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Four TDs don't earn top honors
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published September 6, 2005
GAINESVILLE - It's not easy satisfying Urban Meyer and his coaching staff.
When he released the names of the Champions Club members, essentially Saturday's players of the game, receiver Chad Jackson wasn't among them.
So if Jackson's four-touchdown effort wasn't enough to get in, what does it take? More than just big plays, apparently.
"Coach (Billy) Gonzales is probably the hardest grader on the staff," Meyer said. "Whether you block the perimeter or make a tough, one-handed highlight-on-ESPN -SportsCenter catch, it equates to the same thing. That catch was worth a plus, but it was also a minus when (Chad) didn't block very well on the perimeter.
"He was close, and he's obviously a playmaker. But for us to get where we want to get with the perimeter ground game, some of those were directly responsible to our receivers on blocking. For a guy like Chad Jackson, it's much more than going up and making a one-handed catch."
Wondering who did get in? Senior defensive end Jeremy Mincey , sophomore linebacker Brandon Siler , senior cornerback Vernell Brown and senior safety Jarvis Herring .
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Although his hometown of Greenville, Miss., was not in the path of Hurricane Katrina, senior offensive tackle Tavares Washington said it has affected him nonetheless.
"It has been upsetting," he said. "A lot of people don't know what's next. They don't know where their future is going to lead them. They're homeless right now."
Washington has been trying to get in touch with former Florida teammate Sylvester McGrew , who transferred to McNeese State (in Lake Charles, La.,) and is a native of New Orleans. In the meantime, he can't help but think of what might have been.
"I called my parents after the hurricane hit, and I was just happy to hear from them," he said. "It could have easily been me."
GOOD, NOT GREAT: The elation of Saturday's victory has subsided, and the Gators insisted Monday they can play much better.
Meyer said his phone rang often late Saturday night and into early Sunday morning with players offering their thoughts on the game and how things can improve.
"If we can get our blocks down and get our schemes right, I think a lot can happen," sophomore tight end Tate Casey said. "This offense will become a lot more dangerous."
Meyer said he called defensive tackle Marcus Thomas on Sunday night and discovered he was sitting with defensive lineman Steven Harris . The two were discussing what they could have done better.
"I love these players," Meyer said. "There are guys on this team that are starting to act like this is the world to them. Some people think that is maybe too much or overdramatic, and if you feel that way, that's fine. You don't really play the game if you do. It is the world to them, and it's the world to these coaches, too."
TOURNEY TESTED: The sixth-ranked women's volleyball team is 5-0 after beating Eastern Washington 30-27, 30-16, 30-16 at home Monday. Next is its most challenging stretch of the young season, the UTSA Dome Rally in San Antonio, Texas. Florida is scheduled to play Texas A&M, No.13 in the CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, on Friday, No.8 Southern Cal on Saturday and No.19 Notre Dame on Sunday.
"When we got the call and the invitation to play there, it was one of those where you couldn't really say no," coach Mary Wise said. "When the schedule came out and they asked Florida to play in three consecutive days the likes of Texas A&M then Southern Cal then Notre Dame, that is as tough a three-match weekend as we've ever had since we've been here.
"That is going to be a huge challenge for our team. But what a great opportunity to see as early as the second week in September how good we are and where we need to improve."