Amari Burney
Florida safety Amari Burney (30) celebrates with linebacker Ventrell Miller, left, and tight end Lucas Kull, right, after he blocked a Colorado State punt that led to a Florida touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gators’ Burney Sees Need to Step It Up

To start improving, one needs to acknowledge the fact there is indeed work to be done. Defensive back Amari Burney made that first step in Monday’s Gators’ football press conference. Burney said during the press conference that he needs to “step it up” as a starter and get the job done.

While he added there were no excuses, Burney said that this was the first season he was on the field for first and second down. He said he needs to learn more from from his teammate who have been playing the position longer. Additionally, he also felt he needed to be more aggressive.

Not Defensive Woes, Per Se, But Noticeable Issues

From the start of the Ole Miss game, one thing has stood out for the wrong reasons: The Gators defense is not like it was last year. Throughout both games, it seemed like opponents were able to march downfield and tackles just are not happening. The Gators showed weak spots again against South Carolina. Through the third quarter, the Gators defense had held the Gamecocks to just 14 points.

Then, the Gamecocks put up 10 points in last quarter and change to close the gap. The Gators still won by two scores, but the team acknowledges there were things that should not have happened as the game wound down.

The Gators are missing notable defense players that went to the NFL. However, no one on the Gators is using that excuse.

Burney called the fourth-quarter performance “unacceptable,” and said the defense must come together and stay locked in for the full game.

Burney added that everyone needs to be held accountable. He added if everyone does their job right, the defense will get it done, and they will look better.

There is an acknowledgement by the team that they cannot rely on the offense going off every game. A rough day is going to happen. If the defense is not there to help out, it could get ugly quickly, especially against a tough opponent.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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