Notebook: Time to make statement after drop in poll, Florida players say

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Florida defensive back Trey Dean III (21) and lineman Kyree Campbell (55) say the Gators have things to prove this weekend.. [Matt Pendleton/Correspondent]

 Florida won another game and dropped another spot in the polls. The Gators say it’s a sign of disrespect.

 “Most definitely,” sophomore defensive back Trey Dean said. “A lot of people think that we haven’t played anybody. Every week our ranking goes up and down, they don’t think we’re capable to be a top-10 team, so we’re just going to have to show them.”

 They definitely will have their chance against No. 7 Auburn on Saturday in The Swamp.

 “Well, of course we want to get the win,” Dean said. “But being able to blow them out, that would be great to make a statement.”

 This is the second time this season the Gators have dropped in the polls after a win.

 “I really don’t care what ESPN has to say, honestly. I keep it 100 (percent),” junior defensive tackle Kyree Campbell said. “They dropped us, oh, well. They don’t respect us, oh, well. We’ll get it. You’ll see.

 “Hell, yeah, (we use it as motivation). Honestly, from practice today, I can see how our guys, defensively we’re attacking, tackling. It’s going to be a. … yeah, you feel me, it’s big-boy ball.”

No Franks, no TDs

 Since starting quarterback Feleipe Franks went down with a season-ending dislocated ankle in the third quarter of the Kentucky game, the Florida defense has not allowed a touchdown.

 “I didn’t realize it like that,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “It’s always important you work the game. And what I mean is there’s always things people put in that are kind of new so as those things come up throughout the game you have to work the sidelines to say, ‘Here’s how we need to play, maybe here’s the calls we need to play.’ And kind of adjust as you move forward.

 “I always call it working the game. I think that’s important. So I think our players have done a really good job of understanding the concepts that people are trying to present us, understanding here are the things we need to call and I’m going to call them, and going and executing the plan. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

 The Gators have given up only three points in the last nine quarters.

 “The guys have done a good job of being resilient, executing the plan, continuing to play,” Grantham said. “Sometimes it’s not as clean as we like, but guys continue to play and find ways to make plays. And play decent situationally and get off the field. They’ve done a good job with that.”

Still not satisfied

 Even though the defense has obviously been playing well and keeping teams out of the end zone, end Jon Greenard said the defensive players are motivated to play even better.

 “The crazy part is we look at the details and small parts and missed assignments because we’re really tough on ourselves,” he said. “Just the small, minor details are what we care about. The results will come once we clean those up, and that’s what we expect of ourselves.

 “We hold ourselves to a high standard, the school holds us to a high standard, the coaches hold us to a high standard. So, the small details, it’s not perfect, and that’s not what we want. For the defense as a whole and the team, we’ve got to step it up.”

One fresh leg

 Punter Tommy Townsend must have one of the most rested legs in the nation. He’s punted only once in each of the last two games and has had just seven punts on the season for a 43.9-yard average.

“Yeah, I’ve had a pretty light season so far, but I guess that’s a good thing because our offense is working,” he said. “They’re doing their jobs and doing it well, too. But we’ll see how it goes.” 

 Special teams, including the punting aspect, figure to play a big role in Saturday’s game against Auburn.

 “I think special teams are going to be very critical as is in any game,” Townsend said. “Coach Mullen says you have to win two of the three phases in football. He always puts a huge emphasis on it and it’s going to be critical going into this one.”

7 COMMENTS

    • Respectfully disagree, tho I get your point and it’s hard to argue with — if you only watch college football for the sake of 4 teams you may otherwise not be terribly interested in. There about 125 other teams competing for the recognition of rankings and bowl games, possibly your favorite team, and plenty of programs that use the ranking as yardsticks during rebuilding. Not irrelevant at all to thousands of fans.

    • Gulf Coast, I think the AP and Coaches polls matter to the extent that they influence the CFP voters, and even if the CFP voters claim they’re not influenced at all by those polls, I wouldn’t believe it. The beauty of the AP and Coaches polls is the fact that they are great fodder for conversation, and that’s why we’re all on here. The number of comments here is already painfully small, so any subject that might spur more posts, whether I agree with the opinions expressed or not, is fair game and welcome to me.

      I do wholeheartedly agree that, given the Gators’ schedule, all they have to do is win, and the respect will come. It’s nice to control your own destiny, and the Gators do, for now.

  1. That’s it Gulf Coast! Take care of business throughout October, beginning this Saturday, and all else will take care of itself. Nothing need be said.

    I just hope these Gators’ mouths aren’t writing checks their play on Saturday might not cash.

    GO GATORS!!!