Pounceys have Plenty of Motivation

It's been a little over a month since Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were informed of a devastating injury to their step-father Rob Webster. Webster lost a good portion of one of his legs in a work accident the week before the FSU game. If the BCS National Championship wasn't enough motivation to win Thursday, Webster's vow to be at the game during that same week is certainly a lift.

There are all kinds of motivating factors for the Pounceys who are two of the starting offensive linemen for the Florida Gators and identical twins. The winner of the game itself means they can puff their chest all year about being the best team in the nation. They play on an offense that is currently taking a back seat to the high scoring dynamite offense of the Sooners. But, the guy they call dad, said he would be there watching for them play the big game, while he was still in intensive care.

The injury happened on the Monday before the Florida State game. The Pounceys had a day of non-practice and found out in the late afternoon about the accident. They immediately rushed to Lakeland to be with Webster and the family and offer support.

The Pounceys would miss practice on Tuesday while they remained with their mother Lisa Webster and helped out in Lakeland. While there, Rob made a vow to Mike and Maurkice that he would be there when they played for a national championship. He wanted them to head back to Gainesville by that Wednesday to prepare for Florida State. They did, and two wins later, the twins will see that vow come to fruition.

"He's going to be at the game," Michael Pouncey said of his father on Sunday. "He is done with everything. He has his skin graft, and will be sitting in one of the handicapped sections."

Maurkice Pouncey tells how tough Rob is and he will not allow others to wheel him around.

"He's doing great," Maurkice said. "They (mom and dad) are coming a couple of days before to hang out with the team. He has a wheelchair but he won't wheelchair at all. He uses a walker."

More motivation for this game comes from the talent on the other side of the ball. The Sooners are the top team in the country with a very good run defense and a pass defense that is probably overlooked because of the many talented offenses in the Big 12.

Mike believes the defensive line matches up with the best teams the Gators have faced this year.

"They are pretty good," Mike said. "They have one that is supposed to be drafted high. (Gerald McCoy) is supposed to be a great player. Their defense is sound in what they do. We have to get ready to play. They are similar to a couple of teams we played…Alabama was real sound on defense, LSU was too. They have about the same kind of front. (McCoy) is a good player, all of them are good. He's big and we are big, it will be a good matchup.

"They are fast off the ball and competitors. They aren't the number one team for no reason. They have a good defense."

"Their defense is pretty good, from all positions they are well coached," Maurkice said from the opposite side of the room to a different media group. "Those guys are around the ball. They have fast guys…they are in the national championship so they have to have some pretty fast people."

"They are a lot like Alabama, but faster. Terrence Cody (Alabama nose guard) was probably the strongest guy we every played, but they weren't that fast. Oklahoma is physical and fast."

In this championship season the Pounceys have become leaders for the Gators. Only true sophomores the two have been two of the most physically mature and mentally tough players on the entire team all year. Mike said it was just a mental adjustment in the off-season that got them to make the transition from a freshman season where they had no want or desire to be leaders.

"We put it in our heads in the off-season that we want to be leaders and lead the team," Mike said. "We talked about it and just led by example. We didn't speak it, we just went out there and everyone followed us."

Rob and Lisa Webster were a big part of the Pouncey maturation at such a young age.

"We just learned from our parents," Mike said. "We did a lot together as a family and learned from them. Our parents don't play with academics."

Finally the motivation for the game itself is the biggest factor for this team and especially the Pounceys. They are playing for all the marbles and only two teams can say that at this point.

"If you don't want to play in the National Championship, who are you?" Mike said. "All of you (the media) would probably dress up for the game if you had a chance. Coach Meyer, all he says is ‘it's the last game'."

Maurkice also knows why the Gators are there. They have a team full of players that made it a mission and live, eat, drink, and bleed football.

"Players that love the game," Maurkice described his Gator teammates. "Not many quarterbacks are like (Tim) Tebow and are going to run into linebackers every day. Tebow doesn't care if he gets hit...he is going to get the first down. We have amazing impact players on the team. If anyone has Percy on their team, they will probably have a great season. We just have great guys."

The game will be fun for the Gators and the Sooners. It is big time football played with big time players on a big time stage. The national spotlight may have never seen a match up quite like this.

"I know our offense is aggressive, we love to play football and have passion for the game," Maurkice said. "Oklahoma is about the same way, they just have a fast tempo. You have to be in great shape to play in that offense.

"We have probably the two best quarterbacks in the nation and probably the two best teams. It is going to be a brawl."

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