Meyer Impressed with Tiger Offense

LSU has the best defense in the league, allowing fewer than 175 yards per game. But Florida head coach Urban Meyer is as equally impressed with the Tiger offense.

LSU has a balanced attack that's putting close to 40 points a game on the board against its opponents.

"I was surprised with the amount of receivers," Urban Meyer said after Thursday's practice. "I didn't realize they had two first rounders last year."

Both Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis were first round selections, but LSU still has reloaded with some young talent. Their leading receiver is sophomore Brandon LaFell who has 17 catches for 279 yards. Their second leading receiver, senior Early Doucet, will likely miss the match-up with the Gators.

"They have the young guys this year," Meyer said. "I don't know if Doucet is going to play, but he's a great player. They do a nice job kind of like what we do with Percy Harvin and Brandon James with Trindon Holliday. I think they are creative. The best teams in college football need to have a little creativity when they need to score points."

Holliday has only two receptions but has rushed 22 times for 147 yards. He's also a dangerous kick returner averaging more than 22 yards per return.

With the Tigers now ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, Meyer is not looking at Saturday night's game as a chance to make a statement.

"I think it's a great opportunity to get a great SEC win," Meyer said. "I watched last year's game a lot and that was one of the finest college football games I've ever been a part of. Great defense, great special teams and the plan to win, the team executed as well as I've ever seen a team execute as long as I've been a coach. To beat this team with that kind of talent, it's going to have to be that kind of game."

Two years ago, the Gators lost to LSU on the road, and the Gator offense managed just 206 yards. Since that loss, Meyer has reworked the offense.

"You can't survive in this conference with this style of offense without playmakers," he said. "You have to have playmakers, and I think we have some. We can't run this type of offense unless you have the personnel and that's why you recruit. Back then, we made the decision to protect the quarterback much better. Two years ago, he was a much better quarterback when he's protected with the kind of speed in the SEC. I don't want to say I was educated because I knew it. I was educated with the lack of personnel that we had. We had five turnovers and five sacks, and we didn't win that game."

Still no decision on Joiner

There's been no major developments in the continuing saga following Monday's arrest of senior safety Tony Joiner.

"I'm just waiting on the legal part of it," Meyer said. "I've done my own thing for him being out late at night. He's not the first one."

Meyer stripped Joiner of his captain title yesterday and has yet to decide whether he will travel with the team to Baton Rouge. The felony charge slapped on Joiner by the Gainesville Police Department is what has Meyer most upset.

"If we don't hear anything then the term felony is out there," he said. "I don't think I've ever had a guy with a felony charge and have them actually go through with it."

Meyer wasn't sure if the University Athletic Association prevents players from participating with a felony charge pending. For now, Joiner is having a tough time handling the situation.

"He's struggling," Meyer said. "He knows that the head football coach at Florida, who he is very close with, is as disappointed in him as I've ever been. Not even the legal part, but just doing what he did."

Meyer did say that if the felony charge stands, he does not expect Joiner to play.

"That's probably safe to say," he said. "If the charge that we've heard stays, then he will not play."

Notes

  • With Joiner losing his title as captain, the Gators group of captains is getting thin. Phil Trautwein is out for the season with a stress fracture in his foot and Andre Caldwell has missed time with a knee sprain. Still, Meyer said he will not consider new names for captain.
  • Heavy rains dampened the Gator practice on Thursday, and Meyer said they'll probably come out on Friday to make up for it. Said Meyer, "We had to come in here (stadium) and walk through a little bit. The rain disrupted our Thursday practice a little bit. We're going to come out here and throw tomorrow. We haven't had to do that on a Friday, but we weren't able to throw much today, so we'll do that before we get on the plane for Louisiana."

    Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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