The Florida Gators play one of the biggest games on their schedule when they head to Jacksonville to play their annual rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs. A quintet of players met with the media to talk about the big game, rehash the sting of a 36-17 loss against the Missouri Tigers and what they did during the bye week.
Did the Missouri game shock you?
- Florida BUCK end Dante Fowler said the Tigers were a balanced team that did a good job in the run game to gash the Florida front line. Fowler says the Tigers did what they had to do and the performance made watching film an uncomfortable experience.
- Defensive back Cody Riggs said it was shocking to struggle the way the Gators did. Lots of things happened that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. Riggs says they didn’t play well — the coaches put the team in a position to play well and the players didn’t execute.
On seeing Missouri lose to South Carolina
- Fowler said it feels like the Gators still have a chance, The Gators can still win the SEC East, but they have to win all their three conference games, which is the main focus now. Fowler says the Gators will keep fighting no matter what, and won’t get their heads down.
“It gave us a little hope,” Riggs said. “I went crazy. I was jumping around the house. I actually called Jaylen [Watkins]. I was like, ‘We’re back in it. We’re back. We still have a chance.’ So, thanks to South Carolina, but we have to handle our business first. A couple of things have to go right, but we still have hope.”
On Cody Riggs’ ejection for targeting
- Riggs said he was shocked at first but admitted after seeing the replay that he saw he launched and that the officials made the right call. After being ejected Riggs said he went to the locker room and watched the game on a laptop.
“I would rather them let somebody stay on the sideline and cheer the team on,” Riggs said. “That encouragement can be great for the team. I know if Brian [Poole] would have been able to stay on the sideline for the Tennessee game, we would have liked that.”
On the offensive line’s progression
- Quarterback Tyler Murphy says he isn’t sure how far they came in the bye week because they rotated so many guys in and out.
- Fullback Hunter Joyer echoed the same sentiments, but added that for the most part it was the same cast of characters he was used to seeing. He assumes the normal starting linemen will play Saturday.
On simplifying the offense
- Receiver Solomon Patton says it means the Gators will just get back to basics and it boils down to everyone doing their individual jobs.
- Murphy says it doesn’t seem like they changed anything up offensively in the bye week, and they’re doing what they’ve been successful with up until this point.
On Kelvin Taylor’s ability
- Joyer says Taylor’s quickness and vision have served him well. It allows him to see even small holes and hit them quickly.
“He’s shown that he can do a lot of good things with the ball in his hands, Murphy said. “The coaches and myself have to find ways to get him the ball so he can create big plays for us. We’re going to need some explosive plays and he’s shown that he has the ability to do that. We’re going to have to find ways to get him the ball and eventually he’s going to break.”