Boredom a positive for Florida defense

The Florida defense is getting bored -- and the players wouldn't trade it for anything. With the offense leading the country in time of possession, the defensive players are finding themselves with extra time on the sideline this fall. They're well rested when the opposition's offense gets the ball back, and that's helping Florida boast one of the top defenses in the country.

"The first quarter, I think I felt like I was only out there for about six plays," Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins said with a laugh about the Kentucky game.

He wasn't far off. The Florida defense was on the field for nine plays in the first quarter, all coming on one drive that ended on a fake field goal touchdown for Kentucky.

That's what happens with an offense that plays the way Florida has so far this year. With Tyler Murphy taking the reigns at quarterback, the offense has improved and continues to eat time off the clock. What they might lack in big plays, they're gaining by wearing out the defense, including score on all seven red zone possessions with Murphy under center.

"That's a problem he is going to have to deal with hopefully for the rest of the season," Murphy joked when told about Watkins feeling like he was barely on the field.

In total, the Florida defense played just 47 snaps on Saturday. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops spoke on Monday about how fast the game felt because of Florida's offensive game plan.

For the Florida defense, the game flew by. They met with assistant coaches on the sideline to go over the game plan and make adjustments that they noticed from the Kentucky offense. Once those adjustments were made and they met about what to improve on defense, the defense found itself getting bored.

Dante Fowler, who took Dominique Easley's Chucky doll with him to Lexington, said some of the conversation can go away from football when the Gators have the game in hand. A few players asked Fowler what they thought Chucky was doing in the locker room.

Later in the game, Ronald Powell pointed out a man in the stands who looked like he was defensive tackle Damien Jacobs' father.

"He said I looked just like him," Jacobs said with a laugh.

It's all in fun, and the rare moments their conversations aren't about football only come when the Gators have the game in hand.

"That was like the fastest half of my life, even when I was in high school. It was crazy. Our offense was on the field for a long time. That's our job to get three-and-outs. When you get as many three-and-outs like that, you kind of wish like maybe we shouldn't get as many three-and-outs," Fowler joked.

Florida held the ball for 38:09 of the 60 minutes on Saturday, but head coach Will Muschamp downplayed how much that means for the offense, citing that it doesn't have a statistical impact on whether the team wins or losses.

The Florida defense is learning to take advantage of the few chances it gets on the field before turning the ball back over to the offense.

"Obviously you want to play more, but if the offense can take care of the ball and play keep-away all day, that's great," Watkins said. "It's kind of bittersweet sometimes you're just kind of sitting on the bench, just sitting around watching and waiting all the time, but that's the type of football we play. Just play three and out and keep away, that's the type of ball we play."


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