Napier: There’s lots of things that we can do better

Oct 15, 2022 | 1 comment

(Photo courtesy Florida Sports Information)


After Saturday’s 45-35 loss to the LSU Tigers, Florida head coach Billy Napier, quarterback Anthony Richardson and wide receiver Justin Shorter met with the media to discuss the game and what’s next for the Gators.

Billy Napier

Opening Statement
“I’m proud to be associated with that group in the locker room,” Napier said. He acknowledged that the Gators didn’t do enough to win. “There is nothing fun about losing,” he said. Florida’s head coach continued to emphasize the fight to come back and took the blame upon himself.

On the defense
The defense gave up over 500 yards of total offense and critically struggled to get off the field on third down. Despite that, Napier kept his statement positive. “I see a lot of opportunity,” he said. Napier gave LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels a lot of credit for making plays under pressure. Daniels threw for about 350 yards and three touchdowns while adding 45 yards and three more touchdowns on the ground. “We’re going to be sick when we watch the tape,” he said.

On Richardson’s run to start the fourth quarter
After a distasteful display from the LSU band as they played over ‘Won’t Back Down’ on Tom Petty Day, Anthony Richardson exploded for an 81-yard run to open the fourth quarter. Richardson had 185 yards passing another 110 on the ground. “He’s wearing his heart on his sleeve,” Napier said.

Clock Management
As one would expect, no regrets were expressed regarding the end of the first half. Fans clearly disagreed with the decision as they booed as the Gators went to the locker room. Napier said he didn’t feel the Gators were in a position to be aggressive and that they didn’t want to put the Tigers in a position to expand their lead. As a result, he let the clock run until a final Hail Mary play that was yet again blown up by a pass rush.

On Dexter’s roughing the passer penalty
“You’re trying to get me here,” Napier said. Of course, we are. It was a game-changing call to say the least. It turned a pick into points for the Tigers. “Officiating wasn’t the issue tonight,” he said.

On the state of the program
“I want to win every single game that we play,” Napier said, “We’re in year one and I think the big thing I would say is that we’re working on the people and we’re making progress there.”

On losing on a key recruiting weekend
“Making a decision to come to the University of Florida is more than a single event,” Napier said. He continued by saying there is work to do and that the recruits that were there can contribute to the comeback. “There’s no question that that was a great display of that tonight,” he said, “The passion here, the history and tradition here. The desire to get back to where we all know Florida is capable of being.”

Anthony Richardson

On the touchdown to start the fourth quarter
“It definitely felt good,” he said. Richardson said he wasn’t too focused on the festivities between quarters and was just excited to score with his teammates.

Where he can improve
“You know, definitely connecting with the receivers,” he said, “You know, I missed a few over routes, a few balls behind the receivers. You know, I’ve got to make it easier for them to make plays and I can definitely improve on that. Protection checks, improving at the goal line with the running backs. You know, just playing confident, I feel like that’s the main thing to improve on. Just being able to communicate better with each other and knowing that we’re all on the same page.”

On a shootout game
“Some people might think it’s pressure, but I don’t think it’s pressure,” he said, “It’s our job to put up points as an offense, and we didn’t put up more points than they did, and that’s on us. Regardless of how many points they score on our defense — if they put up 100 we ought to put up 101. We need to do a better job at that.”

On the low hit
“I’m a big guy so people are going to try to take out my legs,” he said, “In the moment, you don’t really realize that people are constantly going for the leg until you get hit. But it’s been happening all year, and I guess I’ve got to move a little better and not get hit.”

Justin Shorter

On the 51 yard touchdown to open the scoring
“It wasn’t really something we talked about, but we definitely practiced it,” he said. Shorter assured it wasn’t the same play they ran against Eastern Washington to kick off the scoring against them.

Message to fans
“I would say definitely keep the faith,” Shorter said, “Please support us because, you know, we’re working hard. These are tough games. SEC is one of the toughest conferences. It’s definitely a blessing, but I’m definitely thankful to everyone for still supporting us. Coming out there and making it a loud, crazy environment because this is the stuff I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”


WCC: More of what Billy Napier, Anthony Richardson, and Justin Shorter had to say can be seen HERE.

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