The Gators defense hasn’t had the same bite in recent weeks that they have become known for in the Will Muschamp era. The loss to Georgia Southern saw Florida relinquish 429 rushing yards to the Eagles triple option attack, the fourth most rushing yards ever surrendered by Florida.
Florida gets a more traditional offense this week in Florida State but they won’t get a reprieve when the Seminoles bring Jameis Winston and their offensive attack that averages 55 points a game into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin met with the media on the Tuesday before Turkey Day to talk about what the Gators can do to stop or slow down the high-flying Seminole offense and what happened to his defense against Georgia Southern.
Eagles soar in The Swamp
- All week leading up to the game there was a lot made of the Eagles’ triple option offense. It proved to be not only dangerous but potent against Florida.
They’re going to do things over and over again. They have good answers for what you do; it’s built into their system. If you don’t consistently do your job and fit the right way they’re going to crease you on it. That’s what they were able to do a couple of times and that’s what hurt us.”
- That, in a nutshell is the problem with the Gators this season, consistency.
I don’t think there’s any one thing you point at, it’s a combination of a lot of things. You know, overall, probably the story of a lot of the season, we didn’t perform consistently enough and when you play that type of offense that’s what they do.”
- Durkin said consistency and execution were the main reasons that Florida wasn’t able to stop Georgia Southern.
- Durkin wouldn’t blame Florida’s offense for the loss on Saturday saying,
My whole focus is on the defensive side of the ball and control what we can control. There’s a long list of things we could have done better on our side of the ball in that game and that’s what I focus on with our guys and what we’ll continue to work on and get better.”
Stopping Florida State
- The aforementioned Seminole offense has been a sight to behold this season. Unlike last week, the Noles will bring a very balanced attack to Gainesville and the Gators can’t key in on just one area.
Yeah, I mean, they’re really good. The numbers speak for themselves. They’ve been putting up big points in every game. There really haven’t been many games that were close. They do a good job of attacking both ways. Really through the air, with the quarterback, they’ve done a great job making throws down the field and they’ve got talented guys out there that are tough match-ups one-on-one and they run the ball very effectively. They’re a balanced attack.”
- Florida State has a trio of talented receivers and running backs but Nick O’Leary is a tight end that Florida needs to keep an eye on every down. O’Leary is a receiving threat in the mold that Jordan Reed was a season ago and he will be a mismatch for Florida’s depleted linebacker corp.
- Embroiled in rape accusations, it appears that Winston will be available to play this week and the legal system sifts through year old evidence and allegations.
- Winston is the current frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy and has emerged as one of the most talented players in the country.
Yeah, as strong as I’ve seen on tape. He can make all the throws and he does make all the throws. He’s got great confidence in his arm and you can understand why. It’ll be our biggest challenge of the year.”
- Most teams have played not to get blown out by FSU and played off-coverage. That’s not the style of defense that the Gators play and it won’t be the style of play that they show Winston this week.
Our guys, we feel strongly about our guys we have out there covering. They’re up for the challenge and they want to go play some man and compete too. They’re gonna have that chance to do it. “