“I was here with basically four different teams,” Joey Ivie said. “I say that as if this year is different than last year in a good way. I think we’ve adjusted in a lot of ways and gained a lot of things we didn’t have. I think we’re heading in the right direction. I have a good feeling about this team this year.”
Ivie said something about this team is just different. That is something Gator fans have been waiting to hear for a long time. Something about the team’s interaction together is what Ivie says makes this group so special.
“We had really good team chemistry last year,” Ivie said. “But this year we are even closer. I think the O-line has gotten tremendously better from last year. They’re still working and trying to get better but I think they’ve gotten better from last year.”
Florida has been through a lot of changes since Ivie has been a Gator. Ivie says he learned in order to be successful the team needs to accept and embrace change.
“To me, the best thing for any team trying to be great is to buy in to a program,” Ivie said. “When Mac came, Champ told us, ‘you need to buy in to this guy.’ After that, that’s what a lot of people have done. For the D-line, we went to Rumph, a lot of people have bought in to what Rumph has said…and you can just see the improvements. They’re tremendous… from each player.”
Florida fans have kept their confidence in the Gator defense in recent years, and Ivie says that definitely should not change. All of the penalties from the Gator defense against UMass left a bad taste in the mouth about the way the game was played. Ivie says those penalties were definitely mistakes, but mental errors that don’t reflect the talent of the D-line.
“I think our defense, it just moves around…fundamentally sound,” Ivie said. “Everyone knows what they are doing. They don’t have to think twice, they just go.”
After learning from the mistakes from last Saturday, Ivie says Florida is ready to take on Kentucky this weekend. He is confident in his teammates’ talent and mentality.
“I think we have a great defense and won’t have much of a problem with them.”