After Big Start, Debose was Quiet

Andre Debose thought he made the play that would give the Gators momentum to carry throughout the game when he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Instead, that momentum didn't last much more than a drive. Debose became the first player in Florida history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a season.

"On that opening kickoff, coach just called the perfect play and we executed," Andre Debose said. "I just saw a whole bunch of grass and a helpless kicker. I made him miss and ran as fast as I could."

After electrifying the crowd in the beginning of the game, it took until the fourth quarter for Debose to touch the ball on offense. With the game well out of reach in the fourth quarter, Debose had two catches for 13 yards.

Head coach Urban Meyer called for an atmosphere Saturday night that would go down as one of the best in Florida history. Debose did his best to get the crowd into the game, and then he was never seen from with the game yet to be decided.

Debose wasn't sure why his number wasn't called on offense.

"I have no clue," Debose said. "I have no answer for that."

Despite not touching the ball when Florida was still in the game, Debose is handling the situation with maturity. He is staying quiet and not showing any aggravation with not getting the ball more often.

"It's not frustrating," Debose said. "When my number is called, I just try to make the best of it and stay positive about everything."

Even though he wasn't involved in the offensive game plan, Debose was surprised with the outcome. The team he saw all week in practice had energy and focus towards executing the game plan. When the offense got to the field, the execution didn't happen.

The team felt good about where they were heading into the game, Confidence was high after two straight wins since the bye week, and they felt like they would be cementing a place in the SEC Championship Game. Instead, the Gators were forced to watch South Carolina celebrate on their field.

"It's a shock," Debose said. "We came into the game very confident. It didn't come out as planned."

The message in the locker room after the game was simple. Coach Meyer preached for his players to stick together. The adversity they are expecting could force the team to give up on the season, but Meyer challenged them to send the seniors out on a winning note.

"We got the loss, so it wasn't too pretty," Meyer said. "Coach just told us to stay together and stay positive about everything. Don't let anybody make us get negative about everything."
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