Meyer Talks LSU and Arkansas

Florida head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the media on Monday about their colossal win in Baton Rouge over the LSU Tigers. Meyer addressed the outside influences on the big game Saturday as well as the fact they have a tough game on their hands this week when Arkansas comes to Gainesville. Here is a transcript of what Meyer said.

Introduction...

"One of the best wins that I have witnessed as a player or a coach. Our guys in that environment, I am proud. There was a lot of turmoil and issues to deal with last week. I think LSU along with a lot of other SEC opponent's stadiums is what separate this conference from a lot of others. It was a really good effort."

The Plan To Win

"11 percent third downs. They were 1-9. They hit the first third down of the game and didn't hit another one. Only one drive crossed the UF 46 yard line. Our defense had five sacks and 12 first downs total."

"The big picture, Great defense, excellent special teams, and game management by the offense..."

"Time of possession: 36:30-23:30. Florida had the football for 20 minutes in the second half. Against LSU that is almost unheard of. Second half drives they started on the 20, 14, 30, and the 5. That is plan to win, field position and our guys are really buying into what we are teaching."

"Turnovers, we are still not where we need to be. We still have one showing up every once in a while. The one Tim had really didn't hurt us, it was like a punt showing up on the 5-yard line."

"The red zone production and kicking game I thought our guys did good."

"3rd downs – We were 41 percent on third down, LSU was 11 percent"

Champions on Offense...

"Mike Pouncey played tremendous Brandon James, Rick Burgess, Emmanuel Moody...I thought Emmanuel Moody ran extremely hard. Maurkice Pouncey graded out close to 100 percent against that defensive line and it was one of the best performances he has had. David Nelson, Tim Tebow, Riley Cooper, Deonte Thompson, Chris Rainey, and Jeff Demps."

"Offensive player of the game was Aaron Hernandez, he graded out 95 percent. He had seven touches and 86 yards. We are trying to get him the ball as much as we can, he is one of our better players."

Champions on Defense...

"A.J. Jones played very well. Ryan Stamper, Carlos Dunlap (19 production points), Justin Trattou, Jermaine Cunningham, Major Wright, Ahmad Black, Will Hill, Janoris Jenkins, and Joe Haden."

"Defensive player of the game and SEC defensive player of the week was Brandon Spikes. He had 45 production points, one of the highest we have ever had here."

"Two guys that are kind of unsung when a lot of people get credit around here are Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins. I love these two kids; they work their tails of and play like professionals. Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins are playing as good of football as they ever had at corner since we have been here. They prepare the right way and to hold those two first day draft picks to 30 yards. When these two guys were playing they held those two guy."

"Our biggest fear of the game (was) the big play. Janoris Jenkins was (4-4) on play making opportunities...Joe Haden was (4-6), Will Hill (2-2), Ahmad Black (2-2), and Major Wright (2-2). When we have had some big plays made against us before it was because our safety play wasn't very good. Once again, our back end played tremendous in this game."

On Arkansas...

"We are playing one of the hottest teams in the country. They physically beat Auburn every which way. We saw this coming last year, the improvement they had from the first of the year."

"Scot Loeffler made it clear what this quarterback is all about. He has a strong arm and more athletic than you think and can smoke it in there. They have very good receivers. Number one passing team, one of the tops in America. Their kickoff return unit is tops in the SEC and they are getting great field position from that."

Questions and Answers

Media: Does Emmanuel Moody need to get the ball more and has he earned it?

Urban Meyer: "Yes, yes, and yes. He had a four-week late start this year because of injuries. His demeanor and approach and everything, he earned a little more time.

Media: Can you talk about the conservative play against LSU?

Meyer: "You have a plan. We had two fourth downs and I don't think we have ever punted in those kinds of situations. One we tried to attempt to get them offsides, the other we punted. We did run a fake down in there because of the breeze."

"We did that because of game management, and I think we did the right thing. You have to force them to drive the length of the field against the Florida defense. I can assure you two years ago we would have went for it. Game management includes how you are playing on special teams and defense."

Media: With the way the defense is playing is there a tendency to stay conservative or do you want to open up things on offense?

Meyer: "I feel like we need to (open things up), then you look at the possession time and you see you had the ball for 36 minutes. We are running the ball on one of the top rushing teams in America. We have good players. We had problems running the ball in the past, it's because we didn't have these three backs we have right now, Pouncey, Pouncey, and Marcus Gilbert and the combination we have up front. I do feel like I want to, but I'd rather win games, so we will have to see how it goes.

Media: Was Maurkice Pouncey tipping off snap?

Meyer: "There is no cadence or that kind of thing. It is pretty complicated what goes on with the center."

Media: How close do you think you are to exploding on offense?

Meyer: "Deonte still has to get back. We are anxious to get David Nelson more involved. We are anxious to get to throw it around a little bit. I think we are close, I like where we are at. I don't think we are five strong on the offensive line. I think we are four, but not five. That means that fifth player has to get a lot better. Some of our offensive line is playing the best they have played, but it's all tied in together. The protection is tied into the throw game."

"Our receivers are getting better. Our protection has to get better. When we say protection we also include a missed assignment by a running back in a protection issue when the play was wide open. The receivers get a lot of heat around here because it is Florida football. But when you throw the football, you better be sound all the way across the board and we are getting close."

Media: Do you like to use motivation factors?

Meyer: "Like we did with Kirk Herbstreit...when you call out (Brandon Spikes) and (Carlos Dunlap), I love it when that happens. It's like calling out Tebow, help yourself...go get him. Call out Coop I am good with that too. It helps our job. Those guys aren't lacking in confidence.

Media: Did you run the Banzai quick huddle offense on Saturday?

Meyer: "The whole game. The majority of the game we are doing it."

Media: Does this game against Arkansas set up like the Ole Miss game last year?

Meyer: "They are better than Ole Miss was at this time of year. Watching on film and Ole Miss wasn't very good. This year (Arkansas) is really good and has good players on both sides of the ball. That running back shredded us last year. Players have a tendency to get motivated...then you push play (to watch film) and they aren't very good. This team beat Auburn in every phase of the game, soundly. Our guys saw that and will certainly see it on video."

Media: How stressful was the LSU game for you...

Meyer: "This whole season has been a lot of stuff. You have to be able to get through the adversity that hits every team. Some teams don't handle adversity very well and our guys seem to handle it. On that first drive, there was a lot of maturity on that field. (The stress comes) when you don't trust those players and I have a lot of trust right now."

Media: Is this as mature of a team you have had...

Meyer: It's certainly in the top two or three.

Media: Do you believe in the term trap game?

Meyer: "Sure, when you look at Ole Miss and we knew they were good. But, you watch film and they weren't playing well. I don't believe this one falls into that (category). You watch film (against Ole Miss) and they aren't very good. You watch this one and they are very good. This is a team that is good enough to compete for the West championship."

"We will address it and then go play hard on Tuesday and Wednesday. The guys playing know we can get a lot better."

Media: Did you envision you would run the ball this much?

Meyer: "I did a little bit. We have those three backs and wish we could run a little bit more. I wish we had more snaps. I wish we threw it and ran it more. When Demps, Rainey, and Moody aren't touching the ball much, we struggle. Remember five years ago we had a couple of game where I wish we didn't run and wished we didn't throw. I don't what else you would do, but who would you do it with? Now you have some guys you wish were more involved."

"I think if you evaluate each game, the first two the game was out of hand so the guys are out of the game early. The third one you are just trying to get out of the game at the end because they had a good defense and potentially explosive offense. Then at Kentucky we were up 31-0 (in no time). It's all situational."

"I did envision we would be a much better running team than the previous four years."

Media: Haden, Jenkins, and Safeties playing well, do you play riskier?

Meyer: "You don't take chances if you are bad on the back end. Janoris Jenkins, Joe Haden, Will Hill, Major Wright, and Ahmad Black. You don't get five better guys than that. They aren't just guys either, if you want to talk football, or get ready to play a game...then you stick (Chuck) Heater and (Vance) Bedford in there. That's a pretty good situation, we just have to continue to get better."

Media: "Is Tebow done with post concussion stuff?"

Meyer: "I don't know that but will share that tomorrow."

Media: Did you have to change your cell phone number because of LSU fans calling?

Meyer: "I changed it and gave it to Jon Clark for a while. It was non-stop."

Media: How did it effect recruiting?

Meyer: "It's fine, we emailed recruits and it is fine."

Media: Have you thought about being emotional with this homecoming speech this weekend?

Meyer: "That '06 team was a special, special group. Last year was special. This one we have been through start to finish with these guys. This will be extremely emotional and I am very proud of these guys. Can you imagine missing this (Gator Growl)?"

Media: Chances of seeing Carl Moore this year?

Meyer: "I am worried. He does have a redshirt available. He is getting better and his attitude is tremendous, but there is a chance that the redshirt word will show up here in a few weeks."

Media: Is Brandon James frustrated with teams punting away from him?

Meyer: "We have had returns in there and they are just punting the ball out of bounds. Yes, he is frustrated. He's a big time playmaker and I can't argue with what teams are doing. But, at LSU they kicked it out of bounds and one of them had a net punt of 16 yards...you have to pick your poison. I have good players on there (punt return unit) too. Our goal with Brandon James is to get him started and we didn't have a chance this week."

Media: How are the young receivers working into the rotation?

Meyer: "Omarius Hines was ahead and has to continue to get better. Right now I am still trying to get David Nelson and Deonte Thompson (more involved), the guys that have earned it around here. Hines, T.J. Lawrence, and Frankie Hammond are getting better, but haven't earned the right to get into that mix yet."


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