Tuesday Practice Report

Cornerback Keiwan Ratliff said it has been his risk-taking defensive approach which has resulted in his recent success....

Don't tell CB Keiwan Ratliff he's finally broken out of an early-season slump. Better yet, just call him fashionably late.

It may have taken the senior six games to live up to his preseason hype, but Florida's coaches don't seem to mind. Ratliff has done plenty since to make up for it.

In two games, he has snagged five interceptions mostly in situations when he has dropped his coverage of a receiver to pursue the pass.

The difference between the newfound Ratliff? He's taking more risks. He said he had been playing tentatively earlier in the season in an effort to follow the coaches' schemes.

But when defensive coordinator Charlie Strong noticed Ratliff's conservativeness, he pulled him aside to address the issue.

"He told me to just be me," Ratliff said. "He told me to just go out and make plays. Before we talked, I was going wherever the coaches were telling me to go. But I'm not the type of corner who is just going to make tackle after tackle. I'm a risk taker. I'm a gambler. And if I see a big play, I'm going to go for it."

The strategy paid off. With six picks, he now needs only one more to tie the school record for most in a season.

So while the senior understands the negatives that can result in his risky business, don't expect him to back off any time soon.

"Sometimes you'll give up a big gain when you play like that," Ratliff said. "But you see the rewards when you take those risks. In the last few weeks, I've been taken a lot of risks. Fortunately for the team, I haven't been burnt."


No longer will LB Channing Crowder fill the newspapers with his witty quotes and outlandish analogies. The true freshman has been banned from talking to the media.

Crowder, who became a fast favorite for his honest lingo, joins former quote machine Shannon Snell as the only Gators placed under the gag order.

Here's what we're left with to remember him by:

"It's like a cake," Crowder said following Florida's win against LSU. "Look at the eggs. It's not real pretty. Look at the milk, it's not real pretty. Look at the flour, you know? But get everything together. Mix everything and cook it into a cake, the end result is beautiful."

Three days later, he continued to formulate real-world comparisons for the team's situation.

"Right now, it's just like dating a girl," Crowder said last week. "We've had one good date, but if the next date's not good, she might not call you back. Winning the SEC; that's like getting married."

The marriage between Crowder and the media, on the other hand, appears to be over.


LS Casey Griffith dislocated tendons in his right hand, but he expects to be ready in time for the Nov. 1 game against Georgia….All of Florida's running backs – DeShawn Wynn (shoulder), Ran Carthon (hamstring) and Ciatrick Fason (hamstring) – practiced in Florida's first workout of the bye week….Linebacker Dwright Jackson, of South Bay, practiced for the first time Tuesday since dislocating his shoulder against Kentucky on Sept. 27.

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