Ratliff named Defensive Player of the Week

Florida cornerback Keiwan Ratliff was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week as a result of his three interceptions during Saturday's win....

In wake of No. 25 Florida's 33-28 win against No. 21 Arkansas, CB Keiwan Ratliff was named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

The honor came as no surprise, as the senior snagged three game-changing interceptions. Ratliff tied the Gators' single-game record and now ranks fourth in school history with six picks this season – five of which came in the past two weeks.

He needs one more to enter a four-way tie for the most interceptions in a season.

Following his final interception, which Ratliff returned 44 yards for a touchdown, he heaved the ball into the upper deck of Razorback Stadium. The play cost the Gators an unsportsmanlike penalty, and it cost Ratliff a series on the bench.

"I just want to apologize to my teammates and my coaches and the fans," Ratliff said after the game. "I put myself before the team. It almost cost us. I feel bad I let the coaches down."

He may have let the coaches down following the play, but it was his touchdown that gave the Gators a 33-7 lead.

"Keiwan had a great game with the exception of that last little slip," Zook said. "He's playing on emotion out there on the football field. He'll learn from this. He'll continue to improve with each game and with each new situation."

In the same game, Ratliff also broke the school record for most punt return yards in a career. His 10-yard return in the first quarter helped him surpass Jacquez Green, who held the record with 766 yards. The senior now has 784 yards on his career.

TIME TO RECOVER

Florida's bye week will give the Gators a chance to nurse several injuries before playing Georgia on Nov. 1.

Starting TB Ran Carthon, who missed the Arkansas game with a strained hamstring, should be ready in time for the Bulldogs.

Also, sophomore TB Ciatrick Fason left the game in the second half with a slightly strained hamstring. The injury does not appear to be of concern.

"We didn't want to take a chance and have anything happen to it," Zook said. Before leaving the game, Fason posted two of the game's biggest plays. He scored twice, once on a 33-yard reception off of a screen pass and against on a 75-yard touchdown run through the middle.

His long carry was the longest since Emmitt Smith picked up a 96-yard touchdown run against Mississippi State in 1988.

"He picked up where he left off," Zook said. "He's practicing hard and playing hard. You love when good things happen to good people."

If no one noticed LS Casey Griffith before, maybe they will now. When K Matt Leach had a field goal blocked in the fourth quarter, Griffith was out of the game with an injured hand.

His status remains unknown.

BRIEFLY

The Gators will practice today and Wednesday, but will take the rest of the week off.


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