GAINESVILLE -- Alabama's Mark Ingram might have become the first sophomore running back to win the Heisman Trophy, but UF defensive tackle Jaye Howard said on Saturday that Ingram is "no different than any other running back."
"We got [Jeff] Demps on our team and Mike Gillislee, so we go against good backs," said Howard, who had three tackles in UF's 48-14 victory against Kentucky on Saturday. "We're just going to try to bring it to [Ingram]."
Howard and the Gators' defense will get their chance next Saturday when UF travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a cross-division rivalry game of top 10 teams. No.1 Alabama came from behind to defeat Arkansas on Saturday. Ingram rushed for 113 yards on 28 carries with three touchdowns in Alabama's 32-13 victory against Florida in the 2009 Southeastern Conference championship game. It was an embarrassing performance for the Gators' defense, which allowed a total 251 rushing yards to the Crimson Tide.
"The D-line as a unit, we all let down the Gator Nation as a unit," Howard said. "We're going to go out there and give it our best next Saturday."
Howard is a key component of UF's 5-2 defense, which will likely be used against Alabama's potent rushing attack. The Gators five-linemen package features three defensive tackles but Howard actually lines up as an oversized defensive end. Howard said on Saturday that UF's defense used last season's loss to Alabama as motivation throughout the spring and summer.
"It was a nasty taste last year with the loss and this offseason was dedicated to beating Alabama," Howard said. "We're just going to go out there and let it all hang out.
"To me it's like the biggest game of the year. Whoever wins out of this game is set on a smooth sailing path."