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. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …