Texas A&M running back Devon Achane (6) is stopped behind the line for a loss by Florida linebackers Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. (52) and Ventrell Miller (51) during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. talks Gator Defense

Better communication has been one of the Gators defense’s focal points as the season progresses, according to Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr.

The Gators are ranked No. 3 in the SEC in tackles with 645, behind Texas A&M and Ole Miss. They are No. 4 in interceptions (nine) and are tied for first in the SEC in pick six’s (two).

Florida had 49 total tackles on defense compared to Texas A&M’s 83 in Saturday’s game.

Full Game of Defense

It was a 24-10 game going into the third quarter. The Gators were able to shutout the Aggies in the second half. Florida went on to score 21 more points to make it a three-possession game.

“It shows what we can do and I know we’ll be able to do that for four quarters.” Powell-Ryland said.

Powell-Ryland said during halftime, the team started to communicate better which made the biggest difference on the field. Coming into the game with a “pumped up” mindset has made the Gators defense preform to its highest standard.

Team Leadership

Powell-Ryland said the senior class has meant a lot to this team. The leadership they have brought to the team has added a new edge to the players, wanting to compete and be the best for them, he said.

“Coming in, there was no problem… they welcomed me in,” Powell-Ryland said. “Everything that he (Ventrell Miller) does he works hard in; he’s going to tell you and he’s going to show it”.

Also, Powell-Ryland said Miller came in during halftime and sent a heart filled message saying they are capable of shutting out the Aggies, which they would later on do.

Look Ahead to South Carolina

Powell-Ryland stated how the win over A&M should be a turning point to what they showed they are able to do.

He said the Gators want to go into this South Carolina game for the seniors, showing them how appreciative they are of them and their leadership.

The Gators will host South Carolina Saturday for their last home game of the season. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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