Gators Need to Keep up the Intensity

The Florida Gators haven't had any problems getting ready for the likes of Georgia, LSU or South Carolina. Now they need to keep that same intensity for the Citadel this week before facing Florida State and Alabama. Urban Meyer talked about that during his Sunday morning teleconference.

On handling the good things that will be said about the team…
"We're going to have a team meeting today and then all of our focus will be on our next opponent. We're going to have a really difficult Tuesday and Wednesday practice. That's the best way to do it. It's worked so far. I also trust the maturity of our team. The immature guys are the guys that are very young. I don't trust them, but we have a great corps of guys that we have a great deal of trust in."

On the confidence in Brandon Hicks
"I thought Brandon Hicks did a great job. You stand out now if you don't go hard. There's a lot of competition to get onto that field right now."

Injury updates…
"When the trainer called me late last night, it was all positive news. You had a concussion with Jason Watkins, but he should be available for next week. He's probable. Carl Johnson has and MCL, so he's questionable. Brandon Spikes (ankle) is fine."

On making sure the competition between players isn't too heated…
"That's something you have to be aware of. Coach G has had to deal with that a little bit. You get frustrated, but hopefully they are high character guys that compete. We've had guys transfer out of here that wanted more. You have a choice. You can stay here and compete and play for an excellent football team. That's why I really admire Deonte Thompson. He's made that decision that he wants to compete and play for an excellent football team."

On fans and analysts picking Florida to play for the national championship…
"I have not heard that. That's why we talk about it every Sunday. I would give our players a little more credit than that. I don't worry about them. I worry about the parents, the friends, the students and you guys. When you continually get pounded from that – I had a very nice phone call from Coach Belichick and he said just make sure you stay on top of them because they're going to be hearing how good they are. When you watch the film, we still have a lot to improve on."

On seeing any similarities to the 2006 defense…
"I see some similarities if you have good players and if they're going hard. I don't have time to do that. We have to face the Citadel and then two top five defenses. We have our hands full. The time for reflections and all that stuff usually happens in late January or February."

On what Citadel's coach might be thinking…
"I'd probably want to run the ball a little bit and eat a lot of clock. I haven't watched there film yet, but knowing from Bowling Green and being a small school going into a big stadium, you always try and keep that thing close. Keep the ball out of the opponent's hands."

On there being a different intensity this week…
"It'd be silly for us to think that there would be the same intensity than if we were going against a Georgia, LSU or South Carolina. Our Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday practice was phenomenal last week. If we don't get the same, then we're going to start over and our guys know that. We're going to have a good 24 periods practice on Tuesday and sometimes it will go 35 periods. We're going to get good work. The players can decide to make every period count, and if they do then we'll have a good crisp practice and we'll get out of there."

On outscoring opponents 101-0 in the first quarter…
"I think it's one of the most impressive stats we've seen. The momentum that we talk about during the early part of a game whether it be a blocked punt, great defense that's why we ran a reverse to start the game and took some shots. I learned early and I get it more with experience that momentum is worth at least 14 points. The most impressive thing Saturday was when we turned it over twice and our defense went out and stopped them. Turn the ball over, that's not like us, and we went out and stopped them. I was very impressed with that."

On the four-play stretch by Brandon Hicks…
"He's done well on kicking game for us. He's a second year player who's really starting to grow into his position. Coach Strong has a lot of respect for him. That was without question the best he's ever played. … A lot of those, they were trying to play hot and so it was great effort by Brandon."

On maintaining such a high level of play over time…
"I worry about it lasting. You can only control what you control. Our Utah team in '04 it was this kind of games excelling in all three phases. It was against different competition and this is the Southeastern Conference."

On Tim's message after the Ole Miss game impacting his work ethic…
"If you watch Tim work now and work before there's no difference. It's the leadership. Tim gets a lot of press and he's a very clear thinker and clear speaker on this team. A lot of guys have made that commitment. Louis Murphy is one, the offensive line has three seniors, so I could go on and on. He's not the lone wolf out there. The one thing he does well is that he's such a good speaker. His work ethic has never changed. He's a phenomenal worker."


Fightin Gators Top Stories