Staying focused

With all the distractions going on around Florida football, staying focused on the game Saturday against second ranked Florida State isn't exactly an easy thing. But the seniors on this Gator squad want to leave on a good note and because the rivalry the game is very important. Senior offensive lineman Kyle Koehne has had his good moments as a Gator and really wants to end his time right.

The Swamp will be a mixed bag of emotions Saturday at noon when the two teams kick off. But the rivalry against Florida State wil take center stage when the game kicks of at noon. To second ranked Seminoles have a high flying offense that has put up a record number of points this year, something that doesn't ease the minds of the Gators.

"That doesn't help," Kyle Koehne said of the way FSU is playing this year, "That just makes us hungrier to be the ones to upset them."

Teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jon Halapio was pretty adamant that the Gators could win on Saturday, something fans and odds makers aren't buying at the moment. Koehne thinks the same, but the Gators have to play as one.

"Oh yeah, it starts with belief," he said. "You have no chance unless you believe. I think if we all come together as a unit, that we can win this game."

There will be no bowl game for the Gators for the first time since 1990. With the way things have gone this year, with the big rivalry, and this being the last game, this one is the biggest of the season.

"This is the season for us," he said. "This is our bowl game. This is our big game of the year. We want to end it off on a good note."

The Gators handed Florida State their worst loss a season ago. On the road in Tallahassee, Florida came from behind to win 37-26 with the Noles scoring a meaningless touchdown in the waning moments of the game. The Gators pounded the ball on Florida State, something they were much better at a year ago, but would like to do again on Saturday.

"Yeah, every year against this team, it's all about physicality," Koehne said. "The team that's the most physical in the end comes out on top."

"You know, just like last year, you know. I think as an offensive line group, I can speak for my guys. We need to bring physicality every play and we need to show who is going to dominate this line of scrimmage and that's how we're going to win this one."

If Florida is going to be successful in a tough, hard-nosed game they are going to have to get by a defensive line at Florida State that is playing better tgs year than in years past. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has been vocal about how much better they are than the Gators and Koehne understands how good they are.

"Yeah, he's a great player," Koehne said of Jernigan. "I mean, it's not just one person on their team, though. They've been playing great as a unit, and I think a lot of people have realized that. So that's what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to play as a unit together to have a chance."

Leading up to Saturday, the big thing will be to make sure all of their attention is to the game at hand and the very good opponent they will be facing.

"I think a big thing for us it to not listen to all the outside voices," Koehne said. "It's to stay together as a group, like I've been saying, and just you know not listen to anything on the outside and focus on what we need to focus on to win this game."

Abd still there has to be a little time for reflection, Saturday is Senior Day and the seniors will be taking the field for the last time and seing their family at mid-field before the game.

"It's a huge day, you know, last game in The Swamp," Koehne said. "I've been thinking about this since (my junior) year. It's hard to believe that the day has actually come but I'm super excited. It's gonna be awesome to have my family out there on the field with me. It's been an awesome experience here."


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