Coach Meyer on benefit of having a bye week: After the LSU game, I think it was good for our players to watch college football on Saturday. They could realize the parity that there is right now. I have never really experienced anything like this before and for the first time we could see who they have as the top five teams in the country. I think its great for college football but it’s also important that you have to show up and you better come to play each week. So how great was it? I don’t know, I will have to let you know after the game this Saturday.
University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer
On Kentucky: I like their scheme and I know their coach very well and have seen what he has done. It all comes down to the players and to see a veteran quarterback, I think this is his third year as a starter, and veteran players on the field, that happens. Especially if they are well coached and they have good-character players on the team come back. We watched the film two years ago and a bunch of those players are still on the team.
On the passing of Michael Guilford and having Cris Carter talk with the team: I want to respect all of the families involved here. Cris came in for one reason only, he is my great friends, and he has experienced this sort of thing twice as a player. With that said, there is not much more to say about that. It is obviously a very, very difficult situation.
On Markihe Anderson: Markihe is going to practice. I asked the same question of how he is today and I will give you a better answer after today’s practice. He is getting pretty close to being game ready. He practiced last week and was still a little limp, but we need to get him back. I say that every week, we would like to have him back as soon as we can.
On Jarred Fayson: We are going to try to use him more and get him more involved. He has come to talk to me a little bit and I have talked to him, but it’s not intent and it’s not on purpose. He is continuing to develop as a football player. He a little bit behind, but we have Louis Murphy, C.I., Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper and Bubba Caldwell. So we have some numbers there and there are certain things that he does well and others he needs to improve on.
On approaching practice today: I do not know how I am going to lighten the mood today. I am going to be very up-tempo and high energy. I called a lot of our players at the end of the night on Saturday after watching the Kentucky game and you just sit there and all that goes through your mind is opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. It is right there for you, I mean the SEC East is wide open and college football has never been like this as far as opportunities for so many teams. How do you take advantage of that opportunity? You have to get depth at the defensive line; you have to get a rotation and so on. So there is a big focus this week, but how do you lighten up? That is one way, to make sure and understanding that there can be many great things to still happen to this team.
On lowering opponents’ pass completion percentage: We want the percentage to go down but you also want to keep the ball in front of you in this league and certainly with young players. Against Ole Miss, we did not keep it in front of us and those were touchdowns. It is live to see another day right now with our young corners. They just need to keep the ball in front of you, just keep tackling and keep playing. You do not wish, you just have to get that correlated with a little more pressure on the quarterback and when you do that, you start seeing the completion percentage go down.
On the evolution of the spread offense: It’s amazing to see how much of it is all out there. In the 1980s it was all very basic. Then all of sudden you saw teams having some success. I think you can see your quarterback has to be involved to have some success. You can see Appalachian State and Oregon are hard to defend. I enjoy watching those two. I’m suprsided it hasn’t leaked to the NFL a little bit. I know they say you can not get your quarterback hit, but you have to win football games. It’s been intriguing and part of the evolution of football the last five years.
On the defense : “Brandon Spikes and Major Wright are playmakers. We are starting to see some develop. Those are first year starters. To win a game you have to make a stop and have to go make a play. It is time, but I understand the evolution of what’s going on and that’s why we have to go practice as hard as we can this week.”
On Major Wright: “He is a guy you could see right away in college football. He’s got a little bit of the Tebow effect on the defense. He’s an extremely high character guy that football means the world to him. He’s always where he’s supposed to be and if you get you a whole bunch of Major Wrights then you will be playing excellent defense.”
On bouncing back : “It is definitely harder to harder to bounce back after a loss, especially two in a row. I think our team has done a good job with that. It’s nice that we have an off week too. It gives us a chance to get away for a second, get back and refresh. We have an extra week to prepare and our coaches are doing a great job of getting our guys back to football and just having fun. Everybody was heartbroken and agonizing at practice last week but the coaches did some good things like a coach’s game at the beginning of practice verse five of the players to get the morale back up. The guys are working hard and getting ready for Kentucky, I think we’ll be fine”.
On the passing of Michael Guilford : “That was very tough. Sunshine was a pretty good friend of mine. Dealing with something like that can be very tough for our team. Coach Meyer has done a great job of talking to all the guys and providing counseling if we need it. It’s hard, not a lot of guys have gone through that. It is just difficult times.”
Thoughts on Andre’ Woodson: “He is a very good quarterback and he always stays very poised. He has a good arm and he is accurate so he makes some throws so he does a good job with that. He has a lot of experience, he is a fourth year starter, so he’s seen everything and I think he believes in himself and his team and that’s why they have gotten so far. He is a very good quarterback and he is playing really well.”
On last year’s Kentucky game: “Last year’s game was fun. I got to run around a little bit. But that was last year it’s a different team that we are facing next week. We’ll have to execute very well and manage the game.”
The team’s health: “We are very healthy right now and it helps coming off the bye week. We are as healthy as we’ve been in awhile.”
On offensive production in the last two games: “Last week we played LSU, who has a very good defense, and you have to give them credit but we moved the ball down the field on them pretty well. We just made some mistakes that cost the drives and that hurt us. But as far as moving the ball, we did that fine against LSU. Against Auburn we came out struggling in the first half but in the second half we were right back on track. We can’t have all those mistakes and if we come out for four quarters we will be fine.”
On the Kentucky game: “We definitely have to take Kentucky serious. They played in a couple of games where we got to watch them so we know that it will be a fight. We have to come in and prepare for them. They have a great defense. They have a lot of experience in the secondary. They have a lot of players returning from last year who seem to be pretty good. We have to get in the film room and break it down.”
On the last two games: I think it is a good thing, to let a lot of our young players know that this is it for us and we can’t lose another one. We have to go in and practice everyday knowing that we have to gain an advantage of our opponent. We have to work hard and cannot lose another one or our season might go down the drain. So, I think it is an advantage to us.
On his health: “I had a back problem and a few tendinitis but the bye week definitely helped me out so I’m feeling pretty good.”
On the defense: “The coaches want us to be more aggressive with running towards the ball. Most of the time you watch college football and you will see guys come in late and charge at the player. You have guys running to the ball, but they are running just to run they are not running to make plays.”
On the defense: “We can’t try to do too much we have to play within ourselves, continue to grow, and keep learning. We have to continue to be students of the game.”
On the defense in the last two games: “I feel like we did. Playing with a bunch of young guys, our entire defense is young. I felt that our defense had a lot of opportunities where we couldn’t make plays when we had the chance. Our guys have to capitalize on things that they know they can do and I think that comes with experience. With experience, guys will start jumping more passes and shooting more gaps. I think we in very good shape. Being in shape in one of our strong points and I don’t feel like that is an issue.”