UF offense likes script

Florida quarterback John Brantley, left, fakes a handoff to running back Chris Rainey during a game against Tennessee on Saturday. Brantley says he likes the scripting of offensive plays.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11:46 p.m.

Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis says he scripts 12 to 24 plays for the start of each game. So far, so good for the Gators' prepared offense.

Saturday against Tennessee, Florida scored on its opening possession for the third time this season after not scoring in seven of eight first quarters last season. With 10 points in the first 15 minutes, the Gators now have scored 33 points in the first quarter this season. UF had 56 points combined in first quarters last season.

When senior quarterback John Brantley comes off the field, he and Weis confer on what's working, what isn't and what each of them are seeing.

Brantley said he appreciates having input with Weis, and more importantly, he likes the results.

“I think it's a real good idea,” he said on Monday morning. “(Scripting plays) gives you a chance to look at what you're going to be running, so you can get really familiar with it. He asks you what you feel comfortable with, and if you're comfortable with everything, he'll stick with it.”

Brantley said Florida scripted some plays last season, but not to this extent.

“(Weis) will script, it seems like, almost two to three drives and then he'll try to stick to it as much as he can,” Brantley said. “It's always important to have a fast start in any game. We've got to just keep doing that.”

Brantley says he has just as much confidence in the unscripted plays for the rest of the game.

“We have our gameplan all week, so you kind of have an idea of what you're going to run, even if it wasn't scripted,” he said. “It's been successful so far.”

Joker's concerns

After losing last Saturday to in-state rival Louisville for the first time since 2006, Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips told the media Monday he is as angry as the Wildcats' fans.

“I'm not satisfied with what we're doing here,” he said. “I'm not. It starts with me. We'll get it corrected. ... I'm not one that takes this position for granted. I understand what I signed up for. I understand the concerns that everybody has. I have the same concerns. We're trying to get them fixed.”

With that, Phillips also acknowledged the task of facing No. 15 Florida, calling it a “huge challenge.”

“Can't have drops. Can't have turnovers,” he said. “You can't have 14 minus-yard plays. You can allow a couple, but you can't allow 14 of them and have a chance to win.

“I don't think you have to play perfect, but you have to play smart.”

Phillips insisted that despite a new coaching staff, Florida is not a team in transition.

“They haven't changed. They're Florida,” he said. “They have great athletes.

“Defensively, they've always been really good. They've always had great personnel. They've always had great personnel on offense as well.”

Perhaps Kentucky's biggest concern, Phillips said, is dealing with Florida's speed. The coach noted tailbacks Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey in particular.

“They have probably the fastest guy in the world,” he said of Demps. “They got probably the second fastest guy in the world. Urban (Meyer) built this team. He said he wanted to be the fastest team in the country, and they probably are.”

Team awards

The Southeastern Conference gave offensive co-player of the week honors to Florida senior running back Chris Rainey, who had 233 all-purpose yards against Tennessee last Saturday. The league named place-kicker Caleb Sturgis its special teams player of the week after he kicked four field goals and three extra points against UT. Florida linebacker Jon Bostic (career-high eight tackles and a sack) was also recognized by the league in its outstanding performances list.

Muschamp announced team awards from the Tennessee game: Rainey (offensive player of the game); Dominique Easley (defensive player of the game); Caleb Sturgis and Loucheiz Purifoy (special teams players of the game); Jonotthan Harrison (Scrap Iron award); John Brantley and Rainey (Big Play award); Andre Debose and Gerald Christian for blocking (Extra Effort award); Matt Elam, Josh Evans and Ronald Powell (Ball Hawk awards) and Chris Johnson for kickoff coverage (Hard Hat award). The Scout team players of the week were: Jabari Gorman, Tommy Jordan and Jason Traylor.

Broadcast notes

Florida's contest against Alabama will either be on ESPN at noon or CBS at 3:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.

CBS has chosen to use it's six-day window for that game along with the Auburn-South Carolina and Texas A&M-Arkansas matchups. Whichever game CBS does not select will be the noon game on ESPN, which will be broadcast with Meyer's crew.

Florida's game against Kentucky this Saturday at 7 p.m. will be broadcast by ESPN's Mark Jones (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (analyst) and Samantha Steele (sideline reporter).

Extra points

To no one's surprise, Florida leads the SEC in penalties with 34 for 270 yards (90 yards in penalties per game). ... Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan, of Leesburg, leads the SEC in tackles with 38 in three games. He also ranks fourth in the nation with 12.67 tackles per game and has a streak of 12 straight games with double-digit tackles. ... Florida is last in the SEC in averaging 33.2 yards per punt, but UF senior David Lerner leads the SEC in percentage of punts inside the 20-yard line, landing four of his six punts there.

Contact Jeff Barlis at (352) 374-5066 or barlisj@gvillesun.com and follow at http://Twitter.com/JeffBarlis

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