11/1: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

By Adam Silverstein
November 1, 2010

Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, freshman QB Trey Burton, junior running back Jeff Demps, senior center Mike Pouncey, senior safety Ahmad Black and senior linebacker Brandon Hicks answered questions for the media on Monday about a variety of topics concerning the Florida Gators and their win on Saturday over the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, FL. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

BRANTLEY, BURTON COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER

Brantley waited for his turn. He sat behind the legendary Tim Tebow and watched as he returned to school after winning a Heisman Trophy and BCS National Championship in back-to-back seasons. He has been criticized softly by some of his coaches and harshly by many of his team’s fans, yet Brantley has kept his cool and is embracing head coach Urban Meyer’s decision to share his position with a true freshman who has a Tebow-like talent for running the option. Just ask him.

“We run the option really well – it’s what we’ve done really well here for the past few years. We wanted to get that back in the system,” Brantley said. “If that means to put someone else back there to run it, by all means let’s do it. That’s what’s been successful and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. […] Anything that can help the team I’m all for. […] I knew coming into the season we’re an option team. If that means to bring in another quarterback, do that, I’m all for it.”

While Gator Nation certainly appreciates Brantley’s flexibility, he has also made it easy on Burton by befriending him while sharing the spotlight. “He’s a great dude, awesome football player,” Burton said of Brantley on Monday. “I love hanging out with him. Him and I joke around every day, every time I see him we say ‘What’s up?’ to each other. We hang out all the time. I can’t say enough about him. He’s one of my best friends on the team. […] Whatever we can do to win, him and I both have the same feelings. It doesn’t matter if we play or we don’t play, as long as we win, we’re happy. And that’s truly how both of us feel.”

DEMPS “SLOWLY BUT SURELY” GETTING HEALTHIER

Hobbled for three consecutive games before returning at 90 percent capacity on Saturday against Georgia, Demps (foot) remains on the mend but is trying to reach perfect health. Unfortunately, he is still experiencing sharp pains going through the top and side of his foot when attempting to change direction while running, something he has high hopes will be corrected soon. He is currently wearing a soft protection brace on his foot – not tape – and is getting 20-25 reps each practice in order to stay in game shape.

“It’s coming along pretty good – slowly but surely. [I’m] getting good treatment by our training staff,” he said. “Right now I’m able to practice in limited reps, but the reps that I am getting are quality reps. Right now I’m able to run straight ahead pretty well, but it’s kind of hard for me to change direction. […] It’s been tough. At times I’ve gotten frustrated, but at the same time I have to stay positive and keep my teammates going and at the same time they have to keep me going.”

GETTING OFF THE FIELD ON THIRD DOWN

For the second-straight game, Florida’s defense is having difficulty getting off of the field on third down. Against Mississippi State, UF was unable to stop the run; with Georgia the problem was stopping QB Aaron Murray from completing long third down passes.

“Third down is key. That’s like our money down. I’ve been on this team a while and third down used to be us getting off the field a little bit quicker,” Black said. “We can improve, we can get better. That’s what practice is for.” Hicks also notices it is an issue. “To let a team convert on a third down, and it’s third and long, it hurts the defense as well. It feels like we didn’t do our job,” he said.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Brantley on being motioned in-and-out behind center: “It’s just trying to confuse the defense. They gameplan for Trey being at quarterback and myself being at quarterback. When they see Trey back there and myself out, they’re going to call a defense for him. When I come back in, it just causes a little confusion.”

Burton on his long touchdown run: “The huge hole. I just tried not to get caught. I’m pretty fast. I’m not slow or else I wouldn’t be running the ball. I’m a decent speed, nothing like [redshirt junior wide receiver Chris] Rainey or Demps though.”

Burton on the no-huddle offense: “It wears the defense down. The first quarter they were done. They were about to tap out after awhile.”

Demps on Burton’s leadership: “Trey isn’t real talkative, but he kind of leads by what he does on the field and off the field. Whatever the coach asks him to do, he’s going to do it. If they ask him to run the ball as hard as he could, that’s what he’s going to do. He’s a hard worker.”

Pouncey on the no-huddle offense: “It’s tiring but we worked on it the whole bye week and we got good at it. We’re just going to get better and better each week at it. But it helps out the whole offense.”

Pouncey on false starts from the no-huddle: “The false starts, you can’t really blame nobody on that because we was going on silent the whole game, we wasn’t going on cadence. The false starts were just getting in rhythm of me putting my head back up and going on a ‘Set. Hike.’”

Pouncey on senior punter Chas Henry: “He’s the best punter in the country. He took on the role. He’s going to be an NFL player.”

Black on the defense faltering and trying to keep it together: “It was a lot going on. We gave up some big plays in the second half. Just making sure everybody stayed composed and finished the game out. I didn’t want anybody to get rattled, just have their head on straight.”

Black on junior safety Will Hill: “We all knew he could do it, it was just a matter of time. Never doubted him, always stayed behind him and grind him every day, and push him. I told him every day, ‘Let’s go get better.’ And that’s what he did. I’m glad he had the game he did.”

Black on Hill’s overtime interception: “I thought we won right there. I thought that was the game-winning touchdown but either way you look at it, it was a great play. It kept them from getting points on the board.”

4 Comments

  1. cline says:

    Got to keep building off what works with our personnel. Time to rock Vandy!

  2. Joe says:

    If Jenkins (1) could have made his block, Hill would have scored but it still worked out for the good guys.

  3. Alex says:

    Honestly I’m glad he didn’t score so Henry got a chance to redeem himself

  4. Andrew says:

    Go Gators!

    Vandy is coming at a perfect time in the season. Time to open it all up and get this offense firing on all cylinders. We have some amazing talent on Defense but its clear the experience is missing. Blown coverages and zero pass rush. Even with the blitz. Lets pray the #2 corner back position gets better soon.

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