Florida Gators junior running back Lamical Perine is practicing aggressively ahead of the opening Southeastern Conference game with Tennessee. The Mobile, Alabama, native amassed 99 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving through the first three games of the season.
The running back said he will do whatever his coaches asked after practice. Although he considers himself a balanced running back, Perine knows he could improve. Specifically, Florida fans may remember his strong block on third down versus the Colorado State Rams. He credits the block to Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen’s emphasis on physicality in practice.
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On the other hand, Perine and the Gators will be tested by the crowd at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mullen has played “Rocky Top” at practices all week so the team can become used to the song, and Perine is already tired of hearing it.
However, Perine said the coaches are preparing them so there are no surprises.
Perine also backed the work of the offensive line, which has received a lot of criticism so far this season.
Advice for Freshmen
Florida leads the all-time series versus Tennessee 27-20, winning 12 of the last 13 games. However, Perine understands how nerves can affect players heading into a big rivalry game. In fact, Perine said he was nervous coming into his first game against the Vols.
However, Perine said freshman like running back Dameon Pierce needs to filter out the crowd this weekend.
Pierce scored his first touchdown on a 68-yard rush versus Colorado State last weekend. Perine said the touchdown was nice and that Pierce is talented on the field, off the field and in the weight room.
At the end of the day, Perine said the team wants to win and have fun doing it. Therefore, the team can enjoy success on the field and off it, where Perine believes Mullen is a funny guy and that he’d be Thor if he had long hair.