Florida determined to avoid another late-season letdown – FOXSports.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida defensive end Jordan Sherit doesn’t want to forget what happened down the stretch last year.
The third-year sophomore plans to use the painful memory of last season’s collapse — the Gators dropped their final three games in lopsided fashion — as motivation this time around.
“The fact that we do have that is going to help us go forward,” Sherit said.
The 10th-ranked Gators (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) might need it. Florida has the toughest part of its schedule ahead, a daunting November slate that begins Saturday at Arkansas (5-3, 1-3) and includes road games against No. 15 LSU and No. 19 Florida State. Throw in “Senior Day” against rapidly improving South Carolina and Florida could be set up for another fall slide.
The Gators insist it won’t happen.
“We definitely have a stretch coming up,” defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. said. “But I feel like the leadership on this team is a little bit different then it was last year. I just feel like the cohesiveness between everybody is just … we’re all in a good place right now.”
Florida was in a good position last November, too.
The season started to unravel against Vanderbilt, though. The Gators needed a shanked punt and a late field goal to eke out a 9-7 victory. Two weeks later, they had to go to overtime to stave off Florida Atlantic. The struggles were just beginning, too.
Florida scored just two offensive touchdowns in losses to Florida State, Alabama and Michigan. Yes, those were some of the better teams in the country; the Tide won the national championship. But Florida was outscored 97-24 in those games and hardly looked interested in playing the Wolverines in the Citrus Bowl.
“That’s something that we keep in the back of our