GAINESVILLE -- For the second time in as many weeks, No. 22 Florida’s deep and talented secondary will square off against a group of NFL-caliber receivers.
Last weekend, LSU wideouts Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. showcased well in limited chances versus UF’s cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and Vernon Hargreaves III, but No. 14 Missouri’s trio of wideouts -- Dorial Green-Beckham, L’Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas -- present a different challenge this Saturday in Columbia: Size.
“I think the first thing you look at is their stature. They're long guys. They're big guys. They run well. You know it's kind of like they've got a prototype they recruit to,” UF defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “Their staff has done a great job. They've been there a while together, so you know, they recruit to what they do, their system. Those guys are all rangy guys. They can run. They're obviously a tough matchup for anyone."
Green-Beckham, the top-rated recruit in the country two years ago, is the biggest of the bunch at 6-foot-6, 220-pounds. The sophomore is second on the Tigers in yards (399), receptions (27) and touchdowns (4) and a deadly target in the red zone.
Washington -- a 6-foot-5 playmaking senior with lightening speed -- is tied with Landry for the most touchdowns (7) in the SEC, while Lucas (6'5") leads the Tigers in receptions (30).
In all, it’s another tall task for Florida’s secondary -- even despite facing an inexperienced quarterback, redshirt freshman Maty Mauk.
“It’s nothing we haven’t gone against,” safety Cody Riggs said. “I remember Kentucky my sophomore year, even this year, all the Kentucky receivers are pretty big. It’s nothing we’re not used to. We’ve gone against big receivers before.”
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