’ve seen improvement in some areas, but others haven’t shown us too much yet. With the October gauntlet looming, it’s time for the Gators to put their foot on the gas pedal and not take it off. It would boost the confidence of the players, coaches, and fans if Florida were to come out and dominate this side of the ball from the first minutes of the game.

Oh John Brantley, you model of efficiency. So maybe that’s a little much, but he’s becoming a game manager of sorts and that’s exactly what many of us predicted. Brantley doesn’t need to light the world on fire. He doesn’t need to be Tim Tebow or Danny Wuerffel. Brantley just needs to be careful. He needs to manage the game and limit mistakes. He did enough in the first three games to help the Gators to wins. You don’t have to like what he’s doing or not doing, but for now it works. As the season continues, Charlie Weis will have to open him up a little more. And he’ll have to work the wide receivers into the offensive game plan. Three receptions for the receivers and tight ends against Tennessee is a problem. It didn’t impact the outcome too much against the Vols, but eventually that lack of production could hurt the Gators. Facing Kentucky is the perfect time for Weis to fix it. Work the receivers into the passing game early and often and give someone…anyone…a chance to shine.

Ah the run game. There’s something we shouldn’t have to worry about. As if Chris Rainey weren’t a weapon already, he is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most dangerous. With Jeff Demps as option 1B, there’s not much to worry about here other than the offensive line giving them room to do what they do. It would be nice to see Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown worked in like they were against UAB, but I’m sure we’ll all be just fine with Rainey and Demps having their way with the Wildcats defense. Clock control is an important aspect of a Weis offense and these two could provide that all night.

When The Wildcats Have The Ball

108, 91, 100. Those numbers are Kentucky’s national rankings in passing yards, rushing yards, and points scored per game. As you can tell by the two triple-digit entries and the other one in the 90s, they aren’t having the best offensive season so far. Therefore, we have a near ideal matchup for the Gators’ defense.

Pressure for the defensive line was present against Tennessee; now it needs to remain so. Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd, Jaye Howard and Ronald Powell are tasked with planting Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton into the Lexington turf repeatedly. By getting pressure on their own, the line will leave Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins to control the middle of the defense and not support the blitz if they don’t have to. That pressure can no longer be a question mark heading into upcoming games against Alabama, LSU, etc., etc., etc.

Despite a passing game that ranks 108th in terms of yards per game, Newton has improved each week. He put the ball into the air 41 times last week against Louisville and completed 27. The Wildcats came out on the losing end of the scoreboard, but may be on to something by committing more to the pass. Newton will have to test the Florida secondary and the Gators’ need to be tested. With the exception of two many pass interference calls for an entire season, the secondary – like many other units – is showing us more each week. They appear to be more confident in their abilities, but the penalties need to be cut in…not half…cut out. I won’t even give you the number again, because you already know it, but Florida gave up far too many yards against Tennessee. The score was closer than the game should have been and defensive penalties were a big part of that. Discipline must improve.

Special Teams

Caleb Sturgis is off to a great start to the season, but I wish we saw less of him.

Outcome

Another matchup, another game in which Florida is the favorite. This was expected so we aren’t near the shock point just yet. The Gators need to come out of the gate and put points on the board early. The red zone offense needs to up its efficiency and not settle for field goals. There’s plenty to be excited about, but points are being left on the field. Florida should have little trouble with Kentucky, but we need to see a full 60 minutes. Remember what starts next Saturday.

The Defense: Florida Gators 33 – Tennessee Volunteers 23

The offense has been covered; moving on to the defense.
23 points isn’t three and it definitely isn’t zero, but even with Tennessee’s scoring explosion, Florida is allowing less than nine points per game on the season. We knew the Vols would be the biggest test the Gators’ defense had faced all season, but overall Florida played well and got the win. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray got his yards and his touchdowns, but the defense also intercepted him twice and pressured him throughout the game. It definitely didn’t hurt to watch the Gators completely shut down the Vols’ running game either. Good win; solid play by the defense. Plenty to like and some improvement to be had. We’ll take it and take 3-0 (1-0).
The defensive line was having trouble getting to opposing quarterbacks consistently during wins over FAU and UAB. With plenty of star power across the line, it was hard to understand why pressure was few and far between. You could have asked the question if Sharrif Floyd’s absence contributed, but it was difficult to imagine one player making that much of a difference. Then again, maybe it was the cohesiveness of the unit that was thrown off with Floyd watching from the sidelines. Against Tennessee, the pressure was back. The line only accounted for one sack – a split by Jaye Howard and Ronald Powell – but also helped spring linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins who each had sacks themselves. In addition, Floyd and Powell each had two hits on Bray and Dominique Easley had two tackles for loss. It was a start and needs to continue against Kentucky. Good to see Floyd back in action and hopefully a spring in Powell’s step.
Bostic and Jenkins were number one and two in tackles against the Vols and that’s the way it should be every game. They’re getting to ball carriers and finishing tackles. This is exactly what we all wanted to see last season and it’s something that makes us smile now. These are two of the more talented players on a roster full of ability and potential. In the new defense, they’re able to make plays and are doing so. Now if we can just get Jenkins to catch sure interceptions, the Gators will be golden! Other than that, these two are improving week after week and have become the leaders of the defense.
16 penalties for 150 yards. I’m sure real journalists would shy away from saying juvenile words in all caps. Luckily for you, I’m not a real journalist. Here’s my reaction to 16 and 150: YIKES! The fact that Tennessee had 10 penalties for 94 yards lessens the impact a little, but not much. At the heart of the Gators’ numbers were more pass interference penalties than you should have in a month of games. There were questionable calls for sure, but for the most part they were reasonable. That’s the nature of a young secondary and something that will improve, but right now it’s an issue. They’ll learn that when the receiver turns his head, they might want to as well because the ball may be coming. They’ll get there, if only because giving up 150 yards a game won’t be acceptable to Will Muschamp. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after watching Muschamp on Saturday, I would never want to come even close to doing something that he might deem unacceptable. The man has just a little bit of fire to him. You know, just a tiny, little bit.
Other than the penalties, the secondary passed its test against Bray. Because of a non-existent run game – the Vols netted a loss of nine yards – and having to play from behind the entire game, Bray did total 288 yards and threw three touchdown passes. He attempted 48 passes though. Brantley’s average per completion was actually higher. The secondary didn’t give up the long play and played well enough to not let him be a star. That’s good on a number of levels, but mostly because Bray may be one of the best quarterbacks the Gators face this season. They intercepted him twice and never broke. They may have bent, but they didn’t break. It wasn’t an A performance, but it also wasn’t a C. Despite the yards and touchdowns, I hope the confidence of the secondary continues to grow.
Allowing 279 yards to one of your chief rivals in a divisional conference game is acceptable. Allowing 23 points may be a little much though. If the penalty issue is diminished and the pressure on opposing quarterbacks continues, it’ll improve. This wasn’t a bad game for the defense and shouldn’t be seen as one. It was a test and, again, they didn’t break. This should be a team to be excited about.
Next up: special teams.

Florida Gators Defensive Line – 2010 vs. 2011

Part six in a series where The Bull Gator and I go over the Florida roster differences from this season to last and what to expect in 2011. To read past installments, click each position: quarterbacks, running backs and fullbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive line.

2010: Gary Beemer – RSR, Terron Sanders – RSR, Duke Lemmens – SR, Justin Trattou – SR, Jaye Howard – RJR, William Green – JR, Omar Hunter – RSO, Lerentee McCray – RSO, Earl Okine – RSO, Kendric Johnson – RFR, Dominique Easley – FR, Shariff Floyd – FR, Leon Orr – FR, Ronald Powell – FR, Lynden Trail – FR
Preseason Rating: C
Postseason Rating: D
First and foremost, you know I had to include Gary Beemer in my list, even though typically we try to include only the scholarship players on the roster who have (or had) a significant chance of playing. But everybody loves Beemer!
When initially looking at the 2010 defensive line, I think a lot of fans and analysts would have given UF a preseason grade of B. But I personally did not have very high hopes for the 2010 defensive line…and they certainly didn’t disappoint me.
My reasons for doubt were mainly two-fold. First, half of the defensive linemen were players who had been at UF for a while, but had yet to really step up and become consistent producers. Players like Terron Sanders, Duke Lemmens, Justin Trattou, Jaye Howard and William Green could all fit this billing at the start of last season. This wasn’t necessarily their fault entirely, as some of the defensive linemen that we had in the years prior to 2010 were pretty darn good, so cracking the starting lineup was not an easy task. But nonetheless, leaning on these unproven commodities is something that I personally was not very comfortable doing.
My second concern was that we were putting the other half of our eggs in the “this freshman is going to be a beast” basket. Many were thinking that the fabulous threesome of Dominique Easley, Shariff Floyd and Ronald Powell would be all-world the second they walked onto Florida Field. Realistically, this just wasn’t possible, especially at the defensive lineman position, which is a position where few underclassmen excel.
At the end of the season, the defensive line stats were fairly abysmal. This unit accounted for only 12 sacks the entire season, two fumble recoveries (against USF and Vanderbilt) and one forced fumble (Vandy). Of the 12 sacks, only two came in what I like to term as “important games.” In the last four games of the season, this group registered only one sack and in the five losses they accounted for only two. Of the top 10 leading tacklers on the team, only three were defensive lineman (Trattou 57, Lemmens 43, and Howard 29). The only two defensive linemen that had double-digit tackles for loss were Trattou and Howard, both with 12 each.
In a nutshell, the defensive line was poor. Piss poor.
2011: Jaye Howard – RSR, William Green – SR, Omar Hunter – RJR, Lerentee McCray – RJR, Earl Okine – RJR, Kendric Johnson – RSO, Dominique Easley – SO, Shariff Floyd – SO, Leon Orr – RFR, Lynden Trail – RFR, Clay Burton – FR, Tevin Westbrook – FR
Preseason Rating: A
Wait a second One Eyed Willy, didn’t you just get finished calling the defensive line poor? Piss poor? And now you are giving them an A grade heading into the 2011 season?
That’s right kids…I am!
Although the lack of depth for the 2011 defensive line is certainly a concern – so much so that Will Muschamp seems to bring it up during every single interview he does – the guys that will play are going to be good. Scary good.
The middle of the line should be just about the best in the nation. With Howard leading the way, the likes of Floyd, Easley and Omar Hunter (and maybe Leon Orr as well) should have much more success than they did last year disrupting run plays and hassling the quarterback of the opposing team. With 12 more months of playing time under their belts, I especially expect Floyd and Easley to be leaps-and-bounds ahead of where they were to start the 2010 season. And if everything we have been hearing over the past few months is true, no one has been able to stop our defensive tackles from getting in the backfield. Let’s hope that trend continues.
The defensive end position will probably look better during the season mainly because opposing teams will have to key against the “big nasties” in the middle. Powell, who will technically play the Buck linebacker position, will line up a lot at defensive end and should be able to use his size and incredible speed to torment opposing QBs. If veterans like Green or Lerentee McCray or youngsters like Lynden Trail or Clay Burton can step up and be relied upon to play important minutes this season, they will round up an already impressive group of talent. Finally, don’t be surprised if some of the defensive tackles line up at the end position. Howard is one player in particularly who can play both positions and could be a force on the outside edge, especially during running situations.
In the end, I truly believe that the defense, and ultimately the 2011 team will live-and-die by the defensive line. If this unit is as good as I think (and hope) they can be, I truly believe this team can surprise a lot of people this year and make a run at the SEC Championship. If, on the other hand, this unit plays like it did last season, you may want to take the under 7.5 wins that Vegas just released!

The Gators Line Could Be The Key To The Defense

We covered the defensive backs. We discussed the linebackers. Now we are moving on the defensive line.
The line could be the key to the entire Florida defense. With four extremely talented individuals manning the middle of the line, it will be up to the defensive ends to raise their game. When you have Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd, Jaye Howard, and Omar Hunter at defensive tackle, you should be ready for whatever offense you face. When you have little experience at defensive end, you have to wonder what the line as a whole will look like in 2011.
Head over to Upon Further Review Sports where Wil and I talked about the defensive line and the differences we may see in the 4-3 and 3-4 in another episode of Swamp Talk.

Florida Gators 48 – Kentucky Wildcats 14

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Trey Burton  of the Florida Gators scores a touchdown as he is brought down by safety Winston Guy Jr.  of the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Kentucky 48-14 for head coach Urban Meyer
Florida beat Kentucky 48-14 on Saturday night.  But you could also say Trey Burton beat Kentucky 36-14.  Or that the Florida eights defeated the Kentucky eights by a score of 7-2.  Whichever way you look at it, the Gators beat the Wildcats by a good enough margin to get fans excited about the offense for at least a few days.
The world has now been introduced to Burton, who switched his jersey number before the game, got some sort of supernatural power out of the #8, and the proceeded to set a Gator record by crossing the goal line six times.  That’s one more than Tim Tebow’s previous school record.  Burton almost passed for a touchdown as well, but Omarius Hines mysteriously tripped on his way down the field.
Or was it all that mysterious?  The game saw nine touchdowns.  All nine were scored by players wearing the #8 on their jerseys.  Hines wears #82.  If he had kept his balance, he would have caught it from a #8, but clearly that wasn’t good enough for the football gods.  They had made their decision on exactly who could score TDs earlier that night and it just wasn’t in the cards for Hines.
Burton’s final stat line was something of legend.  10 total carries and receptions, six touchdowns, and that 42-yard completion to Hines for good measure.  His five rushing touchdowns came on only five carries, almost like you were controlling him in a video game trying to prove you could score on each and every carry.  Have to believe the Gators have a good red zone option for the next three or four seasons.
And Burton wasn’t the only bright spot.  John Brantley finally broke the 200-yard passing barrier and ended the night with 248.  Jeff Demps proved that maybe 26 carries in one game isn’t the best way to use him.  Emmanuel Moody looked like he could be the power runner.  Carl Moore was great and could be becoming the go-to receiver.  And Andre Debose finally got touches, something fans have been desperately waiting for.
On the defensive side of the ball, Duke Lemmens and Justin Trattou continued to overachieve.  Jaye Howard is proving to many that he could be the best player along the line.  There’s not enough to say about Jon Bostic.  And Jeremy Brown made sure the #8 was well represented on the defensive side of the ball as well.
It was a definite step forward for the Gators.  After three games there were plenty of question marks and there still are, but it’s a step.  A step right toward the #1 team in the nation and Alabama.  One that brings along a renewed hope heading into the next game.  The defense continued to impress and the offense seemed to stabilize.  Hopefully it wasn’t an aberration and was what will become more of the norm.
Florida did a lot right against Kentucky and could have some carried over momentum heading into that matchup with the Crimson Tide.  The first quarter of the regular season is over and the Gators are 4-0.  Now Florida heads to the proving ground.  Bama, LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia.  There’s still a long road ahead, but the victory over the Wildcats was reflective of what a top 10 team should be doing.  Again, a step forward.