Talkative Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson wasted no time Monday providing the Kentucky Wildcats with some bulletin board material for the week.
Gardner-Johnson had a quick response when he was asked about the Gators’ long winning streak against the Wildcats.
“It’s 31, right?” he said. “It’ll be 32 after Saturday.”
He then went on to elaborate on his prediction of a UF win Saturday night.
“They’ve got some good players,” Gardner-Johnson said. “They’re disciplined. They play us hard every year. They’re coming in with a chip on their shoulder that they can beat us.
“It’s in The Swamp. Our team is capable, and we know what’s going to happen Saturday. We’ve just got to go out there and play, execute our game plan and just do what we’ve got to do.”
It’s safe to say the Wildcats will be seeing Gardner-Johnson’s comments throughout the week.
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Reese might return
Starting middle linebacker David Reese missed the opener with an injured ankle and his status for Saturday’s game against Kentucky will be evaluated later in the week, UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.
“We were hoping he would be back this week, so I have to get with our training staff on him,” Mullen said. “I don’t think he’s going to practice early in the week. Hopefully, at the end of the week he can be ready to go.”
Cornerback C.J. McWilliams (unspecified) is expected to return this week after sitting out the opener, while safety Shawn Davis (unspecified) is out for the second straight week. Freshman wide receiver Jacob Copeland (knee) remains out. Mullen said he should be back in a week or two.
Starting defensive tackle T.J. Slaton left Saturday’s game with a shoulder stinger, but returned and is good to go this week, Mullen said.
Safety sack leader
In Todd Grantham’s attacking defense, the safeties have numerous opportunities to blitz. Is it conceivable that the Gators could be led in sacks this season by a defensive back?
Through one game, the sack leader is Gardner-Johnson, who had two against Charleston Southern, including one on the Bucs’ first offensive play.
“If it happens, it happens,” Gardner-Johnson said. “I’m just playing the 11 games we’ve got left. I’ve got a great bunch of guys around me on the d-line. I feel like guys are going to catch me sooner or later.
“I’ve only got two. But that’s more than I’ve ever had playing football. Hopefully, I get more. Hopefully, there’s more to come and Coach Grantham keeps calling them.
Tale of the QB tape
After watching the tape of Saturday’s opener, Mullen gave high marks to starting quarterback Feleipe Franks and backup Kyle Trask.
Franks threw five touchdowns passes in the first half.
“Overall, I thought he threw the ball well,” Mullen said. “His decision-making, there were a couple here and there. He made one wrong read and a couple I wouldn’t say bad decisions. He could have done something different, but I wouldn’t put it in the bad column. Overall, I thought he made very good decisions throwing the ball.”
Trask started the second half and scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter. He completed all three of his pass attempts for 22 yards.
“I thought he did really well,” Mullen said. “I would have liked to have got him some more reps. I wanted to give everybody the opportunity to get in the game.
“When Kyle was in there I thought he did a great job. The first play the ball gets launched over his head and he gets us back into field goal range. He ends up scoring a touchdown on another drive. I thought he did a really good job.”