Meyer: "It's going to be a good chess match"

Florida and Alabama may run different style offenses, but looking at the numbers, the differences are negligible. The Gators run the ball 62.4 percent of the time compared to Alabama's 64.3 percent. When all is said and done, the two teams try to accomplish the same things to win ball games.

"They are a little different styles," Urban Meyer said after Wednesday's practice. "But at the end of the day we try to do the same things. If you watch them play and you watch us play, I don't know their plan to win, but it looks pretty similar. They're very much into field position and taking care of the ball. We're very much into possession. Today is the day I usually watch some of the offense, and they are very efficient on offense. I think they're right behind us in third down conversions, so they're very efficient."

Florida's got the reputation of the explosive throwing offense, but the Gators only throw for about 40 more yards per game than the Tide.

"We take great pride in our balance," Meyer said. "But they throw the ball very well. They have some very good receivers. Their quarterback's right on it."

It would be a lot easier for the Gators to be right on their game on Saturday if Percy Harvin is on the field. There are no new developments, but Harvin is working his tail off to get on the field this weekend.

"He's averaging over ten hours a day in the training room," Meyer said. "Percy was in the pool today. He didn't practice, but I knew he wasn't going to practice. He was in the pool moving around, and I'm hoping just like everyone else."

Meyer said they hope to have Harvin running on Friday, but if it's not until 4:00 on Saturday, he's fine with that, too. Look for David Nelson to pick up some of the offensive slack should Harvin not be able to go on Saturday.

"A guy that's really coming on is David Nelson," Meyer said. "He's a much different player. We're not going to direct snap it to him, but he's very efficient at catching the ball."

The two things Meyer and the Gators are working on improving this week are tackling and kick return coverage. Florida's allowed more than 26 yards per kick return in the last two games.

"That's a shame because it was just the best it's been since we've been here," Meyer said. "We look like a bunch of clowns out there running around, so we've worked on that. In matter of fact we worked on that today."

"Other than that we have to tackle. Brandon Antwine going down at defensive tackle hurts us a little. We got four guys in the rotation and they're going to have to play good because they're going to be challenged."

Meyer said this year's offensive line is the most physical line he's ever coached, which is quite an impressive compliment. They'll have their work cut out for them going against the nation's third best defense.

"It's the best defense we've faced," Meyer said. "They're physical. They take great pride in that their pass efficiency defense which is No. 1 in the league. They do a good job with pattern reading, so we're going to do some things differently. It's going to be a good chess match."

  • Meyer was shocked to learn of Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville's fate. Said Meyer, "I think Tommy Tuberville is a hell of a coach. Am I surprised, yeah I'm really surprised."
  • Maurkice and Michael Pouncey's stepfather Robert Webster may make the trip to Atlanta this weekend. Said Meyer, "He's going to try and go to the game. I hope all goes well."

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