Defense Still Hurting a Bit

The Florida Gators' defense might be playing shorthanded against Mississippi State on Saturday. The statuses of linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive tackles Lawrence Marsh and Jaye Howard are still uncertain. Also, defensive end Justin Trattou will not play Saturday in Starkville, Miss.

Without the three defensive linemen, the Gators will not be able to rotate defensive linemen as much as they would like. Florida head coach Urban Meyer said Marsh and Howard are listed as doubtful to play against the Bulldogs.

He had a little better outlook about Spikes' chances.

"He's 50-50, maybe a little better than that," Meyer said.

Marsh has missed most of the season with a sprained ankle, and the lengthy recovery has frustrated Meyer at times. Meyer said it has been taking so long because it's not just a sprain, but he still expects him back soon.

"There's a little more damage to the ankle, but he should be back we're hoping next week."

The defense will have Jermaine Cunningham available. Cunningham missed time this week in practice due to an injury, but Meyer said he will play.


- Meyer said he thought the suspension of the refs who called the Florida-Arkansas game was fair. He was surprised the decision was announced publicly. "Why would you make it public? I don't understand that part, but once again, I have great confidence in our system."


- Redshirt freshman WR T.J. Lawrence will be out a couple week after having his knee scoped. Meyer had hoped Lawrence could provide depth at the receiver position, but he has not caught a ball this season. "T.J. Lawrence got scoped today. He's out for a couple weeks. It's a meniscus, so he should be back in a couple of weeks."


- Freshman QB Jordan Reed has been taking reps at tight end in practice. Meyer said Reed is still a quarterback, but they are experimenting with him at other positions. "He's a very good athlete. We got to find a way to get him on the field some day, and he has pretty good hands and can run."


- Meyer discussed his staff's lack of recruiting in the state of Mississippi. Meyer has never gotten a commit to Florida from Mississippi. "I always do a breakdown of how many kids leave the state, and for whatever reason, we just haven't spent much time there. There are a lot of good football players there obviously."

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