Week 6: Gators post-game news and notes

Continuing a season of ups-and-downs, the No. 22/22 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) lost their second-straight game on Saturday, this time to the No. 9/9 LSU Tigers (6-0, 4-0 SEC) at home at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes.

BRANTLEY MORE HURT THAN LET ON?

Though the coaching staff downplayed his injuries all week, redshirt junior starting quarterback John Brantley was dealing with a number of issues going into the game, reports ESPN’s Joe Shad. According to a “source close to the quarterback,” Brantley has “hairline fractures in four ribs and wore a reinforced protective vest in the game.” Apparently Brantley also has a small fracture in his thumb and was unable to throw on Thursday and Friday because of shoulder issues that resulted from him “overcompensating for the rib injury early in the week.”

Playing injured, Brantley still managed to complete two-thirds of his passes for 154 yards but did give up an interception on a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage. His offensive line did not provide him much help throughout the night, allowing him to be sacked three times and roughed up on a number of other plays.

Brantley continues to refute this report, stating that his ribs are neither cracked nor fractured and that his thumb is just sprained.

DEFENSE SHREDDED BY RUN, PASS

Going into the game LSU’s offense was labeled as questionable with a strong running game but a two-quarterback system that did not have a truly great passer. The Tigers were successful on both the ground and through the air on Saturday, rushing for 161 yards including 88 from starting running back Stevan Ridley and 50 from starting QB Jordan Jefferson; Jefferson and QB Jarrett Lee also matched Brantley’s completion percentage while tossing for a combined 224 yards and two touchdowns. Part of LSU’s success was due to the superior play of wide receiver Terrance Tolliver, who roasted Florida’s secondary to the tune of six receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns including the game-winner. The Tigers had long scoring drives of 40, 77, 39, 38 and 62 yards on the evening.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOT-SO SPECIAL

In a game where Gators redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, one would think the special teams would be a standout unit. Unfortunately senior punter/kicker Chas Henry missed two makeable field goals on one drive (the first was negated due to a LSU holding penalty), Debose botched the handling of the game’s initial kickoff and junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins drew an unacceptable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by spiking by the ball after running a punt back out near midfield (the punt was already coming back due to a block in the back call, Jenkins’ penalty made it worse).

That is not to mention the field goal unit either being unprepared for or failing to contain Tigers kicker Jordan Jasper on his fake field goal in the waning moments of the game.

MOORE BREAKS OUT, FINALLY

Though he has been clutch all season with his third- and fourth-down conversions, Florida redshirt senior WR Carl Moore hand a standout performance Saturday. He caught four balls for 95 yards including a huge 51-yard third down conversion on the team’s final scoring drive that was the Gators’ longest completion of the season and a career-high catch for Moore.

INJURIES (AND A TURNOVER)

With junior RB Jeff Demps surprisingly being held out of the game with a sprained foot, Florida relied on redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody and sophomore Mike Gillislee to carry the load. Moody responded by giving up a fumble after a 17-yard gain as the Gators were trying to put some point on the board at the end of the first half. Gillislee ended up hurting himself and only carried the ball six times for 20 yards with a touchdown. In fact, freshman QB Trey Burton (who had 30 yards alone on one scoring drive) ended up leading the team with nine rushes for 35 yards and a score.

In another adjustment, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio shifted his starting line around sitting sophomore right tackle Xavier Nixon who has been dealing with a knee injury (and did not have a great week of practice). Redshirt freshman right guard Jon Halapio started instead with redshirt senior Maurice Hurt shifting over to fill Nixon’s tackle position. That would not last for long, however, as Halapio broke a finger in the second quarter and replaced on the line by Nixon with Hurt moving back to guard.

Redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson was also hurt early in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. Freshman safety Matt Elam was also knocked around late into the contest. Both players are suspected to have suffered concussions.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 6: Gators post-game news and notes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tigers inch past Gators, UF drops second straight

The Swamp was rocking Saturday night, orange jerseys were worn for the first time since 1989 and redemption was on their minds, but the No. 12/14 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) failed to stop the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers (6-0, 4-0 SEC) on their final possession. Through a fake field goal and 62-yard game-winning drive, LSU defeated Florida 33-29 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Tigers quarterback Jarrett Lee threw a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Terrence Toliver with six seconds left in the game for the win. The opportunity presented itself after LSU successfully converted a fake field goal attempt on 4th and 3 from Florida’s 36 yard line with 35 seconds remaining. They advanced to the Gators’ three after Tolliver caught a short pass and turned it into a 28-yard gain.

Both teams started slow in the first quarter with LSU striking first on a 45-yard field goal from kicker Josh Jasper. Florida redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard pushed LSU back a bit on its opening drive with a big tackle for loss on first down before the score. On the ensuing possession, Gators freshman WR Andre Debose mishandled a kickoff, putting the offense in a hole. Redshirt junior QB John Brantley was nearly sacked in the end zone but two LSU penalties gave Florida some breathing room.

Punting the ball after stalling on their own 42, the Gators would get it back quickly as redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins intercepted Tigers QB Jordan Jefferson, returning it 47 yards to the LSU 17. Five plays later, redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed rushed for a one-yard touchdown, giving UF a 7-3 lead to start the second quarter.

Louisiana State would answer right away, utilizing big rushes by running backs Stevan Ridley and Michael Ford to complete a 13-play, 77-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Jefferson.

Florida’s offensive line struggled to protect Brantley on the next series (as well as most of the game), forcing them to punt once again. Luckily for the Gators, Patrick Peterson muffed the punt while receiving pressure from Florida cornerback Cody Riggs; it was recovered by safety Ahmad Black and gave UF its second turn in the red zone as the result of a turnover. The Gators capitalized with a rushing touchdown from freshman QB Trey Burton to go back up 14-10.

After a defensive stand, Florida junior CB Janoris Jenkins returned a punt nearly to midfield that was called back to the Gators’ five after concurrent block in the back and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties (Jenkins spiked the ball upon getting up). Stuck near the goal line, Brantley was nearly sacked in the end zone again as the offensive line continued to be overwhelmed by the Tigers.

LSU would end the first half strong, scoring on a short field via a 38-yard pass to Tolliver and capitalizing on a fumble by Florida redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody by kicking a 39-yard field goal to go into the locker rooms with a 20-14 lead.

The Gators started the second half with gusto, putting together a 15-play, 70-yard drive in which Burton accounted for 30 yards. However, two missed field goals by senior punter/kicker Chas Henry (the first was negated by a holding penalty) left Florida without a single point. On UF’s next possession, Brantley had a pass deflected at the line that was intercepted inside the 40. The Tigers capitalized with Jefferson rushing for his second touchdown of the game just eight plays later.

Down 12 things looked bleak for Florida, but Debose answered quickly for the Gators with an electric 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Four possessions later, Brantley hit redshirt senior WR Carl Moore for a huge 51-yard gain to get Florida inside LSU’s 30. Sophomore WR Omarius Hines ran a reverse into the end zone, but a block in the back by sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. negated the score. However, the Gators kept the pressure on and scored two plays later on a rushing touchdown by sophomore RB Mike Gillislee to complete the 10-play, 80-yard drive. Hammond would catch a two-point conversion attempt from Brantley to give Florida a 29-26 lead with 3:21 remaining on the clock.

Up three points all the Gators hoped for on the next drive was a defensive stop, but the Tigers resisted by getting over a big defensive play on 3rd and 1 from Florida’s 34 with the fake field goal and subsequent touchdown pass to Tolliver.

LSU accounted for 385 yards of total offense in the game with 111 coming from Tolliver, 88 from Ridley, 150 combined from Jefferson and 124 on 9-of-11 passing from Lee. Moore led the way for Florida’s offense with 95 yards on four receptions. Burton gained 35 yards on the ground and Brantley completed 16-of-24 passes for 154 yards as UF totaled 243 yards. The Tigers also outgained the Gators in first downs (20-9), rushing (161-89), passing (224-154), time of possession (34:08-25:52) and sacks (3-1).

Florida hopes to rebound from back-to-back losses for the first time since 2007 next week as they face Mississippi State on Saturday during homecoming in Gainesville, FL. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air live on ESPNU.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Second loss drops Florida to No. 22 in polls

Losing for the second-straight week, the Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) fell in both the USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls. Florida lost to the LSU Tigers (6-0, 4-0 SEC) 33-29 on Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

The Gators dropped 10 and 8 spots in the respective polls and are the only two loss team that remains ranked as both defeats came against top 10 opponents. Florida’s new positions in the Top 25 are the lowest it has been ranked under head coach Urban Meyer.

WeekResultBCSUSA TodayAssociated Press
Preseason--No. 10 (930)No. 10 (894)
2W 24-6 vs. Toledo-No. 9 (974)No. 12 (875)
3L 16-21 at Miami-No. 20 (410)No. 18 (405)
4Open-No. 18 (398)No. 19 (412)
5W 31-17 vs. Tennessee-No. 19 (449)No. 20 (414)
6W 24-7 at Kentucky-No. 19 (515)No. 18 (481)
7W 30-10 vs. Arkansas-No. 17 (574)No. 17 (536)
8L 6-17 at LSU-No. 22 (240)No. 22 (249)
9L 17-36 at Missouri-NR (4)NR (17)

USA TODAY
Last Week 1-15: Alabama (57), Ohio State (1), Oregon, Boise State, TCU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Auburn, LSU, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Arkansas, Miami, Iowa

This Week 1-25: Ohio State (49), Oregon (6), Boise State (1), Nebraska (2), TCU (1), Oklahoma, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Utah, Michigan State, South Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa, Stanford, Wisconsin, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Air Force, Michigan, West Virginia

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Week 1-15: Alabama (58), Ohio State (1), Oregon, Boise State (1), TCU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Auburn, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, LSU, Miami, Florida, Iowa

This Week 1-25: Ohio State (34), Oregon (15), Boise State (8), TCU (1), Nebraska, Oklahoma (2), Auburn, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Utah, Arkansas, Michigan State, Stanford, Iowa, Florida State, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Florida, Air Force, Oregon State, West Virginia

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

Tags: , , ,

Week 6: No. 12 Florida Gators vs. No. 9 LSU Tigers

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 76°F, clear skies
Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD
Sirius/XM: 220/199
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 12 FLORIDA GATORS No. 9 LSU TIGERS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Les Miles
Record: 4-1 (2-1) Record: 5-0 (3-0)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6.5; O/U 42

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida has won 14 consecutive home games. The Gators’ previous winning streaks of 24-straight regular season games and 16 regular season SEC games in a row were broken last week with a loss to Alabama.
» UF leads the all-time series 30-23-3 against LSU, holding a 14-10-3 advantage in Gainesville. The Gators have won back-to-back games in the series, defeating the Tigers 51-21 in 2008 and 13-3 in Baton Rouge last season.
» For the first time all season, Florida did not record an interception last week. The Gators still lead the nation with 12 picks.
» Florida (13.8) and LSU (15.2) are ranked second and third in the SEC in fewest points allowed per game since 2009.
» The Tigers’ defense allows an SEC-low 246.6 total yards and 79.0 rushing yards. Additionally, LSU is giving up just 12.4 points per game, good for second in the conference and fifth in the entire nation.
» The Gators have the best red zone touchdown percentage in the SEC since 2007 (156/230 – 67.8%).
» Florida had gone 14-for-14 in the red zone over the previous two games with 13 touchdowns and a field goal. Against Alabama, UF went 1-4 in the same area. As a team they are now 18-for-23 in the red zone in 2010 with 16 touchdowns and two field goals.
» Since the coaching change in 2005, the Gators lead the SEC in rushing touchdowns (166), passing touchdowns (148), total touchdowns (341), passing yards (16,610), third-down conversion percentage (46.6%), pass efficiency (155.5) and interceptions (106). The Tigers are also ranked in many of those categories including rushing touchdowns (2nd – 132), passing touchdowns (2nd – 123), total touchdowns (2nd – 275), passing yards (4th – 14,973), third-down conversion percentage (2nd – 42.1%), pass efficiency (3rd – 135.2), interceptions (3rd – 76).

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 6-3 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing two picks last week. He has completed 89-of-145 passes (61.4 percent) for 902 yards and has a passer rating of 123.2.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has eight scores on the season, has played five positions and may see more time behind center with Brantley ailing from a rib injury suffered last week.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who has led the Gators in rushing in every game this season with totals of 98, 139, 73, 57 and 47 yards. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry this year and is the nation’s active RB leader in yards per touch since 2008 (7.3).
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson…who is averaging over 60 yards per game this season. As Brantley’s primary pass catcher, 18 of Thompson’s 21 receptions this year have been for first downs.
» Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore…who continues to be clutch for the Gators each week. Moore’s last eight catches have all been for first downs including two against Tennessee, four against Kentucky and two against Alabama.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted eight balls this season but was held without a pick last week for the first game this year. Senior safety Ahmad Black (three), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three) and junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (two) and are leading the way for the unit. Brown returned one for a touchdown last week, and Black is tops on the team with 37 tackles on the year while also being the conference’s active leader in interceptions (11) and interception return yards (233).
» Senior defensive end/linebacker Duke Lemmens…who has been a major part of the team’s new “heavy” package utilized to stop the run by now taking snaps at stand-up linebacker. Lemmens led Florida with eight tackles against Alabama.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had one of the best outings of his career last week, averaging 62.3 yards on three punts (career-long of 75) and kicking two field goals, the Gators’ only points.

» LSU running back Stevan Ridley…who leads the SEC in rushing with 557 yards (111.4 per game). He has run for 100 yards or more three times this season including 123 last week against Tennessee and has a team-high four touchdowns on the year.
» The Tigers’ two quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee…who each have different specializations for LSU’s offense. Jefferson, a running threat who has taken the most snaps from center this year, has only completed 51.7 percent of his passes (46-of-89) for 449 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also run the ball 47 times for 189 yards and two scores. Lee is the more accurate passer, completing 18-of-25 attempts (72 percent) for 206 yards and one interception on the season.
» Louisiana State’s Patrick Peterson…who is a starting CB but also an electric punt returner. Peterson has returned 17 punts for 283 yards and two touchdowns this season including a long of 87. He also helps out on kickoff returns, having brought back 9 for 254 yards with a long of 47.
» LSU kicker Josh Jasper…who has hit 83.3 percent of his field goals on the season. Jasper has not missed from inside the 40 and has a long of 51 yards on the season. He is 2-of-3 from 40-49 yards and 1-of-2 from 50+ yards out.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Probable – Redshirt junior QB John Brantley (ribs), junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (ankle)
Out – Redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan, senior CB Moses Jenkins (elbow), redshirt senior DT Brandon Antwine (shoulder), freshmen WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Inactives
(Will update closer to game time)

FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY

The Gators are set to be heavily featured in 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. Even though the “World Wide Leader in Sports” did not choose to host the event in Gainesville on Saturday, Florida and LSU will be given a segment during the main program. OGGOA was unable to find out more on ESPN’s plans this week due to a technical glitch but will continue featuring this section.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 6: No. 12 Florida Gators vs. No. 9 LSU Tigers

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/7: Florida Gators week six practice notes

No. 12/14 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer met with the media after practice on Thursday and divulged a few important notes about the team’s sixth game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday against the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details which you can check out below.

BRANTLEY WAS LIMITED BUT IS “FINE NOW”

Early in the week rumors surfaced that redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley was questionable for Saturday’s game against LSU after injuring his ribs against Alabama. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio shot down those reports Tuesday, saying Brantley was “doing great” though he was “a little sore…just like every game.” Meyer expanded on Brantley’s limitations Thursday, noting that he was actually unable to throw the ball for a part of the week. “On the injury front, Brantley’s good,” he said. “He was limited mostly, well, throwing. So we would have another guy go in and throw the ball for him a little bit [because] his ribs were so sore, but he’s fine now.” Meyer insisted that Brantley will be ready to go Saturday without limitations.

TIME HAS COME FOR PLAYMAKERS, EXTRA PROTECTION

Asked whether or not it was time for the coaching staff to push guys like redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose and freshman running back Mack Brown onto the field for increased playing time and touches, Meyer smiled and appeared to provide a genuine response. “Uh-huh. It’s that time. It’s been that time for a while,” he said nodding emphatically. “[Debose is] getting better. He’s getting better.”

And while those playmakers may see the field a bit more, Meyer also received word that he would be getting back one of his favorite offensive players, redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks. Finally recovered from a back injury, Wilks has been cleared to play and will be in action on Saturday. “That’s good news for us that he came back and had a great week of practice,” Meyer boasted. “Great attitude. He’s a good player. He’s like Billy Latsko, he’s just one of those football position guys. Very smooth player. He’s not a home run hitter or anything like that but he’s a guy that gets in your way and blocks you and knows the offense real well.”

OTHER INJURY UPDATES

Though junior RB Jeff Demps “still is limited,” according to Meyer, he is expected to “be at the same tempo he was last week against Alabama” for Saturday’s contest. While the news seems positive for him and sophomore RB Mike Gillislee, the same cannot be said for some other Gators.

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Brandon Antwine will remain out of action, freshman WR Chris Dunkley’s hamstring is “acting up, so he’s not going to be ready either for a couple more weeks,” and freshman WR Quinton Dunbar recently tweaked his hamstring in practice as well. When speaking about the injuries, Meyer noted that Dunbar “was getting better” and called Dunkley “my man.”

Also remaining on the sidelines is junior kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has been replaced by senior punter Chas Henry. “Caleb’s getting better. He won’t kick Saturday,” Meyer said. “I kind of like what our man did, Chas. Caleb’s getting better and he’s feeling better. I’m not sure the timetable because it’s actually is a stress fracture.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 10/7: Florida Gators week six practice notes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Horford, Richard, Lawrence, LSU

1 » Over the last month two sources have told OGGOA that the Atlanta Hawks are working feverishly to sign former Florida Gators two-time National Championship-winning forward/center Al Horford to a long-term extension. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Horford was selected to his first NBA All-Star team last season. He averaged career-highs in points (14.2), rebounds (9.9), field goal percentage (55.1%), free throw percentage (75.3%) and minutes (35.1) while starting all of Atlanta’s games in 2009-10. Horford was named a team captain this offseason and should receive a deal for more than the five years and $60 million given to former teammate F/C Joakim Noah by the Chicago Bulls early this week.

2 » On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bulls announced Wednesday that they have waived former Gators F/C Chris Richard after re-signing him on Sept. 27. Richard filled in for Noah while he was nursing a plantar faciitis injury last season, playing in 18 games and averaging 2.1 points and 3.3 rebounds. OGGOA spoke to Richard early this summer in an exclusive interview, which you can read here.

3 » Former Florida wide receiver T.J. Lawrence, now playing for the Florida A&M Rattlers, is finally happy as he has been seeing the field and getting plenty of playing time. On Wednesday he told The Famuan that he wanted to leave the Gators a full year before he actually did. “I guess I wasn’t happy,” Lawrence said. “I wanted to leave a year earlier, but I said I’d stick it out another year. I had to make the decision to leave because I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted to.” Now Lawrence feels he is “being utilized how I want to be utilized.” He has 11 receptions for 166 yards this season, both team-highs.

4 » During the SEC conference call on Wednesday, LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles noted that starting defensive end Sam Montgomery will miss the remainder of the season after tearing ligaments in his right knee. Montgomery will likely undergo reconstructive surgery.

Photo Credit: Atlanta Hawks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/6: Austin on Lemmens, Elam, Hill and tackling

Florida Gators defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin along sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Omar Hunter spoke to the media Wednesday as the team took a final look back on its crushing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide and ahead to its match-up against the LSU Tigers at home on Saturday night.

LEMMENS “BETTER THAN YOU THINK”

Though he began the season as a starting defensive end, senior Duke Lemmens is now playing a hybrid role in what the Gators call their “heavy package,” where a larger player is used as a stand-up linebacker in an effort to close rushing lanes. Austin raved Wednesday about what Lemmens brings to the table and how effective he has been.

“What we’re getting from Duke is great effort. He plays in space better than you think. He’s a big guy, he’s a 250 lb. guy on the edge, and that really helped solidify some of the run lanes,” Austin said. “Duke’s done a great job with it and we’re going to keep moving forward with it. Because of his size he gives you a real stout guy at the edge of the defense to hold the edge of the defense, but he also gives you some pass rush being a former defensive end.”

YOUNGSTERS RESPOND TO VETERAN LEADERSHIP

With more than half of Florida’s players in their first or second year on the team, rebounding from a tough road loss is a difficult thing to do. Austin noted that the veteran leadership on the defense has gone a long way to making the younger players get over the loss and concentrate on the game ahead. “[There are] not a lot of losses around here to reach back and dig from and talk about, but the one thing they did [say] what happened Saturday we can’t change that so what do we have to do to get better this week? The seniors and the older guys have really led the way and they’re trying to bring the young guys [in],” he said. “We’ve had two pretty good, spirited practices, and that’s really what you’re really looking for as a coach – the guys really coming out, competing and trying to get better. Because what happened last Saturday has no effect on what happens this Saturday.”

THE TIME IS NOW FOR HILL TO IMPROVE

Over the last few weeks OGGOA has been poking and prodding around to find out what exactly has been going on with the development of junior safety Will Hill. The most anyone would tell us was that he was inconsistent in practice and not showing the same gumption he did in the offseason. Austin confirmed exactly that Wednesday when asked directly about Hill’s performances.

“No. [He has to] play better,” said Austin about Hill’s consistency. “He has the ability really to be an impact-type player because he’s big, he has range, he can tackle, he can do all the things you want a safety to do – [what] all the great safeties around here have done. He hasn’t taken that step yet so we need him to take it. It starts out there on the practice field and hopefully carries over to the game. Because he’s been working hard. We gotta get it to carry over into games, and I think hopefully it will start this week.

“Right now he’s just not playing up to the ability he has right now, and that will come. I’m not worried about him. I think he’ll play better this week and he’ll continue to play better as we move [forward] because he had an outstanding fall camp. You want him to play better, but I know he can play better and he will.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 10/6: Austin on Lemmens, Elam, Hill and tackling

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/6: Florida coach Meyer’s SEC teleconference

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:

» Asked about the health of his players on Wednesday, Meyer indicated that his starting offensive line, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley and running backs junior Jeff Demps and sophomore Mike Gillislee should all be good to go for Saturday’s game against LSU.

“Offensive line is in tact. I believe they’re 100 percent ready to rock and roll,” Meyer said. “Jeff Demps is probable, [he] did not practice yesterday [in full]. Gillislee did practice full.” As for Brantley? “Johnny practiced yesterday. He’s sore, but he practiced.”

» Coming out of the Alabama game and going into this week, Meyer noted that his top concern was the punt coverage unit, which allowed a 42-yard return to wide receiver Julio Jones last week. “No. 1. That is absolutely our No. 1 concern on our football team right now,” said Meyer of the coverage. The Gators must get that corrected this week with Patrick Peterson looking for similar big gains.

» Meyer also said that the team was confident about its short-yardage running game last week but feels much differently now. “We felt good going into the Alabama game and now we don’t feel good again,” he said. Gillislee is now the primary “downhill back to get the first down” and that redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody has “got to continue to improve at that position.” The youngster is Meyer’s first option, but he indicated the real improvement must come from the front as the offensive line and tight end need to block better on those plays.

MEYER QUOTES

No opening statement provided.

On LSU being Florida’s permanent SEC West opponent: “I know that every year-in and year-out we’re facing arguably the team with the most talent in the conference and one of the most difficult places to play. […] Every year they look the same to me.”

On what separates LSU from other teams: “The quality of player. The quality of athlete. I’ve always thought that stadium is one of the hardest in the country to play in. What makes it different is just when you see that team jog out of the tunnel that’s as good looking of a team as there is.”

On how the Gators’ “bloody Tuesday” practice went: “It was one of our better Tuesdays and today’s obviously a real critical day as well. Yeah, they did have a really nice day yesterday.”

On if freshman QB Trey Burton will be used Saturday: “We hope to use Trey a little bit in that game at quarterback.”

On senior punter/kicker Chas Henry: “Chas I thought did really well. … [Junior Caleb] Sturgis is still our kicker, as soon as he’s healthy. That kind of injury, they’re not sure how long that will be. But this week Chas will do both.”

MILES QUOTES

LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles on the SEC West being better than the SEC East: “The great teams play great defense. I think the great teams can run the football and they don’t make mistakes. I think really both East and West you find that to be the case. Obviously the West here seems to get tougher and tougher each year. Of course I see those guys every year. In the East, obviously we see Florida every year and that is a very capable team. I can see at times certain teams are more capable to run it, throw it and have better defenses. I think that’s really the swing. I don’t necessarily see a big difference between East and West.”

On avoiding predictability with his two quarterbacks: “Both quarterbacks will throw and run. Both quarterbacks will have a pretty balanced menu. Both quarterbacks will run the football differently and throw in a like fashion. They’re going to have to defend the run and the pass no matter what quarterback’s in. Hopefully we’ll avoid that predictability that way.”

On Florida’s secondary and ability to intercept balls: “They have great speed. You obviously have to know where you’re throwing the football. It’s a place where you have to be careful because if you put the ball up in the air and let it hang too long it can end up in the opponent’s hands. We’re going to attack them with a full view to how they predictably play their secondary.”

This post will be updated later Wednesday with more quotes.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 10 of 19  « First  ... « 8  9  10  11  12 » ...  Last »