Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Belichick has advice for Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE — Fresh off a 50-point win over South Carolina, the Gators' greatest enemy heading into this weekend's nonconference game against unranked Citadel may be themselves.

Which explains why one of the voice mails on Urban Meyer's phone over the last 24 hours was from close friend and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Florida has outscored opponents 299-63 since a Sept. 27 loss to Ole Miss, and its defense has risen to No. 6 in the nation.

Who knows better than Belichick what it's like to have a team that's dominating opponents, and making it look easy in the process? And who knows better how the hype that accompanies being ranked No. 3 and remaining in the national title hunt can adversely affect a team?

"I had a very nice call from Coach Belichick, and he said just make sure you stay on top of them because they are going to be hearing how good they are," Meyer said Sunday morning. "When you watch film, we still can be a lot better."

NO CHANGE: Florida remained at No. 4 in the BCS rankings, and at No. 3 in the AP and USA Today coaches poll. The Gators received one first-place vote in the coaches' poll. The computers are a little less kind. Florida is No. 5 behind undefeated Utah (fourth), Texas (third), Alabama (two) and No. 1 Texas Tech.

The rankings, Florida's recent performance and the fact the Gators remain in the national title conversation were all part of Sunday night's prepractice conversation, but Meyer said he's not nearly as concerned about his team losing focus as he might have been weeks ago.

"That's why we talk about it every Sunday," he said. "I would probably give our players a little more credit than that, even if they hear it. I'm not worrying about the players. I worry about the parents and relatives and the friends and the students and you guys (media). I don't worry about it as much with our players.

''But when you continually get pounded with that …''

JAMES IN RECORD BOOKS: With his 39-yard punt return late in the third quarter, junior return specialist Brandon James broke another school record. James' 427 punt-return yards set a single-season record, surpassing Jacquez Green's 392 yards in 1997. His 1,044 career punt-return yards also are a Florida record, surpassing Keiwan Ratliff's 860 from 2000-03.

INJURY UPDATE: OL Jason Watkins (concussion) is probable for Saturday, while OL Carl Johnson (MCL) is questionable. LB Brandon Spikes (sprained ankle) will play.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Belichick has advice for Florida Gators 11/16/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Kevin Cash: "We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence"

    Blogs

    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to turn it around,'' Cash said. "You can only delay it for so long and …

  2. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue

    Blogs

    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.
  3. Rays, Bucs and Lightning join Dungy in donating to move Confederate monument

    Bucs

    The Tampa Bay area's three major league sports teams have pledged their financial support in moving a Confederate monument out of downtown Tampa.

    Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]
  4. Tim Tebow came into their life, and never left

    Minors

    There are a lot of stories about Tim Tebow connecting with people during his life, Tebow inspiring them and Tebow being inspired.

    Boomer Hornbeck of Naples, Fla., has battled cerebral palsy and undergone surgery after surgery in the hopes of allowing him to one day walk. Inspired by Tim Tebow, and encouraged by his relationship with him, Hornbeck has become a motivational speaker.
  5. For starters: Rays at Jays, with Longoria moved to No. 2 spot in order

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 3:10: Cash said the change was made primarily for two reasons, to change the look for several of the hitters and to get back to alternating lefty and righty hitters to make it tougher for opposing managers to match up relievers. Cash said he plans to stick with this structure for a while but doesn't …

    Evan Longoria was moved from his usual No. 3 spot in the batting order up to second.