Hunter sees a ‘fourth-quarter' game

Before the Gators even rolled into Baton Rouge last season, they were already pinned with a deficit. LSU hosted No. 17 UF perched as the top-ranked team in the country. But defensive tackle Omar Hunter said the Gators walked into the matchup feeling ready. They thought they were prepared. But Hunter said he walked out of Tiger Stadium feeling sick.

"We thought we prepared pretty well and coming out and losing in the way that we did, it really hurt," Omar Hunter said.

In 2011, LSU trampled UF 41-11. The Gators didn't pull ahead of the Tigers at any one time during the contest.

Of course, the orange and blue had plenty working against them including an injured John Brantley and true freshman Jacoby Brissett making his first start at quarterback with zero snaps at the spot yet.

Florida lacked depth.

This season, especially with key players sidelined with injuries, the Gators have had a chance to flash their newly acquired depth — something that will surely come into play Saturday.

"Depth is going to be a big key to this game — being able to keep guys fresh going into the fourth quarter," Hunter said. "It's going to be a fourth-quarter game. The more fresh we are, the better for us."

This weekend, such freshness sides with Florida as it enters the weekend's conference showdown on the cusp of a bye week.

While quarterback Jeff Driskel commended the extra days to prepare for LSU and players' time to rest their bodies, coach Will Muschamp said a major advantage was the opportunity for his injured men time to both recover and return. On Monday, Muschamp said he expects Trey Burton, Dominique Easley and Jordan Reed back Saturday.

Despite the injuries to such heavy hitters, Florida hasn't flinched. UF's depth and ability for men to step up has quickly proved itself a major strength for this squad. It's that "man down, man up" mentality Muschamp has been preaching all season long. Four games into the season, UF remains undefeated going into Saturday.

UF will react to LSU, this time, on home turf. While the Tigers aren't ranked No. 1 this time around, they still dangle high at No. 4. The Gators sit at No. 10. The ranking is the highest UF has ranked under Muschamp.

"We feel like we have great momentum going into this game," Hunter said. "But we know we're going to get hit in the mouth, and how we respond is going to be huge in determining the outcome of this game. LSU is going to keep coming — they're not going to stop. I think we're much tougher than we were last year and we can respond."


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