Gators with defensive injuries vs. Gamecocks

The Florida Gators have stayed reasonably healthy this season, but are a little banged up on defense as they head to their SEC closer at South Carolina on Saturday. Florida head coach Jim McElwain filled the media in on Monday.

The only one of the new names that is definitely out for the game according to McElwain is junior defensive tackle Joey Ivie. A part time starter, Ivie has played well this year.

According to what McElwain said, senior defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard is doubtful and is the next least likely to play of the new injuries. Bullard has had an All-American type senior season and will certainly be missed if he can’t go.

Junior starting safety Keanu Neal rounds out the defensive guys and is listed as questionable after a foot injury in the Vanderbilt game.

Sophomore offensive tackle David Sharpe didn’t start the game against Vanderbilt because of injury, but was inserted because of issues up front in the game. Sharpe is listed as day to day and should likely play in the game against South Carolina.

“Joey Ivie will be out,” McElwain said at his noon time press conference on Monday. “Keanu Neal will be questionable with a foot.

“David Sharpe will be day to day, he played obviously in the second half, not very effectively. Yet he went in there and scrapped pretty good, but you got to understand, part of this guys, is you got to practice. That’s probably on me, that is on me. We’ve got to make sure these guys understand the importance of taking reps during the week to prepare yourself to be successful on a Saturday. It’s no different than anybody else and what they do in their job. It’s about preparation; we got to do a good job of that.

“Jon Bullard will not go today, he’s probably doubtful. He’s got an arm deal so we’ll see how that goes as the week goes on. Other than that, you know Martez is good, he’s ready to go. He played really hard in that ball game.”

As mentioned, the Gators have stayed pretty healthy and even if Ivie and Bullard are out, they have developed depth up front. However, Bullard is one of the more explosive defensive linemen in all of college football and is a huge difference maker.

Stay tuned to Fightin’ Gators this week as we keep up with the injuries for the 10th ranked Gators. 

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