K-Jax Earns Champion Status For Play Vs. LaTech

In Coach Urban Meyer's grading system, making Champion for one game is a big deal, based on scoring better than 80 percent on all assignments. Sophomore safety Kyle Jackson earned Champion status Saturday night against Louisiana Tech by hitting six of his seven assignments but the most spectacular play was a leaping first quarter interception that killed a drive that started near midfield.

Jackson's pick was one of three interceptions for the Gators Saturday night and made it four for the season. Getting interceptions starts with pressure on the quarterback and through two games, Florida's front four has shown it can get in the quarterback's face.

"If you have a good front four it takes the pressure off the defensive backs," Jackson said. "They are getting pressure on the quarterback and forcing throws."

The defensive unit is showing its aggressive side so far this year. The Gators are running to the football and gang tackling. This is a very cohesive unit that should only get better the more experience they get playing together.

"I am liking everything about it (the defense)," he explained. "I think our defense is very good and think we will only get better. We are a whole defense now … it's not one player making plays, it's everyone."

Kyle Jackson snags this interception

Coach Urban Meyer agrees with Jackson and has a lot of praise for the boys defending the turf against the opposition's offense. Meyer has been comfortable with what the defense has been able to do so far in this young 2005 season.

"There has never been a point in the last two games where I thought we were being threatened," Meyer said. "At no time today did I feel we were in trouble on defense, and that has to continue"

Jackson got his first interception of the new season because of great play from the cornerback covering that receiver at the line of scrimmage. Thanks to Vernell Brown, Jackson was able to make a rather routine play deep in the secondary,

"The quarterback checked off and they were kind of moving around, but Vernell got a great jam on him and the quarterback looked my way the whole time," Jackson said. "He was the only wide receiver over there. I gambled and took the snag."

Expected to be a weak point this season, the Florida secondary has been surprisingly strong ever since the start of fall practice. Part of that progression has been the rise of newcomers Reggie Nelson and Avery Atkins. Jackson is impressed with the Nelson and Atkins and expects big things from them.

"They are both two great players and bring great depth," he said. "If Vernell or Dee Webb go down, we would have pretty good backups."

The biggest test of the young season comes next week when the Tennessee Volunteers come to town. With the play of the secondary and the defense as a whole, the Gators are hoping they will contain the potent Vol attack.

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