Elam Stayed Strong During Team Slump

There are several Gator players that played well most of the season and one on defense has been safety Matt Elam. Whether he is stuffing the run inside, heading off an outside runner, or playing in the secondary, Elam has made plays all year for this team and continues to do so. He is so glad to get the win Saturday against Vanderbilt and believes they have been working hard to make more happen.

For Matt Elam it was something new and something he doesn't want to go through again. A four game losing streak isn't good for the mind or spirit of your football team.

"I've never been through anything like that, but it helped me … fighting through the adversity, staying strong, and staying together with my teammates," Elam told the Florida media after the 26-21 victory over Vanderbilt. "We just stayed together to get the win."

For Elam and his teammates it was huge. The losing ate at them, but the team has tried to stay the course.

"It was a relief," he said. "It has been a long time. Singing the fight song has been a long time too. "Everyone stuck together. We continued to fight and everyone practiced hard. We didn't give up and kept on pushing."

Florida came out fast, built a 17-0 lead at half time and then saw it start to dissolve. Head coach Will Muschamp though the defense started playing more to guard against the big play and preserve the victory and that caused a lot of what happened in the second half as Vanderbilt rallied to score 21 points.

"Playing DB, you just have to stay aggressive," Elam said echoing Muschamp's remarks. "You can't worry about getting beat. You just have to do your job and your part."

In the end, just like Muschamp said, they will be able to learn from what happened in that second half.

"Things like that happen in the game, we just have to fight through adversity and play the next play," Elam said. "Coach always says "play the next play, play the next game, one day at a time, one practice at a time", as a team we need to get better."

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