Week 1: Gators post-game notes and quotes

By Adam Silverstein
September 5, 2010

Putting forth a lackluster showing in their first game of the 2010-11 season, the No. 3/4 Florida Gators edged the Miami (OH) RedHawks 34-12 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss following the contest, OGGOA presents some of the most important notes and quotes coming out of The Swamp on Saturday.

POUNCEY STRUGGLES AT CENTER

Senior center Mike Pouncey stayed in school rather than declare for the 2010 NFL Draft for the sole purpose of improving his stock while taking over for his brother in a position more highly coveted by scouts. In his first action at his new position, Pouncey had more than a dozen miscues, snapping the ball too low – or too wobbly – or just plain poorly. One mistake early in the game led directly to a turnover, but a number of others killed offensive momentum or put Florida in a hole early in their series.

“I take full credit for messing up the whole offense,” Pouncey admitted after the game. “It was all on me. I’m the leader of the offense and I let the guys down. I’m going to work my ass off and it won’t happen again. The ball just kept slipping out of my hand. I don’t know how the hell, but it just kept slipping out. We’ll have it fixed by next week. We’ve got USF so we’ll be looking forward to it. […] When we did get stuff going, I f—ed up the snap. And then when we did get stuff going again, s–t, we just kept fumbling. It won’t happen again. […] It was my fault. I’m going to get in here in the morning to fix it. The ball kept slipping out. […] I’m glad it happened in this kind of game – a game that we could have just went out there and won – but if we do it next week we won’t win the game. We weren’t worrying about [Miami] beating us.”

STARTERS SIT FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS

Prior to the game, it was known that at least four starters and two others players would be out of action Saturday. However, it came as a surprise to some to see neither junior safety Will Hill nor redshirt junior left guard Carl Johnson on the field to start the game. As first noted by OGGOA on Twitter, both players were held out of action for disciplinary reasons. “We expect certain things in the classroom. We expect their behavior off the field. You expect a lot of things and if you don’t fulfill that you don’t play,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “Those two guys didn’t fulfill expectations.”

Sophomore S Josh Evans started in Hill’s place, and the Gators were forced to re-shuffle an already misaligned offensive line, putting redshirt junior right guard James Wilson in Johnson’s place at LG and starting redshirt freshman Jon Halapio at his RG spot. Sophomore linebacker Dee Finely (groin) was a late scratch as well.

PAGING ANDRE DEBOSE…COME IN ANDRE DEBOSE

Conspicuous by his absence was redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose. After missing his true freshman season recovering from a hamstring injury, Debose had been performing well in practice and was deemed ready to go for the season opener. But even with Florida’s offensive struggles, Debose was nowhere to be found. Meyer mentioned that there was no intent to keep Debose off of the field, but he would certainly speak with WR coach Zach Azzanni about the situation.

NEW INJURIES OCCUR WHILE OTHERS HEAL

Senior cornerback Moses Jenkins, who earned the starting nod Saturday, appeared to injure his left elbow and forearm after landing on it awkwardly, was put in a sling on the sidelines and iced the area while walking to the locker room during the game. Wilson seemed to injure himself during the fourth quarter, but walked off of the field mostly under his own power. Though no updates were available on those two, Meyer said after the game that sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders and redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed (all of whom have knee injuries) should be active next Saturday against South Florida.

MOORE BLANKED WHILE HINES AND BURTON STEP UP

Meyer was not blowing smoke this fall when he said that sophomore WR Omarius Hines would be an important piece of the puzzle this season. With redshirt senior WR Carl Moore held catchless, Hines played his new hybrid tight end role and reeled in three catches for 49 yards and the team’s first offensive touchdown on the season on a 10-yard slant from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley.

Also contributing the entire game was freshman QB Trey Burton, who played five offensive positions (QB, WR, TE, fullback, H-back) and got some work on special teams. He even notched a touchdown on a two-yard run from the wildcat formation. “I imagine he graded out a winner because he seems to do everything right,” Meyer commented. “Trey Burton is going to be a major impact [player] on this team.”

QUOTES (after the break…)

Meyer summing up the offense’s struggles: “I didn’t imagine the offensive incompetence we displayed today.”

Meyer on the bright spot in Saturday’s game: “We won. There’s a bright spot for you.”

Meyer on the team’s performance: “I was not that shocked that we didn’t play well. I was shocked that the ball was on the ground. I thought our defense would come out and play well. I’m extremely disappointed in our kicking game. Very disappointed. We’ve got a long way to go, man. […] Very disappointed with our performance. That’s probably obvious. But the good thing is, and I told our team this after the game, I don’t mind coaching guys who want to work. We’ll come back [Sunday] and work hard. That’s what we do around here.”

Meyer on redshirt junior DT Jaye Howard stepping up: “I saw a guy that’s starting to grow up around here. He has not played to his potential and he’s starting to play to it.”

Brantley on if he was embarrassed by the offense: “Not so much embarrassed, because I know the potential of our offense. We’ve got a great offense. Mike’s a great center. I’m not worried about him. I know he’s going to get better. He always is [good]. But not really, I’m not embarrassed at all. [It was] one of those days, I guess you could say. We’re going to work on it this coming week and be ready for USF. […] I think this is going to bring the offense closer together and make us work harder. The only thing we can do is get better from here and learn from it. We’re going to get better each week. That’s all we’re looking for.”

Brantley on putting pressure on the defense: “We put our defense in a couple bad spots, but I think we have one of the best defenses in the country and they’re going to get the job done. I apologized to them a few times, but it’s a good thing we know we can count on them.”

Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on the miscues: “You can’t turn the ball over. You start turning the ball over and you’re never going to get any continuity and you can’t get anything going. We’re going to fix that snapping stuff, and we’re going to be fine. We just have to get back to work and get it corrected. Football is momentum and rhythm. It’s hard to have that when you turn the ball over.”

Addazio on the offense’s struggles: “My job is to make sure we put this behind us. There’s one guy who is in charge of this thing and that’s me, not Mike Pouncey. Today was not a very good day.”

Junior running back Jeff Demps on his long touchdown and overall performance: “It was a giant hole there and I hit it 100 miles per hour. The line did a good job opening that. […] There were a couple of runs where I probably could have run a little more harder, a couple of shoe-string tackles. But you know, that’s why there is practice, for improvement.”

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Howard’s day: “Jaye did some good things. He did well today and made a lot of plays. He is kind of lazy and if you ask him, he’ll tell you that. He’s starting to work hard and guess what? Good things are happening to him.”

Austin on Jenkins’ injury: “He is a young man who had been waiting a long time to have an opportunity to play at the University of Florida, and then he goes out and gets hurt right away. That kind of dampens his spirit and my spirit.”

Senior safety Ahmad Black on the defense: “We’re pretty good over here. When the offense struggles, we’ve got to step up. We knew we had to cause turnovers.”

Junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins on his interception return for a touchdown: “I made a game-changing play. We’ve got to keep everybody’s head up and continue to play great defense.”

Sophomore LB Jon Bostic on his interception “I saw the running back trying to run behind me a little bit, so I started floating that way. I really didn’t think the quarterback was going to throw it since I was still right there, but he tried to take a chance.”

Special thanks to the University of Florida, Gainesville Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald for many of the above quotations.

24 Comments

  1. notsoyounganymore says:

    Are you kidding me, Pouncy???!! You and all the other “stars” are getting a FREE RIDE through the University of Florida, and I for one am pissed off at that right now! I spent almost $100,000 dollars going through a bachelor’s program at UF, and my niece is there now because my brother pays ~$27K per year in out-of-state tuition. Now you might think you deserve something that you clearly do NOT, but don’t disrespect my Alma Mater with this BS! Either play the darn game, or go take your payoff in the NFL and leave us to our devices. Meyer’s scheme is not going to work in longer without the right dual-threat QB or a change in philosophy and PLAY CALLING. GO GATORS!!!

  2. notsoyounganymore says:

    …work any longer…

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I’m gonna be blunt, Pouncey sucked yesterday. The good news is that he can only get better, at least I think. If he is gonna practice as hard as he say’s gonna, then I believe that he’ll make improvements.
    I’m glad that he’s taking full responsibility for the offenses putrid performance, and that he’s saying he’ll never do that again (God willing). Of course not everything was his fault, but most of it was. So I guess that I’m a little glad to hear him say that he’ll work endlessly to be better and that everything was his fault, because it basically was. But words are cheap, and he’s gonna have to prove himself against USF.

    Step it up guys. You’re better than this.

    Play like it.

  4. SaraGator says:

    I’m glad Pouncey was a man yesterday and said it’s his fault. It’s why Meyer appointed him Captain.

    Don’t do it again, Mike and we will forget all this happened today. 🙂

  5. Matt says:

    The thing is, what is one week of practice snapping the ball compared to the 7-9 months they had to prepare for this moment? The offense failed on so many of the most fundamental football mechanics over and over again, as if they haven’t practiced them for weeks on end. Besides the snapping problem, the wide receivers weren’t blocking their men real well, making those snap passes ineffective. Running backs couldn’t do anything because the offensive line weren’t creating openings.

    I really hope they iron out the kinks by next week. I don’t think they can get away with what they did yesterday against USF, and certainly not against SEC-caliber teams.

  6. Joey says:

    Maybe Pouncey needs to worry about snapping the damn ball instead of yelling at freshmen!!!!!

  7. John Shanks says:

    I feel a little better knowing we were missing 3 starters on the OL. Is James Wilson fine? I thought he hurt his knee.

    Texas and Oklahoma also looked like crap, and at least we’re not Ole Miss.

  8. Daniel M. says:

    notsoyounganymore, Piss off troll. Trying to tie your dislike for the spread into some made up time and expense story is one of the more lame attempts you’ve lobbed out there. According to you, the spread never worked in the first place.
    (((cough::two out of four National Championships::cough)
    Seriously man, it’s laughable. Move along.

  9. If the ball kept slipping why didn’t someone give the Center a towel?? It seems like Addazio will be doing the same things as last year, that is call uber-conservative play calls in the first half of the season. A frustrating as a fan, but they know what they are doing.
    Also, what happened to Deonte Thompson getting the ball at the highest point??

  10. Daniel M. says:

    While that was a horrendous display of Gator football, I’m far from the cliff. We did see impressive play making from Hines, Demps, Bostic, Janoris, Black, and even Brantley. Brantley laid one on DT’s hands in the endzone and Thompson dropped it. YIKES! Regardless, it’s impossible for the offense to shine when a large percentage of your plays commence with the QB crawling around in the dirt for the ball.

    It’s easy to take the snap for granted. This game showed how crucially important that seemingly small task is. The miscues can be fixed quickly. They better be fixed quickly. Was Mike wearing the new NIKE PRO COMBAT NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION SUPER IMPROVED GATOR LOGO GLOVES? They are lighter and provide superior protection you know……………….

    Was that bad play calling or was Meyer, considering what’s ahead, showing a vanilla offense? I’m gong with the latter. Last week I channeled my Inner Chris Fowler and wondered aloud if Meyer would try to “hide” Debose. Post game he said he’d “speak to Zach” about it??? So I’m supposed to believe that Debose not playing just slipped by you coach? I call BS on that one. It was more likely part of the plan.

    Not giving the Gators a pass here but Miami was getting after it pretty well all day. Meyer didn’t chat with head coach Haywood for over a minute at mid-field because he liked their toughness despite not being dressed in NIKE PRO COMBAT NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION uniforms. I guarantee you he was telling Haywood that his squad is stout. Those guys showed up. They deserve credit.

    I have a lifetime of memories of early season Gator games in which they let the Rutgers’ and Western Kentuckys hang around. This is nothing new. Yesterdays fumble fest will light a considerable fire under their untested asses. This is a good thing as I see it. The season will be an utter disaster if these things aren’t corrected immediately. Does anyone doubt that these mistakes can’t be corrected? I don’t. I expect to see a different looking offense next week. An offense that will actually get the ball in playmakers hands. That’s a big part of the battle and yesterday it was ALL the battle.

  11. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Noticing a little better vibe this morning.

  12. g8ter27 says:

    Besides the miscues I am concerned that this offense is vanilla just like last year. Debose? I agree with Daniel there..BS. Why is he not on the field? On the flip side, our freshman players on D are getting a god bit of work early…things better change quick on the O or else we WILL be an Ole Miss next week.

  13. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Mike got his second chance in the second half….if he has been practicing for months why would a week make much difference now….move him to guard the experiment failed and failed miserably

  14. Tampa Tom says:

    Addizio is a good o-line coach, not a play caller

  15. Escambia94 says:

    I sure hope you’re right, Daniel M. Like most fans, I wanted the Gators to blow out Miami-OH just because they were a tuneup. I am okay with an eked out win, but it’s hard to fix the fumbles in one week. If the offense fixes the fumbles with the new Nike Anti-fumble Combat Gloves, then we should be able to take care of South Florida.

  16. Aligator says:

    I remember when the ole ball coach would come out slinging and damn the running game until later to keep them honest. this is bs about establishing a running game first. how can you do that with a 175lb tb and another who has dick fingers and drops the ball all the time?

  17. AddoozieO says:

    How can you say Addazio is a good O-line coach, when something as basic a the snap of the ball couldn’t be properly executed. The next idiot that calls an option run with john Brantley as QB should be fired…..Say, Brantley runs a option play vs. Bama….Bama knows Brantley is no threat to run the ball and some LB is going to plant him and our season will be over…Tebow is gone scrap the option running plays, call plays suited for the players on your team, not the plays that worked last season.

  18. Mark says:

    Bubble Screen, Option, Toss, Bubble Screen, Option, Toss

    No one has less ingenuity than Addazio.

    I’m glad Brantley has a superb arm so he can throw great bubble screens

  19. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Mark is right – the offensive scheme is so predictable, the 10 year old kid in front of me was calling the plays before the snap!!

  20. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    It was clear Miami was gambling and playing a lot of guys in the box but we only threw it long a few times the one to DT was almost a TD….the 3 yard pass to Rainey where he got planted into next week on 4th and 6 could have been a wide open TD if we pump short and throw long…let’s hope we see more next week to give us hope…and how about playing Debose for crying out loud

  21. Hink says:

    As Matt mentioned above, I was struck by the WRs complete lack of a will to block in the run game and on the screens – Carl Moore was shadow boxing with CBs at three paces all afternoon. Really makes me appreciate the way Riley manhandled opposing DBs the last few years…just wish his fundamentals would have rubbed off on the other guys a little better.

  22. Luke says:

    After how poorly the first 10 plays went, why would the coaches open the playbook up? I was more disappointed that Mack Brown and Mike Gillislee didn’t get a few more touches (or get on the field for Mack). Remember when an RB would be in the dog house for lack of ball security? Moody has had slippery fingers since his first spring game and Rainey didn’t exactly blow anyone away with his running, blocking, or security. Bring in the big backs along with Demps!

    Before the season started I thought there was a pretty good chance we’d lose two games this year: Bama and maybe UGA, now I’m afraid we may drop four. A bunch of new coaches on O (all new since ’08?) and a few on D combined with a lack of seniors will apparently take more of a toll then I/we expected. USCw had the same problems over the past few years. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of the end of our dynasty…

  23. banjoman says:

    @Hink.. So glad you mentioned that. I, too, noticed Moore’s lack of willingness to mix it up ala Coop. Hope coach will address that.
    Go Gators

  24. Christy says:

    The fact that we won despite all the mistakes shows that we have talent. Now it’s a matter of coaching and I agree. I have thought since last year that Addazio is a horrible play caller. I have no clue why we are calling option plays with Brantley. Unless you have a dual threat QB like we did with Tim, it’s not going to work. He’s a pocket passer, throw some long balls. Go back to a traditional offense.

    I watched Breakfast with the Gators and they were saying regarding the bad snaps, that Maurkice always used to look back between his legs to see where Tim was before looking back up and snapping the ball. Mike isn’t looking through his legs at all, he is just snapping it and that could be a huge issue. Seems like he needs to give his brother a call for some advice, and practice about 5,000 snaps in practice.

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