Bus Ride to Stadium Focuses Bostic

Every game away from The Swamp presents a different moment where the adrenaline starts to pump for the Florida players. When the team bus gets to the top of Hart Bridge on the way to the stadium, players and coaches on the bus turn their focus to the sights. The tailgaters tucked into the areas around the stadium get the competitive juices flowing for the Florida players.

"It's just about going across that bridge," Jon Bostic said. "As soon as you go across that bridge, that's when you really start feeling it. Most of the time, it's when you step in the stadium or get off the bus, but there, it starts as soon as you cross that bridge."

The feeling usually comes when the Florida players take the field for warm ups. When the Gators are on the road, the stadium is usually still empty at that point and gives them a perspective on the place they will play.

That perspective comes from an aerial view on the last Saturday of October each year.

Once the players take the field at game time, the 50-50 split of Florida and Georgia fans in the stands at Everbank Field takes the rivalry to another level.

"It's crazy to see if split down the middle," Bostic said. "When I first got here as a freshman, I didn't know much about it. A lot of the older guys would tell me that it doesn't get much better than this game."

In order to improve their chances against No. 22 Georgia, the Gators went to work during the bye week. Instead of immediately focusing on preparation for the Bulldogs, the Florida defense went back to drills they did in preseason camp to focus on the fundamentals.

Missed tackles and undisciplined penalties became an issue in recent weeks, and the Gators set out to fix them.

"The whole bye week, we just worked on fundamentals," Bostic said. "It was hand placement, tackling and playing smart. We were trying to focus on not getting as many penalties as we have in the past. All last week was on the fundamentals."

The players and coaches all agreed that the ideal situation would be heading into a bye week off a win, but the Gators went into it on a three-game losing streak. It did give them a chance to heal after the team was banged up at Auburn.

"We've been playing hard all year, and that's when your body starts to wear down," Bostic said. "You always look forward to getting your body as close as you can to 100% because in the SEC, you really don't get back to 100% like you were coming out of camp."

Despite the need for players to get healthy, Bostic said the team still had "a lot" of full contact practices because of the need to work on hand placement and tackling.

The increased physicality from a normal bye week was also aimed to help the Gators create more turnovers. Florida ranks last in the SEC with a -7 turnover magin and hasn't forced a turnover since September 24 at Kentucky.

"Turnovers are going to come," Bostic said. "They may not come as much as we'd like to every game, but we've just got to keep playing like we've been playing and they'll come.

"We work on ways to turn the ball over like stripping the ball, and we've got to get better than that. I'd say that I can get better at that."


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