Meyer Concerned with Vandy's Special Teams

The Florida Gators special teams units are always some of the best in the nation. That has been no different this year. When the Gators take on Vanderbilt Saturday, the Gators will again be tested. The Commodores freshman return man Warren Norman has already returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, one coming last week against Georgia Tech.

It didn't take Florida head coach Urban Meyer long to answer when he was asked what is the biggest matchup he was worrying about.

"The number one matchup is they have a freshman kick returner who has three touchdowns," Meyer said.

The kickoff team might get Wondy Pierre-Louis back from a hamstring injury this week to help stop Norman. Pierre-Louis missed the Georgia game because of the injury he suffered at Mississippi State. Meyer said Pierre-Louis was running around at practice Tuesday.

While the Gators may be getting Pierre-Louis back, another kickoff team player could be out.

Mike Gillislee hurt his hamstring at the end of the Georgia game. He play a crucial role on the kickoff unit, and Meyer wants to make sure he is back in time for Vandy.

"Mike Gillislee is getting better. We're not going to push it until Thursday because his value is so strong on the kickoff cover. He's got to go about eight plays a game as hard he can."

The Gators got Dorian Munroe back last Saturday. He had been out since before the season with a knee injury and missed last season with a torn ACL.

"Dorian was great to see get in the game. He was on kickoff, he was on punt, he was on punt return," Meyer said. "It was great to have him back."


- Gillislee injured the hamstring while playing running back late in the game. Despite his strong showing at running back, it is unlikely he will see much time early in games at the position. "He hasn't earned that right yet. He's an end of the game guy, but someday he might. He's starting to earn a little bit of trust around here."


- RB Chris Rainey also got injured against the Bulldogs. He injured his shoulder, but Meyer thinks he has a chance to play. Rainey and Deonte Thompson practiced but neither was allowed to be hit. "Rainey practiced today. He was good today. He had a yellow shirt on, which yellow shirt means you cannot be touched, he and Deonte. Deonte has a chip on the rib, but I think (Rainey) is going to play. I was very impressed he came out and practiced today."


- Meyer addressed the Brandon Spikes situation again. He said he talked with defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, Athletic Director Jeremy Foley and someone from the commissioner's office before deciding on suspending him for a half. Other than that he was unwilling to say much. "We're going to have a really positive meeting here, and that's our team played really well. I just want to talk about positive stuff."


- With the possible move of Jordan Reed from quarterback to tight end and Tim Tebow's departure, the Gators could be left with just one quarterback on scholarship returning. Meyer believes it would be hard to bring in more than one quarterback they want in next year's signing class. "It's hard to sign more than one."


- It seems these days CBs Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden just aren't thrown on much, but Meyer doesn't think they are the only ones who deserve the praise for that. "It's not just corners. The pass rush has been good."


- Vandy QB Larry Smith got hurt during its game last week and will be unavailable for Saturday game, forcing Mackenzi Adams to start in his place. Meyer did not speak much about Adams, but he did throw Smith a compliment. "The guy who got hurt is a tremendous athlete."

While he was at it, Meyer tossed one to Vandy coach Bobby Johnson. "I think Bobby is one of the best coaches in the conference."

Fightin Gators Top Stories