Possibility UF's Jenkins may play


Florida's Jelani Jenkins walks off the field after a hamstring injury during the second half against LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.

Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said Wednesday he's hopeful starting outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins will be able to play in Saturday night's game at Vanderbilt.

Jenkins missed the Tennessee and Kentucky games with a fractured thumb. He played in the LSU game with a cast on his hand, but pulled his hamstring against the Tigers.

Jenkins is considered probable for Saturday's game. Cornerback Cody Riggs (fractured foot) and offensive tackle Matt Patchan (strained pectoral muscle) are out.

“We're pushing Jelani as hard as we can to get him ready to play,” Quinn said. “We certainly need him to, so we're kind of taking it day by day.”

UF's no-name defense

The Florida defense is emerging as possibly one of the best in the nation,

but one that does not have a lot of star power in terms of individual players. Quinn said that's a good thing.

“You'll hear me say to the guys, ‘I think the best player on our defense is our defense,' ” Quinn said. “We don't need one guy to feel like, ‘Man, if he doesn't do it, we're not going to make it.

“For me to say that we have a number of guys who we feel like can make plays on our defense, that's good.”

Quinn was asked if the defense had a player with a bad-boy edge to him.

“Yeah, I think we probably have more than one,” he said. “We certainly count on some energy from Dominique Easley. He's one that provides a lot of toughness and effort and finish and that kind of attitude for us.

“Lerentee McCray is certainly one of those guys. Matt Elam is one of those guys. Collectively, they're a close group. I think that carries into the meeting rooms and out onto the field, where they don't want to let one another down. That is as important as anything.”

Yellow flags no longer flying

Quinn said the Gators have been playing with much more discipline on the defensive line. The result is fewer penalties than earlier in the season.

“Yeah, we have cut down on that,” he said. “It's something where you get what you emphasize. It's been a big emphasis for us and we need to stay consistent in terms of the message.

“We have officials at practice who throw the flag. We try to create as much of game-like situations as we can to let them know you can't line up offsides, you can't jump or make illegal contact. So, it's been a big emphasis for us.”

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