Spurrier and the Gators discuss LSU

Comments from Florida coach Steve Spurrier and selected Gator players from their media gathering on Tuesday, Oct. 2.


ON MISSISSIPPI STATE: "The game last week came too easily for us. We had guys wide open. Mississippi State, like their coach said, didn't play very well. I hope we are smart enough to realize that it came too easily. They dropped a bunch of passes. Our defense played well but if they would have caught a few of those here and there certainly they would have had the chance to score.

Certainly, it was an outstanding defensive effort. Offensively we did a lot of good things. We had some errant plays here and there but overall we obviously did pretty good. I really think the tough games are going to begin this week. We are not going to get ahead of everybody we play."

ON LSU: "LSU, I think maybe they are picked to win the west. They played Tennessee pretty much down to the wire, what, 26-18 in Knoxville. They are a good team. They are going to be ready. They want to beat us. It is going to be a tough, difficult game. Hopefully, we can really be excited about this one because we go to Baton Rouge this week."

ON NOT BEING OVERCONFIDENT: "It is early in the year, four games out of, hopefully, 13, maybe 12, who knows. Sometimes you always worry about guys that have big games and start getting too much attention. They were asking me earlier about Rex and I said well I hope Rex learned his lesson from last year because he had two really good games against LSU and Auburn and then Georgia we had to take him out in the second quarter. I guess had to take him out against South Carolina too. He realizes he needs to prepare well and he realizes, I hope, that he can play better.

We had some plays the other day and he misfired on some guys and he shouldn't have. Those were the same routes he overthrew Benny Troupe and he got clobbered and then he overthrew Reche and he got clobbered. He threw it way too far on both of those. Then we ran it again and he zinged it in there to Benny for the touchdown. At least he learned. Rex is still learning. Things still happen that I didn't cover that in the game.

So, hopefully, we can get him coached up a little bit better too. I take partial blame for some of those times he went back and held it and took off running. We sent the play in wrong one time and the other time he just wasn't ready to hit another guy. He was waiting for another guy to get open and there was someone open in the throwing lane. Anyway, he can play better and I think he knows that. It is still way early in the season."

ON PLAYING IN DEATH VALLEY: "It is going to be loud. Their fans get into it. We got what we deserved that night (in 1997) to tell you the truth. With the interceptions, one went for a touchdown and one went to about the six and they scored on the next play. It was tough during that stretch."

ON FEEDING OFF HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: "We just anticipate loud noise. We don't anticipate being able to audible a lot. You just have to anticipate it and go. Here at home we have a little bit more of a game plan of listening to the quarterback do some things. At least at home you can hear your quarterback. A lot of times on the road, you can't hear anything."

ON LSU DEFENSE: "LSU has a pretty good defense. I noticed that they said their defensive back did not play too well against Tennessee. Tennessee hit a bunch of fade routes against their receiver. I don't know if they will play a lot of bump and run a lot, but the other part of their defense is tough. Their recruiting is always top ten, I think last year it was number one in some of those polls. They have ball players at LSU. They always have had ball players. I think they are well coached and to beat them you have to go beat them."

ON ROHAN DAVEY: "He is a good player. He has been a very good player for them the last couple of years. Seems to be a good leader on their team."


ON HIS GENERAL THOUGHTS OF LSU: "LSU is coming off a loss to Tennessee in a game that they probably could have won."

"I tell you what, they get a 'hat on a hat,' and they do a good job of executing their offense. I think they are averaging something like 178 yards a game rushing, so obviously a big concern of ours is that we have to do a good job in shutting down the run and try to make them as one dimensional as you can."

ON LSU'S RECEIVERS: "Josh Reed is an awfully talented receiver, and so is Jerel Myers. [Michael] Clayton, who is a freshman, is a tall guy who has tremendous speed. They are one of the offenses that we will face this year also that the tight end plays a huge part in what they do, With (Robert) Royal and Joe Domingeaux. They've got a lot of weapons, and we've got to play extremely well and have to stay focused and prepare for this game because of all the weapons they do have."

ON LSU QUARTERBACK ROHAN DAVEY: "If you watched the Peach Bowl last year, he was tremendous. He is a tough guy who stays in the pocket. He'll take some hits, but he knows how to deliver the football and he makes plays for them. I think he is the leader of their offense, and I think they rally around him to some degree."

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP PLAYING ON THE ROAD THIS WEEK: "As I challenged our defensive team yesterday, I think our maturity and our leadership is going to be challenged in this game. We are going to find out if we are mature enough to go on the road and play in a stadium that is not going to be like 'The Swamp' and as comfortable as that is."

ON THE BALANCE OF LSU'S OFFENSE: 'They have as much skill as we will see. They have as many weapons. They have an excellent tailback, they have excellent receivers, their tight end is involved, and I really have a lot of respect for their quarterback."

ON LSU RECEIVER JOSH REED: "You have to concentrate on him. He makes a lot of plays for them. The thing that makes it a little more difficult is that they have Jerel Myers who is also a good football player too. You've got to be aware of where they are all the time."

ON LSU RUNNING BACK LABRANDON TOEFIELD: "He's a good back. He's high in the nation in scoring, and I know that. He played against us last year some, and then he's really come on this year."

ON LSU QUARTERBACK ROHAN DAVEY: "He does a good job of avoiding the rush. He'll step around, and he can move a little bit in the pocket. People don't think he is very mobile, but I think he is a little more mobile than people think. He's not going to take a sack very often, and he does a good job of getting rid of the ball when he needs to."


ON LSU'S PASS DEFENSE: "(Tennessee receiver Kelly Washington) had a big game against them. Their pass defense isn't doing too well right now, so I'm sure Coach Spurrier is looking at them and he is coming up with a plan for us right now."

ON THE LAST TIME FLORIDA PLAYED LSU ON THE ROAD: "That was my redshirt year, and we came away with a victory. I don't know how pretty it was or whatever, but I know we won."


ON LSU QUARTERBACK ROHAN DAVEY: "He was a little injured coming into last year's game, and you could kind of tell. This year on film and just reading the papers and everything, he really seems like the leader of that team. He is healthy and he's ready to come run that offense and be their leader."

ON LSU'S OFFENSE: "It is going to be our biggest challenge yet. You look at their receivers and they are loaded. They have four or five wide receivers that are really good and they are going to be hard to stop. From a defensive back's standpoint, that is going to be our biggest challenge."

ON LSU'S BACKFIELD: "They have two or three running backs that look good when you put them in there. I guess one guy was moved from defense to offense and they kind of put him wherever they need him. He is tough as well when he gets in there, so we are going to have our hands full."

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP ON A ROAD GAME: "That's what Coach [Jon] Hoke told us this week. He said our leadership is really going to be tested going on the road in a big road game with a hostile environment. It's going to show what our leaders are all about and what our defense is all about."

ON THE DEFENSE LAST SEASON: "We've been pretty confident in the guys we have there. We just tried to not pay attention to the media so much and to people outside "the family," and to really just listen to what our coaches say and what our captains and leaders are saying."

ON THE CONFIDENCE LAST WEEK'S SHUTOUT GAVE THE DEFENSE: "It felt good. It might have boosted our confidence a little bit, but we know that Mississippi State isn't the most explosive offense we are going to face. We know that our hands are going to be full when we go up to Louisiana."

ON LSU RECEIVER JOSH REED: "He is a guy you have to look after, but you can't concentrate on him too much because they really have about four or five receivers that can really hurt you if you overlook them."


ON LSU QUARTERBACK ROHAN DAVEY: "He's just a good player and a good play maker. Once he starts making plays, his confidence rises and the whole team's confidence rises. It's a big snowball effect and I think you can see that."


ON LSU LAST YEAR: "I think that we had something to prove since we didn't play well in the Mississippi State last year. With LSU coming here, I think that we took care of business and stepped it up."

ON ROHAN DAVEY: "We faced him last year. He is a tough quarterback. He likes to sit in the pocket. From what I have seen on film, he likes to take the hit. Guys are bouncing off of him. He is big guy too so we are going to have to hit him and hit him low."

ON NOT COMING OUT COMPLACENT: "After a big win like that [vs. MSU], you do not want to get complacent. We still have to take care of business, this is the SEC."


ON NOT BEING OVERCONFIDENT: "I don't think being too full of ourselves is going to happen. Last week we played well but that was just a building block for this week. Anytime you play a SEC opponent you have to be ready to play. I guess last week it was the biggest game of our lives and this week this is the biggest game of our lives. Just like next week will be. Anytime we play a team in the SEC, this is our whole season on the line right here. We have to go in that realizing that and not being overconfident. We just have to go in and play the best we can because they are going to play the best they can. It is pretty simple, everyone knows that we can't get too full of ourselves because we have a lot of improving to do."

ON LSU'S DEFENSE: "They are a good defensive team. WE have to be ready for them. They have great linebackers. They run very well. They are big guys. We have our work cut out for us. I think all of their defensive tackles are back from last year. They were good last year. So, we just have to be ready to go out there and play."

ON LSU ENVIRONMENT: "I know LSU is going to be loud. It will be interesting to see how loud it really is and how well we communicate. It is something that you cannot really train for, you have to actually be physically in it and keep your assignments simple. Hopefully, we can communicate well."


On LSU this week and the crowd: "Our audibles will be limited a little bit but for the most part it will be alright other than that."

On Tennessee's success against LSU passing defense: "We're not trying to match any numbers. Stats are just a side note. We're just trying to play well and get a good game plan in the next couple days, and go in and play well knowing what we're supposed to do and play well. We're not worried about trying to get stats or pick a weakness in their defense. We're just trying to get a good game plan going and execute on Saturday."

On LSU being ranked 111th in pass defense in the nation: "You never can tell though. Mississippi State was first, and look what happened (UF threw for 507 yards). Who knows what's going to happen? We're just going to try and play well."


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