Gator defense under pressure to improve, set tone
With the battle between two inexperienced sophomore quarterbacks still ongoing, and the implementation of a new offense, Florida's defensive players said they understand it's up to the defensive unit to be the backbone of the team, particularly early in the season.
Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said the goal of the defense following last season was to vastly improve in several key areas, and he's eager to see how well the defense plays on Saturday.
"We want to start fast,'' Quinn said. "It's been that way for the whole offseason. Some of the things going into the offseason that we really wanted to improve on: we want to be a better tackling team; we worked hard at it. We certainly emphasized taking the ball away; we want to see some improvement in that area. and we talked about affecting the quarterback. three areas we really set our jaw on and said these are three areas we really want to improve. I'm anxious now that the season's here to see and evaluate that, too."
Senior LB Lerentee McCray said the defense understands the pressure to play well while the offense adjusts to a new system and personnel, but said he's not concerned at all that the offense will struggle. In fact, he's confident that unit will be fine.