Meyer: 'We're Ready to Go'
Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer
FightinGators.com Insider
Posted Sep 2, 2010


The Gators are ready to play. Hitting each other on the practice field and competing against teammates for months in the weight room can only continue for so long. After Thursday’s final practice, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It comes Saturday, when the Gators host Miami (OH) at noon.

“I’m very pleased with where we’re at right now,” Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. “We’ve had an excellent week of practice and we’re ready to go.”

Meyer had his doubts about the team last week after watching practice. He saw a team with tired legs that lacked the passion he wanted to see before the season started. Time has helped their energy come back, and the head coach likes what he sees.

“Finally, I do this week,” Meyer said. “I didn’t see that last week. That’s when the alarms started going off around here because I just didn’t see the love of the game. I see it now, and we’re ready to go.”

INJURY UPDATE: Sam Robey has a bursa sac in his knee, but he will play Saturday. Stephen Alli will play on special teams and hopefully offense, but Meyer wants him to get on the field after continuing to struggle with injuries during his career.

Meyer also said Frankie Hammond will not play because of an offseason DUI. Meyer called his situation “week-to-week.”

POSITION BATTLES: The two key position battles continue to be at middle linebacker and the second cornerback.

“I think Bostic will probably take the first snap at middle linebacker,” Meyer said before commenting that he still wasn’t sure.

Jeremy Brown and Moses Jenkins are close enough that a starter won’t be named, but that still isn’t important to Meyer. Both players will see plenty of action on the field.

“At corner, I really don’t know or I’d tell you,” Meyer said. “They’ll both play 30 plays.”

MEYER AND FLORIDA AGAINST MIAMI: Meyer is 0-1 against Miami, losing when he was the head coach at Bowling Green to an Ohio team led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“I’ve been to that school many times,” Meyer said. “It’s a great school.”

Florida is also 0-1 against Miami, losing in the 1973 Tangerine Bowl.

FIRST TIME IN SWAMP: Meyer doesn’t have many clear memories of his first game coached in The Swamp. Those begin during week three when Tennessee came to town.

“The third one was Tennessee and that’s when the place exploded,” Meyer said. “My headset got knocked off one time and it sounded like a jet engine went off in there.”

There will be plenty of debuts in The Swamp Saturday as a highly touted freshman class makes their debut.

“I enjoy that,” Meyer said of watching his young players in a game environment. “Even guys like Tebow get a little rattled. I used to tell the story about how Alex Smith couldn’t even say the play the first time he went into the game. You’ll see a bunch of wide eyes on Saturday.”

The transition will be easier for the freshmen that went through spring practice. They were able to see an environment similar when the Gators played in their spring game.

“The guys who went through spring practice, a lot of them get it out of the way in the spring game,” Meyer said. “That’s one advantage we have. To perform in this stadium in front of a big crowd, that’s unique.”

THURSDAY NIGHT GAMES: Meyer said earlier in his tenure as Florida head coach that he wasn’t interested in playing on Thursday nights. That is still the case.

“I’m a big fan of the Thursday night game because I like watching them,” Meyer said. “I don’t see Florida playing on a Thursday. We won’t do that.”

He was a fan of Thursday night games while the head coach at Utah because it got their games into the living rooms of houses that barely knew about Utah.

CHANGES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Meyer spoke about the new Nike Pro Combat uniforms that debuted earlier this week. Though he may not love changing classic uniforms, he does understand the process.

“I love Nike, I don’t like the uniforms,” Meyer said. “But I am a team player and understand the value of it.”

The passion of college football is what causes Meyer to label it as the top sport in the country. The return of college football has the fans excited to watch games, but they aren’t the only ones.

“I think it’s taken over as the top sport in the country,” Meyer said. “I can’t wait to watch ESPN Gameday. I can’t wait to get home tonight and watch college football. It’s really good right now.”
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