Billy Napier addresses Florida's secondary heading into Tennessee game
Billy Napier knows in order to get his first rivalry win as Florida’s head coach, the secondary will have to be reliable against No. 11 Tennessee in Week 3.
The matchup at The Swamp will be a huge early season test for the Gators in their SEC opener. Tennessee is aiming for a 3-0 start while Florida strives for back-to-back wins after dropping the opener at Utah.
Napier addresses Florida’s secondary prior to the clash. Mel Kiper Jr. believes one of the keys to the contest will be Tennessee wide receiver Bru McCoy going up against Florida cornerback Jason Marshall Jr.
“Essentially we have a couple veteran corners coming back and then we’re relatively young, we’re freshmen and sophomore group. So majority of those guys if not all outside of DD Johnson were here in January,” Napier said. “We knew we were going to have to get them ready to play. And I think we just really attacked that part of our team and so far, so good.”
Napier is well aware that the SEC slate will offer daunting aerial challenges, beginning with the Vols’ Joe Milton.
“We gave up an explosive in the opener on the first play, but look, the challenges are going to be more demanding in the future, we all know that and understand that,” Napier said. “The key to the drill here is that we continue to address anything and everything that we know we can do better in the meeting and the walk through, the practice setting and certainly learn from the game experience as we have several rookies that are running out there for the first time.”
Napier explains part of what makes Tennessee so dynamic on offense.
“Tennessee not only has good personnel but they’re unique in their approach relative to the tempo. The things they do from a formation perspective, they’re going to create run after catch opportunities so there’ll be some open field tackling that will be really important in the game,” Napier said. “And then at some point, you get into some matchups and you’ve got to win your matchups. You’ve got to play with the right technique and make the play.”
Tennessee at Florida is slated for Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. EST (ESPN).