Focus on Style for Quinn

You have to stay with assignments and play what you are being taught if things are going to run smoothly in defensing the run game. There were times when all of it fell apart against Alabama. Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn talked to the media this week about staying in their ‘style' of defense. Playing hard, but also play smart and within the framework of what they are aspiring to do.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn got an eyeful of frustration on Saturday watching their defense that played so well for four weeks, get out manned and out smarted in a big time loss. The Gators came away limping a little bit after Alabama was able to run almost at will on the Gators.

"They out-physicalled us in the game," Quinn said matter of fact like. "That is hard to accept and swallow, but that is what happened. I don't think we weren't a physical team leading up to that point. It's not the history of the team for the whole season."

There were times when Florida stiffened up and played well on defense. Starting quarterback John Brantley went down at the end of the second half and all seemed loss with the Gators trailing by 14 at halftime. The defense came out and slowed Alabama down holding them scoreless for the third quarter while getting little from an offense that wasn't able to run on all cylinders. Finally, they gave out and the floodgates opened.

"Number one, give their players and staff credit for coming out and playing better," Quinn said. "Our message was let's settle down and go back to playing our style of football. In the (the start of the) second half we kind of got back to playing our style where we can play physical and get our hands on people. I thought we did that for a time in the third period. As it wore on in the game, we fell back in not playing our technique or a missed tackle."

Quinn said the biggest issue with the defense on Saturday was allowing them to be blocked and not fighting through them to get to the ball carrier. One can conjure up images of Gator Great linebacker Brandon Spikes blowing up a pulling guard to make a tackle, and that just didn't happen against the Tide on Saturday.

"The number one thing that was an issue is we want to hit blocks," Quinn said. "The tape showed that we weren't catching or not shedding violently when we hit our guys. That was our message… to come off blocks and hit people."

On the inside, the defensive line got pressure at times and actually stuffed some holes, but too many times they weren't quick enough with their hands and lost the technique battles with the guys across from them.

"Usually when you are playing interior defensive line it is always a battle of wills," Quinn said. "Who has the better inside position because it's where you can really control the guy. If you have inside hands on someone it makes it so much easier to shed them. Again, credit them and the way they played."

Quinn anticipates his guys will play a lot better this week and moving forward. They have had a lot of film and memories of that game to teach with this week.

"I am looking forward to hitting blocks and getting back to the style that we've taught," he said. "That is what I expect to see (this week at LSU)."


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