SEC: 2013 Tigers good example for Gators

Auburn defensive lineman Gabe Wright speaks during SEC media days on Monday in Hoover, Ala.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 at 4:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 14, 2014 at 4:52 p.m.

HOOVER, Ala. — As the Florida Gators look to bounce back from their 4-8 season, there's not a better example for them to look at than the Auburn Tigers.

After going 3-9 in 2012 and having their whole coaching staff fired, they had an improbable turnaround last year with an SEC title and appearance in the national championship game.

While Florida will have a hard time matching those results in 2014, the Auburn players at SEC Media Days think the Gators can be an improved football team.

“I don't think it will be hard for them at all,” Tigers tight end C.J. Uzomah said. “Losing is always tough to swallow, and you don't want that feeling ever again. I'm sure they're preparing like they're not going to lose a game. That's what we did. We prepared vigorously and got after it every practice wanting to get better. I'm sure they're going to do that.”

Added defensive lineman Gabe Wright, “If they're true athletes and they really love the game, use that motivation as fire. Being at your lowest is bad at the moment, but once you're low you can't do anything but go up. I would just hope the coaches install confidence in the players and vice versa. It made playing the game a lot easier for us.”

UF coach Will Muschamp has said his offensive players lost confidence during the seven-game losing streak, which affected the entire team and ultimately factored into his decision to fire offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Auburn center Reese Dismukes said the Tigers' coaching change after 2012 made a difference for them last year, and he thinks it can do the same for Florida this season.

“You just got to believe in your coaches,” Dismukes said. “For us, it was nice getting a whole fresh new set of coaches with different beliefs. It was kind of a fresh start all over again. 'It's a new day' was our message and the team bought into that. That really helped.”

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