Meyer Wants Gators To Play Hard, Clean Game

The opponent is Division I-AA doormat Western Carolina and it’s an opportunity for a lot of young guys who haven’t played to get a significant number of snaps. That’s all well and good, but Coach Urban Meyer says the focus for the Florida Gators should be two things: winning game number 10 and Senior Day.

“This is Senior Day,” said Meyer after Thursday’s practice. “That and winning our tenth game is more important than any young guy playing. We gotta get our tenth win.”

The 9-1 Gators are ranked third in both polls, fourth in the BCS Standings, and that tenth win is all but assured against a team that has lost eight straight against such opponents as Wofford, Citadel, Elon and Liberty. It’s a mismatch even if Meyer plays only the freshmen and redshirt freshmen, but the seniors will be the focus. They’ll get to start and leave the field to a great ovation at The Swamp.

Meyer also wants that tenth win because it has been done just three times in the regular season in school history. He’d like to have the tenth win before the Gators finish out the regular season with arch-rival Florida State which will be followed by the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

The next two weeks are a grind and we play two talented games the next two weeks,” said Meyer. “We have a big rivalry game next week and then the championship game.”

Meyer said the Gators are not a great team yet, but they have a chance to close out the season in such a way that they would go down as one of the great teams in Gator history.

“We’re not a great team yet,” said Meyer. “They have a desire, the same as our coaching staff and the same as every fan out there in the stadium to see a great team. They’re not a great team yet. At times they show that. They could become one.”

Meyer said the goal for the Gators is to “play our hearts out and have a clean game.”

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Meyer said that plenty of young players will be seeing significant action against Western Carolina. He’s planning to let freshman quarterback Tim Tebow see plenty of snaps and Jarred Fayson will also see some action, perhaps at multiple positions.

Fayson, a high school All-American quarterback, is primarily a wide receiver but he’s also seen reps as at tailback and a couple at quarterback.

“We’ll get him a few reps at quarterback,” said Meyer. “He’s been banged up off and on the entire year and he’s getting pretty healthy right now.”

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.