GAINESVILLE, Fla. — If you needed any more trash talk for Florida-Tennessee week to jack you up, fear not.
Strolling into the Florida indoor practice facility following Tuesday’s practice to meet with the media, free-speaking All-American cornerback Jalen Tabor was flanked by junior cornerback Quincy Wilson to his right and fellow All-American safety Marcus Maye to his left.
“We have a message from DBU to Tennessee,” Wilson said. “Have you ever seen a duck pull a truck? Ducks don’t pull trucks. Nobody has ever seen a duck pull a truck. Florida Gators are going to win, simple as that.”
The rather bizarre reference was unclear, and Wilson didn’t do much to clarify what it meant, saying only that it was an old metaphor for the Florida-Tennessee game.
A simple Google search turns up this saying from the ’90s TV show “Martin”: “If I tell you a duck can pull a truck, then shut up and hook the sucker up.”
Take that how you will, but essentially, it’s a shot across the bow at Tennessee and perhaps the blind faith in the Volunteers, who are currently about a touchdown favorite. The Volunteers have been talked about all offseason as the favorites to win the SEC East, with little recent history to support the notion they can do it. The Gators certainly don’t believe it.
Florida, on the other hand, is the reigning SEC East champs and has beaten Tennessee 11 straight times. Tennessee is the duck. Florida the truck.
“Yeah, we’re going to go out there and play Gator football and win,” Wilson said. “I know what type of players we have on our team. I know what everybody can do, what we show in practice, how hard we go. I know that we can’t be stopped.”
Wilson’s answer when asked what makes this rivalry so intense?
“Obviously that we’ve won 11 years in a row,” he said. “The past two years we’ve only won by one point, so the rivalry is alive and it’s going to be a good game.”
The Gators have had some narrow scrapes in the streak, but it’s not a fluke, either. Florida’s defense has had a lot to do with the streak.
And if Wilson’s message is any indication, it plans on having the same kind of influence on Saturday’s game. It’s the reason Florida’s been on the winning end.
“Execution. It’s not about how you start,” Wilson said. “Tennessee started out good. It’s about how you finish. We were able to make adjustments last year and fix things and execute and come out with a win.”