Webb Shines For Improved Gator Secondary

Dee Webb had two shots at his first interception this season in game one against Wyoming but he couldn't bring the ball down. Saturday night against Louisiana Tech, when the Jacksonville native got his chance, he made good with his first pick of 2005 and the fourth of his career at Florida.

Webb's play at cornerback is one of the reasons the Gators have allowed only 267 passing yards in two games. The Gators have allowed just 25 completions in 64 attempts with four interceptions on the season and the secondary has three of those picks. While Webb appreciates what has been done in the first two games, he knows there is room for improvement, especially with third-ranked Tennessee coming to The Swamp next Saturday night.

"We have to just brush up on the little things," Webb said in a post-game interview Saturday night. "The intensity was there … we just wanted to run hard from point A to point B. I think we will be ready to go next week. We feel like we can run with everybody. We just have to keep proving ourselves.

"I feel like we are pretty good with two games under our belt. We have a lot of confidence and just need to go out and play ball."

Webb's interception Saturday night was a team effort and indicative of how close this unit is working together this season.

"We were in man coverage," he said. "They were throwing to Reggie Nelson's man … he had good coverage and deflected it. Once I turned around and the ball was in the air … I made a play on the ball."

Florida's secondary was prone to give up the big play in 2004 but it is obvious that things have changed in the Gators back line of defense. The unit has bonded off the field and that has resulted in a cohesive group that plays as one on the field. They spent a lot of offseason time together and even though there are serious time demands now that school has begun, they still find the time to spend together as a unit.

"We are all pretty close," Webb said. "We get together as a unit and go out to eat or someone cook's a barbeque [all the time]."

The first two games against non-conference opponents are now a thing of the past which means the focus from here on out will be the brutal eight-game Southeastern Conference schedule. It doesn't get much bigger or much better than Florida's first SEC opponent, Tennessee. This is one of the best if not one of the ugliest rivalries in all of college football. There is a lot at stake for both teams as an entire season can be defined by the outcome.

"Everybody knows this next game is going to make or break you," Webb said. "Whoever wins this game is going uphill from then on … we just have to go out there and play like we have been and do our job."

The Vols are known for their never-changing, simple but effective game plan. They try to ram the ball down opponents' throats with the running game and then throw the ball deep when the safeties begin to creep up to give run support. Webb knows that the Gators have to play exceptionally well, especially in the secondary.

"A lot of smash mouth football … a lot of trying to run it down out throats," he said about the Vols' offense. "So we have to man up on the corners so our D-line and linebackers can go out there and stop the run."

Dee Webb is off to a good start in Florida's first two games but he will have to continue his fine play next Saturday. The mighty Vols have outstanding personnel at the wide receiver position and he will be responsible to help shut down that phase of the Tennessee game if the Gators are to win. You can be sure he will be primed and ready to give the Vols his very best shot.

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