FLORIDA OFFENSIVE LINE
Overview: Florida’s offensive line is coached by Mike Summers. Summers was on Joker Phillips’ Kentucky staff before landing at UF following a stint at Southern Cal. Summers is highly regarded in coaching circles. However, the group has certainly not overachieved during his tenure. OL struggles can be blamed on youth, injury, and attrition. The offensive line isn’t Florida’s only offensive concern as it finished 12th in the SEC’s total offense category by averaging 334 yards and 23 points per game a year ago.
Head Coach Jim McElwain put his big fellas on blasted by saying they lacked energy during its opening game. The Gators racked up 21 first downs by converting 9/17 on third down. However, it didn’t impress offensively and moved out of the Top 25 after beating UMass 24-7 in the Swamp. The left side of the offensive line is the definite strength of the group and features guard Martez Ivey and tackle David Sharpe. The right side remains a work in progress.
RT – 74 Frederick Johnson, 6’6, 305
RG – 64 Tyler Jordan, 6’4, 292
C – 54 Cameron Dillard, 6’4, 308
LG – 73 Martez Ivey, 6’5, 302
LT – 78 David Sharpe, 6’6, 355
Tale of the Tape: 6’5, 312
Accolades: Coming out of Apopka High School guard Martez Ivey was arguably the nation’s top recruit hasn’t disappointed during his two years in Gainesville. The Freshman All SEC performer was named to several preseason all-conference lists going into this season. Phil Steele also lists left tackle David Sharpe as Third-Team All-SEC.
KENTUCKY FRONT SEVEN
Overview: Prior to, and following DT Regie Meant’s fall camp departure, front seven worry resonated. Those preseason concerns became a reality during a 44-35 opening game loss against Southern Miss. Frustratingly, USM totaled yards 520 yards with 262 coming on the ground. NT Matt Elam played over 70 snaps; far too many for his position. DL depth continues to be a significant concern. Jordan Jones is the nation’s and SEC’s leading tackler with 19 in week one. From Florida and beyond, LB anxiety should lessen as the front 3 are now the most central and questionable unit on the team.
DE – 94 Courtney Miggins, 6’5, 290
NT – 69 Matt Elam, 6’7, 360
DT – 99 Adrian Middleton, 6’3, 303
LB/DE – 35 Denzil Ware, 6’2, 255
LB – 51 Courtney Love, 6’2, 245
LB – 41 Josh Allen, 6’5, 235
LB – 34 Jordan Jones, 6’2, 220
Tale of the Tape: Defensive Line, 6’5 317. Linebackers, 6’2 238
Accolades: No player was listed on preseason All SEC or any other award watch lists.
Florida certainly has a copy of the UK-USM game. Jim McElwain will most likely utilize multiple tight end sets and run directly at the Wildcat defensive line and extend the perimeter with outside zone-reads. Both severely hurt the Cats a week ago. The Gators are in need of a bounce back offensive game in which it can showcase offensive line improvement. It’s easy to imagine UF shortening the game by leaning heavily on a rushing attack.