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The Other Guys: Florida

Names to know for the Mighty Gators.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It took over a month, but the Tigers finally face Florida on Saturday. Lately, the Gators have falsely claimed that UF, not LSU, is the true DBU. While the debate will finally been put to rest, Florida has done a decent job of developing quality corners and safeties in recent years.

Cornerback Teez Tabor

The former Jalen Tabor looks to follow Vernon Hargreaves and Joe Haden as the next Gator cornerback drafted in the first round. Tabor has been a mainstay on All-SEC selections (even as a freshman) in every year since joining the Gators. In two plus seasons with Florida, Haden has racked up nine picks and 25 pass breakups.

What could cause problems

Last year the Tigers didn't attack Tabor in passing situations, and the same could hold true Saturday. The junior cornerback is an exceptional athlete, with quick feet, fluid hips, good long speed and a solid closing burst, making him very difficult to beat in man-to-man situations. Additionally, his ball skills are some of the best in the country, with big interception totals over his college career.

Tabor also has good football instincts. Even against the run, Tabor shows good anticipation and flow to the direction of the play, which he pairs with an attacking mentality. In zone coverage he combines those instincts and that closing burst to defend targets coming into his area. In the clip below, Tabor does a nice job seeing the play develop and then capitalizing for the pick six.

What can be exploited and how

Tabor is an explosive athlete, but he isn’t particularly big at six feet tall. A height difference which could be exploited by Malachi Dupre or Travin Dural. Additionally, while Tabor is a willing run defender it isn’t his strong suit.  Perhaps if LSU receivers can get Tabor to bite on some double moves or if the staff calls for some more deceptive pass plays, Tabor’s aggressive nature will put him out of position.

Defensive end Caleb Brantley

Continuing in the line of disruptive Gator defensive linemen, Caleb Brantley already has a solid resume . He had 10.5 tackles for loss his first two seasons and already has 3.5 this season to go along with two career forced fumbled.

What could cause problems

At 6’5 and 300 pounds Brantley has great size for the position and can be a mostly immovable object when he plays with good technique. Even if Brantley gets slightly rocked by a good pop, he has the strength to push back the blocker or prevent the blocker from creating any. When the ball comes in his direction, Brantley does a really good job at getting off blocks and looks like a strong tackler. While Brantley is a good pass rusher, he is notably better against the run.



Brantley also has some good qualities as a pass rusher. His preferred move is his bull rush, where he uses his strength to put offensive linemen into the lap of the passer. He can mix it up with spin move where he shows off some deceptive quickness. Brantley also does a solid job at splitting blockers and getting to quarterback, especially if he gets off the snap well.

What can be exploited and how

Like a good portion of the Gators roster, Brantley is banged up and nursing a hand injury even though he is expected to play. While Brantley is a solid run defender he doesn’t have great awareness. At times he won’t pick up on misdirection or will rush in such a way that it puts him out of position to make a play. Brantley presents an obvious problem for Fournette and the running game. However, knowing that Brantley might not have the best instincts could give some opportunities for some creative play calling. Although there might not have to be a heavy dose of misdirection, a few properly deceptive plays could put Brantley out of position and lead to some big gains for the LSU backs.