Durkin wants better play up front

The disappointment started up front for Florida on Saturday. The defensive line got blown off the ball and couldn't stop the Tigers on the ground. When the defensive linemen struggled, linebackers tried to make too many plays and lost their gaps. It was different than the play of the Florida defense during the first five games this season.

The defense played well enough to win the game, but the offense couldn't find the end zone. Durkin ignored that when talking to the media on Wednesday, pointing out the issues up front on the Florida defense.

"We didn't play well enough to win in this past game that we're talking about here," D.J. Durkin said. "We have plenty of things in our room that we need to control that we can control. That's what our focus is. We hold our guys to a high standard in our room. We feel we are a great defense and we need to play that way. And we need to play that way consistently."

Those issues were clearly up front. The Tigers ran for 175 yards, led by 121 yards from running back Jeremy Hill. He started the game with a 16-yard rush, setting the tone for what was to come with the Florida run defense.

"We didn't do the same job we've been doing up front on the line of scrimmage," D.J. Durkin said. "They were getting some movement on us. They had a good game plan. Those guys came out played hard, played physical. It was one of those things that kind of trickled down. We weren't winning at the line of scrimmage. That leads the linebackers not fitting right all the time.

"We've been able to do that in every game until that point. Obviously, that's an emphasis for us every week. We weren't able to do that in the game."

While getting blown off the ball at the line of scrimmage, that continued into third downs. The consistent run game kept the Tigers out of being stuck in third-and-long situations. That held the Florida pass rush from being able to pin its ears back and go after LSU quarterback LSU Zach Mettenberger.

The Gators didn't record a sack in the game and barely applied any pressure to Mettenberger.

"We didn't have a lot of opportunities based on how the game went," Durkin said. "We didn't give them a lot of third and long situations. We've been able to pressure the quarterback, and when we've done that, we've been very successful on third down. We didn't do that well enough in that game. I think winning on first down was probably more of the disappointing thing than third down."

MISSOURI OFFENSE REPORT: The Missouri offense will have a different look this weekend. A shoulder injury will keep quarterback James Franklin out of the game, pushing redshirt freshman Maty Mauk into the starting role.

Mauk played some of the second half in Missouri's upset win over Georgia last week, and his skillset is similar to Franklin's. Durkin doesn't expect the Tigers to chance much on the offensive side of the ball.

"I think they have a really good offensive system, obviously it's been proven over time it works really well," Durkin said. "They put up a lot of points, a lot of yards. I think he's the type of quarterback that fits what they do. They have their system and this it what they do and he has great players around him. They've got talented guys to throw the ball to, so I think they'll kind of do what they do with their system."

The size at receiver for Missouri could present problems. Out of the Tigers' top three receivers, none of them are shorter than 6-4.

"The first thing you look at is their stature," Durkin said. "They're long guys. They're big guys. They run well. You know it's kind of like they've got a prototype they recruit to."

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