Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators' Identity More Pell Than Spurrier; Defense Leads the Way for Florida While Meyer's Spread Offense Struggles to Catch Up

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators' Identity More Pell Than Spurrier; Defense Leads the Way for Florida While Meyer's Spread Offense Struggles to Catch Up

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

When Urban Meyer was hired last December, legions of Florida fans envisioned the program's return to the days when it ruled the Southeastern Conference.

The Gators have gone back a little further, though.

Back to the 1980s, when 30 points on offense was a benchmark and moving the ball on the Gators was a sometimes arduous task.

It's pre-Spurrier football in Gainesville, where defense rules and the offense is trying to catch up.

That is Florida's new identity, at least through the first three weeks of the season.

"I think we know who we are, and that means we have a lot of work to do [on offense]," Meyer said Monday as the No. 5 Gators continued preparations for Saturday's game at Kentucky. "It's an identity that we're not necessarily proud of, but. . . . there's no B.S. in this program. I'm not going to stand up in front of the team and tell them something that's not true. They know who they are."

The Gators are a field-position team. They are a team that doesn't turn the ball over. They are a team that has to play well on special teams. They are a team that plays very good defense.

They are not a high-scoring, up-and-down the field team. They are not very good at running the ball. They are even worse at pass protection.

The 2005 Gators are more Charley Pell than Steve Spurrier.

"You better take care of that football if you're going to win," Meyer said. "Now, if you're scoring 50, 60 points and you turn it over, [you can say], 'Don't do that again,' and you keep going. But we are not that team right now. Do we want to become that team? Sure. There isn't a team in the country that doesn't.

"We are a field-position team that if special teams have a bad day, we lose. We cannot have that happen, so that's why we work so hard [on] defense and special teams and field position. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.