University of Florida

Florida Gators to keep fluid defense

Florida defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, III (1) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (26) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Florida won 38-20.
Florida defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, III (1) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (26) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Florida won 38-20. AP

All-American defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III is among the nation’s top cornerbacks, but Florida’s secondary star won’t exclusively shadow No.1 Florida State’s elite wideout Rashad Greene.

Greene — the Seminoles’ all-time leading receiver — is quarterback Jameis Winston’s go-to target, registering 83 catches for 1,148 yards and five touchdowns on the season. The senior has seven 100+ yard performances and ranks 10th nationally in yards per game.

Still, Florida refuses to change its fluid defensive philosophy — this despite possessing an obvious man-to-man coverage candidate.

“Based on coverage and call and situation, it will be different. They are going to be matched up on each other at times,” UF defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin explained.

“But there will be times where they won’t be. It won’t be one of those deals where Vernon’s with him the whole game.”

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