Ready for Gametime

It's been almost two weeks since the Gators lost to LSU in Baton Rouge, but it feels like an eternity. Coming off two straight losses, head coach Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators are ready to get back to work in the SEC East against Kentucky on Saturday.

"It was a great week of practice," Urban Meyer said after Thursday's workout. "The last Thursday we had we kind of blew our whole routine because of bad weather. So it's good to have our routine back. We're ready to go."

It hasn't been an easy two weeks. Usually, the Gators spend the off week getting healthy for the stretch run, but these two weeks were marred by the passing of walk-on Michael Guilford. Meyer said it's been one of the more difficult stretches in his coaching career, but his support system has made it easy to move on.

"It's easy when you start to realize that you are the head coach of the Florida Gators," he said. "I have three great children and a great wife, a great football team and a future that is ridiculous. It's really not that hard. The hard part is the tragedy that we had to deal with. That's the hard thing."

For really the first time since the tragedy last week, Meyer spoke of Guilford.

"There are certain people that have that electricity about them," he said. "You never forget a person when you meet them and that's the kind of guy Michael was. He was valuable. He wasn't the kind of guy that stood on the sideline and held a bag. He was a very valuable member of this team. As close as we've become as a family in the past week, that's the hardest part."

Meyer said he has surrounded himself with his team and family to help get past Guilford's passing.

"I'm not one of those guys that likes to be by myself," Meyer said. "I'm either with my family or my team. I don't do a whole lot else. Other than go for a jog a couple times a week, I'm never by myself. I'd much rather be with my team. I love every second of it. Then I get to go home and be with my family. I don't go and sit in a room and watch TV by myself."

As for the health of the Gators, they were able to heal up during the bye week. Meyer said cornerback Markihe Anderson looked good in practice and that Riley Cooper and Andre Caldwell are nearing or at 100 percent.

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


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