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.”