UF/Troy Notebook

Don't call it a letdown. Call it a young team dealing with an unfamiliar situation.

The Florida Gators gained 342 yards in the first half compared to only 158 in the second half. They allowed 206 yards in the second half compared to just 130 in the first. But after building a 49-7 lead by halftime, Urban Meyer wasn't shocked with the Gators second half performance.

"I wasn't surprised," Meyer said. "I went into the locker room and tried to be the little cheerleader, but it's a young team and that's a great learning experience."

After all, the Gators are 2-0 and lots of the nation's top teams are not. Michigan, who finished one slot behind the Gators for a spot in last year's national championship game, is off to an 0-2 start. So is Notre Dame, and SEC powerhouses Georgia and Auburn were both victims to upsets on Saturday.

"I'm not disappointed at all," Meyer said. "We're 2-0. I look around the country and there are a lot of programs that aren't 2-0. It's good. There's no bad. Now tomorrow I'll be screaming and throwing coffee cups, but tonight is good."

The issues continue to be on defense where the Gators lack experience, but the defense showed some positive signs on Saturday. They buckled down in the first half after allowing Troy to score on their second possession. The defense also held an explosive offense to just seven first half points.

"I'm very confident in the coaches, and I'm very confident in the athletes we have," Meyer said. "It's just not all there yet. I'm not confident in that experience level. That first half, to hold that team to seven points, they did a heck of a job. To stop them and give us a chance to return kicks and block kicks, that was a great job."

As for his assessment of the second half, Meyer said the effort was there despite being outscored by the Trojans 24-10 in the final 30 minutes.

"There was just a confused look," Meyer said. "I see that a lot with young players. I did not see a letdown. I saw some confusion. I'm sure I'll see confusion until these young guys become old guys."

Offense continues to go

Last week it was Riley Cooper and Andre Caldwell. This week it was Cornelius Ingram and Louis Murphy. The Gator offense is loaded with weapons and will be tough to keep down this season. In the first half alone, the Gators had six different players score touchdowns.

"Three years ago we didn't even have six guys who could score a touchdown," Meyer said.

With so many playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, Tim Tebow has lots of weapons to look for.

"It might not be one person dominating because so many guys are getting the ball," Tebow said. "It's not just one person carrying the load. We have a lot of guys carrying the load and that's why I think we could have a pretty good offense."

Where last week the Gators used the deep ball to score, this week they used shorter passing routes. Florida averaged nearly three fewer yards per pass play against Troy. Instead of Tebow finding Riley Cooper over the top, he found Murphy and Ingram underneath.

"The defense dictates where the offense goes with the ball," Meyer said. "Murphy had an excellent day. He's a great runner after the catch, too."

"[Ingram and Murphy] are great receivers," Tebow said. "They've shown that several times in their careers. When you come out and know that you have the Bubbas, but also know that you have guys like CI and Murphy who can be great receivers."

Notes

  • The Gator secondary allowed Troy quarterback Omar Haugabook to compete 29 passes for 283 yards. Said Meyer, "The secondary is still a concern. We have to get Markihe [Anderson] back as fast as we can. … I think Major Wright played well and our corners hung in there. I think they did very well in the first half."
  • Andre Caldwell left the game early in the third quarter and has an MCL tear in his knee. His status for next week is uncertain, but Meyer said he could be ready.
  • Brandon James also had to leave the game after spraining his ankle during a return in the third quarter.
  • Jarred Fayson stayed down after taking a hit in the third quarter on an option run, but later returned to the field.


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