Gators Expect to have Nixon on Saturday

Urban Meyer knows what is coming into The Swamp this weekend. The USF offense has a playmaker at quarterback that will cause issues with his legs and arm. With better athletes on defense than what the Gators faced last week, Meyer knows there must be improvement or Florida will struggle to win.


Opening statement: "We were a little disappointed last week, and the guys have come out with a sense of urgency and worked real hard. We have to play better or we won't beat South Florida. South Florida has one of the best quarterbacks we'll face all year and very athletic on defense."

Q: "Has the spread offense created more opportunities for undersized playmakers in college football?"

A: "I think that's part of it. We don't just look for small guys. We want the best football players and adapt the spread to them. If a guy is undersized like Brandon James, Chris Rainey or Jeff Demps, we won't not take them because of our system. We make the system fit around them.

Q: "How different is that from 15-20 years ago?"

A: "I remember Raghib Ismail and other great players who were undersized and coaches adapted their scheme to that player. The old traditional 235-pound tailback is hard to find. If you have a smaller one, you have to adapt to him. You see in the NFL all the time where they're taking a smaller guy and letting him do the things we can do well."

Q: "What is your opinion on the new NCAA rule that schools can't offer a prospect before the summer of their senior year?"

A: "I think that's all with good intent. The problem with rules is that when you make rules, you have to enforce them. I think the purpose of the rule is very well thought out."

Q: "What does it do with evaluating prospects and their academics?"

A: "Nothing. I think it's just the fact that you can't offer until a certain time of a young man's career. As far as evaluation and finding out about academics, that's the most important of the whole process."

Q: "Any injury update on Sam Robey?"

A: "There's a chance he will get in. He's 100% healthy now. He's had injuries all training camp, but he practiced full-go yesterday."

Q: "Is there an update on Xavier Nixon?"

A: "We're very positive from what he did yesterday in practice. Today is a big day for him. He looked really good yesterday. We're expecting to have (him) Saturday."

Q: "What's the update on Matt Patchan?"

A: "He's still in a long cast. It's still going to be a few weeks. We wish we had him because he's such an intense player."

Q: "Was there a decision made to throw the ball downfield more in the fourth quarter Saturday?"

A: "I think so. Some of those were on fourth down and long. We tried early in the game, but when you get out of rhythm as many times as we did, it's tough. It's second down and forever, or a couple of those plays we did have called when it was a lack of execution. Consciously, we did that in the second half."

Q: "How was practice yesterday?"

A: "I was very pleased with it. I keep using the word urgency because I saw it yesterday."

Q: "Can you elaborate more on your relationship with USF head coach Skip Holtz?"

A: "I haven't watched from afar, I've watched it really closely. When I say we're really good friends, we're really good friends. It's been that way for a long time. I think he's one of the top coaches in the country. Obviously with his record and success, it's pretty obvious."

Q: "What kind of problems does BJ Daniels present?"

A: "He's a playmaker. We saw that game against FSU last year where he just ran around and made plays. Any time there's a mobile guy back there, it's hard to contain. He's the guy you have to contain. The thing that's really improved is their offensive line. We thought we could get to the quarterback last week with an athletic playmaker. This one's going to be a little more difficult because of their offensive line. You're not going to stop him, you've just got to contain. Once he gets out of the pocket, that's a problem."

Q: "You've talked about coaching with a sense of urgency and difficulties of coaching players with a sense of entitlement. Has that been an issue?"

A: "Not so much this year, but in years past. It's a result of guys having great success and rock star profiles you get. I just enjoy coaching guys with a sense of urgency. When you look at a team like that, probably the best example is 2006. That team was on a mission and urgent about everything we did. I hope we'll be talking about this team the same way."

Q: "What does USF have to do to get their name up with the top programs in the state?"

A: "They're getting real close. One year they were ranked No. 2 in America. They beat an instate school last year. I coached against South Florida a long time ago when I was at Bowling Green. You saw the potential there. It's a great place with great players. I wish them all the best, not this week, but it's fun to watch a program do it the right way."

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