GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jim McElwain’s reflexive answer when asked about Florida’s mounting injury issues is to say that the loss of primary players simply means an opportunity for other guys to make their mark.

That was story of the Gators’ 20-7 win over South Carolina last Saturday as they put together a solid all-around performance despite finishing the game down nine — yes, nine — starters.

That’s also backed up by Pro Football Focus‘ detailed analysis from the game. As it has all season, PFF shared its grades and data for the Gators with SEC Country, providing some deeper insight into the top performances and players from that win.

Several of whom were playing larger roles due to the injury losses.

Overall, Florida had six defensive players grade out exceptionally well, as linebacker David Reese (82.9), safeties Marcell Harris (82.5) and Nick Washington (82.5), linebacker Kylan Johnson (80.3), nose tackle Joey Ivie (80.2) and defensive tackle Taven Bryan (79.1) led the way.

The PFF analysts grade every player on their responsibilities and execution on each snap and convert that to an overall 1-100 grade.

With veteran linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone sidelined, Reese (a true freshman) and Johnson (a redshirt freshman) made their first starts — and made the most of their first starts. Reese had a game-high 11 tackles and a half tackle for loss while Johnson racked up 7 tackles and a TFL.

Meanwhile, with star safety Marcus Maye forced out with a broken arm, Harris and Washington each ended up playing their most snaps in a game all season. They combined to allow only 1 catch for 6 yards on 7 targets, including Harris’ interception.

Overall, the defense generated 23 total quarterback pressures on South Carolina’s Jake Bentley, including 5 sacks — led by 2 from Ivie.

PFF has Caleb Brantley

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