Ready for a Street Fight

Urban Meyer doesn't have to look back at Troy's performance last year against Florida State to know the Trojans will give the Gators all they can handle. All he has to do is look back to last week's game where Troy hung with the SEC West's defending champs as well as Appalachian State's upset at Michigan.

Troy and their passing attack behind the arm of Omar Haugabook knocked of Rice in last year's New Orleans Bowl en route to an 8-5 season. Urban Meyer knows there's no looking ahead to the SEC opener against Tennessee with the Trojans coming to Gainesville.

"There is no looking ahead; we are in a street fight on Saturday," Meyer said after Thursday's practice.

Haugabook was just 15-of-43 passing against the Razorbacks, but he completed 50 percent of his passes in the first half.

"I really sat down and watched him and he has a different throwing motion," Meyer said. "He's an extremely accurate passer. I know he struggled a little bit against Arkansas, but that was more in the second half. Early on, he did a great job."

Florida lost the time of possession battle against Western Kentucky on Saturday, but that was mostly due to some quick strikes from the Gator offense. Still, Meyer said the defense needs to get off the field faster on Saturday.

"We have to keep our defense off the field; those are some self-inflicted areas," Meyer said. "[Troy] was moving the ball up and down the field against Arkansas, and Arkansas is a good team."

Javier Estopinan and Clint McMillan who combined for just one tackle against WKU will start again on Saturday against Troy, but Meyer said freshman Torrey Davis is making a push.

"He's going to play more," Meyer said. "He's in a fight for a starting job at defensive tackle."

Davis had two tackles, including a sack for a loss of 12 yards against the Hilltoppers.

In the secondary, Wondy Pierre-Louis and Joe Haden will start again at corner with Dorian Munroe starting at nickel back. With Troy's spread pass attack, Munroe will most likely be on the field right away. Markihe Anderson who sat out the season opener with a sprained knee will play, but Meyer said he will not start.

"He still got a little hitch in the giddy up, but he'll be fine," he said.

Overall, Meyer was pleased with the Gators' week of practice.

"I was concerned that the coaches would get too hard on them and they would lose focus," Meyer said. "There was no loss of focus, and we had a good week of practice."

He's still seeing some youthful tendencies that he hopes will soon go away.

"I still see some things that are directly related to youth and inexperience," Meyer said. "The older guys are doing a nice job, and I think there is a standard set and everyone's trying to live up to that standard. It's getting close."

Impressed with App State

Meyer has already contacted Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore about getting a copy of the game film from the Mountaineers' stunning upset of then No. 5-ranked Michigan.

"I want to see that game film," Meyer said. "That's how much respect I have for him. I know him fairly well."

Meyer said Moore came down during one of Meyer's clinics during the summer.

No news on Traut

There is still no injury update on left tackle Phil Trautwein. The senior was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot days before the season opener, and Meyer is reluctant to use the redshirt tag so soon.

"I don't like to use that term redshirt because this is a marathon not a sprint," Meyer said. "People ask if we'll redshirt [John] Brantley and the answer is no. If he doesn't play then I guess he'll use that year up. We don't just say that we're going to redshirt a guy because it's not fair to him. As soon as you tell that to a guy, he doesn't work so hard on the academics and he doesn't work so hard on the football field."

John Brown may be inching closer to redshirt status, however. The freshman defensive tackle has still not learned of his status from the NCAA Clearinghouse and hasn't practiced with the team since late-August. He is working out, though.

"I'm very proud of him," Meyer said. "He's busting his tail. He never went through an offseason program, but he's going through one now. He's getting in shape."

Meyer said there is no chance he gives up on Brown.

"The most important part of it is him getting acclimated to college life, academically," Meyer said. "He's a Gator."

Fightin Gators Top Stories