With the Florida Gators again struggling on the road and losing their fifth game of the season, a number of players were made available to the media early in the week to discuss preparations heading into Saturday’s game against the Furman Paladins.
NOT OVERLOOKING FURMAN
Florida may have an “easier” opponent this week when they take on Furman at home but that does not mean the team is preparing any differently for the game. Three Gators spoke specifically about the Paladins early in the week and echoed similar sentiments to those provided by head coach Will Muschamp on Monday.
Junior linebacker Jon Bostic: “A win is a win. We’re going to go out with the same intensity we go out with any other team. It’s another chance to go out and play in our stadium.”
Junior safety Josh Evans: “Like coach said, we’re treating this like a regular team we play. We’re not down or anything like that. We’re coming in with the same momentum that we would come in for any other team. We’re treating it just as if it’s Florida State. It’s still a football game.”
Redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed: “Just like any other game. That’s how we treat all the games this season. We’re going to work hard in practice and try to come out with a win.”
STEPPING UP ON DEFENSE
The 2011 season has been a coming out party for Bostic, who leads Florida in tackles (77), has registered six for a total loss of 42 yards, created a forced fumble and notched three sacks all in 10 games. Though he is playing better than he has in his Gators career, Bostic is not completely satisfied and knows he can continue to improve.
“I’m making improvements every day but there’s still a lot of stuff I can go out and work on every day,” he said. “We look at the film and look at the positives, but we also look at the negatives too on what we can get better on.”
Evans, on the other hand, has been trying to find his groove this year. He explained Tuesday a hamstring he injured in training camp has bothered him for much of the season. Now that it is feeling good and he is healthy, he is ready to continue playing at a high level like he did Saturday when he registered 11 solo tackles.
“I kind of started off the season kind of slow dealing with some injuries from camp,” Evans said. “It took me a minute to get back on pace but now I’m trying to play the role that everyone wants me to play.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]» Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley on his ankle injury: “It hasn’t gotten any worse whatsoever. It keeps getting better every day and each week.”
» Brantley on bowl practices benefiting the younger players: “That’s huge. To be able to have that for the young guys practicing into January, that’s huge for them. I was a Gator before I came here, and I’m going to be a Gator when I leave. I want to be able to see the program just keep getting better and watch these guys be successful here.”
» Brantley on redshirt freshman wide receiver Quinton Dunbar: “Once we went back and watched the film from Saturday, we thought Quinton played as hard as anybody else really. He didn’t have any stats or anything but to see him blocking down field on a lot of plays, finishing the plays, he did a great job this past Saturday even though it didn’t show with him on the stats.”
» Reed on transitioning to tight end: “Definitely I got more comfortable playing tight end. I’m more comfortable in my role. […] Running after the catch is kind of hard and difficult. It’s different than QB, when you see everything in front of you. When you catch the ball receiving, you have your back to the defense. It’s harder that way to run.”
» Reed on freshman TE A.C. Leonard: “He’s doing good. He’s getting better every day. His role is going to increase for the offense.”
» Evans on losing freshman cornerback Marcus Roberson: “I’d say he was playing pretty well for a freshman. Not too many guys come in and do the things that he did. He was playing pretty good.”[/EXPAND]