Gators expect improvement on defense to be evident vs. Georgia
Florida had a two touchdown lead over arch-rival Georgia, but its struggling defense allowed the Bulldogs to rally for a 24-20 victory over the Gators last season.
With an SEC title on the line this weekend, the Gators believe their much-improved defense could be the difference in Saturday's game - particularly its secondary - which will have its work cut out against Georgia QB Aaron Murray.
"The secondary's improved, like every other position group,'' LB Jon Bostic said. "It's their second year in the devense, so they're more comfortable because they have a lot of checks, they have a lot of reads they they have to make before the play. Their job is just as hard as the linebackers and the D-line. It's the same thing. We've got a complicated defense. With them being able to be in this defense against for another year, it really helps them out."
One of the biggest additions to the secondary is sophomore Loucheiz Purifoy, who had been a bright spot for the Gators. It was Purifoy who forced the fumble on South Carolina QB Connor Shaw on the opening play of the game last weekend.
"He just has a knack for the ball," DB Jaylen Watkins said. "Even if it's not interceptions, he gets the ball out. He's like that in practice. The receivers hate him, the running backs hate him, because if they're running and slowing down and they've got the ball here, he's knocking it out. That was nothing new to us when he knocked the ball away from the quarterback."
The Gators say they are highly motivated to play the Bulldogs again because of the way they lost last season. Asked what he remembered about the game, DT Dominique Easley said: "We lost. We got our butts kicked, and it still hurts."