Monday Notebook: One Game at a Time

There's no question the Gators have reached the toughest part of their regular season schedule. With two SEC West powers on the horizon – Auburn at The Swamp this weekend followed by No. 2 ranked LSU on the road – one of Urban Meyer's concerns is dealing with younger players who think they have all the answers.

Florida slipped out of Oxford with a six-point win, but more importantly, Urban Meyer hopes they learned a valuable lesson. Things aren't always as they appear on paper.

"Convincing young people who sometimes think they have all the answers is tough," Meyer said during his Monday press conference. "People consider last year's team a mature team. Certain years a team is up and certain years they are down. Great teams are up all of the time. That is something we have to continue to battle, but I anticipate our team will be ready to go this week. We will have a great week of practice."

The Auburn Tigers have struggled early this season with home loses to South Florida and Mississippi State. But coming off a decisive victory against New Mexico State this past weekend, they have a chance to salvage their season with a win against the Gators.

Florida, on the other hand, could easily look ahead at their showdown with LSU, which is shaping up to be one of the top college football games of the regular season.

"It is all nonsense," Meyer said. "I think that our players will figure it out. My nine assistants have been getting an earful for the last two days and probably will not agree, but the best thing as a head coach was what happened at Ole Miss. We walked out of there with a win, a hard win, in hot weather, 90 plays and we are relatively healthy and we came out of there with a win."

It wasn't a pretty win, but a win nonetheless.

"For teaching tape, that is unbelievable," he said. "I am not proud of the tape and will not want to send it out anywhere, but as far as the task at hand – it could not have been a better day for what we need to get done this week."

Florida will try to avenge their only loss of the 2006 season when they host Auburn on Saturday night on ESPN.

Harvey, defensive player of the game

Derrick Harvey has been off to a slow start this season, but he had a better performance against the Rebels. Harvey posted four tackles, including two tackles for a loss and a sack. He was the only member from the defense to grade out as a champion.

Both members of the starting backfield graded out as champions - Eric Rutledge and Kestahn Moore. Moore sat out most of the second half with a thigh injury, but still averaged close to six yards per carry and pulled in two catches.

Tim Tebow also graded out as a champion and was the player of the game on offense. From the offensive line, Carlton Medder also graded out as a champion. Behind Medder, Tebow rushed for 166 yards.

"We have done this before with Alex Smith and Josh Harris," Meyer said. You want to run the ball but running a quarterback is hard. We call it equate football, and we can direct snap it to other guys but it just so happens that probably our best runner is our quarterback. Our plan first is to win the game. So whatever means necessary, we want to win."

Experience up front

With one of the league's best tailbacks at Ole Miss, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Meyer and defensive line coach Greg Mattison relied heavily on their senior defensive tackles Javier Estopinan and Clint McMillan. The Gators were able to slow down the Rebels' ground game, but they put little to no pressure on quarterback Seth Adams.

"We thought that they were the best team rushing the football that we have faced to date," Meyer said. "We had several times when we were not gap sound. Our young players have yet to figure that out so we, first and foremost, must stop the run. That is why those guys were in there because we just do not trust the young guys yet."

Brandon Antwine is still nursing a sore elbow after hyper-extending it during practice two weeks ago. Meyer said he is also a bit uncomfortable with Torrey Davis in on running downs.


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