Meyer Likes Confidence of Team

There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and we haven't heard a peep of arrogance from the Florida Gators this week. Maybe its because they've already lost a game in the SEC, or maybe they've learned a trick or two about letting their play do their talking. Regardless, Florida head coach Urban Meyer says he has a confident team that will play the third ranked LSU Tigers Saturday night.

Earlier in the week a couple of LSU players let it fly about how they want to handle the Gators. Smack talk usually saved for the playing field when only the guy across from them can hear them. Instead, they spouted off to the media and of course word got back to Florida. Despite that, the Gators have been mum.

Maybe the Tigers have the right to crow a bit. They are undefeated, coming off a national championship season, and they beat the Gators last year in a really hard fought contest that went down to the wire. It was a game filled with game deciding moments and the Gators came out on the wrong end of too many of themselves.

At the heart of all the conversation this week on that game has been the burning fact that LSU was able to convert on five fourth down tries on five attempts. If the Gators were able to stop any one of those fourth downs, they probably win that game in Baton Rouge last year. Meyer is hopeful and confident that the same won't happen again in The Swamp on Saturday.

"More confident than I was a year ago," Meyer said about the ability to stop LSU's powerful attack. "We're going to witness that. I feel better about the leadership even though we don't have a senior starter on our defense. I feel it's a very invested defense right now."

It has been a good week of practice and Meyer has said as much all week long. It wasn't something we heard from him the last two weeks when his team came out sluggish and actually lost their last home game to Ole Miss.

"I think they're eager and ready to go," he said about his team. "I think they're confident. The fact that we do have some healthy guys and we work real hard around here. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are hard days and they're looking forward to getting a good family dinner tonight. Thursdays are special around here. A lot of food, go relax with the families."

A couple of faces Meyer is expecting to get a little bit more out of against LSU than he has in weeks prior are defensive tackles Torrey Davis (So.) and Brandon Antwine (Jr.). Davis was in the dog house earlier in the season and found his way out last week when he played for the first time on seven plays against Arkansas. Antwine is back after a debilitating injury that some thought would leave him never playing football again.

"He's making a lot of effort in a lot of areas and he still has to continue to go," Meyer said. "Brandon Antwine will play. He's had, I don't wanna say it's a miracle because that's awful deep, but he's come far. Our training staff and medical staff are still amazed. That's a credit to Brandon.

"The one thing about those guys is they're strong, they're explosive, they're powerful guys and they are good leverage players especially Antwine so you'll see him involved in this game."

Fireworks could be on display with the kick return game Saturday night. Between Florida's Brandon James and LSU's Trindon Holliday, probably the two best returners in the country will be on display in front of a national television audience.

"When we first got here we really didn't have great return guys but we faced a few of them," Meyer said. "LSU had one of them, he was unbelievable. That's gonna be a huge part of this game."

Meyer is also very happy to have a guy on the other end of the punting game in punter Chas Henry. Henry is currently tops in the SEC and sixth in the nation with his 45.5 yards per punt.

"I got mine," Meyer said of his punter. "If it's a choice of punters, I'm good. What I like about him is he's talented but there are a lot of talented guys out there. He's a very professional guy the way he approaches everything, academics, football, his family is tremendous. I got mine."

Injury Report....

As mentioned earlier the Gators are getting healthier and look to be pretty close to full strength this weekend. On the offensive line, they are still banged up at left guard but Meyer says that senior Jim Tartt, "...could play. There's a chance he'll play."

In Tartt's place Carl Johnson will start his second consecutive game, but the health of fellow offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert has improved a great deal and Meyer says of the sophomore, "Gilbert will play."

Meyer says that starting running back Kestahn Moore will play on Saturday, but is still not 100 percent and back up Emmanuel Moody is, "Definitely not (going to play)."

The biggest concern of course this week has been the health of running back/wide receiver Percy Harvin and Meyer says, "Percy practiced today, looked good. We're going to practice him tomorrow a little bit."


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