Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bye Leaves Meyer Time for Changes; Offense Overhaul Could Happen before Game vs. Georgia on Oct. 30

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bye Leaves Meyer Time for Changes; Offense Overhaul Could Happen before Game vs. Georgia on Oct. 30

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE - Urban Meyer finally admitted it Saturday night: It's time for some changes.

Three consecutive losses in which the offense scored a total of 42 points, scored just four touchdowns in 11 trips into the red zone, and committed eight turnovers (three in the red zone) was enough proof that things aren't working and something has to be done.

Possibly even a major overhaul of the offense?

"I think so," Meyer said moments after the Gators' 10-7 loss to Mississippi State at Florida Field on Saturday night.

What those changes might be, however, are unclear. Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said earlier this season that they will not completely eliminate the option from the offense, even though quarterback John Brantley is a drop-back passer and not a good fit for the option.

There could be more work for freshman Trey Burton, who has been successful running the option during his spot plays at quarterback. Maybe more quarterback snaps for tight end Jordan Reed as well.

Maybe the Gators (4-3, 2-3 SEC) will try to throw the ball down the field more to get receivers Carl Moore and Frankie Hammond and tight end Omarius Hines more touches.

Or maybe they will make some moves on the offensive line, although it's unlikely that center Mike Pouncey will move back to right guard, where he was an All-American last season.

Certainly Florida will use the bye week to get running backs Jeff Demps (foot), Mike Gillislee (ankle) and Emmanuel Moody (thigh), receiver Andre Debose (ankle), and guard Jon Halapio (finger) healthy.

And maybe that's all the Gators will do. Maybe, after evaluating the first seven games of the season, Meyer will decide not to make any changes at all.

"If that's what coach Meyer thinks we need to do, we're all for it," Brantley said. "We've all got each others' back. We've got coach Addazio's back. We've got coach Meyer's back. Whatever they want to do, we're on board."

This is not unfamiliar territory. Florida - which dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2004 season - faced a similar situation in 2005, Meyer's first season. …

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