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3 posts from September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013

Going streaking

Florida's 26-game winning streak over Kentucky is the longest active streak in the nation over an annual opponent.  

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 4.44.16 PM

Florida walloped the Wildcats 38-0 in Gainesville last season, which explains comments like these from two UF seniors.

OL Kyle Koehne

"You know it's just like every week we're going to prepare for the best and pretend like we're playing the best."

Pretend?

"Uh, we are playing the best. Sorry."

DL Dominique Easley

"How many times we beat them? It's just a game."

********** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE **********

Perhaps the shoe is actually on the other foot. 

This from kentuckysportsradio.com

"Za’Darius [Smith] is geeking over his first SEC game. The caliber of a program like Florida might intimidate most, but this is Za’Darius, “It’s an OK team, I’m not just going to say (that) they’re all that. Hey, it’s the SEC.” When asked if they looked bigger/faster/stronger on tape than he expected, he said, “No they didn’t, they actually looked smaller than people we already played.”

If that doesn’t pump up the D, a 26 game losing streak might. Avery said the coaches and players have mentioned it, using the streak as a “chip on our shoulder”. Avery has faith in his guys, “I think it’s a very beatable game- I know it is. You have to go in with that attitude and come out with a win.” The night game atmosphere at Commonwealth will be more than enough to get the juices flowing.

After reading those last two paragraphs, check your pulse. Yeah, I’m ready for gameday too."

Discuss away. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Back with a vengeance

Gators strong-side linebacker (or BUCK, defensive end, Joker, etc.) Ronald Powell has wreaked havoc early in 2013 after missing all of last season with multiple ACL injuries. 

While Florida's overall sack numbers remain low, the Gators' -- ranked No. 1 in the SEC in passing, rushing, total and scoring defense -- pressure on the quarterback has steadily improved from a year ago.

Powell's return is a major reason why. 

The redshirt junior tops No. 20 Florida in sacks (2.0), tackles for loss (4.0) and quarterback hurries (5). 

On Tuesday, Powell dished on a number of topics including his pass-rushing partner (Dante Fowler Jr.), Dominique Easley's pre-snap barrel roll, defensive line coach Brad Lawing's teachings and more. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Q&A: Jaylen Watkins

Senior defensive back Jaylen Watkins became Florida's starting safety after redshirt freshman Marcus Maye was benched following a subpar performance in the loss to Miami. 

Watkins, traditionally a cornerback with 21 career starts at the position, led the Gators in tackles (7) in their 31-17 win over Tennessee last weekend. The senior also tallied a pass breakup. 

Watkins dished on Florida's victory, his former roommate -- who just happens to be UF's new starting quarterback, Dante Fowler Jr. and more. 

On Florida’s defense striving for perfection…

“We try our best to play a perfect game, so like towards the end of the game we probably had a few mental errors, but other than that I think we played really good, and got what we wanted. We aimed for three turnovers, but we got six. So overall, we played good. But it's just the little things that we've got to clean up.”

On the secondary battling despite so many injuries…

“It just shows how much depth we have and how we can count on each other to step up when somebody else goes down. Vernon's [Hargreaves] has been playing great and when Loucheiz [Purifoy] went out and I go back to corner, we have guys behind me that can play at safety. So it's not an issue for us when someone goes down.”

On the six takeaways… 

“We had to get a lot of turnovers. We needed to win the game for the offense. And that’s something we knew we had to do this week to win this game. And when Jeff [Driskel] went down, we knew we had to pick up some slack on defense and give the ball back to the offense.”

On Tyler Murphy…

“Tyler’s my roommate on campus, so I’ve witnessed him put in work consistently. You know, he went from being a third-string quarterback. He always prepared like his chance was going to come. So that’s why I’m not surprised when everybody – we seen him produce in practice. When Jeff was out in camp, he had a good camp. So when he went in the game, nobody was scared, and nobody was shocked at what he was doing.”

More on Murphy… 

“Tyler is a very optimistic about everything. I never witness about him getting down about playing time. He was always sure his time was going to come to showcase what he had. … He’ll embrace it. This is the opportunity he’s been looking for for four years. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t embrace this moment, playing at Kentucky and trying to get another win. He’s starting his journey now.”

On Dante Fowler’s performance against the Vols…

“Dante was disappointed in his game last week. From that first play, that fumble he caused, he was angry about his play last week. That was a great way to respond, causing two fumbles this week.”

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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