Florida defensive lineman Princely Umanmielen. Left, sacks Missouri quarterback Brady Cook (12) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gator Defense Making Vast Improvements, Umanmielen says

Princely Umanmielen addressed the media Wednesday to discuss the Gators defense and what’s attributed to the team’s success this year.

Hot Start for the Gator Defense

Despite the Utah game, the Gators defense has proved impressive in the last two outings in The Swamp. Florida sits atop the SEC in yards allowed and yards allowed per game. Those numbers respectively being, 769 and 256.3. In addition, Florida is tied with Georgia for fewest plays with 20 yards or more on the year.

In a news conference, Umanmielen said that Florida has one of the best defenses in the country and more players are buying in, which leads to containing big plays.

Defensive Turnaround From Last Year

Last year Florida’s defense struggled. Umanmielen attributes the turnaround this year to personnel changes, play calling and new defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong.

Armstrong trusts his players and he relies on them more than the game scheme, Umanmielen said. The scheme is based around the players, not the other way around.  

The coaching and recruiting from coach Billy Napier have also had positive results on the defense. The new guys coming in have character, which is a key aspect of Napier’s recruiting process, Umanmielen said. These new players are unselfish and want leadership roles, which helps the team progress every day.

Looking Ahead

The SEC East win against then-No. 11 Tennessee gives the Gators a lot of confidence heading into the rest of the season. The win is a great base for Florida (2-1, 1-0 SEC) to build on.

Florida has experienced recent practice struggles and are trying to stay focused and not look too far ahead. Napier tells the players to practice with fear and humility. The Gators need to practice harder and everything will fall into place, Uid.manmielen sa

Florida’s schedule gives the defense more chances to put pressure on the quarterback and get more sacks. Solid performances one game at a time is what the Gators need to keep momentum going.

Florida will take on Charlotte (1-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday in The Swamp.

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