Gators Turn Up Intensity

The offense and defense continued to battle during Friday night's workout, setting off a workout worth watching....

In perhaps the most intense practice session yet, tempers flew as the Gators worked on more short-yardage situations Friday evening.

The workout climaxed toward the end of the session, as Daryl Lee threw his helmet in frustration and Mo Mitchell shoved Ran Carthon.

"I was definitely disappointed," Lee said. "I was frustrated at the way we were playing because we can play so much better. I think this has been the best day. We got out there and competed a lot during practice. Emotions just got a little high at times."

On third and short, Carthon plowed through the middle in attempt for a first down, setting off an already frustrated defense.

"I was aiming to go for one of his legs hoping somebody would come over the top and help me out," Carthon said. "Mo is kind of big so it didn't happen, and he got his shove in. But I'm going to get him back when we get in the locker room.

While the practice was intense, players made it clear the friskiness was a result of competition.

"It's not that we're trying to embarrass them," Carthon said. "We're just trying to compete against them. Anytime on offense, you want to stick it to them. When you get in the lockerroom the defensive guys are more vocal so you're going to here it a lot more. I think today, we're leaving the field with our bragging rights."

The intensity will continue Saturday at 5 p.m., when the Gators scrimmage for the second time this week.

BIG MO: Defensive line coach Red Anderson has been impressed with Mitchell's ability to maintain his stamina on defense.

The always-vocal converted offensive lineman appears to be one of the most solid forces in an otherwise thin unit.

"That was a concern when he initially moved over there," Anderson said. "Offensive line doesn't have to go but a four yard radius, and now he's having to run all over the place. He surprised me somewhat. He was able to hang in there a pretty good while. Hopefully, he's going to trim down even more."

As for freshman Marcus Thomas, the Jacksonville native appears to still be acclimating to the collegiate level. While Anderson hopes to have him prepared to contribute this season on the line, there is still plenty of work to be done.

"He's really raw, but he has some talent," Anderson said. "He's a strong kid that can run. He's quick. But he's just learning a lot of fundamentals right now." Anderson also praised Tranell Morant and Johnny Dingle for their quick progress.

BATTLE UP FRONT: Right tackle Randy Hand has evened out with Lance Butler in the eyes of Florida's coaches. The two have begun to engage in a tight competition for the starting role.

"Lance is really working hard, and Randy has come around back to the old Randy in regards to his arm and his movement," Coach Joe Wickline said. "Him and Lance are having a tight race. We'll have to watch that position and see who wins that one."

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