Purifoy makes play of game for UF
Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.
Florida teammates Loucheiz Purifoy and Sharrif Floyd have a friendly competition in practice that carries over into games.
Both starting defensive players are trying to lead the team in blocked kicks this season.
“I was getting kind of frustrated (Saturday),” Purifoy said. “Me and him were almost hitting each other every single time, going for the block.”
But Purifoy came through when it counted most Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. His partial block of Brett Baer’s punt with 13 seconds left led to the game-winning TD in UF’s miraculous 27-20 comeback win over the Ragin’ Cajuns. Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins returned the tipped punt 36 yards for a TD.
It was Purifoy’s second blocked kick of the season and second in two weeks. Last week, Purifoy blocked a 25-yard Missouri field goal attempt in the third quarter, a key play in UF’s 14-7 win over the Tigers.
“That’s a good job on his part,” said Floyd, who blocked a field goal earlier this season against Vanderbilt. “Me and him are competing to see who can get the most, that’s just something we like to do. Every time a field goal comes that’s what we do, we compete to see who gets it first.”
Advantage Purifoy 2-1, though Floyd forced a fumble earlier in the game.
“I still have time to catch him,” Floyd said.
On the blocked punt, Purifoy said he made an inside move against Louisiana’s personal punt protector.
“I made the right move and he bit for it, and I stuck my hand out and got the ball on it,” Purifoy said.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said Purifoy has a knack for blocking punts and kicks in practice and praised his ball skills and overall playmaking ability. The 6-foot-1 sophomore cornerback also has lined up several times at wide receiver this season.
“We always try to put him in situations where he can block the kick,” Muschamp said.
Purifoy summed up his ability to block kicks more succinctly.
“You have to have the heart and determination to get there,” Purifoy said. “That’s what it is, heart and determination.”
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