Pouncey Regrouping after Difficult Week
Maurkice Pouncey with Aaron Hernandez
Maurkice Pouncey with Aaron Hernandez
Managing Editor
Posted Dec 3, 2008

Florida center Maurkice Pouncey has a difficult task ahead of him. He’ll be lining up opposite Terrence Cody, Alabama’s 365-pound nose tackle. But Pouncey’s been going up against great players all season long and Saturday should be no different.

“He’s going to be a big guy to move in there,” Maurkice Pouncey said. “He's a great player. We've watched him on film. You've just got to go out there and play hard and physical.”

Playing hard and physical is what the Gator offensive line has done all season. It’s likely one of the most physical offensive lines in recent history, and they’ve had a big impact on the Florida offense. They’re opening up holes for the Gator backfield that leads the SEC in rushing.

“We just want to play all 60 minutes, go out there and play a hard, physical game,” Pouncey said.

Despite their No. 1 ranking, Alabama heads to Atlanta as an underdog against Florida. It’s the Gators that seem to be getting all the national attention, but you wouldn’t know it by listening to Pouncey.

“I didn't even know until you just said that,” he said. “I'm glad they've got us to win. We just want to go out there and play a great game, go out there and play hard and do what we do best.”

Not to say the Gators didn’t play hard before the loss to Ole Miss, but there’s been an increase in intensity, determination and focus over the last seven games. For Pouncey, it’s no coincidence that Florida’s better play happened after Tim Tebow’s emotional post-game statement following the Ole Miss game.

“Everybody was emotional,” Pouncey said. “Tim is our big time leader on the team, and what he said really touched everybody and made us want to go out there and play even harder and practice even harder and just go out there with a lot more emotion.”

Pouncey added that every member of the team generally cares about each other, which also helped the team come together more over the last seven weeks.

“Coming off the season before this one, it was just, we all wanted to go out there and just grind out there and be the best at what we do and just go out there and just take everything one game by game,” he said. “We just love being around each other and the chemistry around the team, just got a great bond together, guys hanging out, and it just turned out well for us.”

Last week, Pouncey and his brother went through an emotional episode when their stepfather Robert Webster lost his leg in a work-related accident. Both twins have continued doing what they’ve always done, but he’ll be on their minds when they take the field in Atlanta on Saturday.

“We just want to do it our way, we always do," he said. "We try to look over what happened, the accident with my dad and everything. Just know that he's in our hearts and just go out there and play a great game.”

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