Florida Gators outside linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. answers five questions

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports

Brenton Cox Jr. has experienced both sides of the Florida-Georgia rivalry

He played as a freshman for the Bulldogs in their 2018 win against UF, and then started for the Gators in last year's 44-28 victory over UGA. 

Does this game mean something a little extra to you? 

A: Oh yeah, obviously it does, just going against my old teammates, my old friends. It means a lot just to show them how much I improved over the years and just show what I can do out there. Just playing against somebody that you know, that you’ve been knowing for years, it’s just always fun just to go out there and prove to them, just a little competition. That’s all. No more, nothing less.

Florida linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. attacks during the Gators' game against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

What was this game like for you last season?

A: It was intense. We ended up winning, but it was definitely intense. Going against Jamaree Salyer, that's one of my childhood friends growing up. We played park ball together, so that's always a good matchup for me and him. … Personally, I played both sides, so I know how both sides feel and not many can say that. That’s one of my biggest takeaways from just playing the Georgia game. I know how it feels to come in through the other side in all red, and now I come in blue, so it’s a good feeling. Good and bad.

Abolverdi's Analysis: Gators will play UGA close, run out of gas

You know the UGA defense well, is it as good as advertised? 

A: Most definitely. They're definitely as good as advertised. I think our biggest thing is we’ve just got to come in and start fast, not have many slip-ups. You can’t slip up against the No. 1 team, because they take advantage of everything. But from me knowing those guys, they’re good, hard-nosed players.

Your breakdown of Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett IV?

A: He’s pretty fast running out of the pocket, making guys miss. He’s pretty good at that. Definitely gives you problems running. Fast guy, really fast guy. I remember going against him on the scout team and I just couldn't catch him. But as long as we keep him in the pocket we should be good.

What would it mean to end UGA’s run at No. 1? 

A: To be the team to knock them off their pedestal, I mean, I wish the best for them, but we’re all competitors and we all want to win. So that’s my side of it. I know I want to win. We know what we’ve got to do. We know it’s a big game coming up, No. 1 team in the country. Everybody’s focused on their craft.