Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Urban Meyer, Florida Gators turn attention to 'one-game season'

GAINESVILLE — After weeks of downplaying the SEC title game so his team could remain focused on the opponent at hand, Florida coach Urban Meyer acknowledged Sunday that it's a relief to finally get to championship week.

And he's in no way downplaying the significance now. With rival Florida State out of the way and UF's undefeated regular season now part of school history, the Gators have turned their full attention to Saturday's showdown with Alabama, beginning with a team meeting Sunday.

"We realize with playing in the SEC Championship comes an enormous amount of obligation and responsibility," Meyer said. "And that means getting ready to play a great football team in a great environment, and we're anxious to do it."

Meyer said Saturday is the equivalent of "a one-game season."

"When it's 1 vs. 2, college football wants this game," he said. "I've been hearing it for a long time and trying to ignore it and put it back. And I know our players have been."

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong believes the defenses will be the key to the game. Florida is No. 1 in Division I-A in total defense (233.08 yards a game) and scoring defense (9.83), while Alabama is No. 3 (233.92) and No. 2 (10.83), respectively. UF is No. 1 in passing defense, and Alabama is No. 2 in rushing defense.

"Whoever can play the best defense will win this football game," Strong said. "Our guys understand that, I don't even have to say that."

The Gators like the challenge. "I like the way they play," CB Joe Haden said. "They play hard on defense, they run the ball good and Julio (Jones) is a great receiver."

INJURY UPDATE: Junior RB Emmanuel Moody's status remains uncertain after missing the past two weeks with a sprained ankle.

"He's still questionable," Meyer said. "Saw him (Sunday), said he's feeling a lot better. Tried to practice last Wednesday, Thursday, and it wasn't right."

CB Janoris Jenkins left the FSU game with a strained hip but is expected to play.

INGRAM TO PLAY: Alabama RB Mark Ingram is expected to play against the Gators despite suffering a hip pointer against Auburn. Ingram is the league's top rusher, averaging 127 yards per game.

"I think he'll be fine," coach Nick Saban said. "… We'll see more (today) and how he moves around practice."

Antonya English can be reached at or (813) 226-3389.

Urban Meyer, Florida Gators turn attention to 'one-game season' 11/29/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 29, 2009 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

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

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)