Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp earned his first SEC victory with a huge 33-23 win over arch rival Tennessee. We learned a lot o Saturday about the 2011 Gators squad and we'll present five of those things we think we learned hear for you.
1. Newsflash - Chris Rainey - he's good.
Chris Rainey was sensational against the Vols, going over hundred yards in both rushing and receiving, scoring a touchdown and blocking a punt.
Teamed with fellow rushing phenom Jeff Demps and the bruising Trey Burton, Florida's running game is among the best in the country.
How do you stop the Gators running game? You don't, you hope to contain them.
2. John Brantley settling into Charlie Weis' offense.
Johnny Brantley was super efficient against the Volunteers, completing 14 of 23 for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. What was crucial to Florida's success on Saturday was Brantley's ability to protect the football. John had no turnovers and converted on his opportunities to allow Florida to build a big lead on the Vols.
3. Florida's defense is good, but could be great if...
They learn how to defend the pass without committing an infraction. 8 times in Saturday's game, the Gators were flagged for either pass interference or defensive holding. Some of the fouls were a bit ticky tack but the bottom line is if you put your hands on the receiver before the pass gets there you're going to get called for a penalty.
The Gators are a little young in the secondary so hopefully they'll learn the proper technique and become the dominant secondary they appear to have the talent to become.
4. Jelani Jenkins has hands of stone.
With all due respect to Jelani Jenkins, who may be Florida's best defensive player, he couldn't catch a cold in an pneumonia ward.
Jenkins had two golden pick-sixes hit him right in the hands, but he dropped both.
We're sure Jenkins will continue to make some amazing plays for the Gators this season, including a pick or two, but at least on Saturday his hands failed him.
5. Jenkins wasn't alone in dropping potential interceptions.
Tennessee heralded QB Tyler Bray threw two interceptions against Florida but it could have been so much worse.
Jelani Jenkins dropped two potential pick-six interceptions while Josh Evans (who had one interception) could have had at least two more but dropped picks.
If the Gators start holding on to these interceptions, opponents will find it extremely difficult to get on the board against this terrific Florida defense.