UF notebook

Florida Gators’ high standard for defense and offense

 

Miami Herald Writer

At least publically, No. 22 Florida’s top-ranked defense refuses to castigate an incessantly stumbling offense.

The Gators lead the Southeastern Conference in total defense — and are ranked No. 3 nationally — whereas their offense ranks an anemic 13th in the conference and No. 94 in the country.

Although the in-house standards for the two units do not appear equal, coach Will Muschamp refused to broach any potential discord in the locker room.

“Our defense doesn’t need to worry about what our offense does,” he said. “They need to play well, and we didn’t play very well Saturday in Baton Rouge.”

In the Muschamp era, UF has dropped four games when allowing only 17 points (including Saturday against LSU), but coordinator D.J. Durkin said the defense doesn’t feel like it has to play a perfect game to win.

“There were plenty of things in that game that we could have done better, as coaches, as players on the defensive side of the ball that would have given us a better chance to win,” he said. “We didn’t do that. That’s what our focus is, like it is every week. We hold our guys to a high standard in our room.”

THIS and THAT

Because of injuries and increased production, wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood and running back Kelvin Taylor, both freshmen, will see more playing time Saturday. … Right guard Jon Halapio said his torn pectoral is feeling much better, but doctors refuse to let him play without the supportive brace on his left shoulder.

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