Pressure mounting on Gators team and staff

By Adam Silverstein
October 21, 2009

Defending a National Championship is not an easy thing to do. Returning a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in senior Tim Tebow and a two-deep defense should have made things easier. But expectations for the Florida Gators to achieve the first undefeated season in University of Florida football history is putting plenty of pressure on those involved in the program.

“A lot of pressure on this team to perform on a very high level — on these coaches, on the trainers, on the weight coaches, on the secretaries, on everyone associated with our program, a lot of pressure — and I love that,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I feel it around the office. We want to play perfect, because the expectation level is to play at an extremely high level.” While that may be the case, Meyer understands why the expectations are so high. “It’s the Florida Gators, and Florida Gators have high expectations. But that’s why all these kids choose to come here, and that’s why these coaches choose to come here.”

As mentioned earlier, Florida’s two-deep defense was expected to be a strength for the team in 2009. Yet while Gator Nation is making a fuss about the lack of playmakers on offense, it seems to be overlooking the disappearance of playmakers on defense. In 2008, the Gators defense forced 33 turnovers, 24 of which were interceptions. In 2009? Florida has only taken away nine balls – seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Yes, injuries have ravaged the unit at this point – most of the defensive front seven is banged up. Nevertheless, the Gators defense must start to make some plays and play up to its capabilities for the remainder of the season.

Slive suspends SEC officials: Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended the officiating crew from the Florida Gators vs. Arkansas Razorbacks game last Saturday until Nov. 14. “While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play,” Slive said. ” I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program.” Slive also stated that the officiating in the crew’s last two games has “not been to the standard that we expect.”

4 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    I saw a stat today thet UF has one rushing TD against SEC competition this year……thats just plain awful.

  2. Daniel M. says:

    Were -2 turnover ratio.

  3. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    I am a little tired of other fans acting like the one personal foul call was the sole reason we beat Arkansas….get over it…as far as the take aways it’s an intersting point and we clearly are not getting them at the ridiculous rate of last year but we are also not on the field as much either…I would think our % of 3 and outs is one of the best in the country and that along with our special teams is as good as a turnover in getting back the ball while winning field position….any one agree?

  4. Drew, I completely agree with you in regard to how Arkansas fans are acting at this time. They had plenty of time to beat the Gators in that game and more than enough opportunities. The PI call was a PI to me – judgment call. The personal foul was a bad call. Even so, that call did not lose them the game. Florida gave them every chance possible to defeat them and they could not. Period.

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