Ole Miss victory helps legitimize Florida's one loss, players said
Count Florida LB Ryan Stamper among the SEC fans who were upset that Alabama lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Stamper, and several Gators said Saturday they are rooting for all SEC teams playing in bowl games this season.
“I was definitely surprised by the Alabama game,’’ Stamper said. “I was pretty upset by that. I thought they’d come ready to play.’’
The one that didn’t surprise the Gators was Ole Miss, which defeated No. 8 Texas Tech 47-34 in the Cotton Bowl.
The Rebels handed Florida its only loss earlier this season, and the Gators' players have insisted the loss was a combination of Ole Miss playing very well and people not giving the Rebels enough credit for being a good team.
“I know Ole Miss is a good team, so I wasn’t surprised,’’ DL Jermaine Cunningham said.
For the record, Stamper said if Florida played Ole Miss again, he’s confident the outcome would be different.
“Take nothing away from Ole Miss, they came ready to play,’’ Stamper said. “But if we played them again, we’d win.’’
Still, the Florida players acknowledged that the Ole Miss win further validates the one loss that sits on their schedule.
Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was the head coach at Utah before joining the Gators, said he couldn't be happier for the Utes and their staff.
"I watched as much as I could and talked to coach (Kyle) Whittingham today, and Gary Anderson, and I’m going to talk to (QB) Brian Johnson at some point,'' Meyer said. "I’m very proud of them.''
Asked what he thought about Johnson's comment that Utah should be No. 1 because it is the only undefeated team in the nation, Meyer responded: "I know Brian Johnson and I’d be disappointed if he said anything else.''
IN OTHER NEWS:
Meyer said he's close to naming a new QB coach to replace Dan Mullen following what he called "a thorough search.''
WR/RB Percy Harvin participated in nearly all of Saturday's practice, and is still expected to play in the BCS title game.