Florida has averaged 49 points per game in its last five games against Kentucky. Earlier this summer, offensive coordinator Brent Pease wanted to hit the half-century mark against the Wildcats in 2012.
Pease told fans at a late July visit to the Ocala Gator Club that he wanted “to score 50 points” against UK in 2012, according to The Gainesville Sun.
On Tuesday, he said the game was not personal.
“I had fun,” Pease said of his meeting with boosters. “I was responding to a question. And you know, that’s nothing personal.”
Pease’s comments in Ocala were in response to criticism he received from former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen. Pease served as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2001-02 — Lorenzen’s sophomore and junior seasons.
When coach Will Muschamp hired Pease to replace departing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Lorenzen lampooned the hire on Twitter.
“Seriously Brent Pease at Florida?” Lorenzen said via Twitter on Jan. 6. “He’s freaking crazy and was brutal at UK when I was there. Won’t be able to handle it andwill (sic) be run out!”
Lorenzen also posted on Twitter that Pease is stubborn and does not do well with second-half adjustments. When asked about the comments, Pease brushed them off.
“It’s free speech America,” he said.
Despite his coaching experience with the Wildcats, facing them is nothing special. He still has friends in Lexington, Ky., but his ties with UK end there.
“It’s another game,” Pease said. “I got a lot of respect for that place because I worked there, and I really love Lexington.”
Wildcat challenges defenses: Even if Florida’s wildcat package never results in another touchdown, the problems it generates for opposing defenses make it a valuable addition.
Trey Burton scored on touchdown runs of 14 and 80 yards out of the wildcat look against Tennessee on Saturday, giving future opponents something extra to scout as they prepare for UF.
“It forces the defense to play a different hand, make different calls,” Pease said. “There’s ways of defending it, but you’ve got to have some answers to it, and somewhere along the line they’ll probably have some things that we’re not prepared for that they can defend it with.”
Pease said he has made a point of installing some type of wildcat package with every team he has coached. Even with All-American quarterback Kellen Moore at Boise State, Pease installed a wildcat package with direct snaps to running back Doug Martin.
UF safety Josh Evans said opponents who use wildcat packages force Florida’s defense to make special preparations during the week prior to the game.
“We work on it a lot,” Evans said. “We have little periods when we do wildcat. … We had to definitely work on teams that were in the wildcat and getting adjusted.”
Koehne gets involved: Because Florida’s offensive line lacks depth, junior Kyle Koehne’s ability to play all five positions is extremely valuable.
After rotating mostly on the interior and making his first career start at left guard against Furman last season, Koehne made his first start at right tackle on Saturday against Tennessee.
“Out of the past four years that I’ve been here, there hasn’t been anybody that goes around the line like I do,” Koehne said. “It’s been a good experience. It helps with my versatility and my mindset is just, ‘If I can play, put me in wherever.’ Learning each position has been a good opportunity and has helped me understand the offense as a whole. I think that’s only benefitted me.”
Koehne said moving between multiple positions was confusing at times last season but has become easier as he has developed a better idea of the team’s offensive concepts. He added that his comfort level at guard is still highest because of his extensive experience there last season, but his work primarily at tackle the past few weeks has helped him settle in at that position.