Penalties Slowed the Offense

As many would expect, the mood of Monday's press conference following the Gators' close victory over the Ole Miss Rebels was a bit more subdued than last week. A great deal of it was due to the team's excessive penalties.

"Dan Mullen and I did this study and we had 18 times in the game when we had ten yards to go," head coach Urban Meyer said. "I do not think we had that high of a number in the first three games combined. The penalties and the loss of yardage on plays are awful. Against Tennessee, we found ourselves at second-and-3, second-and-2, and second-and-4. Even second-and-6 yards is very manageable. So 18 times with more than ten yards to go is a result of those penalties."

While the coaching staff is concerned, the hope is that these sorts of errors lessen as the team gains experience.

"As I said, we are not a dumb team," he said. "Staying on schedule is the way we play, what you did last Saturday is not. It is not good and it happened a year ago. Before that we've always been decent on penalties. Some people will say it is lack of discipline. We just have to get it fixed."

But even last year, with a team laden with veteran starters, penalties were often a problem. Tim Tebow talked about overcoming those mistakes a year ago.

"It definitely matters, we were just lucky that we were able to get through some of those games when we had all of those penalties," Tebow said. "For sure, you don't want them and it definitely hurts when you have them."

Tebow also talked about dealing with the emotions of facing the Auburn Tigers, who dealt the Gators their only loss last season.

"We don't really talk about it like it's revenge but it is a huge game for us, obviously, they are a very good team," Tebow said. "They've been upset a few times this year but that doesn't take away from the ability and the athletes they have on their team. They are still one of the top teams in the SEC. They are very good and have a great defensive coordinator and they are going to play hard. Everybody is pretty focused on Auburn. It is a huge game and a game we look forward to before the season and don't think anybody is overlooking Auburn."


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