FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
- Former Florida Football Players share thoughts on the state of the program
- Recruit Reaction: 'I feel they’ll be back'
- Five Fast Thoughts: Opps! Dan did it again
- ITG Intel: An in-depth look at Gibson, Phillips, and more
- Four-star Gibson has decided
Florida football players Stewart Reese, Emory Jones, Jacob Copeland, Kemore Gamble, and safety Tre’Vez Johnson spoke to the media on Tuesday, sharing their thoughts on last Saturday’s performance against Kentucky and more.
Jake Hitt and Rafael De Los Santos have the highlights:
Afternoon Zoom Conference
- Stewart Reese spoke on the offensive line's problems in the Kentucky game. The line felt it was prepared heading into the game but when the bullets started flying some guys got flustered. It was a learning experience for them. Reese remembered a start at Auburn where Reese he had several false starts. When things like that happen players just need to focus in because any small thing can hurt you.
- He said the team needs to come out and not point fingers. Everyone has to take a look at themselves and think of what they can do to improve the team. It's about accountability. They identified the problems with the false starts and addressed them.
- The Gators' offensive line's been a little nicked up with Reese, Jean Delance and Kingsley Eguakun having some injuries. "It's just about toughness at this point," he said. It's hard to work through them when they happen but bumps and bruises are a part of the game.
- Emory Jones regarding the downfield passing game: The Gators have the weapons they have. They're not under any stress of becoming one-dimensional in a game. It's just a matter of what opportunities the defense provides.
- The team is feeling frustration when looking back and thinking there are things they could've done better. All they can do is watch the film, diagnose problems and improve on it this week. Echoes Dan Mullen's comments on using frustration as a motivator to get better.
- Jones was asked about the downfield passing game. There were times where he could've taken a shot or forced something. But forcing the issue in throwing the ball is something he's learned to stay away from. The issue isn't that they're not calling the shot plays but Jones is just taking what the defense gives them. The offense does what it needs to do to move the ball down the field.
- Jones spoke about criticism posted on social media. He's aware of it and sees it doesn't pay it much mind because he's actually on the field and in the building. People on the outside don't know the plays, what's going on down on the field, what the defense is doing like they do.
- With the offensive line's injuries, Jones saw a few different offensive line combinations the last few weeks. To him, shuffling guys in and out doesn't play a huge factor in what he does at quarterback. That's because he works with them in practice. The biggest change is probably just how he communicates with each of them.
– Jake Hitt
Evening Zoom Conference
- Jacob Copeland assumed his role as a team leader by emphasizing the consensus takeaway from Saturday’s loss against Kentucky, “Losing is unacceptable,” he added, “We’re going to work harder each and every day that we step out on that practice field so when it comes to gameday everybody will be focused and ready for every last minute of the game.”
- Copeland reflected on how close he was to scoring on the final drive before the turf seemingly became an extra defender on the Wildcat defense. “I knew I was down,” Copeland stated. “I really couldn’t adjust out there on that turf from the get-go. As we were warming up I just knew I felt like it was going to be a problem out there. It’s just turf isn’t for a lot of people. I’m one of the people turf isn’t made for.” Copeland added that he would’ve gotten to the endzone had the game been played on grass.
- Kemore Gamble built on the importance of focus emphasized by Copeland earlier. Gamble made it clear that a winning mentality required the team to focus on what is ahead of them to make better plays and look forward to the next Saturday in which they could correct their mistakes.
- Both Gamble and Tre’Vez Johnson highlighted the team’s attitude towards the media’s focus on the standings and its neglect towards how much players love to compete. "They forget sometimes that we're still human. I think everyone in the team has a love for the game. If I didn't have love for the game, I wouldn't be out there every week busting my behind practicing,” Gamble said. Johnson backed his teammate stating, “We have to bounce back. You can’t dwell on it. You can’t keep focusing on what you did wrong. Only way we’re going to move forward is by staying positive and coming out here ready to work.”
- All three players were questioned about the effect that the Kroger Field crowd had on them. All three asserted Ben Hill Griffin’s superiority in terms of volume despite the overwhelming backlash towards Head Coach Dan Mullen’s belief in a clap count that is being held responsible for the numerous false starts against Kentucky. Copeland provided the first line of defense stating, “It’s the simple fact that our stands were louder than that every time we play here at home. I felt like we somewhat had a lack of focus throughout the game, and I felt like they weren’t always on the same page.” Gamble and Johnson backed Copeland adding, "I don't think it was that loud in there. I've played in louder stadiums," Gamble stated. Johnson added, "It was a loud, good atmosphere. But I don't think it was the loudest game.”
- One thing is sure, the Gators will be in the comfort of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium this Saturday Oct. 9 against a Vanderbilt that’s looking to upset the Gator’s homecoming celebrations. What is still in the air is the expected attendance at the swamp after what is thought to be a deflating season-ending loss.
– Rafael De Los Santos