10/7: Florida Gators week six practice notes

By Adam Silverstein
October 7, 2010

No. 12/14 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer met with the media after practice on Thursday and divulged a few important notes about the team’s sixth game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday against the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details which you can check out below.

BRANTLEY WAS LIMITED BUT IS “FINE NOW”

Early in the week rumors surfaced that redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley was questionable for Saturday’s game against LSU after injuring his ribs against Alabama. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio shot down those reports Tuesday, saying Brantley was “doing great” though he was “a little sore…just like every game.” Meyer expanded on Brantley’s limitations Thursday, noting that he was actually unable to throw the ball for a part of the week. “On the injury front, Brantley’s good,” he said. “He was limited mostly, well, throwing. So we would have another guy go in and throw the ball for him a little bit [because] his ribs were so sore, but he’s fine now.” Meyer insisted that Brantley will be ready to go Saturday without limitations.

TIME HAS COME FOR PLAYMAKERS, EXTRA PROTECTION

Asked whether or not it was time for the coaching staff to push guys like redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose and freshman running back Mack Brown onto the field for increased playing time and touches, Meyer smiled and appeared to provide a genuine response. “Uh-huh. It’s that time. It’s been that time for a while,” he said nodding emphatically. “[Debose is] getting better. He’s getting better.”

And while those playmakers may see the field a bit more, Meyer also received word that he would be getting back one of his favorite offensive players, redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks. Finally recovered from a back injury, Wilks has been cleared to play and will be in action on Saturday. “That’s good news for us that he came back and had a great week of practice,” Meyer boasted. “Great attitude. He’s a good player. He’s like Billy Latsko, he’s just one of those football position guys. Very smooth player. He’s not a home run hitter or anything like that but he’s a guy that gets in your way and blocks you and knows the offense real well.”

OTHER INJURY UPDATES

Though junior RB Jeff Demps “still is limited,” according to Meyer, he is expected to “be at the same tempo he was last week against Alabama” for Saturday’s contest. While the news seems positive for him and sophomore RB Mike Gillislee, the same cannot be said for some other Gators.

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Brandon Antwine will remain out of action, freshman WR Chris Dunkley’s hamstring is “acting up, so he’s not going to be ready either for a couple more weeks,” and freshman WR Quinton Dunbar recently tweaked his hamstring in practice as well. When speaking about the injuries, Meyer noted that Dunbar “was getting better” and called Dunkley “my man.”

Also remaining on the sidelines is junior kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has been replaced by senior punter Chas Henry. “Caleb’s getting better. He won’t kick Saturday,” Meyer said. “I kind of like what our man did, Chas. Caleb’s getting better and he’s feeling better. I’m not sure the timetable because it’s actually is a stress fracture.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

Looking back on Florida’s offense vs. Alabama: “I’ve had a long time to reflect on last week’s game, and we had four drives I believe over 10 plays. [We] basically drove the ball the length of the field to start the first half and start the second half and you walk away without points. Red zone and turnovers are just disgraceful. Special teams, to give up a 40-yard punt return, we’ve been preaching that for six years. I’m not perfect, but we’ve been pretty good in that area.

“Turning the ball over has got to get fixed, we can’t do that. Offensively if we score those touchdowns, we take care of the ball and score the touchdowns, it’s not like it’s a train wreck. That team did [not] just come in and wipe us. We out-gained them at the end of the day. I know it was down 24-zip or something like that. We gotta score touchdowns. So at the end of the day, someone has got to put that ball in the end zone. That’s the biggest issue right now is finding out who is going to physically put that ball in the end zone. Whether it be going and making a great catch…is it a tailback or is it a quarterback? Who is going to punch that ball in the end zone?”

On if freshman QB Trey Burton or redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed have been working with the first team as signal callers: “In specific packages they did some, but no, not much at all.”

Meyer also said that there will be personnel changes on special teams, notably the punt coverage unit. He mentioned that some faster players would be added there – two in particular – in order to help contain LSU and future opponents with speedy returners.

10 Comments

  1. John S says:

    Game plan: Kick away from Patterson, throw away from Patterson.

    Wish list: Max protect, run downhill, slant routes, play action deep routes (away from Patterson).

    Fears: Telegraphed out routes and screens toward Patterson

  2. Daniel M. says:

    Mo Money and Mo problems…makes me think about Mo Pouncey and his investigation. That was supposed to wrap up in about two months for what seems like three months now. The NCAA’s autonomy is sometimes annoying as hell. Look into your crystal ball Adam, what’s the scuttlebutt?

  3. Joe says:

    With Brantley limited on throwing I guess we’ll get to see more of those 5 yd per attempt options we like so much.

  4. Luke says:

    I like our chances in this game. A loss seems to wake everyone up and I think we’ll like the changes that have been made. I think we’ll see Burton throw a little more and I’m sure Brantley grew up some over the last weekend. Remember Tebow in ’07? I think Brantley will progress much faster with a better record than what we saw in Tebow’s first year starting.

  5. David says:

    Any discussion on the effect Billy G can have on their defense preparing for us?

    • Slightly more than they would have otherwise watching film. He can help with the thought process that the staff might go through in certain scenarios, that’s about it.

  6. SaraGator says:

    If the rumor is true as to how Billy G. left Florida… then I hope Urban lays a smack down on LSU.

  7. John S says:

    Pat Peterson /= Patterson, sorry typo. Note to self, do not check spelling using USA today stories.

  8. brlgator says:

    @daniel m

    my guess has been, since we havent heard anything then nothing has come of the investigation. the ncaa and/or press prob over reacted realized they couldnt prove anything and it serves no purpose for them to make anything public going forward. of course i could be way off as well.

    Heading to Gville in an hour!!! Havent been in the swamp in almost two years.

  9. HardToKillGtr says:

    Praise God! We now have a running back, Wilks, who is about 6′ 230# and well enough to play. Plus, Urban likes him.

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