Dunlap Looking for Double-Digit Sacks

Florida's defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been a threat to opposing quarterbacks all season. With nine sacks on the year, he has almost twice as many as any other Gator. And Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson better beware because the 6-6, 290-pound "freak" is looking for double digits.

With improved depth across the defensive line this season, Florida has been able to rotate more and more. It's also allowed them to develop specialists, which is where Carlos Dunlap falls. Usually on the field on passing downs, Dunlap with his huge size and wingspan is a tough obstacle for quarterbacks to throw around.

"What usually happens is I go in there and Justin Trattou moves into the middle, and we have our best three pass rushers out on the field," Dunlap said.

The strategy has worked. Florida has been dominating in stopping the run, and they've done a pretty good job of holding opponent's passing games in check as well. Florida posted 31 sacks compared to their opponents who have 15 against the Gators. They've also broken up 49 passes, picked of 23, and recorded 66 tackles for a loss. And it all starts up front with the D-line.

"I've liked the progress that I've made," Dunlap said. "Of course, I would have liked to have gotten to the quarterback a little more and gotten some more sacks and help my team do whatever is necessary to help my team win."

The improvement of Dunlap and the rest of the defensive line began after the end of last season. A disappointing finish led to one of the hardest offseason programs ever under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti. Defensive line coach Dan McCarney also brought new energy to the line.

"Every day during the offseason, Coach Mick pushed us hard to get us exactly to the point we're at right now," Dunlap said. "Over the summer we got no breaks. Other teams would get to go home and see their families, but we just stayed here and worked and got better."

The last week has been no different. The Gators are preparing for Alabama who boasts the league's second best running attack only behind the Florida's. The Tide have a big, physical offensive line that will prove to be the most difficult test for the Gators this season.

"Our O-line and their O-line are very good," Dunlap said. "So practicing against our O-line all week has helped as out a lot and helped us get better this season. … I've been working with Phil Trautwein. Just me and him one-on-one. It helps that he's the same weight as the three guys on [Alabama's] line, so I've just been working with him."

With injuries to Brandon Antwine and Matt Patchan, Dunlap will likely see more snaps against Alabama. There's also the possibility that he moves inside when the Gators show a three-man front. But he'll still be part of a quality rotation that could mean advantage Gators.

"Coming off the bench, I have the mindset that I'm going to come out and make the big play," Dunlap said. "I have the fresh legs coming off the bench."

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