Meyer Looks to Turn the Page

Florida football coach Urban Meyer couldn't wait to turn the page from the Gators' disheartening loss to Ole Miss. So he didn't. Meyer had his Gators on the practice field Sunday to begin the process of fixing the mistakes made against the Rebels and start focusing on the next task at hand, a road trip to Arkansas. Meyer was asked why he felt the need to do that.

"We practiced yesterday," he said. "Really the first time we've done that on a Sunday. I had to get around those players. We all had to get around those players and put closure to a bad day. I was impressed with the way they came out. We had a solid team meeting and we made it clear it's a long football season. The thing I made really clear to them is it's not a question 'IF' a team will deal with adversity and injuries it's how you deal with it."

Meyer says bouncing back from defeat is never easy and it's never fun. But it's also no something new, either.

"We've all been there," he said. "You can't stand being there, but you're going to lose a game once in awhile. The first thing is you feel sorry for yourself. The second thing is you point a finger, and that's everywhere."

The game, in essence ended when Tim Tebow was stopped on 4th-and-1 in the final minute. Florida's powerful quarterback has made a career of picking up short yardage when everyone in the building knew he was going to run with the ball, but not this time. Meyer says there's not too much to say about the play or the play call.

"There was just a little penetration," Meyer said. "Was there discussion about the play? There's always discussion, but Tim's our best short yardage runner."

One thing that has handicapped this offense has been the uncertain status of veteran left guard Jim Tartt. The fifth-year senior is the unquestioned leader of the O-Line and he re-injured his shoulder early in the Ole Miss game. Meyer was asked if the Gators have to go forward with the idea that they can't really count on Tartt every week.

"I hate to say that, but there's probably some truth to that," Meyer said. "He's very cautious because it's a shoulder he's had three surgeries on so you just bleed for him because he's a warrior."

Meyer termed Tartt "highly questionable" for the Arkansas game and did not have an update on the status of Marcus Gilbert who also was injured Saturday. As a result the Gators are really depleted at guard with three guys injured and will have to rely on third year sophomore Carl Johnson.

"It's difficult. You've got Tartt, Gilbert and Mo Hurt. That's three guys at the same position. Carl's the next one in. Carl Johnson is a fine player, a talented player. He was a highly recruited guy and has a lot of ability. It's time (for him) to go."

Meyer also talked about the blocked extra point that gave Ole Miss the win. He protested strongly at the time and ever the game that the Ole Miss player has illegally hurdled over a Florida blocker.

"Two guys came clean. One guy it was a hurdle and the other guy there was a crease. Fundamentally we made an error in the protection. That's why they (SEC officials) get the film. I made my comments and I'm sure I'll hear back from them eventually."

As we noted on game day Florida failed in every aspect of its plan to win with the exception of red zone efficiency. Meyer said there were 11 missed tackles in the game and Ole Miss gained 170 of its yards on just four plays. Special teams went 2-for-10 in reaching its goals and the Gators' three turnovers were, obviously huge. Meyer also lamented the Gators putting the defense on the short end of the field six times against Ole Miss.


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