It was one intense Bloody Tuesday on the Florida practice field. The Gators have plenty to work out and hope to be much improved against Auburn before a nationally televised ESPN audience on Saturday night. The competition is still going strong along the interior defensive line.
Coach Urban Meyer answered questions from the media after practice Tuesday, his toughest practice day during game weeks.
Linebacker play?: “Well, were missing a linebacker right now. So if somebody doesn’t play very well, you’d like to move a guy in there and right now our twos are maybe threes if we had twos. They didn’t play particularly well against Ole Miss. They played okay against Tennessee. We’re not up to par at linebacker, yet either.”
Did Percy practice today?: “No, he’s still got that hip pointer. I think that we might get him back tomorrow. It takes about two to three days. He’ll be going on Saturday for sure. He’s still got that where he got hit in the hip in the game. He was out here for three-fourths of the day, he and Bubba.
“It’s a concern because he’s missing practices and he plays better when he practices. And he’s killing himself trying to get back. He wasn’t even supposed to run today, but he’s fighting through it. I’ve coached guys with hip pointers and he’ll be fine. I just worry about him missing practice.”
How was Bloody Tuesday?: “It was one of the hardest Tuesday’s we’ve had. It was hot and it was hard on purpose. We had a good day though. It was good day.”
Auburn?: “Well, I watched their offense today for the first day. Their defense, no, there are no issues with the defense. That’s an Auburn defense. There aren’t a whole lot of people scoring points on them. On the other side of the ball, a couple of years ago they were dynamic. They had three or four first rounders, I think maybe three. Now, they have whole bunch of new talented players. They’ll be fine.”
The great defensive line experiment: “Yeah, Brandon Antwine has had a hyper-extended elbow, so he hasn’t been able to play. He was out there today. I’ve got to check with Greg (Mattison) to see what kind of day he had. There’s a lot of competition going on there. Carlos Dunlap is inside too. There’s a lot of experimenting going on.”
Defense has been solid against the run, but lacks pressure…: “Well, out whole defense is built on stopping the run. You know there’s a belief in our defensive staff room and our coaching staff that if you stop the run and that if you run the ball, you win. Someone gave me the stats that that I’ve outrushed every team, but two. “
Have Javier and Clint been holding up against the run?: “Against Tennessee they (Javier Estopinan and Clint McMillan) were outstanding.”
Injuries?: “Maurkice Pouncey is back. Markihe Anderson didn’t practice, so I don’t think that we’ll have him this week. Brandon Antwine looks like he’s going to be back. Joey Ijjas will be fine Thursday. (Coop) is still limping around a little bit. Bubba (Caldwell) is probably out.”