Notes and quotes from the Gator and Troy coaches & players on the game.
Coach Urban Meyer:
On the Game: “We have such a young team, that’s such a great learning experience. Troy is a great football team, they are solid. Their quarterback is such a great player, they are great on offense. We were so busy on defense and special teams that I didn’t watch much of their offense until later in the game and I had that knot in my stomach after watching it, it’s a little like a wish bone and that’s why we made the decision no offense, those second and shorts. When you play a wishbone team or a guy that you can get a ball out of their hand, you don’t take as many shots you just try to move the ball down the field. I thought the first half, the offense was really good, possession was great. More than that I think the defense and the kicking game in the first half was phenomenal. I want to say we had four drives for 25-35 yards as a result of the two blocked punts. The second one was a blocked punt, it was tipped. I had an argument with the official who later said that it was. That’s great motivation for our team. We had two blocked punts, great return yardage on punt return and on kick off return, if we do that we’ll be competitive in this conference. The big ones we’ve had against Tennessee and LSU and some of the great big wins around here are because we played football like we did in the first half. This had nothing to do with the offense, it had everything to do with the special teams and defense.”
On Andre Caldwell and Brandon James’ status “Bubba Caldwell has an MCL, he’s getting an MRI, they’re telling me he’ll be fine for next week, obviously a very, very big deal. Brandon James sprained an ankle, obviously another very big component to our play to win. Jarred Fayson went back in the game. I’ll know more tomorrow, I’ll find out ASAP on those guys, but everyone else is healthy.”
Sophomore Quarterback Tim Tebow
On Gators second half performance: “We played really well in the first half. It was disappointing to come out there and have a second half like we had, not being able to manage the offense and move like we wanted to and get some of the younger guys in.”
On when the offense first clicked: “The opening drive, we got bumped back a few times with some penalties but we found a way to keep going and score on that drive. After we got backed up, we managed to stay focused and get that touchdown which was very important and gave us a spark for the rest of the game.”
Junior Running Back Kestahn Moore
On how his running game is different this year from last year: “I was able to work more off my legs this year. I have more power this year. I have been working with the coaches in the weight room, so I have improved my power.”
On the second half performance: “We came out there in the first half, and then we kind of looked off and they came down on us and a few players weren’t making the plays and they caught us. We have to make those calls.”
Junior Tight End Cornelius Ingram
On his performance in the game: “I felt comfortable going out there, trying to make plays. Whenever you have the opportunity to go out there and make plays, you have to make them.”
On the younger players being prepared for Tennessee next week: “It’s definitely going to be a big time week for us. We know it’s important, the players know, and the coaches know. We just have to make sure the younger guys know as well. ”
Troy Coach Larry Blakney:
On troubles in the first half: “It looked like we had never seen a football field in the first half, especially offensively. We also couldn’t tackle or defend the pass. We couldn’t cover a kickoff or block anyone on returns. We didn’t get much done. But you don’t have to do a whole lot but ask the team some questions in the locker room during the half. But we did come out and play better in the second half, and I’m proud of what we accomplished in the second half.”
On Florida’s offense: “From an offensive standpoint, they can repeat [as national champions] and beat anybody.”
On Florida’s defense: “I know they are young and they probably need to grow a little bit and find the right combinations, but I’m sure they will do that through the early part of their schedule. They are a good football team with great speed, great players and great coaching.”
Redshirt Freshman Receiver Austin Silvoy
On Tim Tebow “We talked a few months ago, when we knew we were going to play each other. It was really exciting coming home and being able to see everybody, showing everybody that I know what our team is all about.”
On the game “First half, when we came out, I don’t think we attacked very well. Second half, in the locker room, Coach was challenging us. We were playing against a good defense, and we needed to go out there and play because that’s the only way we are going to get better.”
Senior Linebacker Marcus Richardson
On Troy’s defense “Well, I guess the best thing you can say is you’ve got jitters, in front of 90,200 people, atmosphere was rough. We got blessed in the first half, but they kept their starters in the second half and we couldn’t compete. It’s hard to say what happened.”
Senior Defensive Lineman Chris Bradwell
On playing Florida compared to Arkansas “[Florida] played great. Florida’s a different team than Arkansas. Arkansas is more of a power team, but the basic thing is we just didn’t play well. We’ve got a lot of young players, so we just need to work on that and come back next week and do better.”
- Sophomore Roderick Blackett blocked a Troy punt in the first quarter for the Gators first blocked kick of the season. The Gators last blocked punt was by Jarred Fayson against Arkansas in the 2006 SEC Championship game.
- The blocked punt in the first quarter was the Gators’ 14th blocked kick under head coach Urban Meyer and the eighth blocked punt.
- The Gator defense did not give up their first touchdown of the season until 7:55 remaining in the first quarter today. It was the first touchdown they had given up since the second quarter against Ohio State in the national championship game.
- The last time the Gators blocked two punts in a game was last season versus Vanderbilt.
- Florida’s :38 second drive following the second blocked punt was the shortest by time of the season.
- The Florida defense recovered its first fumble of the season in the second quarter. They have forced a total of three fumbles thus far on the season, two against Western Kentucky and one today.
- The Gator defense intercepted its first pass of the season with 1:35 remaining in the first half.
- Florida’s 49 points in the first half tied the most Gator points in a half under head coach Urban Meyer. The Gators also scored 49 against Kentucky on September 24, 2005.
- Andre Caldwell’s fumble in the third quarter was the first turnover by the Gator offense this season.
- Florida had scored on eight consecutive drives, dating back to last week, before the fumble to start the third quarter.
- Troy scored on three of four drives in the third quarter and ran 27 plays to Florida’s 12.
- The third quarter was the first quarter in which the Gators did not score this season and the first in seven quarters, dating back to the fourth quarter vs. Ohio State last season.
- 31 points is the most the Gators have given up since a 31-3 loss to Alabama on October 1,
2005. It is the most points the Gators have given up in a win since a 41-34 win over Kentucky on September 28, 2002.
- Tonight’s 59 points scored by the Gator offense are the second most by a Gator team under head coach Urban Meyer. The high is 62 set last season against Western Carolina.
- Troy had twice as many passing attempts as the Gators (25 to 52), but completed only 11 more passes and gained only 47 more yards receiving than the Gators.
- Florida out rushed Troy by 211 yards (264 to 53).
- The Gators gained 185 yards on kick off returns and added another 59 yards on punt returns on the night.
- Today’s attendance was 90,244. Individual Notes
- Kestahn Moore scored his third rushing touchdown of the season in the first quarter. He had only three rushing touchdowns in his career prior to this season.
- Brandon James returned the Troy kick off in the first quarter for a career-long 59 yards. His previous long kick off return was 38 yards against Georgia last season. He finished the day with a career-high 127 yards in kick returns.
- Tim Tebow has scored at least one rushing touchdown in each of the last three Gators games.
- With his touchdown in the first quarter, Percy Harvin tied his total of touchdown receptions from last season. Harvin has scored TDs on two of his four receptions so far this season.
- Dustin Doe had the first fumble recovery of his career in the second quarter.
- Andre Caldwell scored his first touchdown of 2007 with 9:55 remaining in the first half on an
- Cornelius Ingram scored his first TD of the season with 2:57 remaining in the first half on a 5- yard reception from Tim Tebow. It was only his second career TD.
- Justin Trattou’s interception at the end of the first half was the first of his career.
- Ingram totaled 101 yards receiving on six catches in the first half alone, a new career high. His previous high was 71 yards against Arkansas in the 2006 SEC Championship game. His six catches also tied his career high catches from the SEC Championship game. He finished the game with seven catches for 105 yards.
- Twelve of Tebow’s 15 completions in the first half were for first downs.
- Tebow was responsible for five of the eight Gator touchdowns this evening (three passing and two rushing).
- Tebow has now completed 50 straight passes without an interception, dating back to the fourth quarter against UCF last season.
- Tebow ran the ball a career-high 17 times for a career-high 93 yards. He also set new career highs for passing attempts and completions with 25 attempts and 18 completions
- Louis Murphy set new career highs for receptions and yards with six receptions for 78 yards.
Courtesy UF Sports Info.