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November 1, 2013
Anthony, Jackson discuss UGA rivalry and more
MORE 2013 SEASON INSIDE LOOK:
Florida (4-3, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) and Georgia (4-3, 3-2 SEC) meet for the second time since 1980 as two unranked teams Saturday at Jacksonville's EverBank Field. Inside the Gators caught up with a couple former players to get a feel for the rivalry before the two current teams take the field at 3:30 p.m.
The Players: Former safety Kyle Jackson played 49 games for the Gators from 2004-07, starting 17 times. He had 81 tackles and four interceptions in his career and went 2-2 against Georgia in his career. Jackson is currently a chiropractor in Jacksonville. Former wide receiver Reidel Anthony had 126 catches for 2,274 yards and 26 touchdowns during a three-year UF career. He never lost to the Bulldogs and went on to play five seasons in the National Football League.
How does Florida-Georgia compare to the Gators' other rivalry games?
"That was one of our goals that coach Steve Spurrier would put up every year. He wanted to go undefeated, win the SEC, win a national title and also beat Georgia. I guess he didn't have a great experience when he played of playing against Georgia, so he made that his goal every year to make sure that was the one team we needed to beat. The one thing that was special my years at Florida is I got a chance to play in Athens, and we got a chance to play them in Gainesville and we played one game in Jacksonville. So we didn't just play all our games in Jacksonville. We had a rare combination of playing everywhere for the rivalry." -- Anthony
"It's the second most, obviously next to Florida State just because that's an in-state rivalry. But Georgia is close because usually recruits either stay in Florida or they end up going across to Georgia. I would say that would be our second-biggest rivalry. It's definitely one of those games that you want to win. Even when Urban Meyer was there, he would always say three games that matter are Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State as a head coach. I know Will Muschamp already has Tennessee done and he's trying to move on and get this W against Georgia." -- Jackson
What's your favorite memory of playing in the annual Florida-Georgia rivalry?
"When we played up there in Georgia, I caught a touchdown, and the dog (Uga) got kind of close to me. I caught a touchdown, I think I slipped down and it just so happened the dog was near. On my way out of the end zone, he got a little close. Other than that, when we played them my junior, I had like three touchdowns in the first half. Both of those were great memories." -- Anthony
"It's in my hometown, so having my entire family and friends and everyone able to watch all four years and not have to travel far just to watch. It was incredible." -- Jackson
In your opinion, what has been the Gators' biggest problem in their past two losses?
"As they always say, you win and lose up front, and up front is not moving anybody. It just so happened I was watching "Recruiting Nation" or something not too long ago, and I saw the left tackle blocking with his elbows instead of blocking with his hands and driving someone off the ball. Stuff you learn in Pop Warner, that's when you should stop using it. But I saw that type of stuff going on. You have to dominate up front in the SEC. We don't seem to have the guys up front like we did last year. I don't know how many guys we lost. I'm not honed in that well, but up front we're not protecting and we're not moving anybody. I just think it's up front for us right now offensively." -- Anthony
"O-line, definitely. I know a lot of people want to try to blame the quarterback, but just from a football standpoint, if the O-line is not blocking, the receivers can't run routes. They can't get into their progressions. The quarterback is pressured every single time, so he can't get a correct read. We've just got to get the quarterback more times. We obviously have one of the best defenses in the nation, but they're getting a little tired and you can see it on their faces. They say, 'Yeah, we can go out and stop the opposing offense, but our offense is just going to go do a three-and-out.' So I would say our offensive line is our biggest issue right now." -- Jackson
Overall, how do you feel about the direction of this offense?
"We really just haven't looked good consistently. We show flashes and then you take three steps back. Offensively, outside besides Solomon Patton we don't have that home run threat. People can kind of put a lot of people in the box. People always thought when I played with Ike Hilliard and Jacquez Green, they couldn't hone in on one receiver. Then in the backfield, you had Terry Jackson, Fred Taylor, Elijah Williams. Our depth was so good, that's why we made it look so easy. We were 52-48 pass-to-run and people don't realize that. They thought we just threw it a lot. When we threw it, we made big plays. But we ran the ball a lot. We've got to get us a home run hitter up front, and even in the backfield. You've got find a guy that can go 85 yards. You can talk to any offensive coordinator. If he's got a dude that can go 85 yards on a carry, he's going to look like a genius. But if he's got to sustain eight or more plays every drive, you're not going to have a good success rate." -- Anthony
How do you find motivation at Florida during a season where there are little or no title dreams remaining?
"The motivation comes from just getting better day by day. You've got to go out and focus on each game. We have Georgia this week, so that's what you have to concentrate on. You have to go out as an individual and try to get better as a player. There's going to be another game. There's going to be another practice where you can get better." -- Jackson