Defense Was Pushed Around

Florida has given up its share of rushing yardage this season to some pretty good teams, but in the 36-14 loss to South Carolina Saturday night, they were pushed around all night. Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore continued on his all-American season with a 40 rushes for 212 yard, and three touchdown performance. A bend and don't break defense most of the year, they broke Saturday night.

Marcus Lattimore ran off 8, 9, and 10-plus yard runs all night long. They seemed to be there most of the night, but Lattimore continually ran through the line and linebackers.

"He did a great job and broke some tackles," Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin told the media shortly after the loss. "He did a good job of getting north and south. We didn't do a good job of putting a body on him, securing our gaps, and making our tackles as we should."

As the game wore on, Lattimore got better. It didn't help that Florida ended the night with only 20 minutes of possession time and that left the Gator defense was on the field for 40 minutes of the game. Austin isn't ready to blame the offense for that.

"It does wear you down, but some of that was our own doing," he said. "Early in the game we had some third and longs where we didn't get off the field and it kept some drives alive…At the end of the day, we have some opportunities we have to make and we weren't able to get it done today. "When you look at it, in the games we have been giving up the (rushing yardage), it's a combination of things. Third down defense again keeps drives alive, not tackling very well, and also not fitting the run very well."

Austin said that the end result is not what this team is showing in practice during the week.

"We've practiced well," he said. "Obviously we don't take backs to the ground in practice, but in terms of getting our fits, it happens in practice and didn't carry over. We will continue to work on it, but we just have to do a better job on Saturday."

It was a tough loss for this Gator team who has now lost three home games in a row and also lost their chance at competing for the SEC title in the same night. They must push on and will.

"(The locker room is) very disappointed," Austin said. "When you lose a game you have to look back and see what you need to do better in order to give ourselves a chance to win.

"It's all about being a competitor and trying to get better as a football player and better as a team. Our goal is to go win this next game. Whether it's a win or a loss, we still have to get ourselves ready to play the next game."
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