No Letdown for the Gamecocks

With the SEC East wrapped up, Saturday's game against South Carolina could be another chance for a letdown for the Florida Gators. But head coach Urban Meyer said all you have to do is flip on the film to get an understanding of how good the team the Gators will face.

"I was worried about, not necessarily about a letdown, but when you watch South Carolina on film, it gets your attention real fast," Meyer said after Tuesday's practice. "That tight end is going to be a first round draft pick. They are playing as well as they have all year on offense and they're defense is No. 1 in the league. It's a result of some very good players and a complex scheme. There was no fooling around today."

Meyer said the Gators had an "excellent" day of practice as they get ready for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks. It's the South Carolina defense that stands out most to Meyer.

"They're strong," he said. "They have a tough secondary and the linebackers are solid. It's very solid, plus their coordinator is doing a heck of a job. This is the most difficult week we've had."

What makes the South Carolina defense so difficult? It's the multiple looks the Gators will see.

"Talent is No. 1," Meyer said. "It all starts with personnel, but they're very multiple. We face some teams that were multiple, but they weren't sound. We were able to get some big plays off of them because we exposed them. They cover people. When they play zone, they're very disciplined in their coverages."

South Carolina's special teams are very sound as well.

"They have the No. 1 kick return in the league," Meyer said. "Punt return, they have a very talented guy. On punts they come after you. He's hired a new special teams coordinator and you can see a completely different tempo."

Many of the South Carolina assistants sit in the press box instead of on the sidelines during games. The Gators split up their assistants fairly evenly, but it's Meyer who makes the call.

"I have my preference and I tell them my preference," Meyer said. "You have to have great communication with your coordinators. Their management on the field is so important. In our first year, Dan Mullen was on the field and now he's in the press box. He needs to be up there. We're always evaluating that."

The only real injury concern for Saturday is with offensive guard Carl Johnson, but Meyer is optimistic of his status.

"He practiced but he didn't go full," Meyer said. "We did some offense/defense and he didn't do that but he did everything else. He should be game ready, which is excellent news."

Meyer Voting for the BCS

The Coaches Poll makes up one-third of the BCS calculation, and two years ago, Meyer didn't participate in the poll. He's a voter now, and he's glad he is.

"I take it real serious," Meyer said. "Every Sunday we do it and I have another coach help me. I think everyone does. From 12-20 it's hard because you can't watch everyone play, but I think the top 10 teams in the country."

The Gators were still able to get into the 2006 BCS game without Meyer voting, but he's not taking that chance anymore.

"I, on purpose, did not vote because I did not want to put myself into that position," Meyer said. "But as a coach at a top program in the country, I have that obligation. I take it real serious. I'm glad I do it. Before I refused to do it and I wish I didn't."


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