'07 LSU Game Motivating Gators

Florida safeties coach Chuck Heater can rest easier knowing that former LSU running back Jacob Hester will not be playing for the Tigers on Saturday. The Gators and Tigers square off in a top four matchup and had a knock down, drag out game two years ago. It was a game the Gators are using to motivate this season.

Jacob Hester ran the ball 23 times for 106 yards and one touchdown two years ago in Baton Rouge, but it was his performances in short-yardage situations that made his outing memorable. He converted two 4th-and-1 plays on the Tigers' winning drive and punched in the go-ahead score on a third and goal from the 2-yard line.

But that was his senior year, and Heater's defensive unit will not have to worry about him. He is still impressed with the performance by Hester that night.

"He was such a man that night, and that's how you win big games," Heater said. "You have someone step up and refuse not to lose, and that's what happened that night."

It wasn't just Hester that was able to convert on fourth downs for LSU in 2007. The Tigers converted on three others fourth downs that night, which was one of the big reasons for the Gators' loss.

"You got to stop one of those," Heater said.

Although the defense was called into question after the game, Heater came away from the game pleased with the future.

"That was a real defining moment for our defensive guys because we had a really young defensive team that went in there and played hard and tough, but couldn't get off the field, couldn't make plays," he said. "That's when I felt personally at that point that one day we would be pretty good if we just hang together here."

Many of those players formed one of the nation's best defenses last season and led the Gators to a BCS National Championship.

That entire unit is back this year and will have a new challenge facing it this year when Florida heads to Baton Rouge on Saturday.

Heater was impressed with how much quarterback Jordan Jefferson has improved this season for LSU.

"They are an improving offensive team at quarterback, and you really watch in critical situations they had a couple really big time plays," Heater said.

Jefferson has the luxury of handing the ball off to Charles Scott and Keiland Williams, and when he throws the ball, Jefferson has some big targets at wide out.

Receivers Brandon LaFell, Terrance Tolliver and Rueben Randle are all at least 6-3.

"They clearly must recruit because they have got three — of course, you know LaFell, Tolliver and the young freshman (Randle) is a big kid too," Heater said. "That's just normal business stuff. Receivers are always taller than corners, and you don't make a big deal about and just go play, but it's an advantage obviously when they throw the ball up in the air, and they just jump on top of you."

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