Todd Grantham on his unit’s performance against Kentucky: ‘We got our tails kicked, you can’t hide that’ Saturday night proved how far Dan Mullen’s Florida program has to go before the expectations of the Gator fan base can realistically be met. Coming off an impressive 53-6 win over Charleston Southern in the season opener, expectations were immediately raised in Gainesville, with some erroneously projecting the Gators to compete with Georgia and South Carolina for the East title as soon as this season. One week later, following a 27-16 loss at home to Kentucky, things have changed drastically in Gainesville. While Mullen shoulders the blame of his program’s failings, the unit that disappointed the most last weekend was Todd Grantham’s defense. The Gators gave up 454 yards to a Kentucky team with an unproven quarterback in Terry Wilson, allowed the Wildcats to convert on nine of 13 third-down attempts and gave up an incredible 303 rushing yards at home. During his Monday press availability, Grantham did not shy away from the issues experienced from his unit over the weekend. “We got our tails kicked, you can’t hide that. We always talk about playing to a standard, playing to an identity and we didn’t do that,” Grantham said to the media. “We always talk about stopping the run and affecting the quarterback, we didn’t do either one in the game and didn’t give ourselves a chance to win because of that.” It’s one thing to admit and identify the issues of the unit but correcting those issues is another concern. The longtime SEC defensive coordinator believes he knows how to fix his unit but it sounds like it may be up to his players to buy-in fully before things can change in Gainesville. “The biggest thing is looking for solutions and the thing with that is there is a certain level of physicality you have to play with up front,” Grantham continued. “You have to be able to set the edge, you have to be able to strike blockers and really trust that you are going to stay in your gap and the other guy is going to be in his gap. So when guys start freelancing, you create seams so that’s something you have to work on.” Fortunately for the Gators, Colorado State is coming to town for a get-right game before facing an SEC gauntlet: at Tennessee, at Mississippi State, at home against LSU, at Vanderbilt followed by Georgia in Jacksonville. While most of those games may have appeared to be wins after Week 1, if the defense doesn’t shore up its issues soon, Florida could be in a real battle in each and every single contest listed there.