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)

No. 1 Florida Gators hope to find cure for troubles in red zone

GAINESVILLE — Normally, Florida coach Urban Meyer insists that his assistant coaches shut down the lights and head home by 10 p.m. every night.

His theory is simple: An exhausted coach isn't a very effective one, and he wants his coaches to be rested during the crucial, yet limited, time they can have contact with players.

"Some of them will fight me," Meyer said. "Some won't. Some of them are sprinting out of here at 10 o'clock."

But this past Sunday night was different. Nobody left the building.

With its red zone offense becoming a serious cause for alarm, the staff dedicated its Sunday to figuring out exactly what's going wrong — and how to fix it.

"We grinded (Sunday night); it was all red zone," Meyer said. "We watched every red zone snap of the year. We evaluated every snap of the year. And what we're finding out is it's not, in our opinion, it's not the play-calling. We've got to hold to the plan. You know, sometimes, we are making a call that's not on the call sheet. And that's my fault. We're going to stick to the call sheet, but we're going to do a better job of the call sheet. We're not just going to do it on Wednesday; we're going to do it earlier than that. We already have some on paper that we're going to start working."

Of Florida's 76 offensive snaps inside the 20-yard line in SEC games, QB Tim Tebow is 4-of-16 with one interception and has rushed 42 times for 76 yards and three touchdowns. The Gators have been penalized three times, fumbled twice, given up five sacks and made 12 of 15 field goals.

"We're moving the ball, and we're moving it at ease pretty much up and down the field, and then we're just having struggles with things that we really haven't had struggles with," said Tebow, who was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien award Monday. "So it's kind of new, and it is frustrating."

Florida (7-0, 5-0 SEC) is looking to remedy the situation as it heads into Jacksonville this weekend to face Georgia (4-3, 3-2).

No tebow snub intended: After taking some shots from national media for skipping out on postgame interviews after Saturday night's win, Tebow set the record straight, saying it had nothing to do with frustration over how he performed.

"There were a lot of other things I wanted to do, not that this (interviews) isn't important, and I've always tried to be courteous," Tebow said. "I wanted to go see Coach (Dan) Mullen (former UF offensive coordinator). I wanted to go see my family. I had a lot of friends that were at the game. We were kind of in meetings for a little; it's not like we got out quickly. I wanted to see Coach Mullen. … I gave him a big hug, talked to him for a while. He said, 'Just go win another title. Everything's in front of you.' He could see I was a little bit frustrated after the game, too, because we wanted obviously to score and do everything a little better. He was just happy to see me, happy to talk to me."

Butler injured: UF women's basketball coach Amanda Butler had surgery Monday morning to repair a torn Achilles' tendon she suffered playing intramural flag football Saturday night on campus. Butler, 37, was a standout basketball player at UF in 1990-94 and was offensive MVP in the Swamp Bowl in the Florida intramural flag football league in which she played quarterback in 1994. "She'll recover nicely," UF assistant coach Susie Gardner said Monday. "Coach Butler battled injuries throughout her collegiate career, so this will be nothing new for her."

Kickoff set: Kickoff for Florida's Nov. 7 home game against Vanderbilt was set for 7:15 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, to be announced next week.

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

No. 1 Florida Gators hope to find cure for troubles in red zone 10/26/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 26, 2009 8:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned


    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers


    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.