10/14: Florida Gators week seven practice notes

By Adam Silverstein
October 14, 2010

Updated Oct. 15, 1:45 a.m.

No. 22/22 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 Mississippi State Bulldogs. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details which you can check out below.

INJURIES MOUNTING

Over the past two weeks Meyer and his coaches have been optimistic that the injury plague surrounding the program was lifting, especially when it came to Florida’s playmakers. Unfortunately the opposite seems to be the case as running backs junior Jeff Demps and sophomore Mike Gillislee have each been downgraded.

Called “Probable” by Meyer last week and this week, Demps (sprained foot) is now considered 50-50 (“Questionable”) for the Mississippi State game. Meyer slotted Gillislee (bruised foot) somewhere between the two designations, saying he has a 60 percent chance to play. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson and freshman safety Matt Elam, both of whom suffered concussions against LSU, practiced in full Thursday and will play Saturday. Also injured last week was redshirt freshman guard Jon Halapio (broken finger), but he had surgery Sunday and will be good to go.

Other injures Meyer updated the media on include the following:

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley (ribs, thumb, shoulder) – will start
» Redshirt sophomore guard David Young (fractured kneecap) – out for season
» Senior cornerback Moses Jenkins (hyperextended elbow) – maybe vs. Georgia
» Redshirt sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan (broken wrist) – maybe vs. Georgia
» Sophomore linebacker Dee Finley (fractured collarbone) – out “a few weeks”
» Freshman WR Chris Dunkley (hamstring) – 80 percent healthy
» Freshman WR Quinton Dunbar (hamstring – on his way back

DEBOSE PRAISE BEGINS

Just two weeks ago Meyer was sending some not-so-subtle hints that redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose needed to step his game up in practice in order to see significant time on the field. But as Florida has struggled on offense and as Debose has made some athletic and dynamic plays (including a 88-yard kickoff return last week) in his limited game action, Meyer has begun to see him as a one of the Gators’ much-needed home run threats – especially while Demps is out of action.

“Debose keeps getting better and better,” he said Thursday. “He’s much bigger, stronger [than he was when he came in]. He’s a whole different player now. He still needs more, and strength. He’s a talented guy.”

Meyer added that some big plays must come from beyond the backfield in order for Florida to be successful in the near future. “[The threat will come] from the receivers and maybe some quarterback runs,” he said. “We’re real hamstrung right now. We just gotta get these guys healthy and get with it. […] Deonte Thompson has got to be a home run threat for us. And obviously Andre Debose.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

On Demps’ probability of playing: “50-50 on Jeff Demps. I think that’s our fourth week now. We gotta get him back.”

On freshman RB Mack Brown seeing the field: “Mack Brown has been really practicing hard. He just still gets confused on the plays, learning the plays, There is a chance that’s going to happen.”

On why Demps’ status keeps changing: “Sprained food. I don’t know. I have the same questions. I ask the same exact question: ‘How does that happen?’ Whether he reinjured it in Alabama… The whole thing about it is they tell me, ‘Can he run without pain?’ So they were feeling better early in the week then he had a little pain yesterday. We’ll know more [Friday].”

On Halapio’s broken finger: “Halapio’s going to play. He’s a tough nut, man. Tough Polynesian.”

On Brantley’s overall health: “John was full-speed this week. It was a pleasure to see that.”

On Dunkley’s hamstring injury: “He’s about 80 percent. It wasn’t an Andre Debose hamstring [kept him out for a full year]. It was a chronic hamstring that he hurt in high school and reinjured it a couple times.”

On the talent of Dunkley and Dunbar: “Those guys are going to be good players.”

On his redshirt philosophy: “We don’t like to redshirt. We don’t ever think in that way. If he doesn’t play because he’s not ready, then I guess you could say he’s got an extra year. But how many guys ever use those extra years? We don’t think that way, but we’ll make that decision with him and his family if they want to talk about that. We make that perfectly clear that we’re playing, we’ll play.”

On getting sophomore WR Omarius Hines more involved: “He’s a dynamic runner we’re finding out. He’s struggled a little bit getting open, but every time you give him the ball he’s pretty dynamic with it. So maybe that’s one of the answers.”

On preparing for head coach Dan Mullen and a similar style: “We’re cautious because signals, names of things and everything else – including special teams. So [we] just gotta be cautious. Just the quarterback run stuff, I think that guys a real good runner and a good option threat.”

On if the Gators had a good week of practice: “Yeah, we had a great week of practice. We just gotta get better. We don’t have to worry about ups and downs, we’re just trying to get better. We’re not real good right now in certain areas and we’re just trying to get better at it.”

On if he would change the Cameron Newton decision if he had the chance: “No. Tough situation.”

On the kicking game: “[Senior punter] Chas [Henry] will kick; [junior kicker Caleb Sturgis] is getting better. I’m hearing positive things about that, but he’s out this week.”
 

9 Comments

  1. zurbo says:

    Ive stopped listening to the gator coaches about injuries…all they do is lie about who’s healthy and who’s not. I just wait to see who shows up on saturday

  2. npgator says:

    I have a good feeling about Saturday and think the real Gators show up and win big.

  3. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I said before the Bama game just sit Demps and get him healthy….instead we keep trying to pratice and have him play and here we are three weeks later with two losses and Demps no better…he has to sit and get healthy…and what is up with Brown? Why do they refuse to play him?

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Patchan is a redshirt FRESHMAN? I’m guessing third year on the team after a redshirt year and a medical redshirt year? Seems weird that someone who has been around the team this long is still a freshman.

  5. Basshole says:

    If Demps and Gillislee are out (or don’t play much) again, I am very concerned about our chances this week. Moody is not going to get it done on his own, that’s for damn sure.

  6. The Coach says:

    I hope Demps doesn’t have a Lisfranc injury to his foot. If so, we won’t see him for awhile.

  7. STEVEN says:

    Alright I’m getting mixed reports on Matt Elam status for Sat. you are saying he will play and Ed Aschoff is reporting he will miss tomorrows game. Which is it?And by the way love the site one of my daily favorites keep up the good work.

    • Steven- What I am reporting is what Urban Meyer said LAST NIGHT. What Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post first reported today was that Elam will miss the game because of his concussion. That is from one of his sources. I am not hearing the same thing – YET. What is written above is what Meyer said. Our Gameday preview will have Elam’s status later this afternoon based on the absolute best information I can receive by then. Sound good?

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