- September 19, 2022 at 12:00 pm #21622
Billy Napier and select Florida players will meet with the media this morning.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:01 pm #21623
Florida only ran 48 plays in the game.
There is lot Florida can clean up, but he said they feel like they did some good things.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:02 pm #21624
Napier called the Vols a veteran, deep team (especially on defense)
- September 19, 2022 at 12:04 pm #21625
Napier said UF does a lot of things in practice with crowd noise, going back to doing it in the spring.
Florida can travel 70 players because it is an SEC road game.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:05 pm #21626
Florida will have to try to knock UT out of their rhythm on offense where they go hurry up almost all game.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:07 pm #21627
Napier said a point of emphasis yesterday was precision in the passing game.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:10 pm #21628
Napier said Richardson played a really good first half of football.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:11 pm #21629
Napier said that UF’s situation at quarterback (lack of depth) has something to do with the lack of Richardson runs. How teams are defending him also has kept him in the pocket.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:12 pm #21630
Napier was born in Tennessee and has a ton of family members who are Vol fans.
- September 19, 2022 at 12:15 pm #21631
He spoke about Kimber forgoing surgery because he knows Florida’s depth at corner isn’t great with Hill being out, and how big it was for him to get the pick-six.
- September 19, 2022 at 3:43 pm #21658
Transcript courtesy ASAP
BILLY NAPIER: It’s good to come in the building yesterday after a win. I was really proud of the team and how they responded throughout the game, through the ups and downs of the game.
We know anybody that watched the game, it wasn’t perfect, we made a lot of mistakes in the game, but also think it’s an opportunity for our team to show some character and to respond and handle adversity well, and we certainly did that.
I think, when we watch the tape, we see a lot of good, in particular on offense. I thought there was a lot of good. We improved certain parts of our team there. Defensively, I thought South Florida did a fantastic job, creating conflict, especially with the read game, gave us a lot of new stuff early in the game. And I think they’ve got a pretty good group of skill players there. The quarterback played well for them.
And then the kicking game, outside of the holding penalty, I think we can cover the kicks better. I think we can cover the punts better. I think that’s an area of our team where we need to continue to focus and improve. If you want to have a good football team, you’ve got to cover kicks, and you’ve got to have really good specialist play.
You think about the game, we got points off of turnovers. Our defense got take-aways. We forced field goals in the red area. Offensively we were really limited in the game. I think we actually ran only 48 offensive plays or something like that. So the play count was a little bit out of whack.
We had two possessions that were take a knee possessions, one at the end of the half, one at the end of the game.
So I think there’s a lot we can clean up on the tape, but I also think we did a lot of good things.
We turned the page here yesterday, probably halfway through the day, and started working on Tennessee. Tennessee has got a good football team. You can see where Coach Heupel and his staff have improved in their time there. A lot cleaner product in all three areas of their team on film. Much cleaner football — offense, defense, and special teams — maybe compared to last year.
This is a veteran team we’re playing against, starting with a quarterback on offense and a number of players on defense that have played a lot of football. They’re a deep team. They play a lot of players, especially on the defensive side. I do think they do a good job in the kicking game.
So got to go play at their place, very familiar with Knoxville and certainly the challenges that come with that. Good football team. It’s going to be a challenge, and we look forward and embrace that.
What questions do we have here?
Q. You had three games where you had a pretty nice routine, 7:00, 7:30 starts. What now are the challenges of going on the road with a young team and playing in the middle of the day?
BILLY NAPIER: I think it’s just a timeline on change. I don’t necessarily know. Friday evening will look a little bit different, and certainly Saturday morning will look a little bit different. But outside of that, we’ll keep everything intact.
You’re right, though, in terms of our expectations and how we do things, travel-wise, schedule-wise, it will be the first time with the group. So there will be some things that go with that.
But I do think our players are starting to understand what it looks like relative to preparing with this staff.
Q. What about playing in a hostile environment?
BILLY NAPIER: I think the veteran players on our team, I think will be comfortable with that. I was just having conversations yesterday with some of the guys that have played here, obviously have played here in the past in those times at Alabama. I think we understand what comes with that.
We do a ton of work, training camp in particular, we do a number of things with crowd noise. So we get out in front of that, anticipate that, knowing that that’s coming, and it’s not going away, right? We’re going to have to deal with it the rest of the way.
Q. You have to come up with a travel roster. Is that one of the harder things you have to do as a coach?
BILLY NAPIER: It is tough. You’ve got to get down to 70. We’re limited to 80 at home games. You get a chance to play 70 on the road there.
So I think where we’re at probably not as big of a deal. Down the road, you get into year two, three, four and you’ve got a little bit deeper team, that’s when it becomes a challenge.
Special teams depth, that’s ultimately the defining factor in those final 15 or so spots. But outside of that, it’s pretty simple.
Q. What’s the challenge — they like to run a play every 18 seconds. How do you slow them down offensively when you’re on defense? Secondly, does this make you get more deliberate with your own offense to kind of keep them off the field?
BILLY NAPIER: I think there will be some strategy when it comes to that, in terms of controlling the tempo of the game, and I do think that how you play offensively can ultimately influence how they play offense.
But I think you’re about right that. It’s about every 20 1/2 seconds or so they’re running a play. I know they want to do it in 18. That’s part of their philosophy. There’s some things that go with that.
I think the key is first and ten’s a big down when you play these teams, and certainly you’ve got to try to knock them out of their rhythm. It can become a problem for you when it turns into five, six, seven, eight-play drives. So it’s a momentum system, right? I think that you’ve got to do everything you can do to slow down that momentum. That starts with playing well on first down.
Q. What did the tape show you with the run defense?
BILLY NAPIER: Conflict, right? First, second, and third level being on the same page. And I think any time you run the quarterback in a lot of different ways — I’m talking eight, ten different variables there relative to involving the quarterback and the edge player, and I think a lot of it was new.
I will compliment the staff. I thought at halftime we went in the locker room and really cleaned it up. That’s part of — that’s one of the good things that I see. It’s like, okay, new concept. We’re able to understand that. Here’s the concept. Here’s the call. Here’s how we clean that up.
And we didn’t make the same mistake twice, which is good. We defended some of those plays better in the second half.
Q. What’s your assessment of the passing game for you all? Zero passing touchdowns through three games is kind of a surprising statistic.
BILLY NAPIER: We’ve been able to run it and haven’t gotten into many of those four-point plays where we’ve had to throw it.
I think that we need to improve in the throw game, and that’s one of the points of emphasis with the offensive players yesterday is precision in the throw game. I think settling into some lineups. Obviously figuring out what we do well, what can we do well, what’s the quarterback comfortable with, all those things that go into that.
When I say that, I’m talking about protection. I’m talking about detail and the steps and depths of the route, the aiming points, and the quarterback progression and decision-making. So all 11 players contribute, and I think we need to be more precise and more detailed in that part of our football team.
Q. Is that lack of precision just a new staff thing, different system?
BILLY NAPIER: Yes, first year in a new system, and certainly a first year quarterback in a new system too, to go along with skill players that are playing in a new system. I think we have protected the quarterback well to some degree. There have been a few handful of plays where we maybe can do it better, but we haven’t been sacked, and Anthony’s done a nice job making some plays with his legs when it has broken down.
So it’s an area of our team where we need to improve, there’s no question about that. You can tell that. The average fan can tell that. My wife can. She’s informed me of that. So we need to get better.
Q. What’s the key to keeping Anthony’s confidence going in the right direction? And what kind of pressure is this guy under? When you really get into all the outside expectations from games, the NFL buzz, all these things.
BILLY NAPIER: I think the key is that you have the right perspective. I think you’ve got to see things from the big picture here. We use the word journey to describe that, like you’ve got to play the long game here, realize — have a very technical way to teach and show what was done well, what was done — can be done better.
Then you’ve got to have a standard and kind of an expectation for yourself and our process that who cares what anybody else thinks. Like I’m so consumed with improvement and detail and my approach, my routine, how I get myself prepared.
There’s a lot of plays that maybe we had success on that we can do it better. I think we’ve got to evaluate things independent of the result, independent of the outside opinion, just what does the film say?
And I would tell you the guy played a really good first half of football. We ran 25 offensive plays, and he was spot on in the first half. The second half obviously is an area where we need to clean some things up.
We ask our quarterback to do a lot, and he’s managing it well, and he’s going to continue to get better.
Q. How can the receivers help him?
BILLY NAPIER: Just being precise. I think the attention to detail, there’s a lot that goes with that position as well in terms of learning a new system.
A receiver’s job is to get open and catch the ball, so get open and catch the ball.
Q. I think it was SEC Media Days where you said you need to let Anthony be Anthony, when you were talking about his mobility and things like that. Through three games, are you guys doing enough or calling enough plays? Do you think he’s using his mobility enough?
BILLY NAPIER: I think our situation at quarterback has something to do with that, if that makes sense, but I also believe the guy’s made some plays with his legs. The guy made two third down conversions in the game the other day, where it’s third and seven to ten, long, extra long, and he goes through his progression and then breaks the pocket and makes a play.
I think each game and each week is a little bit different relative to the concepts that are called, how the team’s defending you. I think teams are very aware that this guy can beat them with his feet. I think you maybe get different structure as a result of that.
But I’m with you. I think we do our best to use his skill set, and I think we’ll continue to grow in that area.
Q. Going back to the road, obviously, another first for Anthony, his first SEC road start. He’s played on the road in the SEC before, though. What are the challenges for him there just in terms of running the offense and dealing with that noise?
BILLY NAPIER: Just focusing on the things that he can control. I know that sounds cliche, but I think the prep throughout the week and then just being a great communicator, verbal and non-verbal. You’ve got to do a good job overemphasizing the communication piece, not only to the core of the offense but the perimeter as well, and realize it’s the same game.
It’s not like we’re going to Canada and they’re going to change the rules. It’s going to be the same game. It’s going to be a little louder and played at a different location.
Q. You were born in Tennessee, right?
BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, I was born in Tennessee.
Q. Do you have any Vols memories or anything like that growing up?
BILLY NAPIER: I’ve got all kind of family that’s diehard Tennessee fans. My uncle’s family and all that crew, they live in Crossville. My mom and dad went to Tennessee Tech. We moved to Georgia when I was about 2 years old. So my mom’s parents owned a tobacco farm in Sparta, Tennessee. My dad grew up in Salina, Tennessee. Know all about the Vols for sure.
Q. They’re Florida fans this week, right?
BILLY NAPIER: Absolutely, yeah. If they’re not, they won’t be at the game, I can promise you that.
Q. Jalen said he’s been practicing catching passes since the day after he got the cast off. Can you speak to his progress throughout the fall and how big that play was for him?
BILLY NAPIER: I think it’s impressive, the kid got banged up, made a decision he was going to play through. Could have had a surgical procedure that would have been put him out, but maybe got him back a few weeks earlier, or he could just wear the cast, deal with the pain management.
It really says a lot about the kid’s character because he knew our situation with Jaydon Hill being out. So he was in the rotation, chose to go the long haul there, and for him to make a pick six at a critical moment, I think was big.
He’s a new player. I think we’ve got like 44 freshmen, sophomore, first year players that played in the game the other day. He’s one of those, right? So hat’s off to Kimber. He’s been a very consistent, steady player, and hopeful that he can continue to improve.
- September 19, 2022 at 3:44 pm #21659
Transcript courtesy ASAP
Anthony Richardson Press Conference
Q. How was it going back and just rewatching the game and kind of seeing it from that standpoint?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s always different. Sometimes you think it’s terrible. It’s not up to your standards, but it’s not as bad as you may think it is.
Just simple things I messed up. Different things, people missing. So it’s definitely kind of good just watching it and just getting a feel for it and trying to improve on those small details.
Q. What are some of the things that you feel like you did well on film that you want to try and build on some more going forward, some of the passes to Whittemore and Shorter?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Coach Napier talked about me using my legs on third down, so I feel like I set that up a little bit coming off of week 2. I made some big throws to Shorter. I definitely want to improve on that a little bit.
But just talking to Coach Napier, watching the film, and seeing that definitely makes you feel a little good because you’re doing something right at least.
Q. Billy Napier just said the quarterback situation with Jack being out still dictates a little bit of the running opportunities for you. Are you cognizant of that? Are you chomping at the bit a little bit to get out and run a little bit more? How is that process going?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I definitely consider it because they tell me every week I’ve got to be careful, can’t take big hits. I can’t be Superman out there. I try not to be too physical. I try to get down. I started sliding this year.
So I definitely think about it. I don’t think it takes me out of my game, just helps me stay a little safer.
Q. But you are Superman or can be. Are you curtailing it? I guess what’s changed since the Utah game? You were so effective that night running and passing? What’s different for you the last game or two?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I don’t know. Honestly that’s a great question. I don’t even know. I guess I started holding myself back from running, and that’s a part of the offense that helps us move the ball. So I guess I’ve just got to pick that up and bring that back.
Q. Have you noticed the defense adjust to that at all? Are they playing closer to you and spies and so forth?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Definitely. Especially on our play action fakes, they’re not even going for the run anymore. They’re just waiting for me to roll out and use my legs. So that’s opened up other things for our running backs, and they can hit different holes and zones.
So the team is definitely playing like that, but we’ve just got to play football and find a way to get around that.
Q. You had a slide the other night. Was that the first time you ever slid in a ballgame? I saw you in high school. I don’t ever remember you sliding before.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I actually slid in the Utah game. But my first time sliding was in practice at Eastside one time. They were like, bro, what are you doing? I was like, I don’t know. Just trying to do something different.
But the Utah game was my first time actually doing it.
Q. You got hit Saturday after sliding.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: A little bit. It wasn’t crazy hit or anything. Dude stuck on my ankle, so that was hurting a little bit. But I think it’s better for me to slide instead of getting flipped in the air.
Q. How tough is it for a quarterback to not have a passing touchdown through three games? Like does that get in your head? How do you not let that affect you?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: At first it was definitely getting to me because you’re like, bro, you’re a quarterback. How come you don’t have any passing touchdowns? You have four interceptions. I mean, I’m throwing the ball but just not getting in the end zone.
So it was affecting me a little bit, but now I’m just like, okay, it’s football. It’s going to come. I’ve got to let it come to me. I can’t try to force it. I’ve got to let the game be the game.
Q. Who’s really good at helping you flush that stuff? Who’s really good at helping you not let that get in your head and become an issue?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Just talking to different people. I have a mentor I talk to. He helps me out with that. My mom, she actually got onto me last night because I was talking about the four interceptions, and she started bringing up all these great quarterbacks and how many interceptions they’ve thrown and stuff. So she kind of got on me about that.
Just talking to my family and my mentor, they help me keep my head straight.
Q. What do you attribute the zero passing touchdowns to? Was it defense? Something you guys are not doing right offensively?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Like I said, it’s a little bit of both. Sometimes the defense has good schemes to our plays, and sometimes I’m missing throws or the routes aren’t as perfect as we want them to be. It’s a little bit of everything. Just got to tighten up the things we can work on and we can fix.
Q. What do you anticipate with this crowd? It’s going to be almost 110,000 people, the biggest you ever played in front of.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Whoa, that’s a lot of people. I’m ready for it. I played in The Swamp. The Swamp gets pretty crazy, it gets wild. I know Tennessee fans are pretty wild themselves. I’m just looking forward to another football game.
Q. Your high school coach told me once that you’re the biggest perfectionist he ever met. Does that affect you in the passing game? Are you maybe — do you think maybe you’re trying to be too perfect with your throws instead of just loosening up and letting it fly?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Yeah, definitely. Sometimes that’s my biggest downfall because in practice, if I miss a throw by six inches, I’m like, bro, that’s a bad throw, but it’s completed. So sometimes that is my downfall. Just trying to be too perfect sometimes definitely can mess me up, but I feel like it helps me grow as a quarterback.
Q. How about the communication process with the receivers? We talked about that in the off-season. How is that ongoing? Coach Napier talked about that even yesterday, more precision in the passing game. What are you doing in terms of that?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Talking to the receivers, they’re wondering like what they can do to help me get them the ball, get them some touchdowns. So just communicating with those guys and trying to understand what they’re seeing and trying to let them know what I see is going to help us.
We’re going to start doing something new this week, watching film together and just trying to understand what can help us in different coverages and stuff like that. So we’re going to try a new philosophy this week and see how it goes.
Q. A couple plays before your first interception, you came up hobbling after the first down run, and then you got like gang tackled I think like the play before you threw the pick. How much is you taking shots during the game affecting you throwing the ball in the pocket at all?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: It’s not really affecting me unless it’s like something terrible. Like Kentucky game, I threw the first pass to Shorter, and the dude hit me in the knee, the same knee I had surgery on. So it affected me for like a few plays, but getting hit, it doesn’t really affect me too much until after the game or the next morning.
I was definitely sore the next morning, but during the game, I’m not really worried about it.
Q. Does that affect you more mentally or physically when that dude made the Kentucky hit?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I would say a little bit of both. It was like, dang, he just hit me in the knee. I didn’t even have the ball. Just thinking about that.
But it was sore a little bit for the next few plays, but after a while, it just went away.
Q. I know you guys work on throwing, different arm angles and that drill where guys are running between you. How happy are you with your mechanics? Sometimes the throw requires you to be moving. Are you happy with your footwork? Is it something that needs a lot of attention now? How do you grade yourself on that?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: That’s another great question. I’m satisfied with my mechanics, my technique and stuff, but sometimes in the game I get too happy with my feet. I’m hopping around and moving too quick or moving too slow, and that might affect power or accuracy and stuff.
Sometimes I’m not satisfied with it, but overall mechanics and technique, I’m pretty good with it.
Q. How explosive can this offense be and will it need to be this week? Tennessee seems to be able to score a ton of points.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Our offense, we can definitely be explosive. Just watching the film, you can just see it. We’re one person away from having a good play, whether that’s me or a missed block or a crisp route. I feel like, if we have all 11 executing, we can be very explosive.
Q. If it’s a track meet, do you feel like this offense can hang?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Definitely. We’re going to try to keep the offense off the field because they like to move fast, and we’re going to try to give our defense some rest.
Q. Going back to watching film with the receivers, the new twist here, are you watching the last game, or you’re going to watch Tennessee tape together?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Just a little bit of everything. Just looking at things we need to correct for the last game and looking at things to implement into this game and this game plan.
Q. So you’ve already done it a little bit?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Yes.
Q. How did it go?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Pretty good. I feel like we have a good understanding. Talking to Ricky and Xzavier and Shorter, feel like we have a good understanding. We’ll see how it goes.
Q. Did you have any chance to spend time around Hendon Hooker when you were at the passing academy in July?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Definitely. When he first got there, we sat down and talked about football, talked about each other, just getting to know each other. He’s a great guy.
Q. What makes him so effective, in your opinion, in Tennessee’s offense?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: He’s a playmaker. He can make plays. He trusts his receivers, and they play fast. It’s kind of hard to stop an offense that plays pretty fast because you can’t really adjust to it. That’s just him. He’s a playmaker. He’s a great ballplayer.
Q. Who do you talk to outside the building when things are — when you just want another voice, when you’re struggling a little or under pressure, internal pressure?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I definitely talk to Coach Ced a lot, my high school coach. He just tells me I’ve got to be myself and stop worrying about too much.
I talked to him the other day, and before I could even tell him anything, he said he already knew what was wrong with me last game and he hit it right on the head. I thought, wow, that’s crazy how he can see it like that. So just having somebody who knows me and understands me, it definitely helps a lot.
Q. Was that your mentor, when you mentioned your mentor earlier? Is that your mentor?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: No.
Q. Who’s your mentor?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Coach Venell (phonetic).
Q. What did your high school coach pinpoint?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: He thought I was thinking about too much. He felt I wasn’t being myself, I wasn’t being Anthony, and he said he could see that when I walked out there for warmups. I didn’t feel like that until halftime, second quarter, and he already seen it before I did. I thought, dang, that’s pretty crazy.
Q. Is the focus now just getting back to football, focusing on football and blocking out all the outside stuff?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Definitely. That’s how I was playing football in Miami that’s how I was playing Little League here in Gainesville. High school, middle school, it’s always been football. It’s always been about football. I didn’t worry about any other stuff growing up, so why do it now and make things go downhill? Just get back to myself and play ball.
Q. Talking about your background, did you know Dabien White at all? He was a freshman, who just passed away, Eastside kid.
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Yeah, I did. It’s crazy because one of my close friends told me about it, and I’m like that can’t be true. Growing up, when I was in middle school, we used to actually hang out in one neighborhood and play football and play on the playground and stuff.
So hearing about that definitely makes you feel overwhelmed because you never know when it’s your last day.
Q. Did you reach out to his family at all or anything?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: I didn’t. That’s one thing I didn’t do. It’s kind of hard because I didn’t really talk to that family as much. I don’t want to just, after he passes, to hop on in and make it seem like showing fake love or anything.
Q. Did they start playing Rocky Top at practice yet?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Not yet. We’re going to see what they do tomorrow.
Q. Do you think you’ll be tired of it by the time you get up there?
ANTHONY RICHARDSON: Probably.
- September 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm #21660
Transcript courtesy ASAP
Q. How do you guys grade yourself as an offensive line? The rushing stats were really good. Do you look at numbers or have a feel you guys were opening up holes?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: We kind of have a feel of the holes. I know I do for sure, but I feel like as a group we do all together because like we go into like each drive and talk about the plays with our coach and talk about what’s good and what’s not, and then we kind of remember the plays that are hitting the defensive plan.
So we kind of feel through it throughout the game, and at the end, the coach will tell us how many rushing yards we have and stuff like that or we’ll see the stats. But throughout the game, I feel like we get a feel for what plays are working, and if it’s run plays, we know we can feel the defense getting tired and stuff like that, just keep on running it because we kind of know. Yeah, that’s kind of how.
Q. What’s the biggest crowd you played in front of at Louisiana?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Probably last year, the championship, we played against App State. There was —
Q. 50,000? 60,000?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It was a lot then, but now that I think about it since playing here, it wasn’t too many. That was probably the biggest crowd maybe.
Q. What’s it going to be like playing in front of 100,000 against you? You’ve played in front of 90,000 for you.
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It’s going to be different. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but I feel like, if we stay focused in there, we know what we can do, like communicate well and like stay on the same page and don’t shoot ourselves in the foot too much. We feel like we’ll be good and we can handle the crowd and control the noise pretty well.
Q. What is the key to communicating? You guys did play at Texas last year, it was 91,000.
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah, I forgot about that. That one was crazy.
Q. Was it crazy?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah, it was hot too.
Q. So what is the challenge communication-wise?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Making sure that we are on the same page, like I say. Not just verbally, but like signals-wise, like making sure we’re doing the right hand signals and stuff because it’s going to be loud and we’re not going to be able to hear each other all the time.
So making sure the running backs and quarterbacks are on the same page protection-wise and in the run plays, like with the mike, and like when the box moves, making sure everybody on the O-line sees, even the tight ends because they’re a part of it too. So making sure we’re all on the same page from that standpoint, I feel like it will help us out a lot with the noise and stuff.
Q. What’s the potential of this running game?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I feel like we’ve got a chance to be great if we do the small things right and don’t forget the fundamentals as the season goes on. I feel like we just continue to do what got us here, the small things like hand placement, footwork, and stuff like that, and just all of us being on the same page going to the same Mike and stuff like that.
We keep those small key details throughout the whole year, I feel like that will help us get to where we want to be at the end of the year and be great.
Q. Being Montrell’s a former teammate at Louisiana, what’s it like seeing the success he’s had?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It’s fun. It makes me proud honestly because, when I see it because I watched him in practice like when he first came as a freshman, and like seeing the growth from him learning how to pull back a seam more and learning how to read cuts and read blocks better and better from watching the practice film. It’s just fun.
Then just excited to see him there. I know he’s going to keep getting better. So it’s fun.
Q. Do you guys have a little chemistry from playing together last year?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: We do. We talk about different plays, like between drafts, like when we know certain plays that are called front side, but he knows they can hit back side because of how my block is, stuff like that, I feel like that goes back to practicing and from last year. I feel like those things are kind of what relays over to now.
Q. Does your family bring you care packages of food from Louisiana?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: My uncle did. My uncle and my dad did the first — was it Kentucky? They just brought me some seasonings and stuff like that. I asked them to bring me a few things. Nothing too special, but just like a few things.
Because my dad cook a lot of crawfish. I don’t have time to cook crawfish like I want to. You got to have the pot and the boiler. You got to have time to make the crawfish, so not right now. Maybe the bye week for sure. For sure the bye week.
Q. What’s the message on that game-winning drive? It just seems like you guys went out there and decided to hand it to Trevor every single play? What’s the feeling as an offensive lineman knowing that’s kind of the game plan?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: The message on the last drive was we told as a group we’ve got to put it on our backs. We knew we were going to go out there and do it, and we knew they couldn’t really stop the run that well. We knew it was the fourth quarter, so we knew they were tired. We practice for situations like this, so we were ready for it.
It was fun because we knew exactly what they were going to go do. We knew either they were going to stop it or they weren’t. After we got a few first downs, we realized they couldn’t, and we knew we’re going to score.
It’s fun, and it brings us confidence as an O-lineman and as a group with the running backs too to know that, when we need us too, you all can lean on us to get the extra three yards for a first down or something like that. It helps us out from that aspect of it.
Q. What do you think of Billy turning to a true freshman running back from that standpoint and the plays that Trevor has been making?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: We all felt like there was nothing wrong with that decision because we’ve seen Trevor in practice and he be up for those types of moments. He showed it early even in fall camp. He’s not the regular little freshman running back that comes in and has to wait a few games before he gets a few touches or something like that.
You honestly can’t even tell he’s a freshman when he’s in the game the way he runs the ball. He’s just got a natural feel for it. We all got comfort with that, and we knew he was going to do it as soon as he got here. Yeah, he was ready for it.
Q. Not sure how much you know about the history of Florida football, but is it odd to go three games without a passing touchdown? Do you guys even sense that?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Honestly, no. I didn’t know that until, I think, before the game they said something about it, I guess, because like just from people talking and you be on social media and you see it.
As a team, we all know that if we have success as a team — we talk about it in team meetings. If we have success as a team, individual goals going to come. So if we don’t get it now, eventually it’s going to come. We’re just not playing our best offensively-wise as a team. Once we fix those things, everybody;s success is going to come. We’ve got to get good as a team and fix our small, little kinks up front, and skill position-wise, we’ll get to where we’ve got to be.
Q. How do you assess the O-line’s performance in pass blocking so far?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I feel like we’re doing pretty good. We need to get a little tighter and quicker with our reaction time with the communication based on the fronts we’re seeing and the pressure they’re bringing.
I feel like as the games go on and as we get a better feel of reading defenses and knowing what the disguise pressure looks like for us, and when someone is really coming, how they feed us in and stuff like that, I feel like, as we get better at reading things like those, it helps us get better at pass blocking and twists in games, which builds confidence. When we build confidence, we get better and better as a group. So things like that.
Q. How key is it for you guys to be able to control the tempo a little bit given how Tennessee likes to play so quickly?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It’s going to be important this game because it’s going to help our defense out a lot. I feel like in the last two or three games, we let the defense down by having them out there so much. Even the last game for sure, because I didn’t know until yesterday we only ran four to eight plays and the defense was out there for over 50.
And I feel like we’re overworking them. We need to hold the ball a lot more this game so they don’t have to be out there as much. If we can control the tempo, it’s going to be easy for us to control the game, and it will help us win.
Q. A couple of offensive linemen we had here in the past said that playing the O-line was what they love because it gave them a chance to beat up on people and they could be peaceful outside. Is that kind of your mentality too, you love to beat up on the other guys?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I can agree with that, yeah. It’s kind of like controlled violence, like I could put my hands on somebody legally and do what I want to them between plays and nothing happen to me. Then after the plays, I can be calm and cool. Once the ball hike again, I get to flip the switch and turn into that person again and do the same thing. It’s kind of fun actually.
Q. When you’re beating up on them, do you talk to them too?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: No, not unless they talk to me. I mostly try to keep my breath and not get too tired. Sometimes you have some that talk and you have some that don’t because they know what’s going to happen. It all depends on the type of game you’re in.
Q. Your run defense has been kind of inconsistent over the last couple of weeks whereas run blocking has been a strength. Besides team drills, is there anything you guys as a unit can do to help the offensive line develops as the season goes on?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: We talk about it in our O-line room. Coach always says every position is important because the scout on O-line who goes down there and gives them looks, and sometimes coach likes to pick it up to help them get the best look they can. We only get so many good-on-good reps during the season, and most of our reps go to scouts. So Coach is always on the scout team guys to make sure they give the defensive line the best looks they can to help them out before the game.
If the scout team plays as good as the next team’s O-line, I feel like that helps them a lot with stopping the run and containing what the other team’s offense is doing. So we talk about that a lot in our meetings. Coach tells the scout team guys to give the best look they can to help them out, and it helps.
Q. How many sacks did the offensive line give up? The stats say two. Did you guys give up two?
O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah, we’ll take that.
- September 19, 2022 at 3:46 pm #21661
Transcript courtesy ASAP
Tre’Vez Johnson Press Conference
Q. Did you know right away that you picked it off?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Yeah, for sure.
Q. How critical was that obviously just to get the ball back, especially when the offense gave it away a few plays earlier?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: It was a big play. I was just glad to give them another chance. We were down. We needed that big play. Needed a big spark. Needed to shift the momentum. I’m just glad it came to me.
Q. What’s it say about Jalen Kimber that he breaks his hand on a Wednesday, practices on Thursday, hadn’t missed a practice, and then makes the play like he does the other night?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: That was another big play we needed, that game changing play. I’m happy for him. I know he’s going through a little something with his hand, but for him to just keep playing, and instead of going through and going to get surgery on it and stuff and toughing it out, that was big for him. He had a big moment in the game, so I’m happy for him.
Q. He was beaten on a touchdown a week earlier, the guy made a great play on the ball obviously. But what’s that say about just the defensive back mentality in general being able to just put things behind you and move forward?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: It’s always next play mentality as DB. Every play is you’re reacting to the receiver. So you can’t dwell on it. You can’t like — you’ve got to keep moving forward.
Q. Tennessee is near the top in a lot of passing categories in the SEC. How much do you view that as a challenge, you and the rest of the secondary?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: I don’t think I view it as a challenge. They got to come play us like we got to come play them. I love our secondary. We have a bunch of vets in the secondary. Even the younger guys, like they have experience. So I love us.
Q. Their assistant coach says that they have the greatest wide receivers in the country. Have you all seen that? How do you guys react to that?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: That’s how he feels, that’s how he feels. We’re going to see on Saturday. We’re going to see on Saturday.
Q. What is the challenge of those guys like Tillman? Tillman is a pretty established guy.
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: They’ve got a lot of speed over there. They’ve got some vets, veteran quarterback, good veteran quarterback. It will be a good game.
It’s the first away game, road game, SEC, GameDay, like it’s a big game for everybody. Can’t make the moment too big. We’ve still got to go out there and play.
Q. What’s the challenge with the tempo of that offense and how quickly they like to get lined up?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: We’ve got to communicate better, communicate faster. I played — especially on the defensive side, we’ve got a lot of vets that have played these guys a couple years in a row. We know what to expect. We’re not overwhelmed. We understand how the game’s going to go.
Q. What did you see from Shemar and Scooby when it comes to communication, making sure everyone is in check for a very early opportunity in their careers?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: That was great. They did a good job this Saturday stepping up. I’m proud of those guys, especially the two young guys coming in and trying to fill big roles behind Ventrell. So I was proud of them two.
Q. Is it easier for you on defense? Talking about the crowd noise, but when their offense is on the field, their place should be pretty quiet. Is it easier for you guys to communicate?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: A lot easier. Especially away game, they want their offense to be able to communicate. So that will make it easier for us.
Q. What was it like not having Ventrell out there, and who were some of the other guys that tried to step up on Saturday, do you think?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Like you said, Shemar and Scoob, they did a good job. Ventrell, he’s a field general out there. It’s hard to replace, but those two young guys, they stepped up. They did their job. They played their role exactly how it is.
Q. Was there another older guy, maybe a veteran that helped out too?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Burney’s a vet. He’s a guy that we know we want to lead those two young guys in the linebacker room.
Q. What do you remember about the game last year against Tennessee. Can you take anything away from that game even though they’re changed so much? Have you looked at their quarterback and the way he’s progressed for that game also?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: He’s a vet. He has a bunch of games under his belt. Like you just said, it’s a different team, different — we’re going to take our scheme this week and figure out how we’re going to play them on Saturday.
Q. You’ve been through a lot of road games. Is there anything that you can impart on some of the younger guys with regards to that?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: It’s just another game, man. You can’t overthink it. You can’t make the moment too big. It’s an away game, so obviously it won’t — the crowd, the momentum, all that, it won’t be in our favor, but we’ve got to make it in our favor.
Q. What’s the key to communicating? We were asking O’Cyrus about that, but is defensive backs and just getting lined up and things like that?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Just got to be on the same page, communicate and co-sign. You’ve got to make sure the guy sees you and hears you and make sure you both say to each other, you have to look at each other and make sure you all are both on the same page.
Q. You played in big road games before. How satisfying is it when you make plays and you shut the other crowd up?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: It’s great. It’s just good to make a big play for the team. This is going to be a long season, so just try to do as much as I can to help us win.
Q. Do you kind of live for those moments on the road to shut the other team up, shut that crowd up?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: For sure. It’s great to make big plays, especially on the road, especially when, like you said, the crowd is not for you, they’re going for the team. So it’s good to shift the momentum and give us opportunity to win.
Q. You guys struggled against the run a little bit in the first half against USF. What do you attribute that to? Is that just USF having a great game plan? What are the things you guys felt you didn’t do to the best of your ability? What was it?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: They did have a good game plan. They came to play. It was a close game. Closer than we wanted it to be, but they came to play.
Q. Take-aways this season, I think you guys are tied for second in the league in interceptions. How much do you think that work is paying off, and how do you guys continue that?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Turnover margin, that changes the game most of the time. We try to stay ahead on that, especially on Saturdays, team that has the most turnovers is most likely going to win the game. That’s our mentality. Still going to take the ball away, get the ball back to the offense, and give them the opportunity to score.
Q. We saw Jaydon warming up a bit before the game. No, he hasn’t been cleared to play quite yet, but what have you seen in his progress throughout the season? It’s obviously been a long road for him?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: He’s doing good. I’m happy to see him back out there. He’s had struggles these last couple years, but I’m glad to see he’s back on the field, moving around, feeling good. Be good to have him back out there.
Q. Is he an important voice to have in the defensive back room, just because he’s had the highs of starting, had the lows of numerous injuries? How vital is he to you guys in there?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: Very. Like I said, we’ve got a lot of vets in the back end. So it’s good, good to have more experience back there, guys that have been through it and know what to do and then helping the young guys. Just it’s good to have experience like that in the room.
Q. Going back to Neyland in 2020, obviously that was a weird year. What was your experience playing in that stadium? It’s going to be soldout this year.
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: I remember it was cold. It was cold. It wasn’t too bad. COVID, there wasn’t many fans in there, so it was a pretty quiet game. It was pretty good experience.
Q. Where does this rank up there for rivalries with fans? Where does this rank for you, like SC, Georgia, Tennessee?
TRE’VEZ JOHNSON: I don’t really look into it as a rivalry. For me, it’s another big game, a game we have to win, just like the next week after that, a game we have to win. I don’t think I want to make the moment too much bigger than what it is. At the end of the day, we’ve got to go out and put the ball up.
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