SIX BITS: Meyer profiled by SI, replacing Dunlap, Saban on UF, stopping Ingram, Stoops’ influence?

By Adam Silverstein
December 3, 2009

1 » In the latest Sports Illustrated, S.L. Price profiled Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer. His article is a must-read for any Gators fan. “The Florida coach is alternately a hard-ass and a softy, cocky and calculating, smug and sentimental. But there’s no inconsistency in his football program, which is, as usual, on track for a national title.”

2 » As has been previously reported by OGGOA junior defensive end Justin Trattou will start in place of suspended junior DE Carlos Dunlap on Saturday. Helping Trattou will be redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Jaye Howard, a former DE who gained 60 pounds in the offseason to move inside. “For [Trattou], it’s an easy transition because he’s been there before,” defensive line coach Dan McCarney said. “He’s always taken reps. I rotate 12, 11 guys every game, so when a guy is out because of injury or discipline or whatever it is, it’s not like I’m going to throw a guy out there in the championship game that hasn’t played and played a lot.” Howard is especially effective against the run and will have a chance to make an impact when Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram runs right at him. Assisting the Gators coaches in this move is redshirt junior DT Brandon Antwine, who is active for Saturday’s game after sitting out the last six weeks with a bad shoulder.

Check out four more very informative Florida-Alabama BITS after the jump…

3 » After practice on Wednesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked how Florida’s losing Dunlap will affect how he prepares for their defense. “I don’t really think it changes at all, because they have a lot of good players and they play extremely well on defense without some of their other good players at times this year,” Saban said. “I think they have such a good group and they have so much experience and they’ve played together for so long, and they have good depth on their team. Someone else will step in and do a very, very good job for them. Our overall concern is the quality of their entire group and how we’re going to manage that.”

4 » Even through Florida beat Alabama in the 2008 SEC Championship, the Crimson Tide players are not out for revenge against the Gators. Instead, they are simply motivated to get to the BCS National Championship Game. “It’s not revenge” running back Roy Upchurch said, “because we feel like we can play with any team in the country.” Ingram agrees. “We’ve been there,” he said, “learned from that.” Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com believes the Tide are closing in on the title, but must first close out the Gators to do so.

5 » Speaking of Saban, over the summer it was a big news story in Tuscaloosa, AL, when he sat down for a meeting of the minds with Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops. The Mobile Press-Register questions whether or not that meeting may have had something to do with the Gators.

6 » The Huntsville Times took an in-depth look at how the Auburn Tigers were able to stop Ingram, asking ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill to break it down. “Auburn […] lined up […] with both guards and the centered covered head-up, the intent was they were not going to allow Alabama to run the ball down their throat right at them,” Luginbill said. “If Alabama wanted to run it, they wanted to force them to the perimeter. I’m sure [Florida] will [do the same thing]. The one thing I would doubt we would see Florida do is completely alter what they’ve done to this point. You dance with what brung you. I think it is something they will study. But I doubt if it would cause Florida to make a complete deviation from what their base principles are.”

Extra Bit » A team of two University of Florida fishermen won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Regional Championship Nov. 21-23 and have earned a trip to the FLW College Fishing National Championship April 10-12 in Knoxville, TN.

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