Graham Mertz and Derek Wingo discuss Florida’s 52-35 loss to LSU

by | Nov 12, 2023 | 0 comments

Graham Mertz at LSU

Following Florida’s 52-35 defeat to the LSU Tigers, starting quarterback Graham Mertz and linebacker Derek Wingo met with the media in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here are highlights from what they had to say.


Graham Mertz

On returning to his home region and what he sees from Mizzou…

“Obviously, I haven’t studied them on the defensive side yet. I will start that tomorrow. I’ve seen them offensively, just watching other teams, and you kind of get a feel of how they play throughout the season. I grew up, Drew Lock, he played quarterback there. I grew up going to Mizzou games and I’ve got a lot of people who went to school there so it’ll be fun.”

On Eugene Wilson III’s early involvement and then lack of…

“I think in the middle of the game we really established a run game. I think the guys were blocking well up front, the running backs were running hard. We have sets of rules in our RPO game where if it’s a light box and we are running it good, we are going to run it in there. Early in the game, they were loading up the box and the first drive we were opening it up a little bit and they made some adjustments. There are so many different rules on every single play. Obviously, you would love to get him involved.”

On the Kahleil Jackson play getting overturned…

“I didn’t see it come off my hand. But I saw it on the Jumbotron and it looked like a catch. But anytime it’s a third down and obviously we need to be better on third down. We talk about it every week, it’s a point of emphasis. I can do a better job in that. Especially when it’s a third and six and you get that big conversion, big chunk play, and you are moving down there and it gets called back, obviously its fourth down and you can’t play another play and you need to punt. It definitely provided some momentum but our team, we got to stay steady in the game.”

On the importance of getting one more win for a bowl game…

“I mean I think any game you go into; our goal is to win every game. I think if that’s not your goal you should quit the sport. We are going to do everything we can to go out these next two weeks and do our best to win.”

Derek Wingo

On his assessment of the defense…

“He’s [Jayden Daniels] a great player. He came out here today and competed. There were a couple things we should’ve executed a lot better. We should’ve maybe played a little bit better. But you know, he’s a great player and he came out and played well today. Obviously, we probably should’ve played a little more for the quarterback run. I thought we did a pretty good job of executing some of the blitzes and some of the stuff we had set up for them. Obviously, when we go back and watch this film there’s a lot of things we need to correct and lot of things we need to prepare for next week’s game.”

On the goal-line stand in the beginning of the game…

“I think that says a lot about our defense. It says a lot about our heart and our mentality. How far we’ve really come as a team and even as just a defense. The pride we took during those couple plays reflects what Coach Napier and Coach Armstrong stress each and every day in practice. Little things like: ‘don’t let them cross your goal-line’ and ‘don’t let them do this.’ All these different things. For us to be able to do that really brought us really close together and it felt really good to get the momentum swing early in the game.”

On how the defense needs to improve in the final two games…

“When we get back tomorrow and go back to practice we will be able to go over the film and correct a lot of different things. Getting ready to play again next week, at night, against another really good team who has been having a good season. I’m really excited. I think we will be able to make those corrections. Coach Napier and Coach Armstrong are going to have an amazing plan to come in tomorrow and I think we are going to be able to execute that.”

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