Shutout is Done, Riggs is Ready for Tennessee

Florida sophomore cornerback Cody Riggs was part of a defense that shutout UAB Saturday night, but has to turn their focus to the SEC now. The Gators are starting SEC play and like every year, rival Tennessee starts off the fun. Riggs actually grew up pulling for Tennessee and for a good reason. Now, he wants to stomp a hole in them. Riggs knows they have some mistakes to clean in order to win.

A couple of penalties helped and a couple of good breaks as well. Despite having some blown coverages, some off-sides, and some alignment issues on defense Saturday night the Florida defense was able to pitch the very elusive shut out, the first since the national championship 2006 season. And, the first for head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

"We did very well," Riggs said. "We made a lot of mistakes, but at the end of the day when you pitch a shutout that is pretty good. We made a couple of mistakes on hurry ups, but overall they said we did a great job. It means a lot. Coach Quinn put in a great defense. We are proud that we held them scoreless."

Riggs also gave credit to an offense that was able to hold onto the ball for almost a full 13 minutes more than UAB.

"They helped a lot holding the ball, seven minutes at a time sometimes," he said. "That helps us get ready and we run around and are explosive on defense, so that helps a lot when they control the ball."

Muschamp said after the game that turnovers are a huge priority and they are looking for three per game. The Gators forced one fumble and recovered it on the night, but that was it. It was the first turnover of the year by the Gator defense.

"We didn't get any interceptions and that was our goal, but still happy we got our first turn over and hopefully they will be coming," Riggs said.

Riggs had a few mishaps of his own in the game, but he is being asked to play a lot more and a lot more in single coverage than ever. He feels things are coming together for him.

"I am getting better," Riggs said. "Last year I played, but I didn't play as much. This year I have a lot bigger role. The game is coming a lot easier to me. I am studying a lot more and playing a lot faster."

The Gators play Tennessee next and it is a special game for Riggs. His brother, Gerald Riggs Jr. was a star running back for the Vols in the early to mid-2000's before spending a couple of years in the NFL. Riggs says his older brother might talk a little noise this week, but will be pulling for him to do well.

"Growing up I used to love watching Tennessee because my brother was there, but now it is my arch rival," he said. "It means a lot to me to have bragging rights against my brother. I talk to him before every game. I don't know what I will tell him, but I will talk to him after the game. "He'll probably do more trash talking than me. I will be busy getting the game plan ready. So, I am sure he will be doing more trash talking to me, but I am sure he will be rooting for me."

The Gators will get one of their best back for the game for the Tennessee game when defensive end Sharrif Floyd returns from a two game NCAA suspension. Riggs said he is a vital part of a defense that will rely on pressure moving forward.

"We miss him," Riggs said of Floyd. "He is a big time player. He makes a lot of plays. He disrupts things in front, so we can't wait to get him back."

The Gators also know that the road is harder ahead and they have to put in the work if they want to accomplish some goals ahead.

"It is going to get tougher but we are excited and ready for it," Riggs said about the SEC competition. "I feel we will do a great job. Coach talked about it being SEC and we have to be ready for it.

"It's a hard-nosed game when you play in the SEC, a lot of hitting. You have to be mentally prepared for a tough game."

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