Just Call These Guys The Terrible Twos

Parents are well schooled in legend of The Terrible Twos. Unfortunately, it has become a recurring theme for Coach Urban Meyer in his brief tenure at Florida. Throughout August drills and in games against Wyoming and Louisiana Tech, the second unit has collectively failed to show up and perform as a team. Nearly seven weeks after practice began in Gainesville, the second unit has seemingly reached a new low.

Defensively, no group played worse than the second team linebackers. Their play was downright abysmal. I asked linebacker Brandon Siler in the post game interview in the bowels of Commonwealth Stadium what he would do as a leader of this defense.

"They'll get a piece of my mind all weekend," Siler said. "Just get after them and take them with you to the film room. That (second half play) kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We're going to get after it next weekend."

The Florida second team defense took over in the third quarter and promptly gave up the longest play from scrimmage against the Gators this season on the second play of the third quarter, a 31-yard pass from quarterback Andre Woodson to tight end Jacob Tamme.

The 'Cats followed that up with a 14-yard run by tailback Rafael Little to the Florida five yard line. Two plays later Kentucky scored their second touchdown of the game. In two plays, the second unit gave up 65 percent of the total yardage the 'Cats generated against the first team in the opening half of the game.

In fact, the second unit gave up nine plays for ten yards or more and 21 points in less than a half football. Only four plays went for more than ten yards in the first half, one on the ill fated opening drive and another just before halftime when many reserves were already in the game.

"When you work that hard it makes you mad to see it given away," Siler added shaking his head. "That's unacceptable around here. It's just unacceptable. You've got to take pride in what you're doing."

Kentucky averaged 4.5 yards per carry and completed 62 percent of its passes in the second half after averaging just 2.7 yards per carry and a dismal 29 percent completion rate in the opening stanza. The only notable change involved the insertion of quarterback Curtis Pulley, who ran for 32 yards and added 38 via the air. He almost singlehandedly energized a non-existent Wildcats offense at the second team's expense.

"They played horrible," Jarvis Herring said on Monday. "They got it today big time, from everybody. They have to regain respect and everything back. They feel bad as hell."

Poor second team play was also evident along the offensive side of the ball, particularly the offensive line. The Gators put up just 100 yards of total offense on 26 plays (2.6 yards per play) in the second half after scorching the Wildcats for 437 yards on 52 plays (8.4 yards per play) in the first half.

Depth is always a concern in the rough and tumble Southeastern Conference. Kentucky has a roster full of walking wounded and no depth. Florida moves into the heart of the conference slate this weekend and should have accumulated some additional bodies by this point of the season. That has hardly been the case.

"We'll get this straightened out next week," Siler firmly stated last Saturday night.

Meyer has been a strong advocate of peer pressure from Gators and former Gators alike. The residual effects of this peer pressure should be evident when the reserves next take the field as a group. At least it had better, or many of these guys will find themselves on the depth chart behind true freshmen who are eager to play for the Gators next fall.

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