Meyer Sunday Teleconference

The Florida Gators had a great come from behind victory on Saturday against Arkansas at home. The win was a big one in terms of keeping Florida's post season hopes alive, but it also showcased quite a few scars for the Gators to heal on this team. Urban Meyer talked about some of that and more in his Sunday teleconference with the media.

Meyer took any and all media questions on Sunday as usual and talked as candid as he could about his team's positives and woes as they move forward this season.

Media: can you update us on the latest on injuries to your defensive front?

Urban Meyer: Jaye Howard and Lawrence Marsh we will know more when they come in today. I am hoping to get for sure, Jaye Howard back. Brandon Spikes will be day to day. It is a groin injury that showed up last week then obviously got reinjured in the game. I don't have the answers yet.

Media: Is Dan Mullen's offense the same, how will that impact the game?

Urban Meyer: It is probably very similar, I haven't seen it yet. I am sure it's very similar.

Media: Omar Hunter is playing better, why?

He is playing a lot better and Coach Strong pointed that out last night. It is just the physical maturation process of a player. I am probably worse than anyone that wants players to be a great player yesterday. It takes a while, especially on the offensive and defensive line.  When Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders were first here, we were ready to send them home, but like them, Hunter is just a redshirt freshman. He is actually a little ahead of schedule.

Media: Talk about Dan Mullen going to Mississippi State?

Urban Meyer: A lot of guys have the ambition to be a head coach and I am not sure anyone with the ambition would have turned down a job in the SEC. When I talked to Dan I asked if he could recruit and if his ASD lived in a different world or knows what it takes to succeed.  One thing about Dan he is not going to make emotional decisions, he is very smart and will do well.

Media: What is the locker room like for Caleb after a big kick like that?

Urban Meyer: We called him up and danced around and had some fun with it. He is a great kid and our players love him. As impressive as the game winner was, the 51-yarder landed in the stands and that puts it about a 58-yarder into the breeze. He has a lot of talent and is only a sophomore. No one was surprised because he does that at practice.

Media: John Phillips to Caleb Sturgis as your place kicker...how hard was it to switch?

Urban Meyer: It was real hard. Jonathan Phillips has given his life to Florida football. It is all performance based. Caleb won the job. When Chris Hetland was struggling, if someone had beaten Chris Hetland, we would have made the move.

Media: Why is the production low in red zone?

Urban Meyer: Number one is turnovers. We are going to study that this week. Our concerns offensively are red zone production and turnovers. In the pan to win those are the two things we really look at. We just have to work harder. We are number one in scoring offense and number one offense in the conference. We have to fix the red zone and turnovers.

Media: How much do you work with Tim on going through all his reads or tucking and running?

Urban Meyer: I think Tim is such a competitor and our third down success rate has been so guess, he goes one-two and get going. Other quarterbacks may go 1-2-3-4 but they aren't completing as high a percentage or as third down efficient as Florida. Like all quarterbacks there are some things he does great and some things he needs to work at. I counted at least three times in the first half that he got a first down when he (ran). That is part of what makes him such a great player.

Media: Are you worried that it has become a trend (turnover ratio)?

Urban Meyer: I am very concerned, but not concerned about our team. I think our team understands (it is an issue) and we need to work on it. One guy swats the ball out of Tim's hand, we need to work on the mesh, and ball security by Chris Rainey and I haven't seen the one by Aaron Hernandez yet. But, those are all good guy and we will get that fixed.

Media: Is it harder to deal with when it is guys you trust?

You have to evaluate each one. You fix those. Guys aren't going to touch the ball that we don't have confidence in. If you aren't secure with the ball you aren't going to touch it. Deonte Thompson on the 77-yard touchdown was very loose with the ball. I watch folks on other teams and that is a skill that has to happen. We are going to coach it and if it doesn't improve, those guys won't touch the ball.

Media: How strange will it be when you are across from Mullen and will it be an advantage that he knows?

Urban Meyer: I have been very fortunate to have five guys now that are head coaches. This is the first I will play against. I am not worried about it. I am worried about the signals and some of the offense and somewhat of our defense and kicking game. There are some things that are very alarming that we will cover in great detail today and tomorrow.

Media: Does it stand out more to you that you are alarmed about the issues with the offense or that you have been able to survive despite the issues?

Urban Meyer: Last night it was that we were able to pull it out. Right now as we move forward, we operate on urgency. We can sit back and see that we are the number one rushing offense, scoring offense, scoring defense, pass efficiency offense...we see we are leading in all the categories in the conference and we still don't feel like we operating at a high level of efficiency. If we score the first three times in the red zone, we probably aren't sitting here with this urgency, so there is a positive. We are going to practice at a high rate of urgency this week and we know we won a game that we probably shouldn't have.

Media: Did you know they had that resolve to win like that?

Urban Meyer: We didn't know until we see it, but I have said it before that I love this team. I have a tendency to want to be around guys that are made of a lot of substance. We have some great memories, like the fourth quarter against Alabama and Oklahoma. I don't want to say it was exactly like that, but after the fourth quarter and you gather those guys and you see the urgency in their eyes and when we kicked the field goal and in the locker room, that was a special time last night.


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