Offense is Clicking

The Gator offense has the potential to be one of the best in the nation this fall. With veteran leadership, experience and speed, they've been performing on a more consistent basis than the defense. And Urban Meyer is liking the way Tim Tebow is throwing to the wide receivers.

After recent practices, Urban Meyer has expressed frustration at times with a young and inconsistent defense, but the same is not true on the offensive side of the ball, especially the receivers.

"The receiving corps has been the most consistent," Meyer said. "The combination of Tim Tebow and the receivers is pretty consistent right now."

The same can't be said of the backup quarterback situation. Meyer was ready to make an announcement about week ago, but inconsistent performances prohibited him from doing so. He still hasn't named a backup, which is between true freshmen Cameron Newton and John Brantley. He said on Thursday he'll make that announcement on Saturday.

He has made an announcement regarding the starting punter after naming senior Joey Ijjas as the starting kicker on Wednesday.

"Chas [Henry] is going to be our punter," Meyer said. "He's the best punter."

Henry was a four-star prospect out of Dallas (Ga.) East Paulding and the No. 1-rated punter in the class of 2007.

The rest of the special teams have taken shape. Meyer said that all special team squads are three deep.

"We spent a lot of time on that today, and again tomorrow and on Saturday," Meyer said.

Thin on O-line

At the start of camp, there were four offensive linemen that Meyer trusted, and then it went to five and then six. The number still holds at six, but some nagging injuries have prevented the development of Maurkice Pouncey who holds that sixth spot. Injuries have also slowed some others in the mix for playing time in the fall.

"We got six offensive linemen and Maurkice Pouncey didn't practice today," Meyer said. "He's got a little bit of a groin strain. He'll be our sixth. Maurice Hurt has been banged up a little and so has Marcus [Gilbert], and Carl [Johnson] has got to perform."

With the health of Tim Tebow in the hands of the front five, Meyer is very selective with who sends to the field.

"We're getting to the point where you won't see the field until you're trusted because you have so much on your hands, most notably a quarterback's livelihood," Meyer said.

Notes

  • Freshman defensive tackle John Brown is still not practicing with the team while he awaits clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Brown was allowed to practice 14 days without clearance.
  • In addition to naming the backup QB on Saturday, Meyer also plans to announce the Gator captains.
  • Sophomore receiver Riley Cooper is moving his way up Meyer's list. Said Meyer, "He's done a good job for us. … He's battled through [the foot injury]. He's a tough guy and special teams performer, and he'll see a lot of action on offense as well."
  • Redshirt freshman tailback Chevon Walker is also moving his way up Meyer's confidence list. Said Meyer, "Chevy Walker is starting to act like a guy who you can put the ball in his hands a bit."


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