Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GATORS NOTEBOOK; Meyer Values the Football, and the Players That Do, Too

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GATORS NOTEBOOK; Meyer Values the Football, and the Players That Do, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN FISHER

GAINESVILLE -- Urban Meyer's No. 1 rule on offense is simple, really.

"The premium of the offense is taking care of the ball," the first-year Florida coach said Wednesday. "I didn't say anything about speed. Not one time did I say vertical jump. Not one time did I say how he looks in pads and what number you wear."

And Meyer isn't afraid to sit players who haven't held on to the ball during practice. That's the main reason freshman quarterback Josh Portis didn't play against Tennessee last week, according to the coach.

"Are you kidding me?" Meyer said. "You lose that game if you turn the ball over."

That's also why running backs Skyler Thornton, a junior, and Markus Manson, a redshirt freshman, have dropped on the depth chart. But those two and Portis are doing better and might play Saturday at Kentucky.

"Take care of the football and get in the game," Meyer said.

WATCH OUT

Although it might be crazy to say the Gators shouldn't want to score repeatedly Saturday, at least one good thing could come from keeping the score low. …

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