Meyer Looking for Options for Saturday

The Florida Gators will definitely be short some bodies for Saturday's Orange and Blue Game, but Urban Meyer said he's going to do everything he can to create a game-like atmosphere for his team when they take the field at The Swamp. A glorified practice is not an option for Meyer.

"I don't want to do that," Urban Meyer said after Wednesday's workout. "I've had people tell me that, and it's awful. We're going into our stadium to go play. It's the one advantage that we have. I don't want to not take advantage of it. It's operating in game-like conditions. You don't want another scrimmage. But I don't know."

The Gators offensive line has been decimated this spring, and today, they were short two more bodies.

"Carl Johnson couldn't go," Meyer said. "He's got a little issue with his shoulder. I'm just being very cautious. Corey Hobbs couldn't go today. He has a concussion, but he'll be back Friday. To come out here with seven offensive linemen, I don't know how you do that."

The Gators also got some bad injury news regarding the backfield. Steven Wilks had finally won some praise from Meyer on Monday for his job at fullback, but he has an ACL injury.

"It's a shame because he was doing great,'' Meyer said. "And there's still hope we can play him next year a little bit, and then he has two years after that. But he's one of the most improved guys on the team.''

Meyer said he would use Wednesday as their last hard workout of the spring, but the injuries changed that.

"I just wanted to get through today's practice," he said. "You'll notice we came out today in shorts."

Meyer said the injuries this spring is something that every team in the nation deals with. It's been different this spring just because so many of the offensive linemen have been affected. Even so, Meyer said there's no way he would ever consider letting up on the intensity during practice.

"There's no chance," Meyer said. "We're going to have the hardest two-a-days we've ever had."

There have been some good things to come out of all the injuries. Some backups were able to get some extra reps that they wouldn't normally see if everyone were healthy.

"Execution on offense is not where we want it to be because of the injuries," Meyer said. "But we're hoping that at the end, we have eight offensive linemen and we wouldn't have known that if everyone was healthy. That's the positive out of it."

Meyer was excited to finally see Matt Patchan get back on the practice field at the end of last week, and he was equally as excited to see cornerback Jeremy Brown running around today. Brown missed all of last season and most of the spring because of a disc issue in his back.

"Don't sleep on him," Meyer said. "He was ahead of Janoris Jenkins before he got hurt. Just think about that for a minute. He was ahead of Janoris Jenkins."


  • Both Carlos Dunlap and Lawrence Marsh underwent minor abdominal surgeries and should be fine for the fall.

  • Meyer on Chas Henry… "I think he's one of the best in the country. To be the punter at Florida, you better be. Right now, he's upholding his deal. He changed the field position in the national championship game against Oklahoma. He changed the field position against Florida State in a driving rainstorm. He's a good player."

  • Meyer on John Brantley… "It would be unjust to not let him go and play in game-like situations in that stadium. There will be 50,000 people there. He'll play a lot. He needs it more than anyone. … I kind of thought he would be at this point last year. I don't want to say he's game ready, but he's close. It's the seriousness, the attention to detail, the fact that he knows he's this close from going into a game. His professional approach is much better."

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