Meyer Happy with Timing of Bye Week

Urban Meyer didn't talk after the Gators practiced in a downpour on Wednesday afternoon, but he did take part in the SEC's teleconference earlier in the day. Among the topics was the timing of the bye week and the decision-making process regarding redshirting.

This is the earliest the Gators have had a bye week under Urban Meyer. Meyer is 6-1 as the Gator head coach when he has more than one week to prepare for an opponent, so with a trip to Knoxville next week, the bye week might come at the perfect time.

"It came at a good time," Meyer said. "It's time for the SEC. You flip on the film and the film looks a little faster and very physical. When you prepare non-conference play and get back to the SEC, you know you're playing in the best conference in America."

Normally, the Gators use the bye week to get healthy, but only two games into the season, they're not beaten up yet.

"The Southeastern Conference beats you up," Meyer said. "I think it comes at a good time because offensively we have some kinks to work out. Anytime you have a bye week before you face some excellent players like those at the University of Tennessee it comes at a good time. It's not like were not ready to play because we are ready to play. I think with preparation one of the things we've done well is that we don't waste time. We're already knee deep in our opponent in two weeks."

Coming off a huge rivalry game against Miami, it's unique for a team to have another big matchup in their next game. But that's par for the course for the Gators. Meyer still puts more emphasis on next week's matchup with Tennessee over last week's win against Miami.

"Tennessee is such an early game in the year," Meyer said. "Throughout the ‘90s, Florida and Tennessee ran the SEC East. You play in the Big Ten, and there's one game, and from my days at Bowling Green you had to beat Toledo, done. At Utah you had to beat Brigham Young, done. Here we have to be careful. We just played a major league rival. We have another one coming up, and then two more after that. They're all big."

Last week, Meyer said he hasn't considered if any of last year's class of recruits would be redshirted. At a school like Florida, Meyer said the philosophy is to play everyone.

"We've taken the approach that everyone plays," Meyer said. "You look at Derrick Harvey. He redshirted and then never played that last year. There are other people that have done that as well. At Florida we let them play because we don't know if they'll be around."

One player he's glad he redshirted, though, is wide receiver Deonte Thompson.

"We did redshirt him and it was really close on several occasions," Meyer said. "We just don't want to waste a year because in the end I think he's going to be a phenomenal player."

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


Fightin Gators Top Stories