Urban Meyer wasn't happy with the details in his plan to win in Florida's 23-20 win over Arkansas...
“We did not play great defense,” he said. “We held them to a little below their average, but we didn't play great defense. Turnovers was the worst our team has ever had. Red zone production was not very good and the kicking team wasn't great. The one thing we did was hold Arkansas to 13% on third down”
Champions on offense...
“Carl Johnson, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Pouncey, and Maurkice Pouncey, Jeff Demps, Deonte Thompson, Aaron Hernandez, Tim Tebow, and Riley Cooper was offensive player of the game for relentless effort.”
Champions on defense...
“Omar Hunter, Terron Sanders, Major Wright, and Joe Haden was defensive champion of the week.”
“There is a lot of pressure on this team to perform at a high level every week and I love that. That is really about being at a great place like Florida. There are extremely high expectations to play the perfect game. It is our job to make sure we score one more point than the other team.”
“Mississippi State is going to play their best game against Florida, just like Arkansas. I think Arkansas played tremendous against us. They are well coached and did a nice job. But, we were down in the red zone three times where we walked away without points.”
“I am very impressed by Caleb Sturgis. We centered the game winner for him, but he hit that 51-yarder and we almost punted that thing. He has a great leg.”
Question and Answer session...
Media: One of the Pouncey brothers made a statement that the Gators may have taken them for granted?
Meyer: “He made a comment to me that after watching the film that they may have played a little harder. Defensively they had struggled, but that was a good defensive unit that showed up. The Pounceys came up to me and said, “That was a good defense.” That team that was out there Saturday...that was very high quality. Statistically they didn't play well in other games, but they did against us.”
Media: Has there been a glitch with play calling?
Meyer: We are just maneuvering through a difficult part of the schedule and trying to get things worked out. Any time there is transition, and we have three new positions on our staff, however I am very pleased with what Coach Addazio is doing. We are facing some situations we are trying to get better at.
Media: What did you see on film as the problems?
Meyer: The wrist above the elbow is the thing. Chris Rainey probably scores as that was an unbelievable move on that play. Someone said it was a freak fumble...no, if he was really tight with the football, it was an ESPN play. It's just taking care of the football. We are going to be nuts this week in practice about it.
“It was actually great film for the players to watch. It wasn't just balls on the ground. Deonte Thompson caught a beautiful 77-yard touchdown and he was running like (this). Old habits tend to show up and that is coaching. Our position coaches are responsible for that.”
“That is the number one thing. The two areas we have been very good at over the years are turnovers and red zone. ...they are critical.”
Media: You mentioned after the game that Tim was holding onto the ball too long?
Meyer: “ (Right) after the game, I felt...'throw the ball'. After watching the film, there were a couple of mistakes in protection we need to help him out with. He is playing at a very high level. Statistically, with everything he has had to deal with and we have health and injury wise, he may not be off the charts. But, how do evaluate a quarterback? A winner and efficiency...find me one better than Tim.
“When Tim holds the ball, is he waiting on Riley and Aaron to open up and not trusting the others?
“What is happening is teams have worked real hard at coming after our protections a little bit. On Saturday, we had guys open, there were guys open, we just had some protection issues.”
Media: What are the protection problems?
Meyer: “The guys on the other side of the ball are doing a decent job, we have to stay a little bit ahead of the curb. It isn't major, just minor.”
Media: What are the red zone problems?
Meyer: “Turnovers would be number one. I am not going to put the blame on (missing Percy). It is a conglomeration of things, Turnovers are the number one reason and number two is we just have to be more efficient and make better decisions down there.”
Media: Are you comfortable with having just two main receivers?
Meyer: “Deonte has been hurt, the game he came back he wasn't 100%. We would like to see him get more. Typically what we would like to see is four guys. David Nelson needs to get more involved and we tried to Saturday...Brandon James. Then a smattering of other guys contributing.”
Media: Is Tim zeroing in on certain receivers?
Meyer: “He's not locked in on a guy, the play structure and the defensive call tells him where to go with it. For example, Deonte Thompson was a deep defender- flat defender read and the deep defender blew the coverage and he hit him. That wasn't just throw to Deonte, the defensive coverage dictated it. It was the same exact play we hit Aaron on. Once again it isn't throwing to Aaron, it is reading what the defense is doing.”
Media: What makes Riley Cooper a great football player?
Meyer: “I think he is one of the best receivers we have ever had...all purpose. He wasn't but it is all about wheat he has become. There is no question where we were going to go with the ball in the fourth quarter, no question.”
Is there any chance of using the running backs in the passing game?
“We are trying to get Brandon James, Nelson, Cooper some more, Hernandez, Deonte Thompson has to have a few more too...on top of that we have to let those three guys run.”
Media: What are the options in the Joker package without Trattou?
Meyer: Duke Lemmens is a guy that isn't much of a drop off if any. We love Duke, he's a Gator and a hard charger. Jaye Howard is a guy we have to get back. William green will get more playing time. If you take four starters off of defense, we should go backwards and the good thing is we are still number one in the SEC in defense.
Update on injuries...
Meyer: “Cooper is good. He has a hip pointer, but he actually moved around yesterday, he is probable. The guy that is doubtful is Trattou (bicep tendon). That is a tough loss. He is doubtful for the game, we will know more with the MRI. We were down four defensive starters for that game. I still count Marsh a starter, then we had Jaye Howard, Brandon Spikes, and Justin Trattou. Spikes is probable for this game and we will know more during the week, but he didn't practice yesterday.”
“The thing I am going to miss about Trattou if he doesn't play, and we don't know yet, is his high energy. He is a dude now, he's a real guy.”