Gators Getting Back to Basics

Fumbles almost cost the Florida Gators the game against Arkansas on Saturday. Head coach Urban Meyer has his team working in practice to correct the problem to avoid any losses the rest of the season. The Gators have lost nine fumbles already this season, four of them coming against the Razorbacks. Last season, the Gators lost just eight fumbles.

Meyer blamed a lot of the offensive woes on lack of ball security. He made it a point to spend time in practice fixing it.

"Just work on fundamentals, and on film. Each coach spent about five minutes on it," he said.

He doesn't think the fumbles are a result of lack of focus by his players. Instead, he put the blame on himself and the rest of the coaching staff.

Meyer wants to get his team back to where it has been in the past in regards to ball security.

"Tim Tebow's against LSU, Chris Rainey's against Arkansas, those aren't lackadaisical. It's guys pressing," Meyer said. "Fundamentals, obviously we don't do a great job of coaching it, and we used to be the very best. We will get back to being the best at it."

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- OT Matt Patchan underwent surgery, and Meyer does not expect him to be back in time for spring practice. "He has surgery. It's a tough one, but he will back next summer."

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- WR Andre Debose has already begun rehab for his hamstring that needed surgery. Meyer does expect him to be back for spring practices. "Debose should ready for spring ball. I think it is a 4-5 month injury. I'm not sure how far into we are, but he is still in crutches."

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- The front seven of the defense could be playing short-handed against Mississippi State. LB Brandon Spikes, DE Jermaine Cunningham and DTs Lawrence Marsh and Jaye Howard did not participate in practice Tuesday, but all of them are listed as probable for the game, Meyer said.

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- If Marsh and Howard are unable to play, Meyer will again look to Terron Sanders and Omar Hunter to play most of the minutes at defensive tackle, but the depth behind them could be the problem. "They graded as champions. The problem is we have a little depth issue. Sometimes you think you've got enough, but that's never the case."

Meyer praised Hunter for how much he has come since arriving on campus over a year ago. "He took a lot of heat in a lot of ways because he's a great kid, works hard, has a lot of talent, and he's playing really well."

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- The Gators have not been as dominant on punt returns and punt blocks this season mainly because of teams' willingness to change their normal punting style to prevent Brandon James from getting the ball. "Everybody changes. LSU punts it away, the team we just play the run the traditional punt, and they come out in some formation they have never run before. Teams are working hard to not let (Brandon James) touch the ball, and they are doing a good job. We'll get one."

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- Meyer explained why Emmanuel Moody had a lesser role against Arkansas. "He ran hard against LSU, and (Arkansas) was playing us a certain style last week. They were forcing us to get on the edge. That's where those other two were in there."

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- Meyer can be seen on an ESPN College Gameday commercial flaunting his championship rings, and prior to the season, he graced a special issue of Sports Illustrated staring down with sunglasses on. But that might be the end to Meyer's acting/modeling career. "I'm never going to do that stuff again. I'm never going to wear sunglasses, never going to do that stuff again."


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