Week 2: Gators post-game news and notes

By Adam Silverstein
September 12, 2010

Bouncing back from a lackluster showing during the first game of the 2010-11 season, the No. 6/8 Florida Gators ran down the South Florida Bulls 38-14 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.

RAINEY OUT WITH CONCUSSION

Named by head coach Urban Meyer before the season as one of the Gators’ primary offensive weapons, redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey was knocked out of the game Saturday with a concussion. Rainey had only touched the ball three times prior to heading off the field, and his status for next week’s game at Tennessee is unknown, though Meyer seemed optimistic.

SNAPPING OUT OF “DISASTER MISTAKES”

After a week in which Florida struggled with one of the simplest aspects of the game – snapping the ball – senior center Mike Pouncey and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley were back in sync and playing well together. Pouncey did have some errant snaps during the Gators’ first two series, one of which Brantley mishandled and fumbled, but overall the problems were corrected and UF’s offense was able to proceed free of easy miscues.

YOUNGSTERS SEE THE FIELD

Offensively, Florida made it a point to get redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose and freshman WR Robert Clark in the game – something the coaching staff failed in doing the previous week. On the defensive side of the ball, youth was all over the Gators’ secondary with freshman cornerback Cody Riggs getting extra time in place of redshirt sophomore starting CB Jeremy Brown, who went down with full body cramps in the second half. Fellow freshman CBs Jaylen Watkins and Josh Shaw also saw action, and freshman safety Matt Elam played as much as he did last week.

MEYER NOT HAPPY WITH HILL, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

After the game, Meyer explained that junior safety Will Hill was benched for a second straight week because he was “not ready to play.” Earlier in the week, it appeared as if Hill was going to see the field in his normal staring role, but it is being made to look as if there was a change of heart as the game approached. As OGGOA reported last Saturday, Hill was out not because of his preparedness but rather as a team punishment; we are of the belief that he sat for the same reason this week.

Also held out were redshirt sophomore linebacker Dee Finely and freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who Meyer also gave the “not ready to play” tag to. Finley, like Hill, was dressed; Easley was not. Like he said last week with his suspended starters, Meyer expects all three to play against Tennessee.

THOMPSON AND MOORE STEP THEIR GAMES UP

One week after redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson barely contributed and redshirt senior WR Carl Moore did not catch a single ball, both players played a major part of the Gators’ offense. The duo combined to catch 11 passes for 123 yards, though Thompson did drop another touchdown (which was well-defended) and bobbled a few of the passes he ended up bringing in. Each will have to remain consistent throughout the season, and Saturday was a good first step toward that end.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer on the Bulls and QB B.J. Daniels: “I thought South Florida was a very well-coached team – and an excellent player at quarterback – [that guy’s] a stud, a tough nut man. … We have a lot of respect for that outfit we just played. When I make a comment they’re SEC caliber, they might not have the depth, but they certainly have players.”

Meyer on his pass catchers: “Our receivers, we’re still not where we need to be, but they did better. Deonte and Carl Moore – we got a little bit of a rotation in there. We tried to take a couple of shots to Debose, we’ll continue to grow that group the best we can.”

Meyer on his special teams: “Special teams was finally the way it’s supposed to look around here.”

Meyer on USF’s first touchdown drive: “I really wasn’t thinking déjà vu. I was just on headsets. we were trying to make sure we could get things going. Obviously they worked on us all year, because they had some really good pressures. […] The first drive, that was bad. Especially [because] the crowd was on our side. They got a little veteran quarterback coming back and they made some plays and it was mostly him running, scrambling, running the triple option and doing all the read plays that that kind of quarterback can do. I thought he played fantastic. I really think their quarterback is a superstar. He’s a really good player.”

Meyer on the freshmen class: “I think that freshman class is really starting to come on. Even the guys you don’t see very much of – like Neiron Ball. Cody Riggs and Josh Shaw started on kickoff for the first time. I think six or seven were true freshman on starting kickoff. Robert Clark did a heck of a job. He pierced one. Those are all really good young players, and they have to be, and we’re starting to find some of them. And there’s some other young ones coming on – those young receivers [Quinton] Dunbar and [Chris] Dunk[ley] haven’t got in the game but they’re really coming on as well. We need them all – and we all know it. I love when Sharrif [Floyd] gets up and plays with enthusiasm and fires that Gator Chomp at people. I love when he gets warned by the official – kind of got me fired up.”

Meyer on Jenkins: “I think he’s as good a corner as there is in the country”

Meyer on how the offensive philosophy has changed: “It is a work in progress. … I like to score as much as the next guy; however, I think we’re more of a blue collar team that’s going to find a way to knock four yards here, five yards here – bang, take a shot. – and then come back and run draw – we added the draw play this week. … It’s different, and it’s different for me. We haven’t run that style in awhile. To turn around and just completely, in the fourth quarter, let the offensive line surge. It might be not as exciting as running some of the stuff, but it’s also very effective. It defeats a team’s will when you can control the ball at the end of a game like that.”

Meyer on Tim Tebow’s first NFL game: “I’m going to try. I can’t watch it because we’re working. But I’m probably like the rest of Gator Nation, real anxious to see him go back to Jacksonville and play.”

Meyer on tight end Jordan Reed’s impact: “Very talented guy that we need. … He’s a mismatch for a linebacker. If he becomes an efficient blocker and, with the athleticism he has, it could be a nice weapon for us. … He should be full speed now.”

Meyer on Hill’s absence: “I’m always concerned if a guy’s not played, but I also saw what I saw during training camp – that renewed commitment. So we’ll see next week. If he has a great week of practice and does everything right, I think he’s one of the better safeties in the country.”

Brantley on Florida’s performance: “It feels a lot better. You feel a lot better leaving the game knowing all cylinders were working pretty well [in the second half]. We had more rushing yards than passing yards, which is a good thing. It puts you in a better mood and you’re just excited to go back this week and fix the things that weren’t better.”

Junior running back Jeff Demps on his game-breaking runs: “I’d like to credit those explosive runs to the offensive line. They did a great job opening holes and made our job easier today. I’ve never had a game like that. I guess I’m going to try and come out next week and have another good game. […] For me to make a play, I think that’s a good thing. It brings momentum to our side. We’ve got several guys who can make big plays.’’

Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on Demps: “Those are big hits. Whether they come on the ground or through the air, those are field-position changers and momentum changers. You need those. Jeff gave that to us today in the run game.’’

Junior CB Janoris Jenkins‘ on his team’s penchant for interceptions: “We just come out and play fast. We think about every time the ball is in the air, it’s ours. We going at it like ninjas. We call ourselves the assassins.”

Senior S Ahmad Black on his unit: “I just feel [bad] for whoever [faces] the whole secondary.”

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun and Miami Herald for the non-Meyer quotes above…more coming soon.

4 Comments

  1. Coach Steve says:

    Hill must be sitting out because his attitude sucks. His tweet earlier this year was that his plan is to gtfo out of UF. I say if that’s the case gtfo now!

  2. SC_Gator says:

    Don’t know Hill’s issue, not sure I care. He is not irreplaceable.

    Adam, Brown had “full body craps”?

    Sounds…messy.

  3. Gatorgrad79 says:

    If UF has a coach/trainer whose entire job is to oversee hydration-electrolyte balance – overheating, how the heck does cramps become an issue??

  4. brlgator says:

    gator grad 79
    ,
    when the field temp is over 100 there is only so much you can do with fluids

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