A pair of Florida Gators football players met with the media on Monday afternoon during the team’s weekly media day. Below is what sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel and redshirt senior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. had to say.
OFFENSE RECOGNIZES DEFENSE’S EFFORTS
It is no secret that Florida’s defense was outstanding on Saturday despite giving up 17 points including a late touchdown that gave Georgia its biggest lead of the game. The Bulldogs had short fields on numerous occasions but were picked off thrice and held from extending their lead for most of the game. Suffice to say, the offense took notice.
“They were put in some tough spots,” said Driskel, whose four turnovers put the defense in a compromising position three times. “We put them in some spots where their backs were against the ball and they still stepped up and got some huge turnovers and some huge stops. They’ve been playing like that all season long. That’s a great defense, and we just got to give them a chance.”
The Gators are still fourth in scoring defense and sixth in total defense through eight games. Florida ranks behind Alabama (undefeated), Notre Dame (undefeated) and Florida State (one loss) in the former category and is holding opponents to just 12.75 points per game despite already having faced four ranked opponents.
“Our defense did a good job,” added Hammond, who concurred with Driskel. “We put them in bad spots. We turned the ball over and put them already in the red zone in field goal range. It’s just limiting the turnovers. At the end of the day, if we don’t turn the ball over and flip the field and punt it, defense is on the other side of the field and that’s definitely a better situation for them.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Driskel on if the season is a failure should the team not advance to Atlanta, GA: “That was the goal since the beginning, let’s get to the SEC Championship game. That’s still not out of reach. We got to control what we can control and win our remaining games and play well the rest of the year and just do what we can do. We can’t worry about what’s going on with other teams. We just got to focus on Florida.”
» Driskel on Florida’s offense lacking vertical plays: “We haven’t hit too many deep plays, but we’re going to have to. We’ve been working on it. We took a couple shots, we just didn’t hit them.”
» Hammond on Driskel’s missed deep throw: “He just overthrew me and it went out of bounds. He probably could have just laid it up a little more so I could run up under it. It was just a bad throw that kind of went out of bounds. I had a step on the guy, so if he would have just laid it up a little bit more, maybe I could have ran up under it, but it kind of floated out of bounds.”
» Driskel on recovering from a big loss: “We’re going to have to bounce back. That’s a big loss. Obviously we were disappointed, our fans were disappointed. You have to go back to work. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters – the game in front of you. […] You’re going to be disappointed, especially with what was at stake in last weekend’s game. You can’t dwell on it too much, just because there’s a lot of football left to go. You have to press on and you have to be positive for the upcoming week because we do have another challenging SEC opponent.”