Haden: Pressure off for the Gators

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Perched at No. 1 in the BCS standings, Florida is in a position now where all the Gators need to do is win.

It really doesn’t matter how they win. If they win out, they’re going to be playing for their second straight national title.

The final stretch of that road starts later Saturday against South Carolina, and junior cornerback Joe Haden has noticed a difference in the way the Gators have gone about their business ever since the Mississippi State win three weeks ago.

“Everybody sort of expected us to be perfect,” Haden said. “If we score 30 points, then we should have scored 50. If we score 50 points, we should have scored 70. It was never good enough. I think a lot of people out there are looking at style points. We’re just looking at trying to win every game.”

Haden said Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes probably put too much pressure on themselves early in the season.

But a pull-no-punches, clear-the-air meeting following the Mississippi State game put everybody on the same page.

“After that Mississippi State game, we had a talk, and really, it was good for the whole team, but especially for Tebow and Spikes,” Haden said. “They know now they don’t have to do it all, and I feel like that meeting took a lot of pressure off them.

“Everybody’s in this together, and we need to keep the outside on the outside and make this a family thing.”