Gators' Jalen Tabor wants Vols to play with fire

One Mean Green hit to Luke Del Rio’s knee left him on the ground and Florida head coach Jim McElwain storming the field.  Benches on both sides started to leave the sidelines and more players than should be were on the field.  Jalen Tabor went to McElwain’s side trying to hold him back from the refs, calm him down, and get him back to the sideline.   

Jalen Tabor gave the Florida media a sense of what he was saying to McElwain trying to restrain him from more of a tirade, “We’ve got your back coach, just let us play.  We’ll finish the game. You don’t have to worry about it.”

“I really care about these players,” McElwain said after the game.  “I care about them in more ways than just football players.  And when you see something like that, it’s my responsibility when their parents aren’t here to be there parents…I’ve got their back.”

The bench clearing definitely sent a jolt of energy through the Swamp and woke everyone up in the late third quarter.  To North Texas’s dismay, an injuring hit just made for an angry defense coming their way.

The Gator defense ended the night with seven sacks and the Mean Green didn’t even stand a chance with a total of 53 yards.  The Gators haven’t had seven sacks since September 1999, and 53 yards is the least allowed in school history. 

“That’s what we do,” Tabor said.  ”I’ve been saying all along we have the best defense in the country.”

After a game like North Texas, Tabor is ready to see some action this season and was quick to look ahead to the away Tennessee game next weekend.   

“If there’s a game that you circle on your calendar, it’s Tennessee-Florida, SEC East,” Tabor said.

As of now, McElwain said they are going to prepare this week like they will not have Del Rio against the Vols.  Tabor said that regardless if Del Rio is the leader of the offense, it will not make one difference to the defense.

“If the other team can’t score, they can’t win.  So at the end of the day we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard on the defensive side of the ball.  It doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback, running back, receiver…we step out on that field, and our job is to not let the opposing team score.”

 Tabor said that because of the Vols’ schedule, they may show up to the game on their heels on Saturday.

“They have some really good players,” Tabor said.   “But I feel like they haven’t played anyone of our caliber yet.  So they’ve been kind of slacking around most likely…We’re confident.  It’s our standard.  We don’t even see them as opponents. We try to hold them to zero.”

When asked if he thinks they’ll be coming after him, Tabor said, “Oh I want them to.  My momma always told me if you play with fire, you get burnt.” ?




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