Brantley Breakdown: UF must grow up

The Florida Gators are decided underdogs against a tough LSU team that is ranked number one in the nation by one of the polls. When they face off in Baton Rouge Saturday night (8:30 p.m., Tiger Stadium, CBS), they will be facing a veteran experienced team with a lot of young guys and quite possibly without senior safety Tony Joiner. In this Brantley Breakdown, Scot and Buddy talk about the game and the long range implications of the Joiner situation.

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TRANSCRIPT: Transcript

Date of Transcript:  October 4, 2007

Typed by:  Aidines Munoz-Hill

BUDDY MARTIN: Number 55 in your program, #1 in the hearts of all Gator fans, of Gator Radio Network, Scot Brantley! (imitating crowd noise)

SCOT BRANTLEY: (laughing)

BUDDY MARTIN: It’s going to be a lot louder than that Saturday night in the Death Valley.

NICK BELMONTE:  Well there can’t be more…

SCOT BRANTLEY: Oh my goodness.

SCOT BRANTLEY: …at 8:30 at night.  I mean, and here it is, Wednesday and you can bet that when them folks got off work this afternoon at 5 o’clock and then loaded up the motor home, and they’ve got all the gumbo ready and all the wet bar ready, and they will be set up probably by 8 o’clock tonight.  (laughing)

BUDDY MARTIN: They know how to do it out there in Baton Rouge as we all know, Red Stick.  So it’s going to be a good night for them and it could be a very tough night for the Florida Gators.  Scot, what’s your feeling on the game?

SCOT BRANTLEY: Well, I mean, coming off of a very disappointing…well.  I shouldn’t say really disappointing, you know, game.  For any team to fight back, scratch, claw, do whatever you’ve got to do to tie that game like they did the other night, and then to get the ball back under 5 minutes.  It was tailor made for Tebow and company to get this thing done, and it just kind of unraveled for them a little bit.  And then the 25 yard punt, and they were able to take it down and do the job.  But you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.  Tommy Tuberville did, I thought, a splendid job in coaching them up.  I thought that Brandon Cox probably played the greatest game I’ve ever seen a quarterback play, you know, out of Auburn anyways.  And so, it’s time to put that behind us and look ahead, and don’t want to have any kind of distractions.  And the whole thing with Tony Joiner, I’m sure, is front and center up in Gainesville currently.  So, you know, overcome it.  Through adversity the true champions shine through, and I know you’ve got a lot of youngsters on that team that haven’t, you know, been on many trips or been associated with Urban Meyer for very long.  But, man, they’ve got to grow up in a hurry going into Baton Rouge at 8:30 kick off.

BUDDY MARTIN: Well, Scot, you brought up Tony Joiner.  That seems to be the topic du jour all week for Gator fans, and Urban Meyer has a very tough decision to make.  It’s easy to sit back and say, you know, suspend him, kick him off, so on and so forth.  If you were Urban Meyer, what would you do? 

SCOT BRANTLEY: What would I do?  I would listen to the authorities.  I’d listen to the fellow that had the compound where the car was…where it was impounded at.  I would listen to the circumstances in which…you know, we’re hearing story 1, story 2 or story 3.  We don’t know.  I’m totally in favor of Urban Meyer, you know, saying hey, you know, what is anybody doing out at 4 o’clock in the morning?  That’s ridiculous to begin with.  But if a girlfriend got her car towed, and she calls Tony Joiner, just kind of thinking out loud, then he’s going to go to the aid of the girlfriend to get the car out.  So, I think there’s some circumstances here that I don’t think it is nearly as deliberate as it sounds, and if Tony Joiner would have driven away from the site, left the scene, that’s a whole different ballgame.  He backed the car back into the lot and waited for the authorities to get there.  That tells me that he made at least one right decision.

BUDDY MARTIN: Yeah, on a night when he didn’t make very many good ones.  For sure.


BUDDY MARTIN: And so I guess, it’s easy for critics to say Urban Meyer’s got to take a stand here, you ought to sit him down for the whole game against LSU, etc., etc.  Clearly there has to be some punishment.  I’ve got my opinion.  I’ve posted something up on Gator Country about my feelings about what I thought he would do.  I’m not going to tell him what to do.  He’s got enough people telling him what to do.

SCOT BRANTLEY: That’s true.

BUDDY MARTIN: And he wouldn’t listen to me anyway.  But I’m just, based on his track record of how he’s handled players and common sense, what I think Urban Meyer would do, and my comments were Tony Joiner must pay some kind of penalty, and he can’t pay it against Florida Atlantic.  He’s got to pay it against LSU in some fashion.  The two things I thought he might do was #1 not start Tony Joiner and not say when he was going to bring him in if he brings him in, and bench him for an undetermined length of time, to bring him off the bench any time he chooses to do so, and #2 take away that stripe that says “Captain.” Captains don’t act like that, Scot.

SCOT BRANTLEY: Ooo.  Yeah, that’s pretty…that’s pretty brutal right there.  But you know, we saw this thing happen last week, and I think you multiply it ten-fold, and I…but then again, this is all about circumstances.  But we saw what Geno Hayes, you know, with his brawl in a bar fight!  At least he wasn’t out with his shirt off attacking police officers or even being in that situation.  And all…what was his punishment?  A quarter?  You know?  Before letting him go play the next 3 quarters against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Jacksonville?  I feel that the circumstances, once they all come out, I don’t think he’s deserving of a stripping of being Captain.  I think that he maybe should not start the game, but be able to go in after the first quarter.  I think that’s…that’s good enough.  I think that’s stern enough in my opinion.

BUDDY MARTIN: Well, that’s what…that’s why Urban Meyer gets paid the big bucks.  He’s got to make a real hard decision on this, and, you know, here’s a guy who doesn’t believe in trashing a player or publicly flogging a player.  He really is a guy who is harsh.  He’s handed out some really strict, really strict punishments to players that I’m aware of.


BUDDY MARTIN: And he…they don’t get off light.  For people who think that Urban Meyer coddles his athletes and looks the other way, that doesn’t happen. 

SCOT BRANTLEY: Absolutely.

BUDDY MARTIN: They pay a strict price about that.


BUDDY MARTIN: And so nobody’s going to skate, including Tony Joiner, and least most of all, Tony Joiner.  So I expect something to be done.  I think it’ll be beyond just benching him for a quarter in my opinion.  But we’ll see.


BUDDY MARTIN: And now here’s the other thing, Scot.  You’re a player on this team.  Your captain on defense is sitting a quarter, you’re back there, you’ve got to defend against LSU’s offense.  How you going to play it?  You know you’re going to be pumped up because you’re going to cover for your captain, and try to make him look good and not get beat deep or get burned in any way, and try to support your teammate and your team.  I think it would be a motivating factor for those players who were in the game at that point.  What are your thoughts on that?

SCOT BRANTLEY: Yeah, I think you’re exactly right.  And it’s through adversity, how you…how you’re going to react.  I mean, through adversity you can do…you know, you can do one of two things.  You can stick your head in the sand and act like, oh we’re not supposed to play well without one player.  One player does not make a team.  One player does not make a defense.  And so you overcome it, and you overcome it with a Dorian Munroe.  You know?  Hey, Kyle Jackson, you’re a senior!  Hey, you need to step up if called upon.  You’ve got to do the job until Tony Joiner comes back if he is not suspended, or whether he is suspended for the game.  I mean, it’s time to, you know, pick yourself up by the…by the bootstraps and say, hey, we’re not going to have a drop off due to this.  We’re going to be coached up properly by, you know, our great coaching staff, Charlie Strong, Greg Mattison, Doc Holliday, and Chuck Heater, and we’re going to come ready to play!  And we’re going to pick up the slack!  And there’s not going to be a drop off.  That’s got to be the attitude of this defense, and I…and with the coaches involved and the ones that are in charge, I feel confident that that will happen.

BUDDY MARTIN: And Scot, I’m relatively…I feel relatively safe in saying this.  It’s not going to be a felony.  It’s going to be a misdemeanor. 


BUDDY MARTIN: And I’ll be surprised if there’s really a charge filed, and if it is charged, if it is filed I think he’ll be deferred.  And I think Tony will have served, you know…he will have done his deal, and he will have to make up for this to whatever it is, community service and so on.


BUDDY MARTIN: But it’s not going to be like you say, taking a swing at a police officer.  So given that, he still has the judgment thing that he’s got to, uh…got to answer for.  Being out at that hour of the morning.  Doing what he did.  And made poor decisions.  And that’s what, that’s how Urban and his teammates have got to judge him on that matter.  And I think it might make, really, Tony Joiner play a little harder the rest of the way.


BUDDY MARTIN: And here’s the other thing.  If you’re on the field, and about the second quarter, and #19 comes running on the field, how are you going to feel about that?

SCOT BRANTLEY: I’m going to feel pretty darn good about it, tell you the truth.  Because I know we’re getting Markihe Anderson back.  I mean, he’s been kind of hobbled of late.  Uh, Pierre-Louis has been playing good I thought at times.  You know, and Joe Haden, little ol’ Joe Haden.  I mean, these…it’s a collective effort.  It’s one guy.  I mean, Tony Joiner means a lot to this football team, yes.  Tony Joiner made a mistake, yes.  But Tony Joiner, I think, will be reprimanded.  But he will be in that game, hopefully, come Saturday night and I hope when he does enter that game, not only is he welcome but I want everybody else to continue to play hard, not to say okay, Tony’s back, everything’s cool.  No it isn’t cool!  You’ve still got to play your butt off for 60 minutes regardless of how much time he’s in or out of the game.

BUDDY MARTIN: That’s…that gets me fired up just hearing you say that.  So now, Scot, have you seen any film on LSU and what about LSU’s offense?  They’ve got a lot of running backs.  Got…obviously got a…


BUDDY MARTIN: ….quarterback.  Got a good back up in Perrilloux.  What are your thoughts about LSU’s offense against Florida’s defense?

SCOT BRANTLEY: I think they match up.  They…they do a good job.  Matt Flynn is a very good, you know, kind of controller of the game.  I mean, he’s a senior.  Been around there a long, long time.  You know, the one thing that was a little bit, I didn’t see much of, but my favorite player on this team is Jacob Hester, the running back, who almost beat us last year if you think about it.