Young Team Ready to Hit the Road

The Florida Gators have wrapped up their preparations for their SEC opener with Tennessee this Saturday as Urban Meyer prepares to take a young team on the road for the first time this year. The Gators have had the extra benefit of the bye week, which allowed for some extra preparation for the Vols.

"We're plus one in practices because of the bye week," Meyer said after Thursday's workout. "We were a little sluggish today early, but it might be because we've worked them pretty hard. On Mondays we usually go light, but we went full-padded and pretty hard this week."

Taking so many young guys on the road, including a lot of true freshmen that are expected to contribute like Matt Patchan, Janoris Jenkins and Jeff Demps, Meyer has some obvious concerns.

"I'm worried about immaturity," he said. "Someone told me 39 of our travel squad are freshmen and sophomores. That's not lip service. That's real."

Neyland Stadium is one of the largest college football facilities in the country with Saturday's attendance expected to reach about 107,000. It's one of the great venues in the Southeastern Conference.

"I was actually at Notre Dame when I first heard [the noise], and then two years ago," Meyer said. "It's the SEC and a great venue to play football."

Linebacker Dusin Doe is expected to play on Saturday after missing practice earlier in the week. Backup quarterback Cameron Newton will also travel with the team even though he's nursing a sore ankle.

"It's a sprained ankle, but he's going on the trip," Meyer said. "It's the same one that's been bothering him."

Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt will not be available on Saturday because he's still suffering from a sore shoulder and neck stingers.


Fightin Gators Top Stories