OUTBACK BOWL - Meyer on injuries and Iowa

TAMPA -- Coach Urban Meyer addressed the media again after today's abbreviated workout at Pepin Stadium on the University of Tampa campus. The Gators left shortly after for Clearwater Beach, where they joined the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Outback Bowl's annual Beach Day festivities.

There were a few times that it was hard to pick-up Coach Meyer's comments. There was a front end loader that was moving into position during the end of the session.

Update from Coach Meyer on injuries:

"Tavares (Washington) didn't practice. He'll practice tomorrow. He's coming on. Vernell Brown was limited again today. We anticipate both to play, but how much we'll see. Other than that everybody seems good to go."

Is stopping the run a key to this game?

"I think turnovers and stopping the run are always a key to the game. We make a big deal about field position and time of possession and obviously ball control. You look at their stats, they're very similar as far as we are for what's important to win the game. Five yards a carry and a back that has twelve or thirteen hundred yards rushing is going to be a big key to this. They're so balanced, the minute that you say we're going to simply play man coverage and stop the run, I don't think we can do that either. They will not just simply run the ball on us, They're very balanced."

Does Iowa running back Albert Young remind you of anybody that Florida faced this season?

"Yeah, A little bit of (Kenneth) Darby (Alabama) and a little bit of the young guy from Georgia (Thomas). A little bit bigger than him, but very explosive. He hits it real hard, like Darby hit it real hard."

When was the last time you had your top three receivers healthy, Coach?

"Dallas wasn't 100% at FSU, but he was close. Other than that, I can't remember. Probably Tennessee?"

Does it make a big difference having them healthy?

"Yeah, it makes a huge difference. Now that we've got the other guys ready too, so we have some options. You have Billy Latsko, you have Tate Casey, and you have three healthy receivers and you have Kestahn Moore and Marcus Manson who have really come along. So, we have some options. About a four or five game stretch you felt like you were down to (inaudible). You start lining Billy Latsko up at Z receiver and you've got an issue. I love Billy, but not at Z receiver."

Do you believe that bowl games help as a recruiting tool? Does it help you recruit the Tampa kids?

"I think as important as anything is the fact that we're playing in January. That's a big deal with recruits and for coaches as well."

Is Iowa as sound fundamentally as anybody you've seen?

"No question, no question. They play their techniques. They don't do much, you're going to find out when we play. They run inside zone, they run outside zone, boots naked (inaudible), and drop back pass. On defense, they run under defense and (inaudible) coverage. They're about as fundamentally sound. Usually in bowl games, you like to have a bunch of trick plays, it's difficult to come up with one this time. They're just so sound."

Is it harder to play a team with a big playbook or one that runs five or ten very well?

"I don't know. That's a good question. You'd like to think that it's easier to prepare for a team that plays a couple of defenses and are not real complicated on offense, but you look at how well they play it."

Fightin Gators Top Stories