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September 15, 2010

Hot 11: Defense rules

This is the GatorBait.net Hot 11. Marty Cohen, Thomas Goldkamp, Mike Hodge, Keith Niebuhr and Mark Wheeler have reviewed the first two games of the football season to vote on this edition of the Hot 11. It consists of the 11 most valuable players, in our opinion, to this point in the season. Each member votes on a top 11, then points are awarded on a sliding scale: 1st place vote = 11 points, 2nd place = 10 points, etc... (Total points and 1st place votes in parenthesis).
1. Ahmad Black (52/3) Position: Safety
Season Totals: 20 tackles (12 solo). 3 interceptions for 42 yards..

Comment: Black not only leads the team in total tackles and interceptions, he is a team leader of the defense and all but single handily kept the Gators in the first half of Saturday's contest against USF.

2. Janoris Jenkins (50/1) Position: Cornerback
Season Totals: 6 tackles (all solo). 2 TFL. 2 interceptions. 4 pass breakups. 1 sack.

Comment: Teams are staying away from his side of the field as much as humanly possible, choosing to instead pick on the more inexperienced players at cornerback.

3. Jeff Demps (48/2) Position: Running back
Season Totals: 19-carries for 237-yards (12.5 avg) and 2 touchdowns. 5-catches for 25-yards (5.0 avg). 4 kick returns for 151-yards (37.8 avg). 413 all-purpose yards.

Comment: Over the first two games, despite limited touches as a running back, Demps has done enough to emerge as a dark-horse Heisman candidate based on his all-around value to the team.

4. Marcus Gilbert (30) Position: Offensive tackle
Season Totals: UF is one of the leading teams in the nation in sacks against - giving up a total of 1 thus far.

Comment: He has handled the move from right to left tackle very well, but still look for him to move back to his home on the right side once Xavier Nixon is healthy.

5. Jaye Howard (28) Position: Defensive tackle
Season Totals: 7 tackles. 4 solo. 2.5 TFL. 2 sacks

Comment: He started out like gangbusters in game one recording 2 sacks and pressing the quarterback a couple of other times. He has provided the Gators with their only consistent pass rush so far.

6. A.J. Jones (21) Position: Outside linebacker
Season Totals: Third on the team with 10 tackles (5 solo). 1 TFL. 1 pass breakup.

Comment: He isn't the flashiest linebacker on the field, but he has been the most consistent player at his position over the first two games.

7. Justin Trattou (20) Position: Defensive end
Season Totals: 6 tackles. 1 interception returned for touchdown.

Comment: He came close to recording a couple of sacks in the season opener. His interception return for a touchdown last weekend was huge.

8. Maurice Hurt (16) Position: Offensive line
Season Totals: The same as Gilbert above. UF has allowed but one sack this year and the running game is starting to come along.

Comment: Hurt just might be the most pleasant surprise on the team two games into the season. He's playing out of place at tackle, but has done a very good job out there on the edge.

9. Mike Pouncey (15) Position: Center
Season Totals: His multiple bad snaps in the season opener are the main blemish on his record.

Comment: If this vote were based solely on the last game, he would likely be in the top two or three. The bad snaps against Miami of Ohio dropped him this far down.

10. Jon Bostic (14) Position: Linebacker
Season Totals: Second on the team with 11 tackles (5 solo). 1 interception.

Comment: He dropped off a little bit in week two after playing so well in the season opener.

11. John Brantley (12) Position: Quarterback
Season Totals: 35-of-56 (62.5%) for 285-yards with 4 touchdowns & 0 interceptions. 5 rushes for -25 yards rushing.

Comment: If you would have been told before the start of the season that Brantley would be this low, you would have guessed it was because the Florida offense was struggling. You would be right. He has been a steady at best, inconsistent at worst. It is as though he has been playing it safe.

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: cornerback Jeremy Brown, running back Mike Gillislee, receiver Deonte Thompson, safety Josh Evans and linebacker Jelani Jenkins

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