Gator on Gator: The Championship Match

FightinGators.com Insider
Posted May 12, 2013


Despite a little layoff, we finally have the match up to decide it all. Eight members of the FightinGators.com contingent faced off and drafted different teams. We paired them off in a eight team bracket and are now finally down to the final game. Timmy vs. Emmitt, two colossal stars in Gator history will be going head to head to see who wins the first championship of our Gator on Gator series.

The Fightin’ JGrayhounds had to be the odds on favorite to win it all when the series began. He selected first and went right for the heart strings of most Gators selecting the most heralded Gator of all time in Tebow. But, you have to look well beyond that for the Grayhounds. I personally love the versatility he brings to the table on offense. The Grayhounds are sneaky good at all levels on defense with big time stars on the line, at linebacker in the secondary.

Contrary to the Grayhounds, TEAM Go GATA leaned heavily on Emmitt on offense, but brings the wood and the splinters on defense. The 3-4 is something Urban Meyer and company loved to stay away from when Tebow was I orange and blue and that is what Go GATA brings. Go GATA’s linebacker are blazing quick on the outside and absolute monster stars on the inside. The secondary is the hardest hitting and best set of cover corners in the entire tournament. Will Muschamp would love this team.

That is all I am going to add, it is time for you to vote. So, read over the two teams and please follow the link at the end of the story and vote for your winner in this matchup. The eight people in this tournament and myself put a lot of time in making these teams and drawing them up for you to view. They also had a great time doing it and learned a lot about the players on their team and the opponent’s as well.

It has been fun and we hope you come along for the ride.

Here is the Fightin’ Grayhound’s line up followed by Go GATA…

FIGHTIN’ JGRAYHOUNDS OFFENSE

All SEC Seasons – 12
All America Seasons – 3
SEC Rings – 20
NCAA Rings – 5

When you have, arguably, the greatest player in modern college football history, and that same player is also the best leader in history, then you build the team around that player. When that guy is a 240lb battering ram of a QB who also completes 66% of his passes, has a career passer efficiency rating of 170.97 (2nd best in NCAA history, best in SEC history), racked up over 12,000 yards of offense (rush and pass), and has 145 career TDs (SEC record for rush TDs)- then you run a balanced spread option. Tebow is the perfect spread option QB, and when paired with a great RB this offense is next to impossible to stop. Earnest Graham is precisely that RB. The 5th leading rusher in UF history was versatile and punishing as a RB and takes some of the load off Tebow and keeps defenses from cheating to him on options and runs. A featured dimension of the S-O offense is shovel passes to a TE…who better to run those plays than Aaron Hernandez? He and Tebow ran those plays to perfection for 3 seasons together, all the way to both being All-Americans and Hernandez earning the Mackey Award (the only Gator in history to win). Added to the backfield weapons is perhaps the most versatile RB in UF history: John L. Williams. JLW was a deadly weapon running the ball or receiving (and even led UF in KR yardage in 1982). His total yardage is 6th all-time in UF history, his rushing yardage is 10th all-time. He can block for Graham in short yardage, or form a deadly 1-2 punch when going to a more traditional running game. The possibility of him (or Graham) slipping out of the backfield for passes spreads defenses out very thin.

QB – Tim Tebow3x All-SEC, All-American, 2X SEC Champ, 2X National Champ, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Freshman All-SEC in 2006; 2009 William Campbell Award (“Academic Heisman”), 2007 O’Brien winner, 2007-2008 Maxwell winner, 2008-2009 AP National Offensive Player of the Year, 2007-2008-2009 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 CBS National Player of the Year, 2008 Manning Award winner, 2008 Wuerffel Award winner, 2008 Wooden Cup winner, 2007-2008 Sullivan Award winner, 2008-2009 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 3-time Academic All-American team, 2009, NFF Scholar-Athlete Award.
Owns five NCAA, 14 SEC and 28 UF records…Threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns in his four seasons at Florida, while also gaining 2,947 yards on the ground with 57 rushing touchdowns, both school records by a Florida quarterback… Is the only quarterback in school history to have rushed for 100 yards in four games…Owns the SEC record for rushing TDs (57), and total TDs (145), as well as rushing yards for a QB (2,947)…is the all-time UF leader in total yards (12,232) and TD responsibility (145)… Pass efficiency rating of 170.97 is the best in SEC history and 2nd in NCAA history.
Career Stats (UF rank): 661 completions (5th), 66.4% completion percentage (1st), 170.79 Pass Efficiency rating (1st), 9,285 yards (4th), 88 TDs (2nd), 1.61 INT percentage (1st – best); 692 rush atts (3rd), 2,947 yards (6th), 57 TDs (1st)

(AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

RB – Earnest Graham – SEC Champ, One of only 7 Gators to have rushed for 1000 yards in a season, rushing for 1,085 in 2002. 5th in UF history in rushing yards (3,065), 4th in rushing TDs (33), 3468 Total Offense yards is 6th in UF history (non-QB).
FB – John L. Williams – SEC Champ, 10th in UF history in career rushing yards (2,409), 3,232 Total Offense yards (2409 rush/863 rec)is 7th in UF history (non-QB). 3rd most career catches by a UF RB.

The WR group is impressive as a whole. There are only 9 Gators in UF history to have 1000 yards receiving in a season – 3 of them are on this team. Green is the speed WR that can get down the field, run reverses, and return punts. Jackson and Caldwell are ultra-reliable and super-fast themselves. This is the perfect set of WRs for Tebow to destroy defenses with…when you add in Hernandez as the outlet for short passes, as well as a matchup problem for LBs, the passing game is top notch.

WR (PR) – Jacquez Green – All-SEC, All-American, 3x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, member of the UF All-Century Team; finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (97); caught 61 passes for 1024 yards and 9 TDs in 1997; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; 23 career TDs (7th), 19.3 yards per catch (2nd), 2181 career receiving yardage (8th); as a Punt returner: 4 career PR TDs, most in UF history, 3rd most PR yards in UF history.
WR – Darrell Jackson All-SEC, 1999 3rd team All-American; in 1999, had 67 catches for 1,156 yards and 9 TDs; had 3 TDs in the SEC Championship Game (99); semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; career numbers: 97 recs, 1501 yards, 14 TDs. SEC Honor Roll.
WR (KR) – Reche Caldwell SEC Champ, semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award; in 2001, caught 65 passes for 1,059 yards and 10 TDs; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; Career numbers: 141 receptions, 2088 yards (1 of only 11 Gators with 2000 career yards), 18 TDs, total yardage (Rec/Rush/KR/PR) 2292.
TE – Aaron Hernandez – 2009 Consensus All-American, 2009 Consensus All-SEC; Mackey Award Winner (only Gator to win this award); in 2009, 68 rec, 850 yds (led SEC TEs), 5 TDs; career numbers: 111 rec, 1,382 yards, and 12 TDs. Most catches by a TE in UF history. National Champ (08). SEC Champ (08).

Aaron Hernandez (Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE)

A spread option offense needs a great OL, and that is precisely what we have on this team. All 5 OL were First-team All-SEC performers, with 4 of the 5 receiving some sort of All-American honors. It all starts with a heady C that can make all the calls and lead the line. Bromley was the leader of the greatest OL in UF history, and serves the same role here. On either side of him are 2 mean All-SEC SOBs at OG who can pave the road for this running attack. The All-SEC OTs can pass block or run block (and are also mean SOBs), and with Green at RT we know Tebow’s blind-side will be covered.

LT – John Durden – All-SEC, 1989 Honorable mention All-American; Fergie Ferguson Award Winner (1989).
LG – Jim Watson – 2X SEC Champ , All-SEC, 1992 2nd-team All-SEC, 2-time Honorable mention All-American (92,93). James Kynes Award Winner (93).
C – Phil Bromley – SEC Champ, 1984 Consensus All-SEC, 1984 2nd-team All-American; anchor and leader of “the Great Wall of Florida”.
RG – Donnie Young – 2x All-SEC . 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, 2nd team All-American (96). Jacobs Trophy Award Winner, semi-finalist for the Outland Trophy (1996); James Kynes Award Winner (96); 1996 Team Captain.
RT – Reggie Green – All-SEC. 3X SEC Champ (93,94,95); James Kynes Award Winner (95).

FIGHTIN’ JGRAYHOUNDS DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS:

All SEC Seasons – 15
All America Seasons – 4
SEC Rings – 18
NCAA Rings – 3

I want a fast, aggressive defense where the front 7 puts pressure on the QB and forces turnovers with a ball-hawking secondary. The FJ’s do just that. 10 of my 11 defensive starters were first-team All-SEC players, with the 11th being a 2-time 2nd teamer. Studs across the board.
The front seven is versatile enough to play a 4-3, 3-4, or even drop a LB back to play as an extra safety. It all starts with the defensive ends, both Consensus All-Americans. Carter and Richardson are 2 of the top 6 in career sacks in UF history…with 48 sacks, and 93 TFLs between them. Richardson can drop back and play OLB when needed as well. The key to a good DL is strength up the middle, and the FJ’s have 2 All-SEC guys there as well (McGrew and Newton). They provide run-stopping and the ability to make plays from the DT spot. At LB, athleticism and ferocious hitting is the name of the game. The OLBs feature 2-time All-SEC Tim Paulk and All-SEC LB Fee Bartley. Devastating hitters that can make plays (Paulk had 4 kick blocks in his career) and cover TEs and RBs. In the middle is a tackling machine, with Gator career tackles leader David Little.

DE – Kevin Carter All-American, All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ; 21.5 career sacks (6th in UF history) and 42.5 tackles for loss (9th in UF history); in 1994, he recorded 11.5 sacks; member of the UF All-Century Team and the 100th Anniversary Team.

Aaron Rodgers chansed by Kevin Carter  (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

DT – Reggie McGrew – All-SEC; NCAA Champ, SEC Champ.
DT – Tim Newton – All-SEC, SEC Champ
DE – Huey Richardson – 2x All-SEC, All-American, 26.5 career sacks (3rd in UF history) and 50.5 tackles for loss (4th in UF history)..
OLB – Tim Paulk – 2x All-SEC, SEC Champ.
MLB – David Little – All-American (80), All-SEC, 475 career tackles (1st in UF history).
OLB – Ephesians (Fee) Bartley – All-SEC; SEC Champ (91).

This secondary is full of “ballhawks” and great players. Both CBs were All-SEC players and are numbers 1 and 2 on the career UF pass break ups list. Lott is also 4th in forced fumbles. Both CBs were 4-year starters and won 7 SEC titles between them. Whatever mistakes they may make (unlikely) will be covered up by “the Eraser” (All-American FS) and the epitome of a “football player”, Guss Scott (2nd in career forced fumbles), at SS. All 4 players are remembered for HUGE plays in UF history. Lott is best remembered for his crucial TO call vs. UGA that saved a win. He also had a 88yd INT return for a TD in 94 against LSU. Kennedy had a 44-yd TD INT return as a freshman to change the game against Tennessee (1991). Guss Scott had 2 INT TD returns, the biggest was the 47-yarder against UGA in 2002 to win the game. Reggie Nelson’s 70-yd INT return for a TD against Bama in 2006 was a game-sealer and set us on the path to a national title.

CB – Anthone Lott – 2x All-SEC, 4X SEC Champ, NCAA Champ , 42 career pass break ups (1st in UF history), 7 career forced fumbles (4th in UF history).
CB – Larry Kennedy – All-SEC, 3X SEC Champ, 39 career pass break ups (2nd in UF history).
S – Reggie Nelson – All-American (2006), All-SEC, National Champ, SEC Champ.

Reggie Nelson

S – Guss Scott – 11 forced fumbles (2nd in UF history).

Fightin’ JGrayhound’s Special Teams:

Berj Yepremian’s mustache alone could win games, but he was Mr. Reliable in the late-70s with the 2nd highest FG pctg in UF history (82.9%). Edge was an athlete playing punter (remember the fake punt in the SEC Championship Game?) – as a 4-year starter he was solid his entire career averaging 42.5 ypp while garnering tons of post-season honors. K – Berj Yepremian – All-SEC, 2nd highest FG percentage in UF history (82.9%) (29 of 35 FGs), also 98.2% (56 of 57) on XP (3rd in UF history), 4 career FGs of 50+ yards (2nd most in UF history).
P – Shayne Edge – All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ, 2X, 2nd team All-American (91), . 3rd in most career punts (182), 5th in career average (42.5).
KR – Reche Caldwell (w/ John L. Williams)
PR – Jacquez Green

TEAM Go Gata Offense-

All SEC Seasons- 10
All America Seasons- 2
SEC Rings- 11
NCAA Rings- 10

Doug Johnson is perfect fit for the Go GATA strategy. Has a big time arm, good with play action, which is where most of his passes will come from. By any appreciable measure, Emmitt Smithis the greatest running back in Gator history. Great quickness, vision and balance. He is the gold standard and the centerpiece of Team Go GATA.

I think it's fairly obvious what my scheme is going to be...

We are going to give to the back with the greatest combination of balance, vision and quickness to ever terrify opposing defenses at UF!!!

We will mix in some FB runs, and then just when they are worn out from dominated by the most physical offense in this tournament... DJ (62 career td passes and one of the fewest interception totals in UF history) is going to unleash hell, primarily, via the play action baby!!!!

Starting off in the backfield, Behind this offensive line, Tight End and Full Back, he will slice any defense in this tourney to shreds... The best part of this strategy is the other teams know what's coming and they just can't do anything to stop it!!!! James Jones was a fast, athletic blocker and a great receiver out of the backfield. Who could ever forget the one-handed catch to beat Miami in 1982?

QB - Doug Johnson - SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, 62 Career TD Passes (6th ALL TIME), Gator Record for Single-Game TD Passes (7)
HB - Emmitt Smith - 3x All-SEC, All-American, SEC MVP, College Football HOF, Gator Football Ring of Honor, Most 100 Yard Rushing Games in Gator History (23), Top Two Single-Game Yardage Totals in Gator History (316/224), Top Two Single-Season Yardage Totals in Gator History (1,599/1,341), Most TDs by Gator RB/Season (14), Most TDs by Gator RB/Career (36), Highest Average Yards/Game for Career in Gator History (126.7) * More than 30 yards better than next closest, Fastest Gator to 1,000 rushing yards (7 games) --- twice, Most 100 yard rushing games in a single season (9), Most Consecutive 100 yard games (6), Longest Rushing Play for TD (96 yards)


Smith is also the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

James Jones - All-SEC, All American, Led team in rushing for three consecutive years ('80-'82),

This receiver group is large, physical and FAST... they are superior blockers with great hands. My tight end is another HUGE, athletic, monster that is a great run blocker and doubles as a red zone threat.

WR - Ernie Mills - All-SEC, SEC Champ
WR - Louis Murphy- 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ
WR - Chad Jackson - All-SEC, All-American
TE - Erron Kinney SEC Champ, NCAA Champ

My offensive line has a treasure chest of rings. These Hosses AVERAGE 6'5" and 316 pounds... ACROSS THE BOARD... They are BY FAR the biggest, nastiest group of blockers assembled in this tournament. Three of these monsters were recipients of the James W. Kynes (JWK) Award which is given annually to the Offensive Lineman with the greatest physical and mental toughness, who embody the "iron man" mentality.

LT Zach Piller - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
LG Cooper Carlisle - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
C Drew Miller - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ
RG Maurice Hurt 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ
RT Carlton Medder - All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ

TEAM Go Gata Defense & Special Teams-

All SEC Seasons- 13
All America Seasons- 7
SEC Rings- 11
NCAA Rings- 7

I feel like this is the team's strength. Especially, the back eight...

The Wright brothers are head hunters that will destroy any receiver foolish enough to try and catch something over the middle and Lito and Janoris both can lock down their respective sides.

With that in mind, we will employ primarily blitz schemes, with our extremely large and athletic linebacker corps. The defensive line is phenomenal as well, with Easley wrecking havoc and Roth (very underrated with his 17 sacks) can occupy the middle of any o-line and keep my lbs clean. Robin Fisher will dominate his side in pass rushing situations and hold edge against the run.

Starting in the secondary, you could argue that these are the top two cornerbacks in Gator history. There aren’t many that have had the success in the NFL that these two have, especially given the shirt stint for Jenkins. Then you look at the head hunting safeties and you have to wonder if anything is safe thrown in the middle of the field. Take small children by the hand and keep your arms close.

CB - Lito Sheppard - 2x All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ
CB - Janoris Jenkins - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ


Janoris is one of the best ever

S - Lawrence Wright - 2x All-SEC, All-American, 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Jim Thorpe Award winner for the best DB in America
S - Major Wright - SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Big, Fast, Athletic

When you look at the linebacker crew you have two reckless hunters on the outside, with tons of speed for the position. Then the rocks in the middle with absolutely steady tackler Davis and the hit-machine Spikes.

OLB - Earl Everett - 2x All-SEC, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Big Game/Prime Time Player: Led the team in tackles against Ohio State in National Championship game. Made early play of the game when he chased down Troy Smith on third and long and made the sack helmet-less.
OLB - Mike Peterson - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Ferocious hitter, one of the most feared LB’ers in UF history.
MLB - Andra Davis - All-SEC, SEC Champ, All-American
MLB - Brandon Spikes - 3x All-SEC, 2x All-American, 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, Dominant against the run and pass, Most interceptions returned for touchdowns by ANY defender in the history of UF Football (4), Big time hitter

I am using a three man front because of my beef at linebacker. Still, my ends have good size even in a 3-4 scheme. What separates them is their quickness and guile on the outside. In the middle of the line I go with middle-80’s plugger Roth. Florida’s defenses in the mid-80’s were absolutely some of the toughest.

DE - Robin Fisher - 21 Career Sacks, 41 TFL, the only place in the roster that is not HUGE... But before you think you are going to run at him, keep in mind, he is the only defensive lineman in the HISTORY of UF Football to lead the team in tackles for a season.
DE - Dominique Easley - Freakish combination of size, speed, athleticism and tenacity, almost impossible to block one-on-one, double team helps keep blockers off of line backing corps.
DT - Jeff Roth - All-SEC, Dominant inside run stuffer, recorded 17 Career Sacks/44 TFL, anchor of one of the most dominant defenses in UF history.

K - Matt Leach – Semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, second most field goals in a season at UF, his 43 field goals made is 3rd all-time in Gator history, went 49 of 49 (100%) on PAT’s in 2004.
P - Bobby Joe Green - fourth in UF history in career punting average (42.6),2nd best season punting average (44.9), longest punt in UF history (82 yards) vs. UGA.
KR/PR - Chad Jackson -

Now it is up to you, so please come join us on our insider message board and vote for the team that would win this matchup. I challenge yo to think it through and take a minute afterward to post your vote. Just click the link below to vote.

Vote Here


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