OGGOA had the opportunity to participate in Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday (we will be doing so every week). Below are some notes from the event:
RAINEY ON TRACK, RBs HEALTHIER…
Though Meyer will make his final decision on redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey’s status on Thursday, he is optimistic that he will be dressed and on the field for Florida on Saturday against Georgia. “As of now he’s done everything he’s supposed to do,” Meyer said Wednesday.
Also looking to get back on the field are the Gators’ running backs, all of whom have been dealing with varying degrees of injury. Junior Jeff Demps (foot), who missed one game and has been severely limited in two others, is “not quite full speed” but has been practicing and should be ready for Saturday. Similarly, sophomore Mike Gillislee (foot) is “not full speed,” though redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody (thigh) is “practicing pretty good.” Meyer also confirmed what offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday, that Rainey “will be between running back and receiver” if he is eligible to play.
PRACTICES ARE LOOKING “FASTER”
When Meyer took over the Florida program in 2005, his number one stated goal was to make the Gators the fastest team in the country. To that end he has done exactly as promised, but injuries and outside problems this season have taken three of UF’s fastest players – Demps, Rainey and Gillislee – out of action. With all three participating in practice this week, Meyer felt better about the offense.
“It looks faster with Demps and Rainey and Gilly back out there,” he said. “It was very clear five years ago what Florida – shoot from Utah to Florida – I’ve always believed in speed, always believed in big plays. When you take that out of an offense, [it struggles]. Defenses are too talented and are too well-schemed now.”
LOOKING FOR WIN NO. 5 IN SIX CHANCES
Reminded that this would be the sixth time he is coaching in the Florida-Georgia game, Meyer was a little taken aback by the notion. “It’s hard to believe that this is my sixth one,” he said. “What makes it great is because you have two quality programs. We have to get Florida where it needs to be, that’s what we’re concerned with right now. It is a great rivalry, obviously, and it is hard to believe this is year six.”
While the Gators do have many rivalries, he has not forgotten the importance of this one. “The old Gators, this is the one that they’re most concerned with,” Meyer said. “I found that out when I first got hired here. This is a rivalry I grew up watching, so I have a lot of respect for it.”
QUOTES (After the break…)
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