Purifoy's patience rewarded with interception
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 11:47 p.m.
It was a good weekend for Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy.
The junior returned his first career interception 42 yards for a pick-six in UF's 30-10 win over Arkansas, and, as a result, on Sunday was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.
He's the first Florida defender to receive the honor since 2004.
Purifoy also came up with his first sack, forced fumble, pass breakup and quarterback hurry of the season against the Razorbacks. He finished with four tackles as well.
Prior to the game, Purifoy's impact this season had not been what it was in 2012. UF coach Will Muschamp didn't attribute his lack of production to poor performance.
“He's played pretty good,” Muschamp said. “We seem to all say he's not playing good, but he hasn't had a lot of balls thrown his way this year. So a little bit of that is how many opportunities have you had.”
The Hogs gave Purifoy several opportunities Saturday night, and he made them pay.
Facing third-and-6 with a 7-3 lead in the second quarter, Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen was hoping to hit receiver Keon Hatcher in the right flat for a first down. But Purifoy read the route, made the interception and took it to the house.
“They always say big players come out when the lights go on,” Purifoy said. “He just ran a whip route, so with the coverage we were in, I got inside hips so I could stay outside of him. I just stayed outside and I jumped it. He still threw it, so I just made a play.”
Muschamp has been waiting for that play from Purifoy, and it came at an opportune time for his team.
“I've seen that play a lot,” Muschamp said. “I haven't seen him finish that play. I've seen him be in that position and he bats it down sometimes. To finish on that play, to create some momentum to get that crowd going — the top came off the place when that happened.
“I thought it was good pressure on the play. It was very good coverage. We were in a man-match situation and the kids really, really executed well. He was there to make the pick.”
It took Purifoy 30 collegiate games to record an interception.
“That's part of the game — wait your turn,” Purifoy said. “It's been kind of frustrating, but you have to take it as it comes. It came tonight.”