Meyer: 'The Biggest Win We've Had'

As you would expect, it was an elated and jubilant Urban Meyer that took the podium following his team's 34-31 overtime win against the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night. Meyer continued his streak against rival teams and more importantly got a much needed win after three hard fought losses in a row. It was a huge win for the program that Meyer has built as a champion.

Florida has been living in off the hog for the last several years under Meyer grabbing two national championships, a top three finish, and a Heisman Trophy winning campaign in the last four years. This has been a year that has been hard to grasp.

Picked in the preseason to finish in the top 10, Florida has struggled in various facets of the game and lost three straight games for the first time since the 1988 season. For Meyer, the win over one of the Gators' biggest rivals may be the biggest of all because of all the extenuating circumstances.

"This is the biggest win we've had," Urban Meyer said casting off two national championship victories. "We've had some great wins around here. This is the biggest win that I can remember that I've coached in a long time…from demeanor, recruiting, just those guys in the locker room. That was an emotional locker room. These guys have been to hell and back in the last three weeks.

"It was so important because we got our brains kicked in the last three weeks. I think the resiliency of the young players that haven't experienced a win like that. The older guys have. What I don't want to do is have a team say as hard as we go, our practices are ridiculous, at some point you better get the reward. That is why that win was critical."

Meyer led off his post game remarks applauding a Georgia team that starts a freshman quarterback and has some big time fire power, especially on offense. Meyer especially praised Georgia's outstanding receiver A.J. Green who was limited to 42 yards and a touchdowns on the day.

"The team we just beat played their hearts out and are obviously much better than their record and I think we are much better than our record," Meyer said. "This is one of the great venues to play at. It was a great football game with two teams that were fighting.

"It was one of the great efforts. We were playing a bunch of guys that will be playing in the NFL. Janoris had him basically under control. He had 40 yards receiving and I have not seen anyone better than that as a receiver."

Meyer gave out a lot of accolades after the game, especially on offense. Freshman quarterback Trey Burton led all Gators in rushing with 110 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and caught the most passes with five for 35 yards. Chris Rainey added 84 rushing yards, 9 receiving yards, and 148 return yards on the night to go with touchdown

"Trey Burton played phenomenal," Meyer said. "We had five big plays which is something that has been nonexistent. It was great to see Chris Rainey back and Demps who was still not 100% but to see him battle like he did."

Meyer was also sure to point out the excellent play of quarterback John Brantley who helped orchestrate a quick attack using a hurry-up offense for the first time all season. Brantley's uncle Scot Brantley was inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of fame this weekend and Meyer gushed over his junior play caller.

"One guy that I want to mention that I thought did phenomenal was John Brantley," Meyer said. "It was rather appropriate that his uncle was entered into the Georgia-Florida Hall of fame. You can tell where that kid is from, he's a tough nut. He got whacked a few times and got up a few times today, stood up and made some plays to win the game."

Florida used a lot of changing formations and quick setups to keep the Georgia defense on their heels. Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio has drawn the ire of Gator fans for the lackluster performance all season. Saturday we saw a different offense that most of the time looked like it had a purpose. Meyer credited with the up tempo no-huddle with an edge for his offense.

"I thought Steve Addazio did a heck of a job with the in and out, with 460 total yards of offense," Meyer said. "We have to get this thing going and we still aren't done. We have a lot of football left to play and a lot of improvement to do but we are going to continue that because we need an edge. If (the no huddle is) our edge, and I am kind of a fan of that now, then we are going to do more of it.

Meyer said that finding that thing that you can point to that gives your team a superior advantage is key when coaching and making offensive football work.

"You can't play offensive football without it," he said of whatever edge your offense has. "We can sit and run between the tackles. You can run perimeter plays, or you can throw, and if you don't have that edge it's just a mess. We are looking at tempo as an edge, multiple quarterbacks as an edge, and development of players."

Using a multiple quarterback offense should be a staple moving forward and Meyer says that he wish he knew earlier just how good the freshman Burton was heading into the fall.

"I could kick myself for not doing it more this summer," Meyer said of using Burton at quarterback. "Trey Burton is one of those guys I didn't know he was that good. He's dynamic. Jordan Reed did a nice job and came in and gave us two plus-10 yardage plays."

There are still some things to unearth with this offense, but they are catching glimpses with the multiple quarterbacks and the up-tempo play calling which Meyer credited assistant coach Zach Azzanni with implementing.

"We have to find that edge. In '05 we didn't have one. In '06 we had some edge when we recruited Percy and Dallas came on. Obviously Tim went crazy in '07. In '08 we had a bundle of them. There were edges all over the place. Deonte Thompson came in and made a huge play when it was third and forever going in. We are still trying to find what that edge is.

"Zach Azzanni has lived in (the no huddle). He came from Central Michigan and they played at lightning speed. He did a great job helping us install this. We started this about three weeks ago and it looks awful if you don't commit to it, so we are committed to it."

The defense had it's bright moments as well even while giving up 31 points on the night. Will Hill has been much maligned all season and the junior free safety had a huge game including the final interception of an Aaron Murray pass to end Georgia's half of overtime. Hill almost returned it 100 yards for a touchdown, but came up just two yards shy.

"Teryl Austin said that it was Will Hill's best game," Meyer said. "We have been waiting for that all year. We have had some fantastic free safeties around here starting with Reggie nelson and on to Major Wright, Will Hill played very well tonight.

Meyer also noted that the Gator offense benefited from the play of the defense.

"When you start talking short field and scoring, we had 34 points and a lot of that had to do with where the defense handed us the ball to the offense," he said. "We've been doing the opposite, giving other teams short fields, its been awful."

The natural hero of the game was punter turned place kicker Chas Henry who nailed the final 37 yard field goal to win the game in over time. Henry has had a rough outing the last two games as he has subbed for injured place kicker Caleb Sturgis. Meyer said he had faith in Henry who hit all his tries in Thursday's practice.

"We all stop at about 42," Meyer said of the yardage limit for Henry. "He has a strong leg, but he doesn't major in (kicking field goals). We thought we were going to have Caleb on Wednesday and he kicked beautifully. With his back, and we could have pushed it, but we aren't going to do that…he could be hurt for a long time if something happened. On Thursday, Chas came out and hit every field goal."

Meyer said as elated as he was, he understands there is a lot more work to do.

We are going to come back and I can name seven stupid penalties because of the no huddle and up tempo," he said. "The thing I did like was the physicality and the fact that we did have big plays. I liked that we wore that team down and it's a good team. But, we have a long way to go."

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