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Monday November 30, 2009Head Coach Urban Meyer & UF Player Quotes

Gainesville, Fla.

Head Coach Urban Meyer

 

On the team’s performance versus Florida State:

“I’m not quite sure what perfect is, but from top to bottom that was as good of a day as you could have envisioned.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday were good practices.  That usually equates to a good performance and they played very well.  I’m very proud of the seniors and the underclassmen to play for them like that.”

 

On facing No. 2 Alabama:

“It’s a great week coming up for us.  We’ve had a couple of those, so we have to stay focused on the task at hand.  It’s a mighty task.  I put them in the great category and I don’t do that often; their offense, defense and they have a dynamic returner.  Their return units are also highly ranked.  We’ll have to do a great job covering the football. Javier Arenas is as good of a player that there is.  He’ll be a great player at the next level too.  Defensively and offensively they are in the top statistical categories along with us.  They are very good.”

 

On Alabama’s defense:

“Yeah, I think they are a little better than last year.  I couldn’t say that, because I haven’t really studied them.  We were here pretty late last night.  They are an excellent team.  No. 25 (Rolando McClain) is the guy who runs the show as far as getting guys lined up.  They have checks for everything.  Certain formations, they see pressure from [one side], they change the formation and come from the other side.  Their personnel is very similar from a year ago.  They are another year older, another year better.”

 

On playing well late in the season:

“I’m convinced guys see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Games six, seven, and eight you play great games against your rival, and then you have to go play this game and then that game.  Oh by the way, there’s this other game at the end of the season.  I think the human element gets involved and you start looking to see how many games you have left.  The hard ones are right at the end, because you get everyone’s best shot and we’re going to give our best shot.  You’re so close.”

 

Ahmad Black

Junior Safety

 

On the experience gained from past big games:

“It’s given us a lot of experience. Coming in two years ago we didn’t have a lot of experience because a lot of guys had left from the 2006 National Championship year. But now, we’ve got a lot of experience, and we know what we’re doing out there.”

 

On the difference between the SEC championship this year and last year:

“It’s a lot of fun. And a lot of guys talk about last year and we dig that, but it’s a new year and we have to bring the same thing that we brought to the table last year, this year. We have to go out and out-tough them. We know it’s going to be a tough game, they’re a great team. They match up all the way around the board. It’s different because we’re undefeated, but it’s number one against number two, it’s almost the same thing as last year.  We’re two great teams battling it out for the championship.”

 

Marcus Gilbert

Junior Offensive Lineman

 

On the offensive line:

“We’ve received a lot of criticism about pass blocking and giving up sacks and stuff like that but you know, we wanted to make a statement in the last game and prove who we really are and how good of lineman we can actually be.”

 

On attacking Alabama’s defense:

“We look at them as a whole. They have a great defense. Coach Saban coached them up really well.  They play really great defense. Our offense will be a good match up. It’s going to be a great offense against a great defense.”

 

Joe Haden

Junior Cornerback

 

On evaluating his own game:

“The open field tackling and the blitzing is a big part of my game and I pride myself in that. The thing I’ve felt that I needed to work on was coverage, as a cornerback that’s what you need to do the most. When I came in this year I wanted to focus on my coverage. Coach (Vance) Bedford thought me some different techniques, some different things to look at. I felt that I did a really good job picking up what he tried to teach.”

 

On when the attitude changed on the defensive line:

“After the 2007 season we went to spring practice and everybody was going so hard for everybody’s position, no one had a starting spot. Everybody was just flying around playing so hard and we noticed that that was making us play a whole lot better so we had to keep that going. We came in the first game against Hawaii and we were just doing a great job flying to the ball. Coach would say, ‘four to six seconds’ so that’s one thing we just kept doing. We have a fast defense; everyone’s really fast so when everybody’s just flying to the ball it makes things a whole lot better.”

 

Omar Hunter

Redshirt Freshman Defensive Lineman

 

On the relief of finally playing in the SEC Championship game:

“I think it’s a big relief, but we still need to get out there and win it. We don’t just want to get there; we want to win it too. We still need to finish the goal, the mission.”

 

On Alabama’s physical game:

“It’s going to be a physical game, it’s going to be won and lost in the trenches definitely. In our meeting yesterday Coach Strong said that it’s going to be won or lost on the defensive line, we’re looking forward to it.”

 

Mike Pouncey

Junior Offensive Lineman

 

On Terrance Cody:

“He’s probably going to be the biggest player we’ve faced this year, he’s massive. He’s a great player, he stops the run really well, so we’re going to have to work really hard this week on how we’re going to block him, he’s a big dude to block. He’s a great player, but we’ve got some great players on our offensive line too, so it’s going to be a great match-up.”

 

On getting back to the SEC Championship:

“It’s a big game for us. I know that a lot of people don’t want to say it but we based our whole offseason on making it to Atlanta. If we can make it to Atlanta and win the game, then we could go to the national championship. We worked hard all offseason and of course we won all of our games this year so it’s going to be a great game.”

 

Tim Tebow

Senior Quarterback

 

On how the team’s prior experience will benefit them:

“I think our experience helps us a lot. I think a lot of players on our team have played in the big game, even the young ones, and their experience from last year’s game versus Alabama and also against Oklahoma. Plus, our rivalry games are so big to us; they’re just like a big game, just like a SEC Championship, National Championship, anything like that. I think it helps us a lot because we’re ready for those pressure packed moments and especially for the young players that are already advanced by playing.”

 

On how he enjoys these games:

“You play football for all of the games, but these are the ones that really mean the most. I mean some of the rivalry games and some of the big games we play, but also games like this, that’s what’s special. That’s what you remember the most.”

 

On seeing Alabama on film:

“They’re very good.  They have a very good defense, that’s all I’m really studying. They are very well coached. Coach Saban does a great job. He makes his own discoveries, he makes up his blitzes and he does a good job. He’s not going to have many tendencies at all. He tries to get rid of them in three, four weeks and get to a new set of packages three, four weeks and just does a good job of mixing things up. His players are smart. They’ve played with a lot of intelligence. Their linebacker, No. 25 (Rolando McClain), is a very intelligent player who makes a lot of calls for defenses. You can see that just by watching film. He gets them in and out of checks and they have a lot of different checks that they go to based on what the offense is doing. So, they always try to put themselves in a good defensive play, kind of like our offense does based on what the defense does. I know there could be some checks going on in the game, but it’ll be fun going up against a defense like that.”

 

Major Wright

Junior Safety

 

On the importance of the 2007 season:

“That was a very important year for us, being that we didn’t do too well. But that next off-season we dedicated to the upcoming season.  And it made us go out, work harder, made us look at it like ‘okay, we weren’t that good then, how can we be now if we go out and work hard and just do everything the coaches ask us to do.’”

 

On looking forward to games like the SEC Championship:

“I look forward to them a lot. Personally, coming from St. Thomas (Aquinas), we always played in the big time games. We played Lakeland three years in a row in state. I look forward to games like this.”

 

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