Urban Meyer Monday Presser

Urban Meyer spoke to the media on Monday. The big game in hand with the Georgia Bulldogs, the Gators have already clinched the SEC East and have to try and stay focused on the rest of the schedule. Meyer talked about the Brandon Spikes suspension and everything else in this transcript from Monday's press conference.

Urban Meyer led off talking about the Georgia game.

Urban Meyer: "It was a great team win going down to Jacksonville like that. I have a lot of admiration for our players to have a tough week of practice like that and come out and play at that level.

Plan to Win

Play Great Defense – "We certainly did that and held a very talented team to 286 yards, three sacks, four interceptions and one for a touchdown."

Turnovers - "We are back to where we need to be. We had four and gave up zero. We are only plus three on the season, that is a concern and have addressed that."

Red zone – "Three for three, three touchdowns and in the kicking game we hit seven of ten. One of the finest coverage units, it is all relative who you are going against. We showed the whole team every kickoff and made sure the whole team was very aware what was going on. We had four tackles inside the 20-yard line and downed two punts inside the 10. That is what won the game."

3rd down efficiency – "We had 54% and Georgia had 33%.

Champions on Offense...

"Maurkice Pouncey, Emmanuel Moody, Mike Pouncey, David nelson, Aaron Hernandez, Deonte Thompson, Jeff Demps, and Rick Burgess."

"We had three players of the game...Marcus Gilbert played his finest game and is really coming on, it seems like have said that a couple of times this year. Tim Tebow and then Riley Cooper played great as well."

Champions on Defense...

"Jermaine Cunningham, Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Spikes, Major Wright, Ahmad Black, and Will Hill."

"No surprise the defensive player of the game is A.J. Jones. He didn't play very well as a redshirt freshman. He got beat out, didn't practice well and had weight issues. He is now the poster child for hard work and doing things the right way."

"It is great to be home. The great thing about being 8-0 is the opportunity to be 9-0. Our players had a great day of practice yesterday. Lets look forward to getting them back on Tuesday and ready to go."

Media: Did you have a chance to look at the Brandon Spikes incident?

Urban Meyer: "Yeah I did, I don't condone that and there is no place in football for that. I talked to Brandon we are going to suspend him for the first half of the Vanderbilt game. That's not who he is. That isn't who we are. He got caught up in emotion. I love Brandon Spikes and our team does. We are going to move on and he has our full support."

"It is hard. I just spoke with him not too long ago. I think he needs to understand that we all understand the game off football and it is very emotional. Things happened in that game in particular on both sides...but the bottom line is we are Florida and he is Brandon Spikes and we expect certain things. He understands. I did speak to the commissioner (about it)."

Media: How hard is Spikes to reign in?

Urban Meyer: "You want to coach, there are fish and non-fish...fish that lay there on the dock, he isn't that way at all. But, he isn't a bad guy...he's a great guy. I want to coach passionate guys, we teach passion. But we want to play within the rules. You want to coach, there are fish and non-fish...fish that lay there on the dock, he isn't that way at all. But, he isn't a bad guy...he's a great guy. I want to coach passionate guys, we teach passion. But we want to play within the rules."

Media: Comment on A.J. Jones turn around.

Urban Meyer: "Its what turns it around for a lot of teams. How do you fix the red zone issues? Go work at it. How do you improve yourself as a player? Get in football position, get stronger, get your weight up, get with Coach Mick and of course Coach Strong. Above all he is a high character guy and the correlation to that and a guy that turns into a player is pretty high."

Media: How much stuff the team has been through, is every year challenging like this?

Urban Meyer: "Every minute is like that, especially at Florida. If you want to coach at Florida, ( all our assistant coaches and there is so much pressure to perform), go do whatever you want to do go and chill and relax. As a player they're plenty of places to play and at half empty stadiums. At Florida you have to play at a very high level. In the 90's it was the same way. At Florida, you have to be really good player, really good coach, and play at a high level, and you have to be on edge. Billy Donovan told our team that if you aren't on edge you are not a good team and not a good athlete....so, we are always on edge. I love that and I know our players do to. The real one's love it and the players are thriving on that right now."

"It gets really good when you see Maurkice Pouncey standing on his chair, raising his helmet, and singing the fight song...that's when it gets really good. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, that is hard work but I think our players feel the same way. You are also competing in one of the highest academic schools in America, that is every day. But, the rewards are phenomenal. It is good to walk around wit a bunch of championship rings, a chance to get a degree from a great school and play every game on national television. Wee care blessed to have a football team that is thriving on this right now."

Media: Anything on kick returner Warren Norman of Vanderbilt?

Urban Meyer: "He has three (touchdowns). This is the year of kickoff returners in the conference. I always look at ho he did it again. When you see he did it against South Carolina and Georgia Tech, he has great speed and a great athlete. We have a pretty good kickoff coverage team though, the best one we have had in five years."

Media: How do you move on and motivate after a successful game like that and w3inning the SEC East?

Urban Meyer: "We played pretty good defense all year, but if you ask Coach Strong, we didn't play our best defensive game. We created four turnovers and created great field position that is what allowed the defense to maybe not play at the same level. That is what is great about coaching this team with expectations, they are very upset about how they played and thought they could have played much better. Think about that for a minute."

"On offense, that was probably the best first quarter (against quality competition), I thought Coach Addazio did a brilliant job of mixing run and pass, also Scot Loeffler did a great job. I felt really good about that first half. In the second half we played the field position game and have a tendency to do that when your defense is playing so well. Just get that win."

Media: What were some of the main differences about the offense?

Urban Meyer: "We didn't audible a lot, we let them play. We broke the contain with Tim. We got him on the edge a little bit more. We felt like Georgia's inside guys (were good) and we wanted to get it into a little bit of an edge game and we did from the first play when Demps got outside that first drive was tremendous, we went back and forth, inside and outside. We didn't do a lot of at the line stuff in calling plays."

Media: Why are we seeing a Dunlap and Cunningham's resurgence?

Urban Meyer: "Jermaine Cunningham, went through a little bit of a groin injury for a while, and he is as tough as they get. They have worked very hard in practice and when you force teams into throwing situations is when you create the sacks and that is what happened Saturday."

Media: Status on health of Chris Rainey?

Urban Meyer: "He is questionable for this game. He has had that before...there is a chance he will play."

Media: Omar Hunter and his rise?

Urban Meyer: "It's the correlation between a high character guy and from a good family and it works out. It didn't work out his first year because of a back injury, weight issue, expectation level. He is going to be a really, really good player here. Our coaches love him and our players have a lot of respect for him.

Media: Assess the play with Tebow under center?

Urban Meyer: "It is a mind set. I thought when we got the turnover at Mississippi State and scored a touchdown down there. I think the mindset that we ran an off tackle power play against a very talented team for nine yards and you saw them (look puzzled). It isn't the most thrilling and exciting style, but it is a mindset and with our personnel we should be able to do more of that. I am very pleased with what we've done and we might see more. Tim is getting more comfortable underneath center. The first thing is always ball security and you have two trustworthy people in Tim Tebow and Maurkice Pouncey managing that part of it."

Media:What about the status of Brandon Antwine?

Urban Meyer: "They haven't made a final determination yet but your heart bleeds for him. He is all Gator and 100% and a really good player. He tried to go again (in one game), and got two plays in and is fighting like a maniac. If he does have surgery I think it is over. We might try to stabilize it with strength, but the decision has not been made."

Media:What about Mike Gillislee?

Urban Meyer: "Mike Gillislee played his best game as a Florida Gator. To watch him ten yards out in front and disrupt that whole kick off return of Georgia...He has a tug on his hamstring and is 50/50. I think he will play. We will sit him out until Wednesday, him and Hicks both have hamstrings issues right now."

Media:Which side of the ball stands out?

Urban Meyer: "The size of their inside guys and they are very sound on defense. They are going to make you earn everything you get. Number five is a very good defensive back and did a good job against us last year. They are a very sound football team and the number one concern is the coverage units. There is a lot of emphasis and we have to cover kicks like we did last week."

Media: What about Tim's eye black and the Bible verses?

Urban Meyer: "I have such respect for Tim. I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't mind when my middle daughter texts me every time what Tim is wearing and looks up the verse and texts it to me...I think that is cool."

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