Week 11: Gators post-game news & notes

By Adam Silverstein
November 15, 2010

Losing the Southeastern Conference Eastern division title in pathetic fashion after winning two straight, the Florida Gators (6-4, 4-4 SEC) are searching for answers after dropping their third consecutive home game, this one to the South Carolina Gamecocks (7-3, 5-3 SEC) 36-14. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

MEYER LEFT WITHOUT ANSWERS

After Saturday’s game, head coach Urban Meyer was – to put it succinctly – speechless. Most of the questions he was asked in his post-game press conference were met with responses that provided little or no insight into what he believes needs to be done with this team from this point forward.

On why the offense was so poor: “If I had an answer for that, then we wouldn’t have struggled. Probably the same thing it looked like to you guys – very non-functional deal.”
On how he evaluated redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley’s performance: “About like our offense – just struggled. Our whole offense struggled. I’m not into individual stuff yet, I have to evaluate it.”
On who is the team’s best option at QB: “I can’t answer that right now. John Brantley’s our option at quarterback.”
On what disappointed him the most: “Um…the most disappointing thing? It’s hard for me to start or to let you know that, I probably have to take some in-depth thought right now and I’m not prepared to do that.”
On why the offense can’t deal with the opposition dropping eight and/or blitzing this year unlike previous years: “That’s a good question. I’m not prepared to answer that at this moment. I will be.”

ALL THAT’s LEFT IS WINNING FOR THE SENIORS

Both Meyer and Brantley made it a point after the game to explain that the team needed to keep its head held high and continue competing with maximum effort for the remainder of the season in honor of its dedicated senior class. “A group of seniors – I get emotional over seniors because I love those guys,” Meyer said. “They’ve made Florida football; the last several years have been pretty powerful stuff. I just look at Ahmad Black, [Justin] Trattou, [Duke] Lemmens and [Mike] Pouncey and all those cats right there and just want to make sure we give them the best we can – do the best we can for them.”

Brantley shared a similar sentiment: “These last two games we’re just going to play for these seniors. These seniors have been through a lot here,” he said. “They’ve dedicated their lives to this program. They deserve the best. We got to win these last two games, I think that’s the best we can do for them right now. We’re just going to play our hearts out for them.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

Meyer on not attacking the SEC’s worst pass defense: “They were blitzing the slot early, but it certainly was in the game plan to get down the field early. We just didn’t execute.”

Meyer on having Brantley throw against his body: “I think we only did it about two or three times. We just had to get out of that pocket. When you’re on the right hash[mark], obviously rolling out [to the left is what you have to do]. We just had to get out of the interior pressure that was going on. Every time they were just bringing interior pressure.”

Meyer on receivers going underneath the marker on 3rd and long: “[The Gamecocks] were dropping eight. It was a drop-eight game. They did a nice job with that, but they showed that on film, too. You have to work underneath, and it’s just a mess.”

Meyer on why he didn’t bench Brantley for redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed: “Jordan’s not functional in everything yet as a quarterback. We were going to be in a throwing game trying to come back, but we were trying to go win that game.”

Meyer on if his team is giving him full effort: “Oh yeah. It’s just execution. Our guys were ready for this week. They gave us everything they had in practice. And obviously a severe let down, but nobody’s quitting on these players. They went. Pretty good team we played out there. We’re just not a great team right now.”

Meyer on if the team is accountable: “We’re just not very good. We’re not executing very good. We’ve had not good teams before. Execution-wise, we’re not where we need to be. We had two pretty good games of execution and then a bunch of bad ones.”

Meyer on why junior running back Jeff Demps didn’t play more: “He’s got a stress reaction in his foot. It’s something that is very painful, and it’s something that you have to be very careful about.”

Meyer on if Saturday was a make-or-break game for the season: “Yeah, I think so. That’s our goal – to get to Atlanta. Obviously that’s not going to happen. We don’t get there every year. We got to find some playmakers. My whole focus is making sure that team sticks together.”

Brantley on the offense’s breakdown: “There’s really no explanation right now. We just couldn’t get things going. You can’t do that especially against a good team like South Carolina.”

Brantley on why no one has an answer for why the offense is struggling: “These last two weeks we had great, great games. We called the same plays this week. It’s tough to say. Things happen. Obviously our offense worked because it worked the last two weeks. South Carolina played a great game.”

Brantley on catching the ball and losing major yardage: “Obviously I should have just let it hit the ground, but in my mind I didn’t want anyone else to intercept it, so that’s what was going through my head.”

Brantley on if he has felt his job is in jeopardy: “No, not at all. Our big thing is running that option offense. I’m not the greatest at that, so we bring Trey [Burton] and Jordan in to bring another factor into that. It worked out well those last two weeks, just for some reason we couldn’t get it going tonight.”

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on not stopping South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore: “The guy did a great job. Runs though tackles, does a good job getting north-and-south and we didn’t do a great job putting our body on him, securing our gaps and making the tackles that we should have.”

Austin on how to motivate the team now without Atlanta as a goal: “It’s all about being a competitor, trying to get better as a football player and better as a team and that’s what we’re going to move ahead with. Our goal is: We still want to win this next game. Like everything we do, we move ahead. Whether it’s a win or a loss, you still have to prepare and get yourself ready to win the next game.”

Austin on the run defense this season: “When you look at it, the games that we’ve given up the run, it’s probably been a combination of some things. Third down defense where they keep drives alive, not tackling very well, possibly not fitting the run very well and some things in that area. In games that we needed to have great run defense, we didn’t.”

Austin on the lack of consistency between practices and the games: “We’ve practiced well. Obviously you don’t take backs to the ground in practice, but in terms of our fits and getting our feet on people and doing that, we’ve done it in practice. Tonight just didn’t carry over.”

Austin again on motivation: “I think you motivate guys with being a great football player and as good a team you can be. If you’re a competitor, no matter what happens, you want to go out and win because that’s the way you’re built. I think we have a lot of guys on our team who are built that way.”

26 Comments

  1. Will says:

    Adam

    It seemed like Ahmad Black made every tackle. Where was our DLine? FOr that matter, outside of Jenkins, where were our linebackers. I know our D is young, and that should be a good sign for next year, but how is this part of our team getting aware from criticism. WIth the exception of Jaye Howard the first few games, we get zero push from our DLine.

  2. npgator says:

    I hate to be negative after a loss but that had to be the worst coached Gator game I have ever witnessed. I think Coach Meyer is going to have to decide which is more important – his loyalty towards Brantley and Addazzio or winning games.

  3. cline2574 says:

    Totally rough game.

    I do not think anyone has an answer for why we did not run the hurry up offense utilizing everything we worked on the past 4 weeks. Bizarre scenario to say the least.

  4. John S says:

    Come on press why no discussion of the offensive line? Meyer hints at it in his comments, but that’s the whole deal right there. Watching the game again, we were probably able to fully carry out 4 plays before SC went to the prevent. John was never able to go through his reads or fakes before the plain was already crumbling. He couldn’t even drift to the right or left because our tackles were already 10 yards deep. The play calls stink and Brantley had a bad day, but the line is the issue.

    I bet the plays work in practice because the line is able to block.

  5. Alex says:

    So Brantley seems to always take a cursory glance downfield and then toss to a running back – are we not seeing his best because of weak o-line play, or is this really Brantley’s fault? We just need to get something going that isn’t 3 quarterbacks – but frankly, I don’t even think we have one quarterback. Maybe we just run the veer like RichRod from now on?

  6. G8trpls says:

    On who is the team’s best option at QB: “I can’t answer that right now. John Brantley’s our option at quarterback.===================================So we’re just going to keep beating our head against that brick wall, I guess.

  7. DC says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to get an accurate assesment on Brantley yet. Until the line blocks and we get some production from the backs, I just don’t think Brantley has a chance.

  8. SacramentoGator says:

    “We’re just not very good right now”, “Thing will be corrected” & “We’re graded out as champions”! Oh well, onto Gators Basket hoop.

  9. Wingtee says:

    Did I hear Brantley whistling the Jax Univ fight song at the press confernce Sat?

  10. Mr2Bits says:

    This is my favorite : Meyer on why he didn’t bench Brantley for redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed: “Jordan’s not functional in everything yet as a quarterback. We were going to be in a throwing game trying to come back, but we were trying to go win that game.”

    Seemed like he knew it pretty well in Nashville Urbes. At the end of the day, it’s only 10 different plays we run anyhow. When Brantley strutted out of the tunnel at half and posted up under center, the coaching staff conceded that game. Two first downs in an entire first half and refusal to make changes is just plain idiotic. Brantley was not reading the defense, over or under throwing every ball and just plain awful. I know everyone wants to blame the line but when he had time, he still missed his receivers.

    We also need to throw the hurry up offense out the window, we are not talented or disciplined enough to run that style. I was joking with a few of my friends about the over/under being 10 false starts in the game running it. Not sure how many we had as we all lost interest by half but I know we had something like 4 in the first few possessions. Hurry up does you no good when you get penalized every 3 downs.

  11. Mr2Bits says:

    DC : Dude, wake/sober up. When Brantley had time and he still misses his receivers. He is not mobile and always looks to the check down receiver. He continues to make poor decisions week after week and is only playing because of his family influence. Even in out wins against Georgia and Vandy, he made poor decisions and terrible throws when he had plenty of time.

  12. G8trpls says:

    The one thing that I have taken from this season is that Meyer once had great assistants….now we have below average coordinators on both defense and offense. This past Saturday’s game was lost on two things, offensive and defensive lines. Go back and watch the replay both lines played uninspired and at times lacked effort, (see offensive line) on more than one occasion.

  13. g8ter27 says:

    Brantley would be the man in a flag football game..but that isn’t what we have here sowhile he may look good in 7 on 7 drills, he sucks in the game. Oh, and the line, worst one we have had in gainesville in 21 years….maybe longer.

  14. npgator says:

    DC – I agree with your comment on Brantley but however the coaches should be a playing a QB that has the ability to run for his life the moment he gets his hands on the ball. We had better offensive line play back in the 80’s when we were on probation.

  15. Rich says:

    I like Brantley, I do but he is not working. This game was a big eye opening for me. I can take him getting sacked some because of all the blitzes as long as he’s hitting guys when he does have time. He looked awful vs. South Carolina, missing open guys or over throwing every ball.

    It’s not Brantley’s fault
    It’s not the play calling

    IT IS the coaches fault for not having the right guys at the right positions to give us the best change to win. Burton comes in and they stack the line. Brantley comes in on 3 & 8 and they drop 8, as they should. Meyer is an awesome coach but his loyalty to Brantley is hurting this team. I know he’s a legacy and I know there is a lot pressure on him and Urban to ride this out but clearly 3 fist downs in the first 3 quarters in UNACCEPTABLE. Loyalty be damn, it’s not all the QB’s fault but if someone can’t move the offense put someone else in that gives the offense and team a better change.

  16. Aligator says:

    Maybe next year we look like this due to Brantley and politics, get a few more wins with a more mature Defense and better running backs and wide outs? 10-2 maybe? who knows, it is almost like Urb’s is shell shocked from his health issues last year?

  17. JayV says:

    DC,
    We may not be able to evaluate Brantley completely at this moment, but with the line’s inability to block, we are more effective with the mobile QB. Maybe Brantley is better, but right now we are more productive with Reed.

  18. JW says:

    Can someone shed some light on what kind of quarterback Driskel is? Is he more in the mold of Brantley, or is he a better fit for our offense? Because if he is a traditional drop back quarterback, I don’t know why he would want any part of our offense.

  19. G8trpls says:

    Driskel was sitting right in front of me Saturday night, he’s a big kid, watched him a few games he’s a guy who can run the ball and has a strong arm. more along the lines of Tebow. ..The recruits that were watching the game were not impressed and most of them left in the latter part of 3rd quarter. Not a good sign, and the things the parents were saying were not good, I didn’t hear any kids making negative comments, but the parents were.

  20. David says:

    JW — Driskel is a dual threat QB. He is big and strong like Tebow, but he is a faster runner, and he has a better arm. With regard to this season, I’ll say it again. You cannot coach the OL and be OC; one needs to be in the press box and one needs to be on the field. Demote Addazio to Assistant HC/OL Coach. Either bring in Kerwin Bell or bring back Billy Gonzalez, who should know how to use our WRs. I think everyone thought our strength this year was going to be our OL and to me, that unit has been our biggest disappointment. Given the amount of seniors we are losing on that unit this season, we need a coach who can devote himself solely to developing that unit. Personally, I’m not suprised by the DE play, which everyone should have known would not be as strong as in the years past.

    A few other things to think about — we need recruiters and any coach we bring in needs to know how to recruit. A bad year doesn’t have to kill recruiting, but the players have to buy into the future and the schemes.

    Also, I think Urban tricked himself into thinking that Brantley could run the option a few times a game like Leak did. I love Urban, and think he is a great coach, but I think some of his decisions with regard to scheme and loyalty have cost the Gators this year. Someone tell me that an OL with Robey at center and Pouncey at right guard isn’t as strong as Pouncey at center and Halapio (a future great player, but still) at right guard. I could write about this forever, but I need to stop somewhere ……

  21. Rich says:

    JW

    Jeff Driskel is 6’3, 225 and is a mobile QB who can throw. I’m not one of those who thinks that our savior is in HS, we have to see how kids develop. However, on paper and in high school Driskel looks like a great fit for Urban’s system. He is very quick, he can run and he’s a great thrower. He’s not a mobile QB with serviceable throwing. He is a pure QB with very good mobility and athleticism. Again, he’s only in HS so who knows but he does look like a good fit.

  22. G8trpls says:

    Halapio is a horrible guard, horrible, revolving door

  23. David says:

    He is developing. I don’t write off the young guys because they are develping. Very few guys (and we saw one this weekend) come in as true freshman and are amazing. The point is that Robey at center and Pouncey at guard is considerably better than Pouncey at Center and Halapio at guard. It isnt a knock on Pouncey either. The point is Urban promised Pouncey he would play center if he comes back, and the coach kept his word. Everyone thought Nixon could play tackle and Hurt or Wilson at guard. Sometimes you just have to shuffle stuff. The best thing for Pouncey is how well his brother has played.

  24. SaraGator says:

    Can’t blame the DL on this game. They’re young and spent too many minutes on the field. Our offensive line is a huge dissappointment. They were supposed to be a veteran team. When they can’t do their job, then you can’t expect our qb’s and rb’s to produce.

    Through all of this… what worries me the most is Urban might be too stubborn to demote Addazio because we as fans are calling for Addazio’s head.

  25. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    SaraGator is right on….the defense was done by mid 3rd quarter and for good reason….you can’t blame Brantley for our mess….we need to bring in a new OC period!!!!

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