Following a promising freshman season, Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison was M.I.A. in 2013.
The junior linebacker has overcome a sophomore slump, quietly keying the team’s defense this season.
“Antonio is playing great. He is playing his best football since he’s been here,” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said.
“He’s got to continue to do that. We’re counting on him to do that.”
An off-the-field incident and poor conditioning contributed to a poor season a year ago, but UF’s middle linebacker has developed into a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine, recording a career-high 14 tackles against LSU.
Morrison leads the Gators with 46 stops — just 10 fewer than he had all last year. He has racked up double-digit tackles in all four SEC games, and is third on the team with 3.5 stops for a loss.
“He’s a guy that takes his job and what we do very seriously,” Durkin said. “He’s making his reads really fast. His eyes are in the right place. He’s playing with good technique. He’s tackling well. And he’s always been a very physical and competitive guy. You put all that together, you’ve got a pretty good player.”
THIS & THAT
While senior tight end Tevin Westbrook openly discussed his potential game-winning drop, junior defensive back Brian Poole declined comment on UF’s busted coverage on LSU’s 41-yard play on 3rd and 25. … Although Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk tossed four interceptions in a 34-0 loss to No.10 Georgia, the Gators are wary of the sophomore’s ability to bounce back. Mauk shredded UF for 295 yards and two scores in 2013.