Meyer: Offense Came out of the Gates Fast

The Florida offense was waiting all season for a quick start. Three games in, they hadn't recorded a point in the first quarter. The coaches stressed it all week in practice, waiting for the issues to change on Saturday. It finally did.

The Gators put up 14 points in the first quarter on 155 total yards. Quarterback John Brantley went 9-of-12 in the first quarter for 101 yards and a touchdown. Four different receivers caught a pass and four different players recorded a rush.

"On offense, we put a huge emphasis on coming out of the gates fast," Urban Meyer said. "They responded. A bunch of guys played their best as Gators."

Things slowed in the second quarter. The Gators scored when Jeremy Brown returned an interception for a touchdown, but the offense couldn't get on the board.

"We got into a little bit of a lull in the second quarter," Meyer said.

The leadership of Brantley showed as the Gators took the field for the second half.

"To see a guy come out in the second half and lead the team up and down the field, he really did a good job," Meyer said.

The offense had its best game of the season and finally looked to be finding rhythm.

"I want to say we were 50-50 at run-pass," Meyer said. "That's kind of who we are, and we're moving in that direction. Now that we have confidence in our receivers, that's the direction we're going."

BURTON'S RECORD NIGHT: Trey Burton's record-breaking performance stole the show. He recorded five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown, breaking the school record for total touchdowns by a freshman. Running back DeShawn Wynn previously held the record after scoring four touchdowns in 2003 against Florida A&M.

"Trey Burton was fantastic," Meyer said. "We've had a lot of great players play in this stadium, and to think he broke some record, that's tremendous."

The intent wasn't to force the ball to Burton. His performance on the practice field makes it hard to keep the ball out of his hands.

"We're not trying to get him the ball," Meyer said. "He's taken that position now. It's really not a wildcat, it's a base offense for us."

The Florida coaches knew they had a good player when they signed Burton. Their expectation was to bring him in at quarterback and give him time to develop. Instead, he showed in the spring that they needed to find a way for him to get on the field.

"We had no idea what we had until we figured it out in training camp," Meyer said. "The versatility, intelligence and competitiveness… those things you just don't know until you get your hands on a player. He really did well."

Meyer knows the coaches will have a conversation about Burton's role. They don't want to spread him too thin and steal chances for other players who could be more effective if they focused only on one role.

"My biggest concern is we have him doing too much," Meyer said. "We're going to fix that tomorrow as coaches. There are certain things he has to do, and other things, there are other people who can do that stuff. He's just a really good football player."

PLAYERS HELD OUT: Brandon Antwine was held out with a shoulder, and Dominique Easley missed the game because of a foot injury, plus he was in New York for a funeral on Thursday. Lawrence Marsh didn't play because of a hamstring injury. Meyer expects to have all three next week at Alabama.

Jeff Demps injured his foot, and Meyer said he thought it was a sprain.

There were injuries all over the offensive line Saturday night, but none of them looked serious.

"At one point, every one of our offensive linemen had a sprained ankle or a sprained knee, but they battled through it," Meyer said. "We were close to TKO there."

DEBOSE SEES PLAYING TIME: Andre Debose caught two passes in the first three plays of the game and ended the night with four receptions, all coming in the first quarter. The coaches wanted to establish him early in the game and get his Florida career started.

"That was one purpose," Meyer said. "He earned that. All you've got to do is practice well. Debose will be non-existent next week if he doesn't practice well. Florida may be a little different, but you earn your right to get on that field. He earned that this week in practice."

The first few weeks of practice for Debose weren't at the level acceptable to play.

"It's not because he wasn't trying," Meyer said. "It was the deer in the headlight look. Some of that is on us, too. When it's too complicated or a great player can't play it, get rid of it. That's what we did this week."

MOORE IS RELIABLE: Carl Moore has become the trusted third down wide receiver for Brantley. He made crucial catches at Tennessee last weekend and did more of the same against Kentucky.

His performance on the practice field is improved from the past two years, and it is showing on Saturdays this fall.

"He's not the same player," Meyer said. "It's not just what you see out there. It's what you see on Tuesday and Wednesday at practice."

MEYER'S MILESTONE: As he did all week, Meyer continued to deflect any praise for his 100th career victory. The players that made it possible are what he will remember the most.

"To think of some of these coaches that I've known for a long time don't get to coach some of the players that I get to coach or coach at places like I get to coach," Meyer said. "I'm humbled, and I told all of our players that."

ALABAMA WEEK: As soon as the Gators acknowledged an SEC victory in the locker room Saturday night, the focus immediately shifted. The game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa next weekend was already being talked about by the players, and the focus of their entire offseason will happen in less than a week.

"I haven't watched them on tape," Meyer said. "There's one way to compete hard in a road stadium, and that's go as hard as you can on Tuesday and Wednesday. That's going to be a real physical game.

"We see what's coming down the road here. We better click much better than we are."
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