Week 10: Gators post-game news & notes

By Adam Silverstein
November 6, 2010

Winning their second-straight game, this time in dominant fashion, the Florida Gators (6-3, 4-3 SEC) toppled the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 1-5 SEC) 55-14 in Nashville, TN, at Vanderbilt Stadium. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

RAINEY’s REDEMPTION PART II

Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey has been one of Florida’s best performers in back-to-back games. With two blocked punts and a 40-yard touchdown reception in which he came back for an under-thrown ball, Rainey is quickly proving to head coach Urban Meyer that he has his head on straight and is ready to be a valued member of the team. “He hit rock bottom and he had one way to go,” Meyer said after the game. “Good for him. To even be on football, good for him. He’s doing much better in school and the thumb is on him real hard, so his whole work ethic has changed and everything.” He also discussed Rainey’s punt blocks. “You talk about a momentum shift. [Chris] Rainey’s a very unique, skilled athlete that can come off that edge that’s skinny like that,” he said. “Ninety percent of the time we win or are undefeated when we get a hand on a punt. Great momentum change.”

TEAM CHEMISTRY AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH

Having won their last two contests, the Gators are feeling good – especially considering one was an overtime thriller and the other was a shellacking. Meyer is pleased with how the team is currently assembled and thinks, now that most everyone is healthy, they can continue their progress. “I just like the chemistry of our team right now. The way they hang out with each other at the hotel. You see a gelling right now,” he said. “You take some good players out of your team and you don’t look as good. I’m very excited about the chemistry of our team right now. We needed this.”

Florida is feeling so good these days that, before the game was even over, players on the sidelines were talking about playing South Carolina next week for the Southeastern Conference Eastern division title. “[They were talking about it] a lot. I tried to encourage them to. I wanted the focus,” Meyer said. “We’ve learned some great lessons around here in the past of a team being ready to play a big-time game and maybe a team not being ready to go play a big-time game. So that was my whole message to them. I like the look. If they’re talking about next week’s game obviously when this one is over, it’s real clear what the focus is. […] I think we’re finishing strong and obviously it’s championship week in Gainesville, Florida. So we’re going to get back to work as soon as we can and everybody’s excited about it.”

REED-IRECTING OFFENSE

Saturday saw the emergence of redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed as a legitimate offensive option for the Gators as he accounted for 120 yards through the air, 84 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Meyer was complimentary of Reed after the game and hopes to utilize him more as the season goes on. “He’s a freak athlete. I think we did it right. Hindsight is 20-20 how we’re pushing him into this offense,” he said. “Obviously you can see what a dynamic runner [he] is, he’s got a nice arm. We don’t have that big runner – and he gives us that. […] He’s tight end and quarterback. He’ll be a single-wing quarterback and a tight end for us.”

PLAYER STATUS UPDATES

» Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley: “He’s not on the travel team – just not a part of the team right now. Lot of reasons. […] He’s not part of the travel team.”
» Freshman running back Mack Brown: “He’s been having hamstrings all year, so we just didn’t want to risk it. But his attitude has been fantastic.”
» Junior RB Jeff Demps: “Jeff was available, but we wanted to be smart. He didn’t practice much this week. It was very painful on him this week. We’ll know more this week, but I’m planning on him being ready for South Carolina.”
» Redshirt sophomore DT Jaye Howard: Meyer expects him to return next week after having nursed a serious ankle injury for 2-3 weeks.

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer on what concerned him going into the game: “I’m turning into a Florida guy, not liking that cold weather very much.”

Meyer on how the game began: “We stared so darn slow again. They had a decent plan. You can see when Johnny was in they blitzed and then they played the zero hole. So we just got to keep moving, keep moving this thing.”

Meyer on the return game: “We had a major error with Janoris [Jenkins] back there – you got to catch that ball. I’m going to give some thought to that whole situation.”

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio on redshirt sophomore Frankie Hammond, Jr.: “He played all his special teams reps, all his offensive snaps, the plays that he made in the game. Really terrific to see him come back. Really, he’s a very quiet guy and he’s a real unassuming guy and just works really hard. That’s what he did before too. I think it’s a great sense of pride for him to bring value to this football team like he has, and he’s doing a great job.”

Senior center Mike Pouncey on the last two games: “We’ve picked up a lot of momentum. I think it’s all on Coach Addazio. He brought up the idea of going to the up-tempo offense and it’s helped us out a lot. We’ve been playing great the last two weeks. Now, we’ve got to do it again this week. It’s the biggest game of the year. If we win, we’re in. If we lose, we’re out. We’re all focused on this one game.”

Pouncey on Reed: “He’s a great player. He’s just trying to find a position.”

Reed on his touchdown: “That was the first time. My first touchdown pass. I was excited.”

Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley on the rotation: “You never know who is going to be at quarterback. As long as we’re winning, I like it a lot.”

Brantley on Rainey’s touchdown reception: “That was a great catch by Chris Rainey. The ball floated on me; it slipped out of my hand. I’m not use to this cold weather.”

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders on the team: “We’ve had a lot of good weeks of practice. This team is starting to gel, and we’re starting to show we’re the type of team we knew we could be. It just took a while to get there.”

Sanders on his fumble return touchdown: “It might have been out of fear. I didn’t want anyone to catch me. That is something I wanted to do before I graduated from here. I finally experienced it.”

Sanders on allowing a punt block: “That was on me. He worked a move, he worked a good move on me. I was real disappointed afterwards, but we got the win.”

Freshman WR Solomon Patton on his punt block return touchdown: “I was trying my best to make it to the end zone. It means a lot. I was trying to help my team with this victory, that’s all.”

25 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    A+ Read!

  2. g8ter27 says:

    So what is going on with Easley? Have you heard anything on this Adam?

  3. Jay says:

    I still don’t understand why we aren’t letting johnny brantley pass the ball down field. That is the one thing we know he can do very well. I reapeat… HE HAS A GREAT ARM AND IS A DOWNFIED PASSER. I think this was an awesone victory, but to give jordan reed one of two downfield passes and not give them both to john sucks for him. Its actually a slap in john brantley’s face. In any case… I’d love it if we could just give him a legit shot. We are not flexible.

    Lets get to ATL! GO GATORS!!!!!!

  4. Geoff says:

    Easly is a punk, thats whats up… Bad attitude. GO Gators! I want to see more Jordan Reed at QB

  5. G8rgr8 says:

    Yes, Please give us more on Easley!!!!!

  6. OG says:

    Easley is a beast. Hope he can get back in good graces.
    Floyd is busting it up at DT now.

  7. zurbo says:

    yeah, what is going on with easley? Our 5 star commits are dropping like flies

  8. Can’t give you “more” than what actually exists. He is obviously having conduct problems as far as within the team and handling authority. Look how many freshmen – Burton, Riggs, Powell, Floyd – are getting legitimate playing time because they are doing things the right way. Even though Powell had to be helped along, he made it and is now seeing the field. Many of the other freshmen either aren’t ready, aren’t healthy, etc. But with Easley, it is something else. I’ll try to find out more, but no one is talking about it.

  9. G8trpls says:

    Brantley doesn’t throw the ball down the field because he’s not good at it, he goes through his progressions and 9 times out of 10 dumps it off to the short route. He if hasn’t already been sacked.

  10. g8ter27 says:

    Thanks G8trpls for answering that one for me, yes Brantley has plays called to throw down filed but he fails to find the open man and then panics and dumps it off (to a back 2 yards away with his back turned to the defense on a 3rd and 12)

  11. E-Pain says:

    If by going through progressions you mean staring blindly at one receiver for a good 6 seconds then throwing. It boggles me that he doesn’t have more picks this year.

  12. Mr2Bits says:

    Jay : Did you see Jonny throwing the ball yesterday? He looked terrible. I know we talk about his arm all the time but the best pass I’ve seen all year was from Reed to Thompson on that TD yesterday.

  13. Christy says:

    What was all that talk about him being a better passer than Tebow? Sure don’t see that. Granted we don’t have the receivers Tebow had, but still even pretty easy throws where he has tons of time, he is throwing too high or off target. The announcers were saying that he isn’t doing as well because he can’t get into a rhythm with his receivers because he is constantly being moved out to receiver for Reed or Burton to go in. Do you buy that? Would love to know people’s opinions on this.,

  14. Jay says:

    Mr2Bits. I did see him throw it yesterday and I saw him underthrow rainey as well. Great catch with the PI on Rainey by the way. The point I was trying to make is that I don’t think we have made adjustments to John’s strengths. It took us 3/4’s of the season to do it for Leak as well. In any case, Jordan Reed played great and he is a better mold for the system. Great pass to Thompson too! I do, however, believe that John would be a perfect fit for a program that allows passes down the field more often. I also think it must be hard for him to find any kind of rhythm as Christy pointed out. Looking past this year I’m not sure what Urban will do at QB for next year.

    i don’t want to take anything away from the win yesterday. They guys played great. I’m just trying to figure out how our starting qb will be more effective. Before we get off the Brantley train, please remember how long John has waited for a fair chance to show his stuff. I’m just not sure our system has allowed the fair chance he deserves.

    Go Gators and lets get back to the SEC Game!

  15. AustinG8R says:

    What’s with Pouncey crediting Addazio with the up-tempo offense — I thought that was Azzani’s idea as reported on this site…

  16. Gatorgrad79 says:

    I don’t really care WHO “thought of” using the Oregon/Oklahoma hurry -up scheme, just glad that our team can implement it. It is true that JB waited patiently for his turn, but there is something in the team dynamic when he takes the field that is shaky – it appears to be a lack of trust that JB will find the receiver or make a good read when the defense adjusts once our play is set. It appears that the TEAM has decided who they can play with, and when Burton and/ or Reed are in the backfield, the confidence of the offense smells like 2008-09.

  17. ziggy says:

    Gatorgrad, hope you mean 2007-08? 2009’s offense was pretty average.

  18. Joe says:

    Roby looked pretty good at center in the second half, but Halaio stinks. We should have moved Pouncey back to guard and played Roby weeks ago.

  19. tank says:

    Jon Halapio is a freshman. Give him some time.

  20. Jesse C says:

    Brantley looked awful at times. His two TD’s were great plays by the receivers.
    Reed looked good, his pass to DT was the best by a Gator QB this year.
    OL looked horrible to start the game as usual. Why 5-6 blockers can’t handle 4 DL from an Ivy league school is beyond me. Joe- I completely agree… Haliapo is the weak link.
    Playcalling to start game was typical Addazio prior up-tempo change. Dead in the water.
    Special teams was great and horrible at the same time. Reminded me of the defense against UGA.
    Overall it was a great dominating victory against the worst team in the League.

    We are going to need to play solid consistent Defense and Special Teams against USC in order to give our Offense some time to get going. Their secondary was throttled by Arkansas and we are going to need to pass the ball to open up some running lanes or they are just going to stack the line. We need our new Cam Newton hybrid Mr. Reed to run the offense some in the first half. I hope we will have Demps back.

    When we get to Atlanta, I hope to have a rematch with LSU. Go Gators!

  21. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Even if Bama beats Auburn they will have the tie breaker against LSU so if we get to Atlanta it will be Auburn unless you think Georgia can go on the road and beat Auburn…good to see the Sharrif in town…let’s hope we can get Howard back cause we need him and Sharrif playing lights out against the cocks…it’s really hard not to get excited about Reed….he is the one QB that can throw and pass…he should probably be more the change of pace and not Burton….plus with Reed at QB Burton can still be catching balls

  22. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    And Kudos to Lemmens….there are so many guys more physically gifted than him but he just keeps making plays…he is fun to watch!!!

  23. courtney says:

    Thanks ADAM for the update. But as you said about all of the freshman cracking the starting line-up and the ones who are getting playing time, if easley was that good he would be playing. its not like are de are tearing it up, and both powell and floyd seem to be getting better every week. Elam, Clark, and patton have all showed signs of greatness. There is playing time to be had, but he just not that impressive to me compared to the other freshman we have. Lemmens and Trattou are both high motor guys, but far from spectacular, no pass rushing skills though, he should at least be geting looks on obvious passing downs. But i think our ends for the future are Powell and Trail i ave a really good feeling about him.

  24. GATORNATIONSPRESIDENT says:

    This team is becoming everything I imagined we could be at the start of the season. It’s too bad we dropped the games against LSU and Mississippi State, or we’d be a 1 loss team in the powerful SEC one win away from a berth in the SEC Title Game—which basically would be like the semi final of a NCAA Tournament, winner gets into the BCS Title Game.

    And the reason I didn’t bring up the Bama game is cause we got blown out, even though I think the game was a lot closer than the score indicated (we got into the redzone a lot, just made stupid turnovers). Both the LSU and Miss St games we should’ve win, they were ours. It’s unfortunate but enough crying over spilled milk….who wouldn’t love to see the Gators take out the SEC West champ and spoil their national title hopes?! If we run the table the rest of the way—-which I believe we will—-and win our bowl game, there will be some SERIOUS momentum coming into next season, and I would expect nothing less than a 3rd crystal football being brought back to Gainesville in the Urban Meyer era.

    Sorry….rambling here but I love my Gators! BEAT SOUTH CAROLINA!!!!

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