Baker's Status For Saturday: Questionable

The on-again, off-again status of wide receiver Dallas Baker may be on again if an encouraging Thursday morning workout is any indication. Baker sprained his ankle in the Georgia game last week, but it's looking more and more like he will play Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Baker has not practiced this week but he tested the ankle Thursday morning with supervision from the Florida training staff. The results didn't offer any certainty that he will play against Vandy (7:15 at The Swamp, ESPN2) but there is a ray of hope. Baker has caught 37 passes for 480 yards and in the past few games he has established himself as Florida's go-to receiver.

"They ran him this morning and there's a chance he's going to play," said Meyer. "I on purpose kept him out this afternoon but this morning he came in with the trainers. I didn't see it but they came up and told me he ran real well. We're holding out hope. He's a tough kid."

Although Meyer says he would probably call Baker's status "questionable" for Saturday, he believes there is a chance he can play, which would be a big boost for an offense that is just starting to show signs of life once again.

"I think he's out best wide receiver right now," said Meyer. "He's our most disciplined route runner, he's got great size … just great to have him out there. He obviously won't be at full speed but there are still some things we can do with him."

Having Baker would be a boost to a wide receiver corps that has been battling the injury bug Jemalle Cornelius (ankle) and Chad Jackson (hamstrings) are finally looking close to full speed once again.

"They're both back close," said Meyer. "Chad wasn't at full speed last week … he had those hamstrings tighten up on him and he didn't play at full speed. Jemalle was just under full speed. Chad hasn't had hamstring issues [this week]. They're both going to be at full speed."

CREATING TURNOVERS: Meyer said that Florida coaches its defensive players to try to create fumbles but not at the expense of making the fundamental play. He said as many fumbles and turnovers are created by doing things fundamentally right as there are by slapping at the ball.

"I think we're leading the SEC in turnovers caused," he said. "I think that happens for a lot of reasons."

Florida does teach players to strip the ball but Meyer said that "pressure on the quarterback and great tackling causes turnovers and not just pulling the ball out so our guys emphasize that."

In passing situations, Florida's emphasis is to keep the ball in front of the safeties.

"In the games we played well and Georgia is one of them we kept the ball in front of us," he said. "Against LSU we kept the ball in front except for a couple of deep passes but you have to knock the ball out of there. We emphasize [turnovers] but I think it's caused by a lot more than slapping the ball out of there. It's great tackling and when you hit the quarterback there's a tendency to cause turnovers obviously."

OFFENSIVE GAME PLAN: Meyer said that what Florida will do against Vanderbilt will have a lot to do with the situation and who's healthy at the time.

"A lot of it depends on the situation the game and how we're playing on defense," he said. "The ultimate, the bottom line is that we have to find a way to win the game. We've got to see who's healthy and who's ready to go that day."

VANDY BALL PROTECTION: Vanderbilt is one of the best teams in the SEC at protecting the football. The Commodores have fumbled the ball away only twice and have thrown just seven interceptions in 319 pass attempts.

"They don't turn the ball over and they throw the ball a lot," said Meyer. "They have intelligent kids and they have a four year QB quarterback who's learned to take care of the ball very well."

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