By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published November 28, 2005
GAINESVILLE - In the midst of the onfield celebration and the emotional gathering in the locker room after its 34-7 win over Florida State on Saturday night, the magnitude of Florida's win was not lost on coach Urban Meyer .
With dozens of recruits in attendance and the specter of the South Carolina loss two weeks earlier hanging over the program, the victory meant much more than just a notch in the win column.
"There's a lot of scrutiny of this program, and that's never going to change; that's what it is, that won't go away," said Meyer, who became the second first-year coach at UF to defeat FSU. "This is a big win over a good rival. We have a lot to take from this. You have recruiting, you have bowl preparation and you have the offseason program. It would be awful if somehow you didn't take care of this (Saturday night). I mean awful. "
Florida rose two spots in the AP poll to No.17 and now awaits word on its bowl destination. Once the bowl game is over, Meyer said he and his staff will evaluate everything from "point A to point Z," especially the Gators' inability to win on the road. Florida was 6-0 at home, 1-3 on the road.
"We obviously have an issue on the road, which will be addressed," Meyer said. "We'll figure out why we're struggling on the road."
HETLAND REWARDED: Walk-on kicker Chris Hetland was awarded a scholarship last week. The redshirt junior from Leesburg, Ga., found out as he was trying to work out an issue with his student loan.
"One day last week something came up, he was late for a meeting about his loan or something like that and I said, "Come here, you're going to be on scholarship next year,"' Meyer said. "He kind of teared up and said, "Can I tell my family?' I said, "No, you better make some field goals against FSU.' But yeah, he'll be on scholarship in the spring."
Hetland was 2-of-3 Saturday night and is 12-of-13 this season.
ETC: With four takeaways in the game, Florida has 30 this season, which leads the SEC and is 12th nationally.