Austin Pleased With First Performance

Gator first year defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said he was pleased with his unit's play in the season opening win over Miami (OH). Austin's unit held the RedHawks to 212 yards of total offense and just 3.1 yards per play.

RedHawks quarterback Zac Dysert threw for 191 yards, but needed 44 passes to reach that number and Florida intercepted him four times including a pick-6 by Janoris Jenkins for the Gators' first points early in the second quarter.

Austin said the numbers are fine, but there's one bottom line that trumps all others.

"Basically at the end of the day, you want to know if you won or lost," Austin said. "We won, so I'd say our unit did well because we had a hand in (it)."

The defense was put in tough situations repeatedly due to the stumbling nature of the Florida offense. Miami began its second possession on the Florida 24-yard line and the next two started near midfield. Yet the Gators did not let the RedHawks to cross the goal line.

"I think that's a key," Austin said. "Any time you can keep a team out of the end zone, keep them from scoring touchdowns and hold them to field goals that gives you team a great chance to win. It's also a momentum (boost) for your team because you don't let them get in there and get touchdowns that are back breakers. Our guys played hard and we held them out."

Austin said that wasn't easy against a quarterback who threw for more than 2,600 yards a year ago.

"We know he's a good player," Austin said. "He created time in the pocket a bunch of times. He's a pretty good athlete. He's a tough kid and he throws the ball well. We were pretty fortunate to be able to get enough pressure on him and made him make some bad throws. We were able to turn those turnovers into points and really good field position."

Janoris Jenkins gave the Gators their first momentum of the day when he stepped in front of a Dysert pass and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown. Two possessions later, Ahmad Black gave the Gators control of the game with his ninth career interception. He returned it all the way to the 2-yard line setting up the Gators to take a 21-3 lead. Austin said those two plays were huge in the Florida win.

"Any time you can change field position and give us (a score) or the ball on the three yard line, those are great momentum swings for your team. I was played to see our veteran guys who've played a lot of football make big plays for you."

Austin may have another challenge facing him this week. Moses Jenkins injured his arm during the Miami game and may be out a while. That moves Jeremy Brown into the starting lineup and forces freshmen Jaylen Watkins, Joshua Shaw and Cody Riggs to step up and be ready as the backup corners going forward.

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