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Monday, October 18, 2021
<p>Quincy Wilson prepares for a play during Florida's 32-0 win over North Texas on Sept. 17, 2016, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.</p>

Quincy Wilson prepares for a play during Florida's 32-0 win over North Texas on Sept. 17, 2016, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Quincy Wilson walked into the indoor practice facility alongside Jalen Tabor and Marcus Maye.

The trio of Florida defensive backs had a message to deliver to reporters after practice Tuesday.

“Have you ever seen a duck pull a truck?” Wilson said. “Ducks don’t pull trucks. Nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck.”

The crowd of media members surrounding Wilson stood bewildered.

Wilson explained that Tennessee is the duck and Florida is the truck in the metaphor.

He then transitioned by assuring the perplexed audience before him of one thing.

“Florida Gators are going to win, simple as that,” he said.

Regardless of Wilson's confusing metaphor, there's no question the junior cornerback is overly confident about his team’s chances against the Volunteers in Knoxville this weekend, and for good reason — the duck hasn’t pulled the truck since 2004, the last time UT defeated UF.

But not everyone shares Wilson’s attitude.

Some, like sophomore Jordan Scarlett, who will enter Neyland Stadium for the first time on Saturday, took the “just another game” approach. He didn’t want to stir up any more drama than there already was.

“Not disrespecting the opponent or anything, but it’s how we prepare and how we go out there and play,” he said. “That’ll determine if we win or not.”

Florida’s upper hand in this game may be Scarlett and it’s stable of running backs.

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Comprised of Scarlett, Mark Thompson, Jordan Cronkrite and Lamical Perine, the group proved its efficiency against North Texas. Each scored a touchdown and carried the ball at least nine times.

Think of them like oxen.

Together, they can pull the wagon — the Gators’ offense — for a whole season without wearing down individually.

“We’re definitely a lot more fresh,” Scarlett said. “You don’t feel as banged up after the games and throughout practice.”

UF coach Jim McElwain favors the four-back system over a one-back approach. That goes back to his time coaching at Alabama, when Eddie Lacy was used as a fourth-team running back, he said.

“That was a pretty good option,” McElwain said. “And yet we were able to mix those guys in and, come the fourth quarter, we wore people down.”

The hope for the Gators is the same happens to Tennessee.

Now without starting quarterback Luke Del Rio, the herd of running backs will likely see an abundance of action to help take pressure off backup Austin Appleby.

That was apparent when Appleby entered against North Texas late in the third quarter. He threw just four times in UF’s final 23 offensive plays.

Scarlett knows there’ll be more pressure on the running backs, but he’s welcoming the opportunity.

“I think we’re more than ready for the job if that comes to it.”

Contact Patrick Pinak at ppinak@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @pinakk12.

Quincy Wilson prepares for a play during Florida's 32-0 win over North Texas on Sept. 17, 2016, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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