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.”
» 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…)
Continue Reading » Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes