9/13: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

Head coach Urban Meyer meets with the media each Monday after the Florida Gators participate in a game the previous Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

RAINEY, BROWN SHOULD BE ABLE TO RETURN

Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey left Saturday’s game with what is believed to have been a concussion. Nevertheless, Meyer believes he will be able to play Saturday at Tennessee. Rainey was held out of what was a light practice on Sunday for precautionary purposes but looks to be a full go the rest of the week.

Also leaving the game early was redshirt sophomore starting cornerback Jeremy Brown. Meyer said after the contest that Brown suffered a “full body cramp,” but Brown related Monday that he actually had a strained hamstring and should be fine for the weekend. Even so, he noted that freshman CB Cody Riggs, who got a lot of playing time in his stead, did well and even complimented his exceptional speed.

In other injury news, sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon returned Saturday from a knee injury but played as a reserve. He will likely return to his starting role against Tennessee, moving the rest of the line back to their original positions.

WEEK TWO CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced that ten Gators graded out as Champions after the South Florida Bulls game. Junior running back Jeff Demps, senior center Mike Pouncey and senior strong safety Ahmad Black were all singled out as Players of the Week. Offensively, redshirt seniors offensive linemen Marcus Gilbert and Maurice Hurt and RB Emmanuel Moody were all honored. Four players on the defense – junior CB Janoris Jenkins, redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones and senior defensive ends Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens – shined throughout the game.

Additionally, Demps and Pouncey were each honored by the Southeastern Conference, respectively, as the organization’s Special Teams Player of the Week and Offensive Lineman of the Week. Demps returned two kickoffs for 95 yards, and Pouncey had a 95 percent efficiency at center.

GAME BALLS FOR EVERYONE!

For the second time in three days, Meyer pointed to the home crowd at The Swamp for its amazing passion and support throughout what he believes is one of – if not the – hottest game played at the stadium in years. He even joked that he wished he could buy game balls for all 93,000+ fans as they severely impacted South Florida’s ability to move the ball in the second half.

A BUNCH OF COMEDIANS

Redshirt senior left guard Carl Johnson is apparently a jokester, aiming some one-liners on Monday at Tennessee players, fans, former head coach Lane Kiffin and those who insist on comparing redshirt junior starting quarterback John Brantley‘s leadership to that of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Johnson quipped that it was funny the players had problems bathing (staph infection issues) and said Kiffin left for USC because he would prefer probation for two years rather than the humiliation of being beat by Florida again. “I mean, let me ask you a question,” Johnson said. “What would you prefer…to lose to Florida or can’t go to a bowl game for two years? I think we already defeated him in our minds.”

Also cracking wise Monday was Pouncey, who related a story from a trip to McDonald’s on Sunday night. “I heard it all. I was going through the drive-thru last night at McDonald’s, and as I was leaving the guy told me, he said, ‘Don’t mess up the snaps,’ and I said, ‘Hey, don’t mess up my sandwiches no more.’”

Perhaps Black was right when he said early Monday, “I just may be on the funniest team in America,” because he’s one of them, noting later in the day that his last memory about visiting Tennessee was “a bunch of drunk old people.”

QUOTES (More coming soon…)

Meyer on his team’s first away game: “We’re going to have a bunch of new players get on that plane and head to Knoxville. So much of what we do around here is routine and that is a major concern. I’m trying to fight myself right now on how to get that done and not take away from preparation time. The worst thing that happens is someone’s late walking in, forgets their tie. Someone doesn’t show up. Someone forgets their ID on the plane and goes to the room when we’re not supposed to go to the room. That just messes everything up as far as routine and we take that real serious around here. We’ll have several meetings about it and try to get that ready.”

Meyer on Florida’s upcoming opponent, Tennessee: “It’s SEC personnel from top to bottom. [They have] some dynamic players, some young players. They’re dealing with some of the same issues we have as far as lack of experience, but make no mistake about it – they’re every bit as talented as most teams in the SEC. And obviously [Neyland Stadium] one of the most difficult environments to play in.”

Special thanks to the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel for the player quotes above.

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Week 2: Gators post-game news and notes

Bouncing back from a lackluster showing during the first game of the 2010-11 season, the No. 6/8 Florida Gators ran down the South Florida Bulls 38-14 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss following the contest, OGGOA presents some of the most important notes and quotes coming out of The Swamp.

RAINEY OUT WITH CONCUSSION

Named by head coach Urban Meyer before the season as one of the Gators’ primary offensive weapons, redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey was knocked out of the game Saturday with a concussion. Rainey had only touched the ball three times prior to heading off the field, and his status for next week’s game at Tennessee is unknown, though Meyer seemed optimistic.

SNAPPING OUT OF “DISASTER MISTAKES”

After a week in which Florida struggled with one of the simplest aspects of the game – snapping the ball – senior center Mike Pouncey and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley were back in sync and playing well together. Pouncey did have some errant snaps during the Gators’ first two series, one of which Brantley mishandled and fumbled, but overall the problems were corrected and UF’s offense was able to proceed free of easy miscues.

YOUNGSTERS SEE THE FIELD

Offensively, Florida made it a point to get redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose and freshman WR Robert Clark in the game – something the coaching staff failed in doing the previous week. On the defensive side of the ball, youth was all over the Gators’ secondary with freshman cornerback Cody Riggs getting extra time in place of redshirt sophomore starting CB Jeremy Brown, who went down with full body cramps in the second half. Fellow freshman CBs Jaylen Watkins and Josh Shaw also saw action, and freshman safety Matt Elam played as much as he did last week.

MEYER NOT HAPPY WITH HILL, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

After the game, Meyer explained that junior safety Will Hill was benched for a second straight week because he was “not ready to play.” Earlier in the week, it appeared as if Hill was going to see the field in his normal staring role, but it is being made to look as if there was a change of heart as the game approached. As OGGOA reported last Saturday, Hill was out not because of his preparedness but rather as a team punishment; we are of the belief that he sat for the same reason this week.

Also held out were redshirt sophomore linebacker Dee Finely and freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who Meyer also gave the “not ready to play” tag to. Finley, like Hill, was dressed; Easley was not. Like he said last week with his suspended starters, Meyer expects all three to play against Tennessee.

THOMPSON AND MOORE STEP THEIR GAMES UP

One week after redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson barely contributed and redshirt senior WR Carl Moore did not catch a single ball, both players played a major part of the Gators’ offense. The duo combined to catch 11 passes for 123 yards, though Thompson did drop another touchdown (which was well-defended) and bobbled a few of the passes he ended up bringing in. Each will have to remain consistent throughout the season, and Saturday was a good first step toward that end.

QUOTES (After the break…)
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Demps helps Gators run over Bulls 38-14

Junior running back Jeff Demps rushed for a career-high 139 yards while totaling 255 all purpose yards Saturday, leading the No. 6/8 Florida Gators (2-0) to a 38-14 win over the South Florida Bulls (1-1) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools in football.

After going three-and-out on their first series, the Gators punted the ball to the Bulls, who put together a 17-play 96-yard drive resulting in a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. Thirteen of South Florida’s 17 plays on the scoring drive were rushes, with QB B.J. Daniels carrying the majority of the load.

Florida once again had trouble getting things going offensively in the first half. The Gators’ first three drives resulted in punts, and snapping issues reared their ugly head early with a few errant balls coming from senior center Mike Pouncey. Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley corralled most of them but mishandled one which resulted in a fumble that he recovered.

Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 39-yard field goal more than halfway through the second quarter, but an interception by senior safety Ahmad Black got Florida the ball back inside USF’s 30 yard line with one minute left in the half. Brantley completed a beautiful 23-yard pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson on first down before tossing a game-tying touchdown to redshirt senior WR Carl Moore to complete a three-play, 29-yard scoring drive in 16 seconds.

Black would end the half with his second interception of the game, sending the Gators into the locker room with all of the momentum. It was his third pick of the young season and 11th of his four-year career.

“The thing about this game is we wanted to let him try to beat us running the ball, because we knew for a fact he wasn’t going to beat us throwing the ball,” Black said after the game. “If he put the ball in the air, it was ours.”

With just over 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, Bulls RB Demetrius Murray took off on a 33-yard run to put South Florida in scoring position. Two players later, Murray fumbled the ball, which was recovered by senior defensive end Duke Lemmens at Florida’s 12. The Gators would not wait long to capitalize. Brantley completed a 21-yard pass to Thompson to give UF some breathing room before handing off to Demps, who broke away for an electric 62-yard score.

USF stalled on their next drive, kicking to junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who replaced redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey (concussion) as punt returner. Jenkins returned the ball 30 yards to the Bulls’ 35, once again putting the Gators in scoring position. Freshman WR Robert Clark got the call on a 15-yard pass reception from Brantley. Now inside the 20, redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody carried the load to the South Florida four, where sophomore RB Mike Gillislee rushed for a short touchdown, putting UF up 21-7.

Florida continued putting the pressure on Daniels and USF, pushing him deep into the backfield on a second-and-eight play from the Bulls’ 48. Unable to find a receiver, Daniels’ pass was intercepted by senior defensive end Justin Trattou, who returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown and extended the Gators’ lead to 28-7.

South Florida refused to go away, however, as Daniels took advantage of UF miscue in the secondary to complete a 51-yard pass to WR Evan Landi. Down on Florida’s 19, Daniels handed the ball of twice to Murray, who reduced his team’s deficit to 14.

A 69-yard return by Demps on the kickoff put the Gators at the 31 yard line, and a subsequent 26-yard rush by the speedster got UF inside the five. Unable to capitalize, Florida called on Sturgis to make his first field goal of the season, a 22-yard attempt.

Jenkins appeared out to get Daniels on the Bulls’ next drive, sacking him on first down from the team’s 29 yard line before intercepting him on the very next play. Looking to put the game away, Brantley, Demps and Moody led the Gators on a 13-play, 57-yard drive that lasted 7:22 and ended with a two-yard touchdown reception by redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (the first of his career) to give Florida a 38-14 lead.

Demps electrified the Gators throughout the game, rushing 11 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, catching one pass for 21 yards and returning two kickoffs for 95 yards. Brantley was consistent through the air, going 18-of-31 for 172 yards and two scores. Thompson and Moore each stepped up in the passing game, combining to catch 11 balls for 123 yards, while Moody and Gillislee rushed for a total of 83 yards.

Defensively, Florida nabbed four interceptions for the second-straight game and fourth time under head coach Urban Meyer. Lemmens stood out with a fumble recovery and sack, and the defensive line got consistent pressure on Daniels in the second half.

UF extended its home winning streak to 12 games and won its 22nd consecutive regular season contest Saturday. The Gators are now 10-0 against intrastate opponents under Meyer and 9-3-2 all-time against the Big East. After giving up three turnovers to Miami (OH) last week, Florida held onto the ball Saturday and simultaneously almost doubled their yardage production offensively.

The Gators hope to build on their strong second half when they leave home for the first time in the 2010-11 season next week to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, TN. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., and the game will air live on CBS.

Photo Credit: Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

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Week 2: No. 6 Florida Gators v. South Florida Bulls

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 89°F, 20% chance of precipitation
Time: 12:21 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network [affiliates]
Sirius/XM: 219/200
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 6 FLORIDA GATORS SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Skip Holtz
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -15; O/U 50

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Saturday is the first-ever meeting between Florida and South Florida in football.
» The Gators are sporting an 11-game home winning streak and have won 21 consecutive regular season games. The Orange and Blue has a .897 (113-13) winning percentage at Florida Field since 1990, good for best in the nation.
» Under Meyer, Florida is 9-0 against intrastate opponents (5-0 vs. FSU, 1-0 vs. Miami, FIU, FAU and UCF).
» The Gators and Bulls were the only two teams in the country to record four interceptions in the first week of the 2010 season. This is the third time UF has picked off four balls under Meyer, the first time four different players did so.
» Florida is 8-3-2 all-time against Big East opponents.
» UF committed a nation-low 84 turnovers since 2005 and has had 23 games in which they did not give up a single turnover (best in the nation).
» The Gators limited Miami (OH) to 0.2 yards per carry last week, four rushing yards on 22 carries. This is the fewest allowed by a Florida defense since it held Tennessee to -11 rushing yards on Sept. 16, 2006.
» For the 20th time in 22 games, the Gators did not allow a single punt return yard.
» South Florida has won six of its last nine games against teams ranked in the Associated Press and/or USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll(s).
» Florida assistant head coach/defense and defensive line coach Dan McCarney was on staff at USF in 2007; co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater worked with Holtz at Notre Dame in 1990.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who is looking to rebound from a rough outing in which he started his first collegiate game. He has thrown 86 consecutive passes without an interception and has a 12-1 TD/INT ratio while playing for the Gators.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who had a career-long 72-yard rushing TD last week. Demps leads the nation in rushing yards per touch (7.8) since 2008 and yards per carry (7.9) since 2009; he complied 98 yards on Saturday.
» Florida’s veteran offensive line…which is hoping senior center Mike Pouncey has overcome his snap problems and continue to be a strong leader for the group.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey…who has moved to the slot after playing running back for two seasons. Rainey hopes to be explosive while playing a modified “Percy Position” and could very well be the team’s best offensive weapon this season. He had a career-high six catches last week.
» Bulls starting QB B.J. Daniels…a dual-threat signal caller who draws comparisons to Michael Vick. Daniels went 15-of-22 for 264 yards and two TDs through the air and rushed five times for 23 yards and one TD on the ground last week against Stony Brook. He finished the 2009 season with 1,983 passing yards, 772 rushing yards and 23 total TDs, completing 53.7 percent of his passes and earning a QB rating of 139.55.
» Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown…who is now the team’s full-time starter opposite junior CB Janoris Jenkins. Brown missed last season with a back injury and is starting his first game Saturday.
» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose…who missed the entire 2009 season with a hamstring injury but is expected to make an immediate impact offensively. Debose did not play against Miami (OH) and will see the field for the first time against South Florida.
» Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee…who has achieved a run of more than 40 yards in back-to-back games, rushing for a 41-yard gain against Miami (OH) and a 52-yard gain in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Probable – Sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (knees), redshirt senior defensive tackles Terron Sanders and Lawrence Marsh
Doubtful – Freshman WR Chris Dunkley (hamstring)
Out – Redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (wrist)

Inactives
None (will update closer to game time)

FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY

The Gators will be featured, in part, during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. In the first hour, Andrews, Desmond Howard and David Pollack will discuss what level of concern Florida should have for their team after a rough first week. Later in the show, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso will talk about the fumbling problems the Gators experienced against Miami (OH) and how easy or difficult it may be to get those fixed in a week’s time.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. South Florida Bulls preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 2: No. 6 Florida Gators v. South Florida Bulls

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9/7: Florida reflects on Miami, looks ahead to USF

The Florida Gators make a selection of coaches and players available to the media each Tuesday, many of whom reflect about the previous game while simultaneously looking ahead to the upcoming contest. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

BROWN READY TO STEP UP AS A STARTER

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown, who has the second starting CB role all to himself after senior CB Moses Jenkins hyperextended his elbow last Saturday, is confident but realizes it is now up to him to keep his side of the secondary secure.

“It definitely puts a little pressure on me to step up because behind me and Janoris [Jenkins], we got three freshmen,” Brown said. “I know how that is. It’s a little tougher as a true freshman.” Brown is speaking about Josh Shaw, Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins, all of whom are his and Janoris Jenkins’ reserves for the foreseeable future. “I’m definitely stepping up and taking the leadership role in that secondary because those are some talented corners. I’m trying to help them mature as fast as I can,” he said, “because one of them is going to have to step up and play.”

TOMLIN WANTS BOTH POUNCEYS (NO KIDDING)

Senior center Mike Pouncey knows he had a terrible game. He knows he needs to improve his snapping. He knows his brother – Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey – was watching. But what Mike found out in the last few days was that he was not the only guy in Pittsburgh paying attention. “[Maurkice] said the guys up there were joking on my snaps,” Mike said. “He told me [Steelers head coach Mike] Tomlin said, ‘Just tell him to keep playing like that, we’ll take him by the end of the first round.’”

However, Maurkice did end up offering some advice. “He told me when he first started at center two years ago, he did the same thing,” Mike said. “His wasn’t as bad but he had high snaps – snaps were everywhere. He said just get back to work, and that’s what I’m doing.”

HOLTZ KNOWS FLORIDA IS STILL TOUGH

South Florida Bulls head coach Skip Holtz, a close friend of Gators head coach Urban Meyer, is well-aware that UF’s performance on Saturday was more an aberration than the norm for one of the best programs in the country over the last few years.

“Everybody right now is saying Florida is broke after last week’s performance,” Holtz said. “They won by 22 points. Their quarterback was 17 of 25. Their two tailbacks averaged 12 yards a carry and nine yards a carry. Defensively, they didn’t give up a touchdown. They gave up 0.2 yards per rush. [Miami (OH)] had 22 rushes for four yards, not four rushes for 22. They did not give up a touchdown. And that’s a bad day.”

QUOTES

Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on Pouncey’s struggles: “No one’s got more focus or attention on that than Mike Pouncey. Those things weren’t all Mike Pouncey. Let’s get that clear. I’m not the least bit concerned about Mike Pouncey. Not even a little.”

Pouncey on his own snap problems: “It’s something I wished I had worked on before but I’m glad it happened at game one, rather than up at Tennessee or this week.”

Sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic on playing well as a starter last week and the defense’s performance: “Mainly [the coaching staff was] concerned about me taking charge out there – making calls for the whole defense and telling everybody what to do. Most of the time I was out there worried about my assignment. [Defensive coordinator Teryl] Austin the last couple of weeks has been getting on me about that. […] You really can’t be satisfied. They still got yards on us. We wanted to get a shutout. We know the field position was bad, but that’s what sudden change is for. We’ve got to go out and pick the offense up when the offense isn’t moving right.”

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9/6: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

Head coach Urban Meyer meets with the media each Monday after the Florida Gators participate in a game the previous Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

PLAYERS SET TO RETURN SATURDAY

Meyer plans to have redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., junior free safety Will Hill and redshirt senior left guard Carl Johnson back with the team for next Saturday’s game against South Florida after all three served suspensions during Florida’s opening game against Miami (OH). Though it is known that Hammond’s punishment came as part of his DUI arrest earlier in the summer, Meyer did not disclose the particular reasons for sitting Hill and Johnson.

On the injury front, Meyer believes redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (knee) and sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) will be able to play on Saturday. However, he is not as optimistic about redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (wrist), who is still recovering.

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR MOSES

After three years of mostly playing special teams, senior cornerback Moses Jenkins was finally able to see the field as a starter on Saturday. Unfortunately for Jenkins, he hyperextended his left elbow while in action and will be out for at least six weeks. Redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown, with whom Jenkins was competing with for the job during summer and fall practice, took over for him during the game even though he was nursing a sprained ankle. He is expected to be the starter this week.

Redshirt junior guard James Wilson was also injured during the game, but he will be fine to play on Saturday.

WEEK ONE CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced that eight Gators graded out as Champions after the Miami (OH) game. As indicated by the contest itself, seven were defensive players while only senior tackle Marcus Gilbert earned the honor on offense. The defenders who were awarded include Brown, junior CB Janoris Jenkins, senior safety Ahmad Black, redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard, senior defensive end Justin Trattou, sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic and redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones.

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE SNAPPING?

After reviewing game tape, Meyer said he and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Steve Addazio discovered that senior center Mike Pouncey was not locking his wrist while snapping the ball, causing it to come out at any number of different angles. It was also mentioned that redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, in his first game as a starter, was not paying as much attention to the snap as he should have been, leading him to mishandle some bad snaps that nevertheless should have been corralled.

QUOTES (After the break…)
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Grading the Florida Gators vs. Miami (OH) game

Each week following a Florida Gators game, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive grades the team position-by-position based on each unit’s performance. This week, we look at how the Gators fared against the Miami (OH) RedHawks in the first game of the 2010-11 season, which took place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

QUARTERBACKS: C+
Starting off with perhaps the most difficult position to grade after Saturday, we have redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, who did some things right but also had a role in a number of miscues throughout the game in regard to the team’s snapping issues. If you look strictly at his numbers, going 17-of-25 for 113 yards and two touchdowns is a pretty solid day, but a few of his incompletions were bad misses and his second touchdown was basically a wounded duck he threw up on a fourth down that was luckily brought down by redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey in the end zone. Though it is tough to tell not being on the field, Brantley did not seem to show much leadership and even mishandled some bad snaps that he certainly could have corralled in. The offensive play calling did not help him either.

RUNNING BACKS: B-
Speaking of not getting a lot of help, the offensive line seemed unable to open up a single hole for the running backs at the start of the game. Aside from his 72-yard TD run, junior Jeff Demps carried the ball seven times 26 yards. The same goes for sophomore Mike Gillislee, who only notched 14 yards on five carries if you take away his 41-yard breakaway. But the truth is, both players did have those nice long runs and the rushers showed flashes as the game went on. We will also include freshman QB Trey Burton’s Wildcat snaps here, one of which went for a TD. Overall, the unit could have played better, but you have to give them some credit for putting the game out of reach.

Read the rest of Florida’s grades from the season opener after the jump…
Continue Reading » Grading the Florida Gators vs. Miami (OH) game

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Week 1: Gators post-game notes and quotes

Putting forth a lackluster showing in their first game of the 2010-11 season, the No. 3/4 Florida Gators edged the Miami (OH) RedHawks 34-12 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss following the contest, OGGOA presents some of the most important notes and quotes coming out of The Swamp on Saturday.

POUNCEY STRUGGLES AT CENTER

Senior center Mike Pouncey stayed in school rather than declare for the 2010 NFL Draft for the sole purpose of improving his stock while taking over for his brother in a position more highly coveted by scouts. In his first action at his new position, Pouncey had more than a dozen miscues, snapping the ball too low – or too wobbly – or just plain poorly. One mistake early in the game led directly to a turnover, but a number of others killed offensive momentum or put Florida in a hole early in their series.

“I take full credit for messing up the whole offense,” Pouncey admitted after the game. “It was all on me. I’m the leader of the offense and I let the guys down. I’m going to work my ass off and it won’t happen again. The ball just kept slipping out of my hand. I don’t know how the hell, but it just kept slipping out. We’ll have it fixed by next week. We’ve got USF so we’ll be looking forward to it. […] When we did get stuff going, I f—ed up the snap. And then when we did get stuff going again, s–t, we just kept fumbling. It won’t happen again. […] It was my fault. I’m going to get in here in the morning to fix it. The ball kept slipping out. […] I’m glad it happened in this kind of game – a game that we could have just went out there and won – but if we do it next week we won’t win the game. We weren’t worrying about [Miami] beating us.”

STARTERS SIT FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS

Prior to the game, it was known that at least four starters and two others players would be out of action Saturday. However, it came as a surprise to some to see neither junior safety Will Hill nor redshirt junior left guard Carl Johnson on the field to start the game. As first noted by OGGOA on Twitter, both players were held out of action for disciplinary reasons. “We expect certain things in the classroom. We expect their behavior off the field. You expect a lot of things and if you don’t fulfill that you don’t play,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “Those two guys didn’t fulfill expectations.”

Sophomore S Josh Evans started in Hill’s place, and the Gators were forced to re-shuffle an already misaligned offensive line, putting redshirt junior right guard James Wilson in Johnson’s place at LG and starting redshirt freshman Jon Halapio at his RG spot. Sophomore linebacker Dee Finely (groin) was a late scratch as well.

PAGING ANDRE DEBOSE…COME IN ANDRE DEBOSE

Conspicuous by his absence was redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose. After missing his true freshman season recovering from a hamstring injury, Debose had been performing well in practice and was deemed ready to go for the season opener. But even with Florida’s offensive struggles, Debose was nowhere to be found. Meyer mentioned that there was no intent to keep Debose off of the field, but he would certainly speak with WR coach Zach Azzanni about the situation.

NEW INJURIES OCCUR WHILE OTHERS HEAL

Senior cornerback Moses Jenkins, who earned the starting nod Saturday, appeared to injure his left elbow and forearm after landing on it awkwardly, was put in a sling on the sidelines and iced the area while walking to the locker room during the game. Wilson seemed to injure himself during the fourth quarter, but walked off of the field mostly under his own power. Though no updates were available on those two, Meyer said after the game that sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders and redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed (all of whom have knee injuries) should be active next Saturday against South Florida.

MOORE BLANKED WHILE HINES AND BURTON STEP UP

Meyer was not blowing smoke this fall when he said that sophomore WR Omarius Hines would be an important piece of the puzzle this season. With redshirt senior WR Carl Moore held catchless, Hines played his new hybrid tight end role and reeled in three catches for 49 yards and the team’s first offensive touchdown on the season on a 10-yard slant from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley.

Also contributing the entire game was freshman QB Trey Burton, who played five offensive positions (QB, WR, TE, fullback, H-back) and got some work on special teams. He even notched a touchdown on a two-yard run from the wildcat formation. “I imagine he graded out a winner because he seems to do everything right,” Meyer commented. “Trey Burton is going to be a major impact [player] on this team.”

QUOTES (after the break…)
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