FOOTBALL: Coach & Player Quotes on UT and UF/UK

Coach Meyer: "Today is a great day for Florida Football. In our plan to win, the first thing you have to do is play great defense. I don't think I've been around a team that's played better defense. They played an excellent football team who has a great tradition of running the ball, and they shut them down. The stats really show the dominance we had on rushing defense."

(These are selected quotes from Coach Meyer and the players from today's press conference)

Coach Urban Meyer

On the conditioning program and the way the team played in the final quarter: "I am really impressed with the way our players responded in the fourth quarter. It's something that was directed at our players and staff for a long time. In the past, they've given in. This win is just one game, so we won't assume that all questions are answered. However, I think that Matt Balis, Mickey Marotti and most importantly our players have put an effort into finishing the drill."

On the kicking game: "We had our best day in the kicking game this season, reaching nine out of ten goals. We caused a fumble, and we stopped a fake punt. Two times, we gave our offense great field position. Our average field position was on the 40-yard line, while their field position was on the 26."

On time of possession:. "We won the time of possession battle by a large margin, which is one of the biggest parts of the plan to win for us. We had a total TOP of 35:30, while they were limited to 25:30. That's pretty much the plan to win."

On defensive champions: "On defense, Steve Harris, Marcus Thomas, Jeremy Mincey, Brandon Siler, Earl Everett, Todd McCullough, Dee Webb, Vernell Brown, Kyle Jackson, Reggie Nelson and Jarvis Herring all made the Champions Club. They have played excellent on defense."

On the offense: "Offensively, I don't have a lot to tell you other than we had no turnovers. We had the ball for a long time. Jemalle Cornelius came out a winner, and Chris Leak played extremely hard."

"We have a long way to go on offense without taking credit away from our opponent. We are not blocking very well. We expect much more than that as I'm sure everybody does. However, we are going to be positive today."

On first-year comparisons of the offense to his past teams: "It's about the same. The first four games at the other places made you sick to your stomach sometimes. I think we're actually further ahead here at times. We have pressed more than we ever have anywhere else to get second-year production out of a first-year offense. It's not happening yet. We just need to continue to get better."

On offensive line problems against Tennessee: "Well, they (Tennessee) have very good personnel. There are three seniors on their line with a lot of experience. All three of them are going to make a bunch of money playing football. After watching the tape, they were really good, and we didn't block them. I don't think it's a lack of courage or a lack of talent. I think it's a lack of technique, and we're reevaluating our practice for the offensive line right now."

On Markus Manson: "If Markus Manson proves he can take care of the football, he'll play. We're winning games right now not because of this high-octane machine that goes up and down the field, but because we're following the plan to win."

"What we have to have is great field position. How do you do that? You have to play great defense, and we are. We cannot turn the ball over. If Markus Manson has a habit of dropping his wrist below the elbow and unlocking his elbow, he will not play. No one will because you jeopardize the chance of winning that game. His attitude is, by far, the best. I put him on my kickoff team, and he made a tackle. His attitude is terrific. This week is the closest he's ever come to playing because he's making that move."

On Co-Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison: "Greg Mattison was one of the first phone calls I made. His players buy into what he teaches. He has great teaching tapes. When I teach you how to take out a block, I can tell you but it makes more sense to show you how it's done. He has a whole library of teaching tapes that he uses from players he has coached in the past. All our players talk about is how lousy their technique was and how much it has improved now."

Quoting Junior WR Jemalle Cornelius
On blocking as wide receiver:
"It was a real big adjustment. (Wide Receivers) Coach (Billy) Gonzales is real big on blocking. (The wide receivers) as a group have had a lot of improvement from the first game until now, because if you don't (block), you don't play."

Quoting Senior OL Randy Hand
On the offensive line:
"We definitely have to get better. We know we're not playing as well as we should. We're getting close to where we want to be as an offense. It's just little things here and there. When we watch film, we can see when we take a wrong step or miss a block. We just need to take care of the details."

"We feel that if our backs run for anything less than 100 yards in a game, we haven't really done our job."

Quoting Sophomore TE Tate Casey
On the offense:
"It's the in the details. It's the small stuff that a lot of people don't notice. When you watch film and see an offense that is only performing at 80 percent, it excites you. At the same time, it makes you mad that you could be playing better. Any time we watch film, we always feel that we can improve. This offense could be a lot better."

Quoting Senior DE Jeremy Mincey
On Tennessee:
"We worked hard. We believed in each other. We believed in the coaching scheme, and we got it done."

Quoting Junior LB Billy Latsko
On Tennessee:
"Coach (Meyer) stresses that the way you win games is with field position, and you win that battle on special teams. Our special teams did a great job on Saturday of not putting the defense in a bad situation. It was just a great defensive effort or Saturday."

Courtesy UF Sports Information

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