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Florida defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga (92), defensive lineman Kyree Campbell (55) and linebacker Jonathan Greenard (58) set up for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Miami Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Todd Grantham talks defense after loss

The Florida Gators were outplayed in Saturday’s loss to now No. 6 Georgia. Team statistics show that the offense had just 21 rushing yards on the day. That meant Florida averaged one yard on each rushing play. But the Gators were outplayed on defense, too.  The defense gave up nearly 400 yards, allowing Georgia to convert third downs 66% of the time. While Florida defensive unit is still ranked in the top of the SEC for sacks, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham knows there’s numerous ways for his team to improve in the final weeks of the season.

Major takeaways on defense

Grantham talked to the media on Monday, and had plenty to say about his defense.  He believes the loss came down to one thing, for all areas of his defense.

And those lack of big defensive plays led Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to throw for nearly 280 yards, adding on a pair of touchdowns. But it also allowed Georgia running back D’Andre Swift to rush for almost 100 yards in the win. He was the bulk of Georgia’s running game Saturday, as the team totaled 131 yards of running offense.

Missed assignments were also an issue in the loss. According to Grantham, the assignments were missed because of a lack of communication. That communication needs to be improved upon in future games.

But Fromm also helped his Bulldogs convert on several third down plays. This was another huge issue for his team. The lack of execution allowed Georgia to keep its momentum.

And it’s clear Grantham has three big takeaways for his defense after this loss: an improvement in eye control, leverage, and physicality. There’s one that stood out to Grantham.

“We need to be more physical in all areas,” Grantham said.

Moving forward

Defensive players Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga were back on the field for the Gators this past weekend. Greenard totaled nine tackles in his first game back from injury. It’ll be important for these two influential players to continue making statements in the finals weeks of play.

While Grantham had many areas of improvement for his team after the loss, he also knows that bouncing back is critical. It seems that the rest of the team realizes that, too.

They will be able to do that in final three games of the regular season.

The Gators will be facing Vanderbilt this Saturday, Nov. 9, in The Swamp. Kickoff is at noon.

About Cassandra Amunndson

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