Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators defensive line finds pressure against Tennessee Volunteers

GAINESVILLE — On the first snap of the second half, in a game tighter than it should have been, Ronald Powell broke through.

Powell, a Florida sophomore linebacker/defensive end, rushed off the left edge. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray rolled out, trying to avoid the heat.

Powell kept coming, so Bray took a step back and let the ball fly. Gators safety Josh Evans then watched the ball fall safely into his hands.

With UF up 16-7, coach Will Muschamp greeted Powell as he walked off the field, wrapping his arm around his player's helmet to give him a message.

"I want these guys to play well; I play through them," Muschamp said. "When you see a guy finally … get the pressure, get the caused interception, I'm excited for him."

Powell had been criticized by Muschamp and coordinator Dan Quinn for not pressuring the quarterback enough. While Muschamp's message was about pride for one specific player, the coach could have been talking about his entire defensive line.

In wins over Florida Atlantic and UAB, the Gators had two sacks total. But in Saturday's 33-23 victory, they finished with three sacks and six pressures, and two defensive linemen swatted passes at the line of scrimmage.

"We came out playing with a chip on our shoulder, knowing that we dictate the outcome of the game," said defensive tackle Jaye Howard, who had four tackles and combined with Powell on a sack. "People were doubting us, looking over us. We're playing with the best of them right now."

Florida's improved pass rush was key because of its opponent: Bray entered the game first in the SEC with 698 passing yards and seven touchdowns.

Against UF, Bray went 26-of-48 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, but he was forced into two interceptions, a number that would have been higher if four potential picks weren't dropped and another one wasn't called back on an interference call.

The Gators received an emotional boost from the return of sophomore defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who was suspended for two games after the NCAA ruled he received impermissible benefits as a recruit. Floyd said it felt good getting back on the field, even better getting pressure.

"That's what a defensive lineman wants; we want to hit the quarterback, the pretty boys, the you-can't-touch-me guys," he said. "That's what defensive linemen want; we want quarterbacks."

Florida Gators defensive line finds pressure against Tennessee Volunteers 09/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play

    Sports

    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  2. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

    Blogs

    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is still slated to start tonight, even after throwing 12 pitches to get the final three outs - and the save - in Sunday's …

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  3. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  4. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee

    Baseballpreps

    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    Pitcher Brian Lee participates in a practice at King High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, May 26, 2017.
  5. Five cool things to do when it's hot outside

    Outdoors

    Summer is not officially here, but it may as well be. School is out, vacations are coming, and it's time to enjoy the outdoors. Don't buy the argument that summer in Florida is too hot to get outside. There is plenty to do, and we'll prove it. Here are five cool things to do outdoors during another hot summer.

    Rainbow Springs State Park is a registered natural landmark. Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon is one several state parks with natural swimming holes in Florida. (Octavio Jones | Times)