Will Harvin make SEC game?
Published: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 11:09 p.m.
Florida coach Urban Meyer is holding out hope that injured star wide receiver Percy Harvin will be available for Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Alabama. But for now, Harvin is questionable and the Gators are developing a plan to play without him, Meyer said Sunday night.
“It’s day-to-day,” Meyer said. “He certainly won’t practice the first couple of days. He’s here and moving around a little bit. We’ll see what happens.”
Harvin sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s victory over Florida State and had difficulty putting weight on the injury after the game.
Meyer said the Gators have some options if Harvin is unable to play Saturday in Atlanta.
“We have Brandon James, who knows that position,” Meyer said. “Also, Louis Murphy and David Nelson are playing very well for us. If we move Murphy inside (to the slot), we would have Carl Moore on the outside. We have Deonte Thompson who is another person who can play outside.
“Obviously, we’ve thought about it because we’ve had to play through it (not having Harvin) a couple of times before. We have a plan. I just hope he’s ready.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sunday that UF has enough other playmakers on offense to compensate if Harvin can’t play Saturday.
“They really have three players. ... No. 1 (Harvin), No. 2 (Jeff Demps) and No. 3 (Chris Rainey). It’s easy to remember,” Saban said. “They’re all outstanding players with big-play ability. They also have outstanding receivers and a Heisman-winning quarterback (Tim Tebow). They utilize all those players in different roles.
“Certainly, we respect Percy Harvin as a great player. But they have some other great players, too.”
The Gators also could be without defensive tackle Brandon Antwine, who started the FSU game, but left in the second half with a sprained knee. Meyer said Antwine is “probably doubtful” for the game.
“He’s not moving around at all,” Meyer said. “We’ll know more by (today).”
The good news for UF is that the player Antwine replaced in the starting lineup should be back to 100 percent, Meyer said. Starting nose tackle Lawrence Marsh saw limited playing time against the Seminoles, but should be full-go for Saturday’s game.
“He was 70 percent (in the FSU game),” Meyer said. “He’ll be 100 percent (Saturday).”
With Antwine likely out, the top four defensive tackles will be Marsh, Terron Sanders, Torrey Davis and redshirt freshman Jaye Howard. Meyer said there’s a chance defensive end Carlos Dunlap would be moved inside to tackle.
NOTES: Meyer said he will look at making changes on the Gators’ kickoff coverage team, which had major problems in Tallahassee. “It was awful, a pathetic display of kickoff coverage. We looking to make some personnel changes. But we’ve had some injury issues and there are not a lot of options right now. We have to make sure we get that fixed,” Meyer said.
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