After Florida State knocked off the top-ranked Gators in 1996, Steve Spurrier accused the Seminoles of playing dirty and hitting the Gators after the whistle blew. Then head coach Bobby Bowden wouldn’t admit his team was dirty but did say they “hit until the echo of the whistle.”
With Arkansas coming in this weekend, there’s one Gator who may have flashbacks while watching film of the Razorbacks.
“They’re real physical.” defensive lineman Damien Jacobs said. “I think they’re a little chippy. They’re a little dirty. So we’re going to have to be ready for it all this week.”
Jacobs singled out Preseason All-SEC center Travis Swanson as the main culprit of playing through the echo of the whistle.
“I just see from film a lot of stuff after the play, especially with the center No. 64 [Swanson].” Jacobs said. “He’s a good athlete after the play. He makes you want to do something to him. We’re gonna have to try to keep our temper and keep cool on that.”
Swanson was on the pre-season Rimington Award Watch List and has started every single time at center for 43 consecutive games since 2010. He has also been a captain for the past two seasons and heads up an offensive line that’s paving the way for the SEC’s second best rushing offense with an eye-popping 237 yards-per-game.
Sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard has filled in at defensive tackle since Dominique Easley’s ACL injury but has yet to see game film of Swanson.
“Actually I haven’t watched him that much.” Bullard said of Swanson. “I usually don’t pay attention as much just to the inside, interior guys as I do. Now we watched a little bit yesterday but I haven’t really got a good feel of him yet.”
Bullard didn’t want to provide the Razorbacks with any bulletin board material and said he would rather let his actions on the field speak for themselves.
“You just play back. It’s the SEC.” Bullard said. “It’s going to be a difficult and tough game both ways. You just go out and talk with your pads.”
With the style of offense that both Arkansas and Florida play, this Saturday’s game looks like it will be a physical matchup. Expect the Hogs to come in with a chip on their shoulder and some added motivation after hearing Jacobs call them out. Just don’t expect to see the Gators responding with anything other than their pads.
On how he’d stop a player from being “chippy” or hitting him late, Jacob’s response was simple and to the point:
“Just hit him in the mouth, first. Just keep hitting him until he quit. That’s how we do it.”