Notebook: Gator defense out for redemption
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8:55 p.m.
LSU scored more points on Florida's defense than any other team in 2011. The Tigers trampled UF 41-11 at Death Valley and doubled the Gators in rushing, passing and total yards.
“You had to remind me,” Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said Wednesday.
How could that happen against a unit that finished the season ranked eighth nationally in total defense?
“To be honest with you, I thought they played better,” Quinn said. “In that style of game where they were able to run the ball and they got ahead, that's kind of where it stayed. We didn't do enough to change that. It was a game for us that when we go back, it's hard to watch.”
The hardest part was seeing LSU continuously move the chains on third down.
“When we didn't get the stops that we wanted to, especially on third down, against a team like this it's important,” Quinn said. “When a team keeps converting third downs on you, it's hard to win. I think that's just as important a story line in this game is winning on third down.
“Because this is a team that knows how to run. If they can possess the ball and continue to convert on third downs, it's a hard day. When you create some stops and have some series end and give the ball back (to the offense), that's when you got a chance.”
Quinn believes the Gators will have a better chance because their roster is deeper and the players have improved. UF redshirt senior defensive end Lerentee McCray said this Saturday won't be a rerun of last year.
“We just didn't really play well (in 2011),” McCray said. “They scored 41 points, so I guess everything just went wrong. That ain't gonna happen this year. If we come ready to play, they're not gonna do nothing.”
Florida's last two games against LSU have both featured trick plays from the Tigers. Their controversial fake field goal in 2010 led to the game-winning touchdown and a 44-yard run from LSU punter Brad Wing put UF in an early hole last year.
“I think through the history of their program, they've shown they're willing to take chances to win ball games,” Quinn said. “That's the style that they have and one that certainly they've earned by their success.”
On the SEC coaches' teleconference Wednesday, LSU coach Les Miles said running trick plays isn't something he enjoys doing even though they've worked so well in the past.
“To be honest with you, trying them a lot is not something I want to do, I promise you,” Miles said. “Many times we go into game weeks without a plan (to run those plays). It's kind of specific to each year.”
Muschamp said he hasn't done any special preparation this week for the Tigers' trick plays and that preventing them comes down to his players executing their assignments on special teams.
"We don't emphasize it any more than we do any other week,” Muschamp said. “It's just all about doing your job. We have people responsible for the punter and the fakes and every different call that we have. It's just about guys going out and executing."
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