When Tim Tebow suffered a concussion against Kentucky in 2009, Florida head coach Urban Meyer made sure nobody knew the status of his starter until the next gameday arrived. Tebow played, but only after he was cleared and given the go-ahead in the 11th hour.
Now, quarterback John Brantley is banged up for the Gators. Meyer didn’t practice his starter the whole way on Sunday, and the team took a day’s rest before returning to the practice field on Tuesday. Meyer said on Wednesday that he expects Brantley to be ready, but Miles has his eyes on both the starter and backup Trey Burton – a true freshman whose legs will do more damage than his arm.
“You take the Vegas line down, that means they don’t trust the information,” said Miles of Florida’s quarterback situation. “You don’t know exactly what you are getting. It could be Brantley or someone else.”
“Burton has similarities with other Wildcat quarterbacks we have faced, and we are attacking him in that light. He’s more athletic than Tebow it appears. He’s a pretty talented guy.”
Of course, LSU also has injuries and quarterback problems to worry on.
The Tigers lost starting defensive end Sam Montgomery for the season, meaning that new bodies are being tried out at a position that suddenly has depth issues.
“We moved Justin Maclin to defensive end, just to give us some depth there,” Miles said. “Kendrick Adams practiced and we expect him to be ready to roll, and Lavar (Edwards) as well.”
Center P.J. Lonergan has practiced and will be ready for Saturday, while tight end Mitch Joseph – who was held back against Tennessee – is listed as questionable.
As for the quarterback shuffle, expect Tennessee Part II. Jordan Jefferson will get the start, but backup Jarrett Lee will take over on a number of series. While Lee had the better day passing against the Volunteers, Miles said to not expect Jefferson to be cut out of the aerial attack.
“We will certainly get a feel for what we think is best, but there is a good menu for both, and we expect both to have success,” Miles said. “It’s run and pass, but (it’s not the same). That’s no surprise, right? There are things you want one guy to do and things you want the other to do. But the ability to run and pass is there for both guys.”
The other hot topic: who’s calling the plays for the quarterbacks.
From where Miles sees it, a season’s best 434-yard offensive day doesn’t warrant any changes be made – at least at this point.
“I think the play calling, minus the gaff at the back end, was really excellent,” Miles said. “I want to keep those and get past the short span of time where mistakes were made.
“We talked about possibly being on the field for coach Crowton, more for the quarterbacks than anything. We are still talking but nothing has been done there officially. I am not certain that would work.”
When asked if the move was being mulled over in order to clear up communications between coaches, Miles reverted back to his passers.
“The communications between Gary and I, that’s not the issue,” he said. “It’s making sure the quarterbacks get the information and have someone to visit with immediately. They go to the phones, and that’s enough. But could it be better? Certainly.”
Though he has called plays from the sidelines in coaching stops before LSU, Crowton will – for now – remain in the booth.
“It may well be best that he’s upstairs,” Miles said. “The advantages are you see the field. You know what to expect, you know what they are doing. You know within the series what the defensive changes are, and it becomes so much easier to pick the play and know what you are expecting.”