Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, June 17, 2024

The Gators still need a lot of help to make it back to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference title game.

But after UF's win against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Coach Urban Meyer said he is confident that if his team takes care of business in its conference finale at South Carolina, everything will fall into place.

"I think it's going to come down to that game," Meyer said. "Our team believes that."

So while Meyer spent most of the season stressing the importance of focusing on one game at a time, he has now decided to discuss the big picture with his team.

"After we lost to Georgia, you had to search for anything, especially dealing with some young players," Meyer said Sunday during his weekly teleconference. "Now it's the second week in November, you're competing for an SEC Championship."

At 4-3 in conference play, the Gators need to defeat the Gamecocks and hope for both Georgia and Tennessee to lose.

After that, things get a little tricky.

For example, if UF wins and both Georgia and Tennessee lose Saturday, the Gators will then have to hope for the Volunteers to win their remaining two conference games or for the Bulldogs to lose another game.

Meanwhile, the SEC East has been so wacky this year that, while a huge long shot, it's still technically possible for a six-way tie, with every team in the division finishing at 4-4.

Georgia hosts Auburn on Saturday and plays Kentucky at home on Nov. 17. Tennessee will take on Arkansas in Knoxville on Saturday, hosts Vanderbilt the following weekend and wraps up its season on the road against Kentucky on Nov. 24.

HADEN, PIERRE-LOUIS MAKING STRIDES: After perhaps UF's best defensive performance of the season, Meyer praised starting cornerbacks Joe Haden and Wondy Pierre-Louis.

Haden held All-SEC wide receiver Earl Bennett to five receptions for 31 yards.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

"I think Joe came of age a little bit," Meyer said. "Obviously it's still too early to say that, but he played one of his better games."

Pierre-Louis also held his own against the Commodores receivers, and he grabbed an interception.

"We've always said that's correlated directly to his practice," Meyer said. "He's practiced much better. Honestly we hoped it happened faster than it did, but it is starting to happen."

MAKING HISTORY: UF quarterback Tim Tebow is in his first year as a starter, but he is already making an impression in the record books.

After picking up his 14th rushing touchdown of the season Saturday against Vanderbilt, the sophomore is now tied with Emmitt Smith and Buford Long for the most rushing touchdowns in a season in UF history.

Tebow also set an SEC season record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, passing Mississippi State's John Bond, Kentucky's Derrick Ramsay and Georgia's Andy Johnson on the all-time list.

UNEXPLAINED ABSENCES: Running back Chevon Walker and safety Jamar Hornsby were kept off the dress list for the second-straight week against Vanderbilt, and Meyer said Sunday that might be a trend.

"There's a chance they may leave (the team)," Meyer said. "There's a chance they'll be back."

The coach won't reveal why the redshirt freshmen are not participating, saying only that the two have "personal issues" to deal with.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.