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Florida Gators don't plan big changes

Gerald Christian, left, and his teammates head to the sideline after the Gators lost a fumble during a loss at Alabama.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Gerald Christian, left, and his teammates head to the sideline after the Gators lost a fumble during a loss at Alabama.

GAINESVILLE — Upon further review, Florida coach Urban Meyer said the Gators' 31-6 loss to Alabama could be summed up quite easily.

"We didn't play well," he said.

But despite the problems, including red zone offensive production, a struggling ground game and red zone defense, Meyer said he doesn't expect to make wholesale personnel changes as the Gators prepare to host LSU on Saturday night.

"If there was one issue that had to be corrected, we always make changes if we have to," Meyer said Monday morning. "At this point, I'd say, I don't know, we're still going through the evaluation process. Significant changes? No, absolutely not."

Meyer said that over the next few days he and the coaching staff will evaluate the problems that plagued the Gators against Alabama and attempt corrections.

"The one thing that happens when you fail in a big game is whose fault was it, and let's fix the fault," he said. "Everybody wants to know, whose fault was it? What happened? And it's our job to figure it out. If it was one person's fault, then you make a change and you do what you've got to do. Absolutely it wasn't one person's fault. It was several."

Meyer and the players were upbeat Monday, saying Alabama was a great team but that the Gators contributed greatly in their demise.

"If we don't throw two of those picks and we have red zone efficiency, we're in that thing," Meyer said.

WHAT LUCK?: You can call LSU and coach Les Miles lucky all you want after last weekend's 16-14 last-second win over Tennessee, but Miles said tenacity and a refusal to give up contributed to that victory.

The Vols held LSU on a goal-line stand in what they believed was the last play of the game. But a review of the play revealed UT had 13 players on the field, allowing LSU one extra play. RB Stevan Ridley scored from the 1 to give the Tigers the victory.

Despite rampant criticism of the coaching staff's clock management in the final minutes of the game, Miles said he won't apologize for celebrating that win.

"The key is to win, and certainly we are not happy how we did it," Miles said. "Our football team understands and the coaching staff understands, but how wonderful it was that we took a ball in 19 plays and put it in the end zone. How wonderful it was that our players fought like hell to get the victory. I can't underscore that enough. I have to enjoy that there is a lot of fight in that team."

For the record, Meyer said he doesn't believe in luck and views LSU as a talented, well-prepared team. The Gator players agreed.

"I had a high school coach that used to say luck is preparation meeting opportunity," LB Duke Lemmens said.

DEMPS STRUGGLING: Still limping with a sprained left foot he suffered in the Sept. 18 Tennessee game, Florida RB Jeff Demps said Monday that he was about 90 percent for the Alabama game and he's still struggling with the injury. Demps said he didn't know until "right before the game" whether he would be able to play against the Tide.

"I'm getting treatment every day, and the trainers are doing a good job of trying to get me back," he said.

With a limited Demps, Florida was only able to gain 79 rushing yards against Alabama. Demps accounted for 47 on 11 carries.

He said the injury is hampering his play.

"It bothers me when I'm running, and also it bothers me when I try to cut, plant or come back," Demps said. "I'm trying to tough it out, but at the same time, I think it's affecting me."

Demps said he'll attempt to practice today, and he's unsure if he can return kickoffs this week.

TV OPTIONS: Florida's Oct. 16 game against Mississippi State will either kick off at 3:30 on CBS, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 or at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. CBS is exercising its six-day option to decide which game it will cover. Most likely, if the Gators lose Saturday, CBS will pass on next week's game.

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

Florida Gators don't plan big changes 10/04/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 4, 2010 10:22pm]
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