Football at Florida -- Postgame Quotes

Sept. 14, 2014

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Head Coach Mark Stoops

Opening Statement:
“It was a difficult loss as you can imagine. I’m very proud of our players’ effort. If I could steal a quote from the coach at De La Salle, we went and watched that movie last night, and we weren’t perfect but it was a perfect effort. I really appreciate our players and their commitment to the preparation. They left it all on the field. There’s things we could all do better, we will do better. But again, we are not in the business of any kind of moral victory or anything like that. But I felt like our players really grew up tonight and really came here to win the game and really believed we were going to win the game the whole way through. You have to give credit to Florida. They made the plays when the game was on the line to win the game. But again, I was just very proud of our team’s effort, the way they came into a hostile environment, really played with a lot of poise and did a lot of good things. We just didn’t make enough plays to win, so we will get back to work. I feel very good about this team and the direction we are going. And we will get back to work.”

On the impact of the younger players on the roster…
“I’m very proud of the young guys and some guys that grew up tonight, young and old. It was very good to see Eric make some very difficult catches on some good defenders. He had one wide open, but a lot of the other ones were contested. He did a nice job when Bone played on the first overtime. That was a terrific individual effort by him.”

Freshman Wide Receiver Garrett Johnson
On what he takes from tonight’s game:
“We definitely saw progress in how we played tonight. Like you said, we didn’t come out with a victory, which was what we wanted, but that’ll just be fuel for the fire. [We] just continue to get better and use that as energy and motivation for the weeks to come.”

On what it felt like when making the first touchdown catch:
“It’s finally here, it felt great to finally put one in.”

Head Coach Will Muschamp

On the Gators’ triple-overtime win:
“Offensively, I felt like in the first half we battled some position issues. We had some open throws, we didn’t hit on them. We had four or five shots in the game that we missed down the field. We felt like all night we were running the ball pretty well and moving the chains as far as running the ball. We stayed very balanced.

“Demarcus Robinson played very well at the receiver position. He’s obviously a playmaker and can win a lot of one-on-one battles.

“We had some opportunities down the field that we’ve got to cash in, but I thought we did some nice things. Defensively, we just got to cover better, that’s my responsibility.

“They had six big plays for 173 yards. When you play a team that’s willing to throw the ball vertically that much, there’s going to be some 50-50 balls. We need to play the ball better in some situations. We didn’t, and that was very frustrating. The positive of it – it’s a very adverse game. There’s going to be games like that when you play in our conference and you’ve got to find ways to win those games and our guys found a way to win the game. That’s a huge positive, and to show some resiliency and fight through adversity and all the positives in that – a lot of things certainly to be corrected.

“Again, a lot of things to go back and watch the tape and improve on. I’m proud of our players and the adversity, and certainly our fans were amazing.”

On Brian Poole and Keanu Neal:
“We need to communicate better on the back end and that starts at the safety position. I thought Jabari (Gorman) did a nice job for the most part. Brian (Poole) had a huge play on the third down in the third overtime to knock the ball off the guy. That’s a 50-50 ball. I know from the stands that looks easy. That’s a really hard thing. It’s a hard task to do some of the things we ask those guys to do. I thought he really stepped up and played well at times and certainly he would like to have a couple plays back.

“The way we play, sometimes that’s where the ball is going to fall, and you’ve got to go make those plays.”

On the emotions of the game’s outcome:
“I just think we’ve got a lot to work on. I don’t really feel relief after games. I look at it from a technical standpoint. We’ve got to clean some things up in the back end. Our guys fought. It wasn’t always pretty at times. More than anything, we missed a football night game (due to the Idaho no-contest). We figured we’d give you all an extra shot at some ball. So, it’s paying the fans.”

On the difference in adversity between 2013 and 2014 seasons:
“We’re explosive enough offensively to get in a game like that and know we can make some plays. We gave up some things on the back end secondary-wise, but we didn’t blink on the side. We knew no matter if we got down one score, two scores, we’re explosive enough offensively to go make some plays.”

Redshirt Junior QB Jeff Driskel
On Demarcus Robinson’s offensive performance:
“I don’t think you go into a game thinking that a certain guy is going to have a big game. I think he did a good job of getting open. Plays are set up based on looks and he gave us great looks so we were going to keep going to him.”

On areas of improvement:
“I think on the deep balls I didn’t do a good enough job of giving us a chance down the field. We got on top of some guys a few times, but right now I’m not thinking about that, I’m just thinking of the plays that we did make.”

Senior Tight End Tevin Westbrook
On the overtime victory:
“We had our ups and downs, but we fought through it and didn’t let it get the best of us.”

On Matt Jones’ ability to run the ball:
“He’s an incredible player, he comes out and works hard. To be able to block for him and know he’s going to give it his all, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

On the last huddle:
“We all just wanted to get this victory so we could celebrate. It got real during the first overtime, we needed to score and do what we have to do to win.”

On what the team was thinking during the third overtime:
“I didn’t think of last year at all, we buried that as a team, we have a new offense and it is much improved. The defense is still as good as it was last year, if not better. So, when overtime came up we weren’t hesitant, we knew we needed to get the ball in the end zone and it was just a matter of time before we did that.”