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Meyer says UF backups need work
By TIMES STAFF
Published September 12, 2007
GAINESVILLE - Four days before the Gators' SEC opener against Tennessee, Florida coach Urban Meyer said he's still looking for consistency and greater commitment from many of his backup players.
Meyer described Tuesday's practice as "very hard," and said it revealed that some players aren't living up to expectations.
"My biggest concern isn't the (starters)," Meyer said. "What I shared with the team, and it's the way it is in life, too, everybody has a job and you walk in a place of business and there's some guys who just don't quite work as hard as the other guys. The difference between football, such a violent sport, if somebody doesn't do their job, there's a chance somebody's going to be free and hit the quarterback in the back of the head. That happened in practice today.
"With all due respect to our first two (opponents), this is the SEC and Tennessee, the (backups) have to be accountable and some are not."
CHOOSE BLUE: Meyer has asked fans attending Saturday's game to wear Gator blue in an effort to distinguish Florida from Tennessee fans and dwarf the orange attire Vols fans will be wearing in the southeast corner of the stadium. Meyer made the request on his weekly TV show.
"I got 150 e-mails (about the idea), so I did say that," Meyer said. "But I'm not a cheerleader. I think it would be kind of neat for recruiting for them to look up there and see that."
ANDERSON IN . . . SORT OF: Cornerback Markihe Anderson is expected to play, his comeback attempt from a sprained MCL slightly hampered by a hyperextended knee sustained Monday. Meyer said trainers have assured him Anderson is "full go" for Saturday.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
USF: Recruiting push
TAMPA - With an off week, the Bulls coaching staff is trying to capitalize on a victory over Auburn with its recruiting.
Though the vast majority of the team is from Florida, coach Jim Leavitt said the focus will be on out-of-state players.
"I like getting up in New Jersey a bit," Leavitt said. "We're always going to go up there and Nebraska this week."
ALLEN HONOR: Safety Nate Allen was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week.
Brendan Galella, Times correspondent
FSU: Andrews still out
TALLAHASSEE - Florida State is preparing to play a second straight game without defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.
Andrews, who has pneumonia, missed Tuesday's practice and his status for Saturday's game at Colorado is uncertain. Junior linebacker Derek Nicholson said the defense misses Andrews, but knows that Andrews' health is the priority.
"Having Mickey around would make a big difference, he is our leader," Nicholson said. "But he has to worry about himself right now, getting better, and getting his health back. That is more important than football."
Coach Bobby Bowden said that Andrews' health is improving, but he still isn't sure when his longtime assistant will be able to return.
"The report I get is that he's getting better," Bowden said. "We still don't know when he'll be able to get back out here, if he'll be able to get back out here, but he is doing better, thank goodness."
A VISIT FROM FORD: Former Clemson coach Danny Ford watched most of practice with Bowden. Ford, who won a national championship in 1981 with the Tigers, was in town to speak to the Tallahassee Quarterback Club.