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Last year's loss motivating Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Before he goes to sleep every night, Florida's Dominique Easley flips on the film. It's not NFL tape. It's not the highlight reel from the previous week's game.

Georgia players celebrate in Jacksonville in a 24-20 win over Florida in 2011.

It's a defensive reel from one of Florida's six losses a year ago. The junior defensive end still hasn't gotten over many of them.

Like a 24-20 loss to Georgia, this week's opponent.

"We got our butts kicked and it still hurts," he said.

So Easley's been watching the tape, over and over again. Watching as the Bulldogs complete two fourth-down passes for touchdowns and watching as the team in silver and white runs the ball down Florida's throat in the red zone to end the game.

"It's like somebody kicked me in my jock," Easley said. "Every one of those games I have not stopped watching."

This time, Florida goes into Jacksonville for its annual rivarly with Georgia with a lot more on the line than there was last season.

The Gators sit at No. 2 in the BCS standings and have an SEC East title and a trip to Atlanta hanging in the balance. Avenge last year's loss, and Florida can book its plane tickets to the SEC title game.

Despite rolling through the first half of the season unblemished, Easley and the Gators believe there's more to accomplish.

Even beating Georgia won't be enough.

"One thing about us is we haven't had success until we win the SEC or the national championship," Easley said. "So there has not been no success this year yet."

To stay hungry, the Gators keep those clips rolling at night. It's not just Easley, either.

Jaylen Watkins also has a reel. It took him a while to get past the fourth-down touchdown pass he gave up to Tavarres King to let Georgia tie the game at 17 apiece last year.

"I kind of felt I let the team down," he said. "I know the guys didn’t feel that way, but I could have made that play. I started taking things a little more serious, staying after practice, watching more film."

Humbled, all the Gators started coming in and watching film on their own. They started going above and beyond what the coaches forced them to do.

It hasn't been easy, as Easley is quick to point out.

"It's like you're going to watch a video clip of you getting punched in your face over and over again," he said. "You're going to get mad every time you watch it."

But keyed by its mistakes a year ago, Florida has launched down a revenge path that has left opponents battered, bruised and humiliated.

Much like the Gators felt a year ago.

"I just try to let the other team feel my pain, my hurt," Easley said.

The Gators are determined to make sure its the Bulldogs that are the ones forced to go home and watch tape of them getting beat this year.

Over and over again.

"I’ve been using those (clips) as a motivational factor," Watkins said. "I think a lot of people on the team do it because we had a lot of regrets last year. We remember the feelings in the locker room we had last year. We don't want to be at that point this year."

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