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)

Florida Gators say offense improving, with more needed

GAINESVILLE — Despite all the criticism being heaped upon the offense, Florida's head coach and quarterback said Monday that they are just fine with where they are — for now.

Florida hosts Kentucky on Saturday night, then comes its much-anticipated showdown at Alabama on Oct. 2, which will be at 8 p.m. on Ch. 10.

If in that span the Gators don't vastly improve, Urban Meyer said, they might have problems.

"There's one way that we evaluate quarterbacks here, and he's 3-0 as a starter at Florida, so that's pretty good," Meyer said when asked about how John Brantley is progressing. "We went on the road (to Tennessee) and won the game. To say we're thrilled with where we are offensively, that would be a false statement. To say that he's handled himself very well, to say he's managing the team, to say that he does throw a very nice pass — he hit five third and longs against Tennessee — those are all very good. We just need to keep improving some.

"We're pleased with where we're at; we just need to improve. If we're where we're at right now in a couple of weeks, the answer is no."

Florida is ranked 103rd out of 120 Division I-A teams in passing offense (150.67), 61st in passing efficiency (130.95) and 92nd in total offense (319.0).

But Brantley insisted the Gators are better now than when the season began.

"I think we're really developing as a team," he said. "We're doing a lot of great things. We've got a couple of things to fix up, but there's some really promising stuff in there. And we all know that."

Threat of speed: When he began to study video of Florida this week, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips noticed one big thing: the Gators' speed.

And that, Phillips said, is one of the biggest challenges the Wildcats will face Saturday night.

"We've got a huge challenge this week," Phillips said. "The speed of the game will change drastically, and we've got to be ready to match it. And also match the intensity."

"Urban's comment when he took the job was he wanted to recruit the fastest team in the country, and if they're not, they are one of the fastest teams in the country," Phillips said.

Jenkins honored: LB Jelani Jenkins was named SEC freshman of the week. He had a career-high six tackles (two solo) in Saturday's win over Tennessee, including his first career sack. Jenkins' 15 total tackles ranks third among SEC freshmen and third on the team in total tackles.

Coach's concern: When Meyer heard about Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio's heart attack early Sunday after the Spartans' overtime win over Notre Dame, his immediate thoughts went to the coach and his family. Dantonio, 54, had surgery to put a stent in a blocked blood vessel leading to his heart, hours after he called a fake field goal that led to the win.

"I know him. I know him very well," Meyer said. "He's a great man, a great family man. I just want everybody to take care of themselves. … The minute I saw it, I was like, 'Oh, no.' And I made some calls and found out he's going to be okay. He's a classy guy."

Meyer abruptly quit Dec. 26 citing health problems, including severe chest pains he thought were an indication of heart trouble.

And Meyer's thoughts on the MSU play?

"Great freakin' call, too, man," Meyer said. "That's the call. Have you ever seen that? I've never seen that before. I got nervous when I saw it."

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

Florida Gators say offense improving, with more needed 09/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win

    Blogs

    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  2. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  4. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  5. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)