Gators expect intense challenge from Monte Kiffin's Tennessee defense
Despite the fact that Tennessee returns just five full-time starters on defense from its 2008 team, former Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has the Vols playing stellar defense through its first two games.
Tennessee is reanked third nationally in total defense, third in pass defense and 20th in rushing defense.
Florida coach Urban Meyer said the key to the Gators' preparation this week will be figuring out the many looks Kiffin is expected to throw at the Gators. Meyer said it's a misconception that Kiffin's Vols' defense is exactly like the one the Bucs played under Kiffin.
"That’s not what they play - cover 2,'' Meyer said. "They are a fire-zone, blitzing group. The one thing about Tennessee’s defense is they were No. 3 a year ago. There is scheme involved, but it’s a personnel issue too. They are an excellent defensive football team. They were last year, they were the year before and they have very good players. But when you hear Tampa cover 2, in passing they’ll play that, but not to stop the run. What makes them difficult, the scheme we’re going to face this week is a lot of pressures, edge pressures that we have to be ready for.''
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said he's been studying Kiffin's defense, and considers it a challenge to face the Vols led by the well-respected coach.
"I’ve been watching him a lot,'' Tebow said. "Obviously he’s a great coach, he’s done a lot of amazing things in football period. His schemes have revolutionized football. He just does a great job. Everywhere he’s been he’s implemented great defenses, great schemes, he’s a great game-planner. So he’s someone that I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to play. I have a lot of respect for him and his ability to coach and scheme up things, he does a great job and I’m really looking forward to that challenge.''