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Florida Gators seeking more balance in offense for SEC games

Florida receiver Frankie Hammond says he’d love to haul in more passes like this one against Alabama last year, but that he’s happy to stick with what works as long as the Gators win.
Florida receiver Frankie Hammond says he’d love to haul in more passes like this one against Alabama last year, but that he’s happy to stick with what works as long as the Gators win.
Published Oct. 17, 2012

GAINESVILLE — Brent Pease is happy No. 3 Florida is undefeated.

But that doesn't mean the offensive coordinator is completely satisfied with his unit.

The offense has been most unbalanced in its past two wins, with 502 yards on the ground and 138 through the air. The Gators are last in the SEC with 870 passing yards, more than 100 behind 13th-place Auburn.

"If you are not balanced in what you do, they're going to start loading things up," Pease said. "But when they have an answer to that we have to have our answers back."

WR Frankie Hammond said he'd like more passing, but the team should stick to what it is doing well.

"I would rather them throw it the whole game because I'm a receiver," Hammond said. "I want the ball. You've got to understand that's not the motive of the game. You've got to run, you've got to throw, you've got to be balanced. If running is working I have no problem blocking downfield for (Mike) Gillislee, Matt Jones, any of those guys in the backfield."

STOPPING CLOWNEY: One roadblock to throwing Saturday against South Carolina will be DE Jadeveon Clowney. The sophomore is third in the SEC in both sacks and tackles for a loss.

"You need to account for him," UF coach Will Muschamp said. "He can ruin your day."

Josh Jurnovoy, Times correspondent

UM: Wait and see

CORAL GABLES — Miami will wait and see if QB Stephen Morris' sprained left ankle improves before a starter is chosen for Saturday's game against No. 12 Florida State.

Ryan Williams practiced as the presumptive starter, with Preston Dewey as his backup. Morris spent the day in and out of treatment, unable to do anything on the field. Coach Al Golden said he's still giving Morris a chance.

"We've got a long way to go," Golden said. "I would have to classify him as a game-time (decision) right now. … We don't have really two separate game plans going in."

Golden said the earliest Morris would be on the practice field is Thursday, and if he makes it then, he'd likely be limited to 7-on-7 work.

Associated Press

FSU: Depth crucial

TALLAHASSEE — Jimbo Fisher played college football. He knows how taxing the grind of a long season can be. That's why the Florida State coach knows he will need his youngest, least experienced players to contribute as the season wears on.

At least two of them appear headed in that direction.

Freshman LB Reggie Northrup has made an immediate impact as a backup. He had he six tackles in Saturday's 51-7 win over Boston College.

"A linebacker, to me … they're a bit like running backs," Fisher said. "If you have to tell a running back how to run, you need to recruit somebody else."

Of another freshman, the prized No. 1 overall recruit from last year's recruiting class, DE Mario Edwards Jr., Fisher said: "He's ready."

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

USF: Wax on, wax off

TAMPA — Coach Skip Holtz said that the most noticeable difference between the past week of practice and the beginning of the season was that players were more aware of the areas of their game that needed improvement.

"There's a heightened awareness to some of the mistakes that are being made that they want to correct … creating that turnover, getting your hands on that ball, to losing contain, to hold up on your block. We're not coaching different things. … It's not Mr. Miyagi (from Karate Kid) tricks, it's going out there and getting better fundamentally. Guys (are) kind of getting on each other — not where it's just up to the coaches, but there's an internal pressure as well."

DT Todd Chandler said players used the week off to reflect on how to improve individually.

"Now he put it on us as players and told us that if we see something wrong … this is the opportunity to change it. He gave us a solid three or four days to go out there and work and get better. … Everybody was just fine-tuning themselves in the bye week."

Joe Polito, Times correspondent

UCF: Niles ahead

ORLANDO — UCF made some defensive line changes last month to create more pressure.

The big beneficiary is redshirt freshman Thomas Niles, who replaced junior Jose Jose as a starter. Niles (6 feet 2, 266 pounds) brought more of a burst inside compared to Jose (6-3, 345). Niles has 15 tackles, three for loss, and six hurries since becoming a starter. Jose has not been on the roster for three weeks.

"He knows what he needs to do to get back, all right, and I still haven't seen that yet," coach George O'Leary said of Jose. "We're going to play with the guys that have a passion for doing the things they're supposed to do."

Orlando Sentinel