Quarterback Tyler Murphy and defensive back Jaylen Watkins talked to the media about Florida’s 23-20 loss to Georgia last Saturday in Jacksonville. It was the third straight loss to the Bulldogs, the first time that’s happened since 1987 -89. The Gators are 18-6 against Georgia since 1990.
Disappointment stemming from the Georgia game
- Murphy said it was frustrating to have to sit on the bench for the last eight minutes of the contest while Georgia drove the ball down the field to ice the game. He said it was a heartbreaking way to lose.
“The way we started the game was not how we wanted to start,” Watkins said. “We dug ourselves a hole and then the last drive, we had them stopped and had a few penalties that kind of hurt us that we could’ve controlled and got our offense back the ball with a decent amount of time on the clock.”
On fan reaction to the three game losing streak
- Murphy says he isn’t 100% sure but from the fans that he’s talked to all he’s heard is encouraging things. He hopes fans will come support this team Saturday for their homecoming game against Vanderbilt but says they can’t focus on outside influences. They have to stay focused around the Commodores.
- Watkins says he doesn’t pay much attention to it. He loves fan support but knows this team has to worry about themselves and keeping each other up as teammates.
On fighting to be bowl eligible
- Florida’s current situation reminds Watkins of 2011, when the Gators were in a similar situation. He’s worried about the younger guys that weren’t around the team then and how they’re handling the battle for a bowl game. Right now bowl eligibility is this team’s main goal.
“We’re definitely trying to make a bowl,” Murphy said. “That’s definitely a goal, we want to make a bowl. But we’re really focused on just beating Vanderbilt. You take things one game at a time. We’re kind of in a hole right now, so we’re just looking to keep fighting and find our way out.”
Looking forward to Vanderbilt
- Vanderbilt always seems to play Florida hard, no matter what the Commodores record is. Watkins commented on their talent at wide receiver and knows they have uncertainty at quarterback.
“I wouldn’t say that would boost our confidence of playing a team that we’ve beat 22 years in a row just because we’re not the same team as those other 22 teams,” Murphy said. “They beat Georgia. We didn’t beat Georgia and they’re off a bye week so they have an extra week to prepare for us and get healthy, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”