Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Block Party Continues for Meyer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Block Party Continues for Meyer

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE -- Florida seems to have developed a knack for blocking kicks under head coach Urban Meyer.

The Gators blocked two punts in their 59-31 victory over Troy on Saturday night -- both led to touchdowns -- to bring the two-plus year total of blocked kicks to 15. Ten of those have been punts.

Roderick Blackett, a walk-on sophomore linebacker, fought through the middle of the line to block Adrian Vera's first punt of the game. Blackett swatted the ball over Vera's head, but Vera managed to recover the ball at the Troy 6-yard line.

UF scored three plays later on Kestahn Moore's 1-yard run.

Freshman defensive end Carlos Dunlap got the second block late in the first quarter. It was a partial block, and Vera's punt wobbled only 15 yards before going out of bounds.

The Gators scored three plays later on another 1-yard run by Moore.

Meyer teams seem to have a propensity for blocking kicks. In his six-plus seasons as a head coach (two at Bowling Green, two at Utah), Meyer's teams have blocked 35 kicks.

TRATTOU FLASHES HIS HANDS

Freshman defensive end Justin Trattou's interception late in the first half showed why the defensive coaches are excited about the future career of the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder from New Jersey.

Trattou beat right tackle Dion Small and leapt into the air to deflect Omar Haugabook's pass to Kenny Cattouse. The ball popped into the air and Trattou made a diving interception that gave Florida the ball at the Troy 47-yard line with 1:35 to play.

That set up UF's final touchdown drive of the half.

DO IT AGAIN

Because of the new rule moving the kickoff back to the 30-yard line, Meyer said that he would make a team re-kick the ball if it went out of bounds instead of taking possession at the 35.

His reasoning is that players are tired from the play and the likelihood of a big return is better. …

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