Meyer Wanting Balanced Attack Against USC

The Florida Gators have faced some quality defenses to this point in the season, but not defense has head coach Urban Meyer's attention more than the South Carolina Gamecocks. It not just because the Gamecocks are the next team on the schedule, but it's the impressive defensive stats South Carolina has accumulated against some pretty good competition.

South Carolina ranks in the top three in the three major defensive categories, including No. 1 in total defense. The Gators have the SEC's second ranked offense, so something will have to give on Saturday.

"They have great players and a scheme and they're sound," Meyer said after Wednesday's practice. "We're at 200 yards a game rushing and 200 yards a game passing. If we can stay balanced. The problem is when you get one-dimensional and that's what they're going to try and do. For instance, we can't let South Carolina throw all over us. We have to keep balanced."

With the Gamecocks ranked No. 24 in the nation and Steve Spurrier returning to The Swamp, it's pretty easy for the Gators to take them seriously. But Meyer said once they stuck in the game film of South Carolina, they were even more impressed.

"I thought LSU was right on the dot," Meyer said. "The same thing with Georgia. Every week I tell my team that this is the best defense we're going to face. But after watching them on film, this is it."

The Gators will try to counterbalance a good defense with a balanced offensive attack, and they have Tim Tebow peaking at the right time. Meyer made the comment earlier in the week in that he's starting to see the Tebow of old coming through.

"He looked like a very aggressive runner," Meyer said. "A couple times I thought he maybe tucked it down too quick. But the designed runs and the options he ran like he did as a freshman."

The left guard position is the only in question for the Gators heading into the weekend. All the likely candidates for the spot are nursing injuries, but Meyer's optimistic.

"Carl [Johnson's] going to be good," he said. "[Jim] Tartt practiced today. Mo [Hurt's] shoulder is still a little sore, but he's practicing. James Wilson had his best two days."

Even though Johnson is coming off a sprained MCL, Meyer is not too concerned about his mobility.

"He's not going to be running post routes," Meyer joked.

The Gator special teams had a lot of success during the month of October, but South Carolina will be a little tougher to get pressure to the punter.

"You think against Kentucky we blocked a couple punts," Meyer said. "Against Vanderbilt we blocked a couple punts. We're playing field position football the first quarter of the game and our offense has capitalized it. There's been a big momentum play early in the game."

"A lot of it is field position and situation. For instance if it's fourth and short you don't go after it because if you touch the punter it's a first down. There's about four hours of discussion. This one is going to be hard one to get because he gets it off in about two seconds. If it's 2.5-2.6 then we think we can get home. If it's under 2.0 even Demps couldn't get there."

The discussion about Florida's chances in the BCS are still around, but Meyer said he hasn't seen it impact his team's attitude at all

"They're just worried about practice and covering South Carolina's trick plays and playing good defense," Meyer said. "They're used to it. Every week we do that. Just because we talked about the national deal because the SEC was wrapped up isn't that big of a deal."

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