SIX BITS: Wrapping up Florida at Mississippi State

By Adam Silverstein
October 25, 2009

1 » Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow declined to speak to the press following a game for the first time in his collegiate career. Was he upset at his performance? Speaking/apologizing to the team? Was it a decision by head coach Urban Meyer? According to some Gators assistants, Tebow simply decided not to speak and was already on the bus when the press conference began. OGGOA will try to find out what really kept Tebow out of the spotlight following the Mississippi State Bulldogs game – if we can.

2 » It is obvious that the red zone is where the Gators are struggling the most this season. They are only 7-of-26 from it in SEC play. And no one is more frustrated about it than Meyer, who was very succinct when asked about it after the game. “I didn’t coach very well,” Meyer said. “I put Tim in some tough situations down in the red zone. Our red zone offense right now is really an issue and something we’ll get on during the plane ride home. For years, I can’t think of when we’ve never not lead the SEC or been in the top three [in red-zone production]. And we’re not. We have to evaluate what we’re doing.”

3 » Senior linebacker Brandon Spikes (groin) was dressed as if he would play Saturday night, yet he never stepped on the field. Florida sure could have used him in the interior, but did well enough without him to justify him standing on the sideline. It is almost decided that Spikes will return this week for the Georgia Bulldogs game. In other injury news, running back Jeff Demps (neck) was wearing a neck brace after the game, though Meyer told reporters there is no structural damage. Chris Rainey played well in his stead. Cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis pulled his hamstring on a return and should miss some time. The Gators hope to have Moses Jenkins back on returns next week, though his recovery from a concussion sustained against the Kentucky Wildcats is coming along slowly.

4 » Playing without three starters last night, the Gators defense still put together a great game. It is obvious the unit is adjusting to the extra responsibility being heaped on it not only by its own injured players and an offense which has been slow to get off the ground all season. “They’re playing with a lot of pride,” Meyer said. “That’s an experienced group now. That’s a group of grown men there.” Cornerback Joe Haden agrees. “Everything was clicking, defensive line, secondary, linebackers,” he said. “The main thing we did was wrap up No. 24 [Anthony Dixon]. We didn’t want him to make big plays against us.”

5 » Two noticeable improvements over last week’s performance were ball security and creation of turnovers. Florida worked hard on this all week during practice and it was successful – at least as far as fumbling goes. Last week, the Gators gave up four fumbles and produced zero turnovers of their own. This week, the defensive unit grabbed three interceptions – two by linebackers. On offense, the team held onto the ball and kept it off the ground; however, Tebow threw two interceptions, one that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown and another out of his own endzone also returned for a touchdown.

6 » Yes, the Gators won Saturday night. But for the second week in the row, it was not satisfying one bit. Too many ups-and-downs, too many mistakes, too many missed opportunities.


  1. Dude says:

    Good to get the win, but it’s very apparent that something on the offense is going to have to change for us to stay undefeated and get to the National Title game. Don’t know if its different schemes, different personnel, or maybe we are just in a nasty funk. Hopefully, Meyer and company will figure it out…there is no reason to believe that they won’t.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    You want change, put Addazio in the box and put some heat on him. Produce or you won’t have a job next year. He has one of the most talented teams in the nation and is unable to piece it together. Once again, we had no vertical threat, our offensive line was getting mowed over and Tebow is afraid to rely on his receivers to be where they need to be. Tebow is also being over-run……WHERE IS MOODY? Thank God Bama looked worse than we did and their even worse offense will overshadow how bad ours is right now but this needs to be tweaked ASAP.

  3. Kelly says:

    If it was a matter of being upset, you think Tebow would’ve declined to speak with the media LAST week, not this week. It was a nasty win, but it was a win, and things were looking better. Things definitely HAVE to change – Meyer himself said that he put Tim in a horrible place – but I don’t think it’s completely Meyer’s fault. What about Addazio and Gonzalez? I was definitely surprised to see Spikes dressed to play – but was so glad that he didn’t. The defense wasn’t looking that bad – I was pleased, to say the least. Spikes needs to get rested as much as possible – and getting hurt even worse isn’t going to help the situation. He’s such a leader on the sidelines – I loved watching him out there last night! All in all… yay for going 7-0, although it was nasty and unsatisfying, it IS a win, and got us back – and stayed – at #1.

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