Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes

By Adam Silverstein
November 21, 2010

Rebounding with a dominant 48-10 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-2) on Senior Day Saturday in Gainesville, FL, the Florida Gators (7-4) seemed to get some of their mojo back winning the first game in their last four tries at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

BLACK AND POUNCEY REDUCED MEYER TO A “WHIMPER”

After watching his seniors put on a stellar performance as a class on Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer gushed about two guys in particular – safety Ahmad Black and center Mike Pouncey.

“You [go] start-to-finish with guys; you see the growth not only as football players,” Meyer said after the game. “Ahmad – I have never been around a football player that has made such a progress from day one until day four years later. He’s the best strong safety in college… I can’t say that because I don’t know all of them, but if I had my draft pick of a strong safety, I’m taking Ahmad Black.

“And then Mike Pouncey – him and his brother and I saw his mom break down before the game crying – what those two meant for this program… To think there’s not going to be a Pouncey playing for us next year, that’s real hard to deal with right now.”
Asked after the game if he cried like his players did when they came out of the tunnel before the contest, Meyer tried to act tough but then let down his guard. “I don’t use the word ‘cry’ – that’s soft,” he said. “Whimper? Eye moisture and whimper. [Does] ‘whimper’ sound tough enough? Balled my eyes off then. I was emotional, those are good guys.”

MEYER RECOGNIZES THAT DEFENSE IS STILL STRUGGLING

Though Florida’s defense had a decent day, Meyer continues to notice that it is not playing near the level it did the last two seasons. “I think we could have played better, I really do. I think they played well, but there’s a style of play that’s been a tradition set way before these guys and that is just dominant changing-line-of-scrimmage defense,” he said. “I think we’ll get there eventually; we’re not there right now.”

TAKING BACK GIVING UP THE SWAMP

When Meyer took over in 2005, two of his main goals were dominating the Gators’ natural rivals and reclaiming The Swamp as a land of dominance. Though Meyer is 2-0 (and going for 3-0) against Florida’s traditional rivals this season, his team had previously lost three-straight games at home. “Awful. It’s not back. We’re going to work all offseason to get that thing back. It’s not,” Meyer said. “To say you’re going to go beat Appalachian State and say you got homefield advantage [back], that’s something… We beat it into them when we first got here and we’re going to re-beat… We lost more games [at home] I believe this year than we did the whole previous five years. That’s absolutely unacceptable. That will be a major discussion in the offseason.”

HIS NAME IS GARY…GARY BEEMER

A redshirt senior walk-on who has been specializing in defensive end on the Gators’ practice team, Gary Beemer is a player who may be unknown to most coaches. Not Meyer, who went out of his way to make sure he scored a touchdown on Senior Day. “Gary Beemer is one of my favorite players on our team,” he said. “He’s a guy that is about as unselfish a guy as you’re going to get. Our players love him because he goes every day. He’s going to go into a career of coaching. I grabbed him in the third quarter and said, ‘If we get close enough, I’d like to hand you the ball.’ We did that to Javier [Estopinan] a couple of years ago – just out of respect for the kid.”

INJURY UPDATES

» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose – ankle – tweaked it before the game warming up, held out as a precaution; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown – hamstring – pulled it earlier in the week and was held out; should be ready next week
» Junior CB Janoris Jenkins – concussion – suffered a “slight” concussion during the game and was held out from that point forward; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore defensive end Earl Okine – concussion – suffered one during the game; next week’s status is unknown
» Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley – ankle – left on crutches and may be out for the season if it is a high ankle sprain
» Sophomore linebacker Dee Finley – broken collarbone – will return next week

QUOTES (Some good stuff after the break…)

Meyer’s opening statement: “Gator Walk was fantastic for a noon game and obviously for the last several weeks what have transpired here. Awful grateful or that because I have coached at places where that wouldn’t have happened. I’m very grateful for our senior class – the leadership they provide especially through some ups and downs. I love those guys, those guys you’ll hear a lot from them in the future even if it’s not in football.”

Meyer on Appalachian State: “[Head coach] Jerry Moore is one of my close friends – real close friend. He’s got a fine football team, and I hope they go on to win that national championship.”

Meyer on if the win was a confidence builder: “Everybody associated with our program needed that one. I was horrified about this game going into it.”

Meyer on redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed’s growth in the offense: “He’s close, isn’t he? We got one game left and then a bowl game, but he’s really improving. He hurt himself and he was hurt for at least 30 days in training camp, so he was way behind. I still don’t know if he’ll stay at quarterback. I don’t know if that’s what’s best for our team. We just got to find a way to have a good week this week.”

Meyer on his love for the senior class: “We’ve had senior classes that have gone on and done great things, we’ve had a couple senior classes that haven’t. The disintegration of a senior class is what really wrecks a team. And this team is not wrecked. We’re not real good in some areas, but there’s not a play hard issue, there’s not an attitude issue or anything like that. That’s because these seniors, I don’t have to motivate them, they’re just good people. They’re good, solid Gators. You can always tell a senior class when they come back. Some senior classes don’t come back. And really, why should they? And then other senior classes you just see them all the time. [19]96 Gators are always back here – always showing up. The last several years are always showing up. This group will always come back.”

Meyer on saying goodbye: “I’ve been ill-prepared to talk about what it really means to say goodbye to a senior. I always look at the football part of it. Now that I’m a parent and get I see one of my kids play college sports, that’s going to be a tough deal someday to see ‘Meyer’ on the back of someone’s jersey and to say, ‘That’s the last game I’m ever going to get to watch.’ That’s a chapter of their life that is now closed. Getting up and driving to Gainesville, Florida, and tailgating and watching your kid play in The Swamp. That’s a tough deal.”

Meyer on the freshman class’ emergence: “If you had to evaluate this freshman class, you wish it would have happened quicker. I would not put this class in that… Now that we’re playing you’re seeing Ron [ald] Powell and Sharrif Floyd and you’re seeing Cody Riggs, you’re seeing Trey Burton who came on from the beginning. Some of these guys – Matt Elam – have really accelerated play here in the last four or five weeks. We were hoping that was going to be much sooner than later, but I’m glad it’s later that it’s happening now because that’s our future.”

Meyer on redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley’s touchdown catch: “We’ve had that for a while, and I actually saw the corner just disregarding him so we called it and hit it. Might be his last one.”

Meyer on the rivalry with the School Out West: “Biggest rivalry in college football…because it’s this week, you know?”

Meyer on redshirt senior wide receiver Carl Moore’s fight and ejection: “Very upset. You don’t throw a… [The official] even said, ‘Your guy retaliated.’ They’ve only been told that, I don’t know, 6-7-8,000 times that you don’t do that.”

Meyer on winning the game: “It was a must. That was kind of our message. You had no choice on this one. It was a must.”

Meyer on redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson’s career day: “He had a career day today? I hope he has a career day next week. He’s just coming, you know. He’s been here for a while, but he’s still coming on. He’s a great guy that works extremely hard and he’s got talent. So we’re going to work real hard so we can have another really good day next week.”

Black on his final game in The Swamp: “To think about all the things that we’ve been through, all the things that I’ve been through to get to this point. It’s an honor.”

Black on the importance of the game: “We needed a game like this for many reasons. One – to send the seniors out on a great note. Two – for the team, to try and get us back up. We suffered a tough loss last week, but today was a great day for the Gators.”

Black on how he’s progressed over four years: “[Laughing] As a freshman, I got told to go get Gatorades for the whole position group. Trying to get a rep at practice was like pulling teeth. To go from that, where I was, to where I’m at now is just a tremendous opportunity. I thank God for everything I got. I thank the coaches: Coach [Chuck] Heater for sticking by me and Coach Meyer for being there from day one.”

Black on advice to kids who want to be like him: “First of all, I’m going to tell them to try and be better than me. You don’t want to be like me, you always want to be better. Especially go hard. Every time you get a rep, lay like it’s your last.”

Black on his family’s emotion: “My momma hasn’t said anything yet, she’s still crying. She might be still crying right now.”

Black on leadership now and in the future: “There was a lot of leaders on the team, so I’m not the clear-cut leader. But there’s a lot of candidates that can take leadership roles. Even the younger guys. For instance Trey Burton, he’s a guy that could be a leader real quick.”

Black on the freshmen improving: “It’s like night and day for the class that just came in from where they were the beginning of the season to now. I just appreciate everything they’re doing so far, and I just want them to finish strong. They looked great out there when we got out of the game, so it’s a bright future for them.”

Black on Beemer’s touchdown: “I almost ran on the field and picked him up.”

Pouncey on : “I didn’t want to show everybody I was crying. It was an emotional day. I gave my life to this program. It paid off today by getting a win out there. More than any other win, this one meant the most to me. Just because it was Senior Day. Obviously we didn’t have the season we wanted to, but we had a bunch of guys rally together – especially the younger guys rallied behind the seniors and pulled this victory out. It meant the world to me, and it meant the world to win that game, too.”

Pouncey on the youngsters: “We got a lot of great young players. Obviously you see flashes of them every weekend. They’ll get their act together. Florida ain’t going nowhere. It’ll be here forever. It’ll be back to one of the premier programs in the nation again next year.”

Pouncey on Beemer’s touchdown: “He works harder than anybody on the team. He gave his life to this program, too. He doesn’t get all the fame and all the glory. He’s one of the guys who just works hard. He gives the defense a great look every day in practice. He’s a special guy to us, we love him like a brother, and it meant a lot for him to get in there and be on the field for the Gators.”

Pouncey on beating the School Out West: “It’s really important. I’ve never lost to them, and it’s a rivalry game. You always want to play good in rivalry games because those are the ones you are going to always remember. We’re going to bust our behind[s] this week in practice and let it pay off this weekend.”

Pouncey on what he will miss the most: “I’ll miss the Gator Walks. I’ll miss running out in front of them fans. It’s just amazing playing here. I feel like I made the best decision of my life by coming to Florida.”

Beemer on getting help from Reed: “Yes, he did. Thank goodness he did. Now I have a great memory to cherish for the rest of my life. I’ll forever be indebted to him for not only giving me a little push but keeping me out there for those three plays. Thanks Jordan.”

Beemer on what he did: “I grabbed the ball and I lowered my head and I ran and I closed my eyes and when I opened them, I had scored a touchdown. It was pretty sweet.”

Beemer on what he said to Meyer: “’Thank you.’ Sometimes things that aren’t spoken are more important than those that are. It was a ‘thank you’ and an embrace and silence pretty much.”

Beemer on losing his helmet: “I don’t know where my helmet is at this moment right now.”

Beemer on where the ball will go: “It’s with my brother right now and it’s probably going to go home and go on my family mantle and stay there probably forever.”

Beemer on the emotion he felt: “Overwhelming. When you’re a kid you dream of something like this. And I’m a lineman, so the chance that – if I was a starter here – to score a touchdown as a defensive lineman is astronomical in itself. For them to just come up to me with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and say, ‘Hey, would you like the ball on the goal line?’ I’m still trying to process it and make it a reality right now.”

Beemer on the last time he scored: “My last touchdown was never ago. I’ve never scored a touchdown. I never played pee wee football.”

Beemer on coaching in his future: “I have no clue yet. The coaches have been kind enough to give me some sort of a makeshift strength coach and I guess [graduate assistant] position here after I’m done. I’m just going to be real quiet, work really hard and just see where God wants me to go. I just want to coach. Wherever I can help kids the most is where I’m going to go.”

Beemer on his teammates: “Fantastic. Our team is not selfish at all. I got hugs from guys that have been with me for years and I got hugs from guys like Ronald Powell – the No. 1 recruits out of high school that have been here for a couple months. Everybody was pumped, so it was pretty awesome. It wasn’t a special one-time thing; we’re always like that, which I think was pretty neat.”

Brantley on catching a touchdown: “I saw that corner bit and knew it was coming to me. So I was like, ‘Don’t drop it.’ I had no idea where I was in the end zone.”

Reed on the extra push for Beemer: “Nah, that was all him. I just gave him the ball. He did it. That was his touchdown. It was all him.”

Reed on if he prefers quarterback or tight end: “I’m just playing whatever they put me at and keep working hard at whatever they put me at. Football – I like playing football.”

Reed on his red zone success: “That’s all the linemen. I’m just following my blocks and they’re getting me in the end zone. It’s all them.”

10 Comments

  1. gatorbybirth says:

    Go, Jordan Reed! I would love to see him as QB. This guy is a FRESHMAN, and he really hasn’t been practicing as a QB until very recently. Meyer still seems very confused, but I think it’s pretty clear who has the poise and combined running and throwing abilities. The 3-headed QB is pretty silly. It doesn’t work with real teams. This cannot go on next season.

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Great video. I’m gonna miss thoughs guys.

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    Guessing the swamp was sod out? Just want to make sure our streak did not end,

  4. David says:

    Adam — do you know if Chris Martin has been able to participate in team meetings and practice? Can he have any involvement this year? Just thinking about if he will come in knowing the system or if he’ll start from the bottom in the Spring

    • Supposedly they are very pleased with Chris Martin. He can do everything with the team except dress and play. So he is at each practice working and learning. Austin or Heater – I forget who – said they would re-evaluate his position (LB or DE) in the offsseason.

  5. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Jordan Reed giving all the credit to his team mates – that’s class…does anyone on the staff REALLY doubt our direction and future??

  6. E-PAIN says:

    Put one up on the big board! 1 big Chomp from Jeremey Mincey on his sack, Go Gators!

  7. david says:

    Thanks so much for everything — including the update on Martin. We need DEs really badly!

  8. montanagator says:

    how come addazio only mixes up the play calling against the weaker opponents? i think he panicks or chokes kind of like meyer admitted to last week . i hate to say it but i think #12 is too inconsistent in his accuracy and decision making to be a good qb for us, great guy but reed is definitely the guy and should get the starts the rest of the year whether meyer thinks hes 100% ready or not. we should be a full on option team with burton or rainey or gillislee as the pitch man. jordan also seems to throw well as far as i can tell. he can take tebows calls and let burton or rainey be harvin. no matter what it will b a major improvement over what we saw against usc or miss state etc. the less jb’s in there the better our chances will be, maybe he can be a receiver instead. still running way too many dives and a decent line like the criminoles will stuff them like everybody else has done so stop running them more than a few times a 1/4. Go Gators, beat the paint off the stinking noles..

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