"I don't make guarantees, but I guarantee we'll be back," Urban Meyer said after the game. "The Florida Gators will be back – smokin'. I don't know when. I can't make that one. I have to see how everyone responds, but we'll be back."
The loss drops the Gators one game behind both South Carolina and Tennessee in the loss column, but with games still on the schedule against Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, the Gators can still work their way back to Atlanta. The only team that truly controls their own destiny is one-loss Tennessee.
Despite the outcome, Meyer had some positive things to say about his Gator football team after their four-point loss to the Tigers.
"I thought the energy level of our football team in this environment was good, and it shows you a little something about the Florida Gators," he said.
The Gators responded after a week filled with distractions. Senior safety Tony Joiner's arrest on Tuesday turned media focus away from Saturday's match-up with LSU and onto his playing status.
"To come together, I think it says something about the character of this team," Meyer said. "It's been a hard week. I think we prepared very well and played a heck of a football game. We had a couple distractions, but so does everyone else in America."
Meyer hopes the adversity the Gators dealt with during the last five days will help the team grow closer together.
"I made a comment about the soul of a man, and we have some pretty strong men on our team with some strong souls," Meyer said. "I found that out. The future of Florida football is terrific. It really is. We just have to keep the human element out of our team. The human element can be a bad deal. At times it can be very positive, but if it seeps in when everyone is down, they're down."
He also hopes the Gators can learn from the two-game losing streak.
"Take the sting and work extremely hard so we don't have to experience this again," he said. "Also, you have to love the guy next to you and realize what you just went through. It's not the first time I've been through it. Maybe it's the first time for some of these young players. That's two tough weeks against two good football teams."
As the Gators reach the bye week, they are exactly half way through their schedule. The second half provides match ups with four division teams, including rival Georgia and an out of conference meeting with Florida State.
"There's a lot of ball left," Meyer said. "We have a bye week and then the second season starts. Every team in the East has a loss. Some have two losses. We have a bye week then we have to go to Kentucky and play a very good team. I do believe that we are a better football team now than we were at the beginning of the year."
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
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