October 20, 2009

Cox: 'They're as good as people say they are'

Georgia was still en route to Athens when Arkansas was giving Florida the scare of its life Saturday night in Gainesville.

So, by the time players like cornerback Brandon Boykin was able to lay eyes on a TV, the Gators were lining up for the game-winning field goal with nine seconds left to play to pull out a 23-20 victory.

"We weren't rooting for anyone," Boykin said Tuesday. "But seeing the game was so close and everybody was expecting Florida to beat them bad, it would have been fun to see the upset."

But quarterback Joe Cox that the last thing the Bulldogs need to start doing is to start thinking the defending national champs are suddenly vulnerable.

While he certainly gives Arkansas credit, he said the notion that the Gators might not quite be as dominant as last year's national championship squad is simply not true.

"Oh, they're as good as people say they are," Cox said. "You can't judge a team by just one game. It's not like we're going to watch that one game and say 'Oh, they can be beat, look what Arkansas did.' We just need to study and do everything we can to figure out their tendencies and get a game-plan from that. We're not going to just look at the Arkansas game and try to do everything exactly like they did."

Nevertheless, Cox said he's looking forward to the contest after getting some mop-up time in last year's contest, throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Aron White.

This year, however, he's the starter and looking forward to the monuments challenge that awaits the Bulldogs on Halloween afternoon in Jacksonville.

"I think it's cool. That's why I came to Georgia get the chance to play in a game like this. I feel it's a great opportunity for us," he said. "We're just challenging everyone this week to put a lot of work in, watch as much film as you can and not to treat this like an off week. If everybody will take that attitude, this extra week to prepare can give us a good idea of what we want to do against them and have a good game plan."

Linebacker Rennie Curran knows one thing.

For the Bulldogs to have a chance they'll need to start quickly, Last year, Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes planted Knowshon Moreno into the turf, setting the tone for what turned out to a be a long afternoon for the Bulldogs.

"We're going to have to come out with fire and make some plays early," Curran said. "We're going to need to something fast to let them know that we're going to be in it to win the game."

Curran's not counting on the Gators making the same type of mistakes Florida made against the Razorbacks.

Florida fumbled four times against the Razorbacks, losing every one.

"Watching them reminded me of what's held us back this season - the mistakes, the turnovers," Curran said. "They made mistakes and it allowed the other team to stay in the game and turned it into a game where there was a lot of drama and a lot of suspense. It just goes to show it's just like it is with any other team, Florida is just as vulnerable if they make mistakes."

Of course, stopping Florida at least means slowing down quarterback Tim Tebow.

That's been easier said than done.

Tebow accounted for 199 yards against the Bulldogs (154 passing, 45 rushing) in last year's 49-10 victory, scoring three touchdowns and throwing one to former wideout Percy Harvin.

Defensive tackle Jeff Owens got to watch the view from the sideline last year while recovering from his torn ACL, although he did get plenty of action against the quarterback in 2007.

"If we go nose-to-nose, it will be nasty; that would be some kind of collision," said the 305-pound Owens, who said he's amazed that Tebow was able to come back as quick as he has from the concussion he suffered three weeks ago at Kentucky.

"I thought he was going to be out longer than that, to be honest," Owens said. "But he's a tough kid. His will is tough. We've just got to get after him."

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