Sunday Notes

There is an easy way to put a lackluster second half performance behind you – bring on the Vols! The Florida Gators open up SEC play with Tennessee next Saturday, so last night's win against Troy is already in the distant past.

"When it's rivalry week around here, there's no issue with focus," Urban Meyer said during his Sunday teleconference.

Meyer said the focus turned to Tennessee the second they finished singing the fight song with band after last night's game. Everything this week must be different with the Vols coming to town, looking to break a two game losing streak to the Gators.

"We need to make sure that the intensity of everything is higher," Meyer said. "Everything has to be different on Monday. I'm going to rely on our older guys and our coaches, but it is what it is. When you play a team like that, everything is at a whole different level. What you don't want to do is play that game on Tuesday or Wednesday. You want to reach your peak on Saturday."

Meyer recalls his first game against the Vols. He remembered how The Swamp came to life in week No. 3.

"The Swamp in my first two games was neat," Meyer said. "It was loud, but it got to a whole different level during my first experience against Tennessee with that environment at home."

That first game, now two years and a national championship ago, confirmed all he had heard about SEC play.

"It was my first SEC game as a coach," Meyer said. "I've been in some SEC venues before as an opposing coach, and I thought they were the most passionate fans and the most intense places in the country. It validated everything I had ever heard."

Injury updates

Meyer doesn't receive his full injury update until Sunday afternoon, so there is no new news on Andre Caldwell.

Caldwell left last night's game after he fumbled following a reception. He has been diagnosed with an MCL tear in his knee. Bryan Thomas also has an MCL tear.

Jarred Fayson left the game as well after taking a big hit, but he later returned and Meyer expects him to be fine. But returner Brandon James suffered a sprained ankle, and the extent of his injury is still unknown.

"A lot of it depends on what happens to it over the course of the night," Meyer said.

One thing is for sure, if James can't go on Saturday, it won't be Chris Rainey returning kicks despite his 39-yard return last night. At the end of the great return, Rainey fumbled and turned it over to the Trojans.

"Chris has got to take care of the football before he touches the ball," Meyer said. "Right now, it would be Jarred Fayson."

Don't blame the defense

The Trojans outscored the Gators 24-10 in the second half last night, but Meyer said don't blame the defense.

"It was terrible, but I don't put that on the defense," Meyer said. "All the offense has to do is take care of the ball."

The Gators turned it over twice in the third quarter and only managed one first down.

"I did a poor job at halftime," Meyer said. "I tried to encourage them, but there's only one way to cross that bridge and that's to get to it. They got to that bridge and got embarrassed in the third quarter."

The shaky third quarter prevented Meyer from playing the twos as much as would have probably liked. On offense, Cameron Newton and the second team only saw one series, but part of it can be contributed to Meyer's respect for Troy's offense.

"I hit the panic button because I have great respect for teams that can throw the football," Meyer said. "We've won a lot of games. I remember my first year at Bowling Green, we beat Northwestern, and we were down 14 with 1:10 left. Our number one objective is to win the football game. But that's a fine line if a guy gets hurt."


  • After the Gators scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions, Meyer said the offense is starting to look the way he envisioned it. Said Meyer, "What we wanted to be we can be, and that's the threat of a running quarterback can open up some throwing lanes. We just have to keep our guys healthy and keep the line blocking."
  • Cornerback Markihe Anderson only played a handful of plays on Saturday, lining up as the Gators' dime back. Meyer said they desperately need him to return to his starting spot by next Saturday, but from everything he hears, Anderson should be ready.
  • Meyer will not look to Rainey or Deonte Thompson for help on offense should James and Caldwell be sidelined next week. He said both are not ready.
  • Meyer was pleased with the effort of Ahmad Black on special teams. Said Meyer, "He did very good. He's a very good tackler, but I worry about his speed. He's a not a durable guy right now. He's got to prove to us that he can run."

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