Florida Football: Gators shut down opposing passing attacks in 2016


There are 8 days till college football season, and today is about one of the best secondaries in the Southeastern Conference.

The defense has been the calling card of the Florida football team for the past few seasons, especially in the secondary. Florida has had five defensive backs drafted in the last two NFL Drafts, and all five of them were selected in the first two rounds.

Marcus Maye, Quincy Wilson, and Teez Tabor were each selected in the second round of this year’s draft. And that leads us to no. 8 on the Southbound and Down College Football Countdown.

Florida allowed 8 passing touchdowns last season, fewest in nation

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The eight touchdown passes Florida allowed were tied with Georgia State for the fewest in the nation. LSU was second in the SEC, allowing nine passing touchdowns.

Sometimes, however, a team’s pass defense numbers can be inflated because they’re giving up yards on the ground, but that wasn’t the case with the Gators. While they weren’t equally as dominant against the run, they were still fifth in the SEC and 38th in the nation against the run.

Florida Gators Football
Florida Gators Football /

Florida Gators Football

But this is about their dominant pass defense. They allowed 148.5 passing yards per game, which led the SEC and was second in all of college football. But it wasn’t about just stopping opposing passing attacks, they were pretty good at catching it too.

Florida led the SEC and was tied for 14th in the country with 16 interceptions. They also returned four of them for touchdowns. Only Ohio (7) State, Alabama (6), and San Diego State (5) had more interceptions returned for touchdowns last season. Alabama also had 16 interceptions, but they played two more games than the Gators.

Florida already lost three defensive backs to this year’s draft, and they got worse news in July when it was announced that their leading tackler from last season, Marcell Harris, was going to miss the entire season with an achilles injury.

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With the Florida program having a nickname like “DBU”, losing defensive backs to the NFL is not a new phenomenon. It will be interesting to see how the Gators replace some of those stars in the secondary.