Urban Meyer Teleconference

Urban Meyer participated in his weekly teleconference on Wednesday. He answered questions about the upcoming matchup with FIU and the current state of affairs with his No. 1 ranked Florida Gators. Here is what was said...

Media: What is the upside to playing a team like FIU?

Urban Meyer: "I have a little more respect for South Florida athletes. I think this is going to be a good football game and a team and will be in a bowl game in a couple of years like FAU along with central Florida and South Florida. We have a lot of respect for them and are going to prepare to get our 11th win."

Media: Talk about the role that Mickey Marotti has had in 4th quarter?

Urban Meyer: "The most noticeable one was in the SECCG and the national championship game when the team stepped up. I think that is about recruiting and development, and I am very biased but we have the best strength coach in America. That isn't that hard to evaluate. Is your team safe, are they in control at the end of the game. Those are all major check marks in our program right now."

Media: Is the depth partly responsible for the really strong fourth quarter play from the defense?

Urban Meyer: "Everything is personnel related and if you have a little rotation going in your defense The key is we have to keep developing and good programs are always on the move. You either get better or worse. That is why recruiting is so important because we all know when you have good recruits you have a point that they leave, so we have to just keep building."

Media: Nick Saban mentioned a couple of months ago that helmets are coming off, maybe more frequently this season...have you noticed that? And why?

Urban Meyer: "Yes I have and they have double straps, that are very uncomfortable to have those things strapped properly. I don't think helmets just come off, I think player just have a tendency to lose their helmets. e just talked to our guys about that and there is a safety hazard involved. I see it coming off more than ever and I investigated it and it's because they a play with one buckle or they just wear it looser."

Media: Obviously you need a good defense to win championship, why do you think defenses are making all the headlines this year?

Urban Meyer: "We believe in my history in football and in watching it that teams with sound defenses and good special teams relate to better offense. Last year our offense got a lot of publicity, but we won the championship because of great defense."

Media: How do you keep emotions in check for these next three weeks.

Urban Meyer: "We are kind of used to it around here. We have been very fortunate in the last year and a half. We are still in full pads on every Tuesday and had a good practice yesterday. We aren't worried about emotions. When you are working real hard, guys aren't yelling and cheering, they are focused on stopping or moving the ball. We have that under control and a lot of experience with these type of emotional games that are coming up."

Media: What does it say about your team that there is no mention from them of FSU or Bama, but just FIU?

Urban Meyer: "That isn't just me putting a gag order on them. They understand they have to get a lot better. We are still trying to find the right mix o n the offensive line and right mix in certain situations. We don't have time."

Media: Where was Stephen Garcia's biggest improvement this year?

Urban Meyer: "There were a couple of throws that he made that were tremendous. Coach Spurrier has always been trying to get the right play with the right defenses. I felt like last year you could rattle him with different coverages and this time he did a better job."

Media: Did the blitz rattle him late in the game?

Urban Meyer: "What happens is when you make a team one dimensional they . In the first half they moved the ball on us as well as anyone. Then, in the fourth quarter, it is every defensive coordinator's dream when you can put your cleats in the ground and your butts in the air and rush the quarterback, we have some pretty good personnel. When it is that time of the game, it is a nightmare for the offense, especially when you play a team with talented pass rushers. That was what happened, we didn't blitz, we just teed off because they were down a little bit."

Media: You said yesterday there were up to seven juniors eligible for the draft, how much does the potential for a rookie salary cap complicate the matter of guys leaving?

Urban Meyer: "I have not spent one second on that, our strength coach helps guys (deal with that) after the season. Guys will come in and ask me and I'm not aware yet. I will fond out more after the season, we won't give it any thought until after the season is over."

Media: You got one of the big plays you were wanting from Riley Cooper against South Carolina, did you expect the really big numbers to be down this much after Percy and Murphy left?

Urban Meyer: "I was concerned about it. Anytime you lose really talented guys. You are always worried about that and then DT got hurt and that set him back. I was expecting a few more hits from our tailbacks than we have had so far. I still think we can be very productive the last part of the season."

Media: Do the receivers need to step up with some really big plays this year.

Urban Meyer: "Yes we do, I am still confident with the big play by Coop last week and against Georgia we made some plays. We just have to keep working on it."

Media: Can we get more of the catch the ball short and take off?

Urban Meyer: "We have had some opportunities, I can remember Bubba Caldwell took a bubble screen and went 60 yards and we haven't had that this year."

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