With Florida coming off an open date, Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday that he expects to see some new things -– “some interesting twists” — from the Gators’ offense on Saturday in Jacksonville.
Correct, according to Florida coach Urban Meyer.
“I’m not going to share much with you, but we have modified quite a bit,” Meyer said today during his weekly news conference, which can be viewed on Florida’s website. “I’m obviously not going to say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do,’ but things are modified.”
Perhaps more importantly, the open date gave Florida a chance to get healthier, Meyer said.
“The injury issue, the personnel issue, is real, so that’s going to help, I’m thinking,” he said.
Running back Jeff Demps has been limited by a foot injury since the Sept. 18 game at Tennessee. (”We got smacked with an injury that just devastated us because we’re not dynamic enough,” Meyer said.) Demps ran on a treadmill Monday and was expected to practice for 20 to 25 snaps, Meyer said.
Meyer also said there is “good news” about the status of placekicker Caleb Sturgis, who has missed Florida’s past three games because of a stress fracture in his back. “We’re going to try him this week,” Meyer said, “and see what happens.”
Defensive tackle Jaye Howard, who suffered a sprained ankle in the Oct. 16 game against Mississippi State, will be “good to go” against Georgia, Meyer said.
As for wide receiver Chris Rainey: Meyer said a decision will be made Thursday on whether Rainey will play against Georgia. Rainey was dropped from the team after he was arrested last month for allegedly sending a threatening text message to a former girlfriend. He was recently reinstated to the roster.
Florida will enter Saturday’s game on a three-game losing streak and with an offense that is ranked No. 9 in the SEC and No. 89 in the nation.
Meyer noted in his news conference that Florida already has committed more turnovers this season (14, including eight in the past three games) than in all of the 2008 national-championship season (13). He also said the Gators’ running backs have accounted for only four plays of 20-plus yards this season compared to five in one game (Florida State) last season. Working to improve such deficiencies was a big point of emphasis in practice last week, Meyer said.
Asked if his team feels a sense of desperation, Meyer said: “I like the word ‘urgency’ instead of ‘desperation.’ ‘Desperation’ sounds awfully desperate. ‘Urgency’ sounds urgent.”
Click here for UGA news: Branden Smith will play Saturday, barring setback, Richt says.