Hunter Moving Forward After Bama

Omar Hunter had no excuse for a couple of bone headed moves he made in the first series of the Alabama game. Two penalties on back-to-back plays help put Alabama in scoring position on their first drive, and Hunter was the culprit on both. He was a little too fired up last week and then the walls came crumbling down as the game progressed. Hunter and his teammates are ready to move on.

Omar Hunter is a cerebral type if there is such a thing at the nose tackle position. The sophomore from Buford (GA) let his mind slip a bit on the first series against Alabama last week. A late hit on quarterback Greg McElroy followed by a quick offsides on the next play set the Gators back early in the 31-6 loss.

"It was late and they caught it...It is what it is," Hunter said about the late hit that happened before he got a stern talking to from defensive line coach Dan McCarney. "He just told me to calm down and let the game to me. I was just trying to do too much to early."

The Gator defense had a rough start but after the first drive they were put in bad situations in regards to field position. In the end, they played much better than last December, when Alabama was able to run all over them namely because the Gators missed 22 tackles in the SEC Championship Game. Saturday they made all but six tackles on the night.

"It was one of our goals to have less than ten tackles," Hunter said. "It wasn't enough, but it did feel good to meet that goal. We are going to need that against LSU too to win that game."

There wasn't enough to win, but Hunter feels like the team did some things in Tuscaloosa that they can build on.

"I think we did a lot of positive things on both sides of the ball, not just defense," he said. "We were pretty good against the run, but we can get better. We can definitely get better in pass rushing. There were a few good things.

"I think we can definitely get better and there is a lot of things we can do. There is a lot of improvement we can have in running and passing (defense)."

As far as offense goes, the Gators are in need of a big back. Hunter jokingly says he could see himself in that role.

"I'm subbing myself on offense," Hunter said when asked if he played play station, which Gator back would he choose to run in short yardage situations. "I would love to (run the ball). I need to. I played in my (high school) sophomore year (and scored)."

All kidding aside, Hunter knows he needs to get better and number one on his list is getting to the quarterback. It takes a lot of work, but it is something he has dedicated himself to.

"Every day I go out and work on my pass rush, it is one of the things I have to get better at," he said. "My goal is to just go out every day and get better. If I work hard in practice I know eventually that will come.

The LSU Tigers are in town this weekend and with that comes a stout offense with a huge offensive line and athletic skill people. Stevan Ridley has become the star of LSU's offense so far but quarterback Jordan Jefferson adds a dynamic of athleticism to the position he plays.

"He's a pretty fast guy," Hunter sad of Jefferson who ripped off an 83 yard touchdown run last week to start the Tennessee game. "He has good speed and can make a guy miss pretty easily. We just have to be gap sound and everyone hold their gaps and we'll be alright.

"Running the ball with that big back and a good scheme on the offensive line, they can move the ball.

"The center is pretty good and from my rival high school and I faced him last year. They have two good guards...they are pretty good guys...They are good blockers; physical guys. They come off the ball really well."

LSU is in somewhat of a quandary on offense and can't decide if they want to be a run oriented option team or a passing team. They have decided to incorporate both and Jefferson along with traditional drop back passer Jarrett Lee are the two main guys that head the offense.

"I really think they have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Hunter said. "Everyone is trying to click and find out their identity just like we are on both sides of the ball.

"With Jefferson, we played South Florida with Daniels and they are kind of similar in running styles. With Lee, he is more of a pocket passer and more of what we've faced this year."

Florida's defense will be still be leaned on this week as has been the norm this season. Stopping the run against LSU is of utmost importance and the Gators have done a good job of that so far this year.
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