Gators Gaining Maturity

It's not often that you win a game on the road in the SEC by 24 points and see the head coach get asked questions about his team's production. But the Florida Gators were outgained by the Vols on Saturday, and the offensive numbers are nowhere near the output from last year. Urban Meyer tried to address those concerns on Sunday morning.

Here are Urban Meyer's comments from his Sunday morning teleconference...

On the offensive production...
"We had six possessions against Tennessee and we scored on five. The end of a game was a nine-play drive where we just kind of ran the clock out. We wonder what the heck has gone on with all of our plays. We had 50 plays, a punt return and zero turnovers. You can lose drives with punt returns and turnovers, but we only punted once. This clock rule has got to get fixed. We've had some big plays on special teams in the first three weeks, but statistically we're not where we want to be. We're executing well on offense. We're getting our tailbacks more involved. I'm pleased with our offensive line. We're moving people. We don't have those ridiculous numbers like we did last year, but we're handing the ball off more. At the end of the day, if you have to score on every possession then you're not going to win. I like the offensive yards and the points and all that stuff, but as a head coach, I understand that the way you win is to keep the ball and manage the game."

On his team's maturity after the UT win...
"I learned a long time ago especially down here because of the Florida nonsense. It's terrific and it's great, but it is what it is. If you're thinking you're pretty good, you're really not that good. We'll have a more physical and difficult practice this week. This is a major, major time for developing our team. The second part of the season is just trying to stay healthy, but right now we have depth and we're healthy, so we have to continue to get better. That's the mindset of a mature football team, and I'm starting to see that now. If I had done that last year, they would have been complaining that we're practicing too hard."

On the Tampa Bay Rays clinching a playoff spot...
"A box will be sent to my favorite manager of the major leagues – Joe Maddon and my favorite organization. They've been great to us every time we've been down there and congratulations."

On playing Tim Tebow late in the game...
"Cam Newton has a sprained ankle. John Brantley could have been the guy to go in the game. We wanted to get out of there with a win. I could see that, so we'll consider it fro this point going forward."

On injuries...
"Ryan stamper sprained an ankle, but he's tough. John Jones was hit in throat, but we're healthy going into next week."

On statistics reflecting the quality of the offense...
"I hope we're a better team, and I think we are. I certainly don't manage the game with statistics in mind or Heisman Trophies. We just want to win the game. It is very comforting as a coach to look out there and see the line of scrimmage being controlled on both sides of the ball. At the end of the day, it's how you win."

"We keep losing possessions because of our special teams and punt block team. I can't complain about that."

On A.J. Jones...
"He was a very immature player last year. He was not a bad guy, but very immature. There were about 4-5 guys last year that fell into that category – Brandon Spikes, Dustin Doe, Major Wright, Joe Haden and Wondy Pierre-Louis. They were all immature football players last year. They are much more improved and they're grown men as opposed to a bunch of young guys out there playing."


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