Sophomore defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin will make his second career start Saturday against fifth-ranked Florida in place of Myron Pryor, who will miss the game with a high ankle sprain. Lumpkin, who has 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss in six games this season, talked about the opportunity.
Q: How exciting is it to be going down to The Swamp?
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A: This is my first time playing Florida because I was hurt last year, so I'm real excited. This is just my fourth road trip so I'm trying to push back the excitement and focus on the football. You dream about it. I grew up in the South so I know all about Florida and Tennessee and SEC football. I'd watch on TV and say, "I want to be there." Now I get to do it.
Q: Do you have to prepare yourself mentally to play more snaps with Pryor out?
A: I'm going to try and go in with the same mentality as before. I may have an extended role, but I'm just going to try and do what I always do: keep the linebackers free, read my gaps and play the way (defensive line) coach (Rick) Petri taught me.
Q: Do you view this as a chance to have a coming-out party?
A: I can grade myself against a really good offense. It's not every day you get to play against a quarterback who won the Heisman, or running backs with 4.2 speed, or nice, physical offensive linemen who know what they're doing. It's not like we're playing small schools anymore. It's the real deal.
Q: What will you do if you sack Tim Tebow?
A: I'll just get up and walk away. If you sack him, you better just get up. It's a big deal when you sack him, but he feeds off that and will just come at you harder.