Weis will throw 'kitchen sink' at Tide
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
Florida coach Will Muschamp has been adamant through the first four games that the Gators have been holding nothing back, saving nothing for, say, Alabama.
He must have been talking about the UF defense.
Because offensive coordinator Charlie Weis revealed Tuesday that there's still plenty left in his thick playbook, and it sounds like it's all coming out Saturday night against the nation's strongest defense.
“Sometimes when you're playing football, you have to realize that punting isn't necessarily a bad thing,” Weis said. “We want to score a touchdown every time we get the ball. But you want to make sure you make good decisions where you don't make that critical mistake and give one to them.
“You play fundamental football and you have to go ahead and throw the kitchen sink at them. They're going to get the kitchen sink.
“You guys have been writing about holding things back. Well, you won't have to worry about that this week. They're going to get plenty.”
Going against a dominant defense with no apparent weaknesses, the Gators may have to empty Weis' playbook in an attempt to find a rhythm and score some points.
Weis said the Tide has that kind of defense.
“It's unique when you go against a defense that is solid at every position. That doesn't happen very often,” Weis said. “Most people talk about what are they going to do schematically. I always start with personnel. I always look for weak links in personnel, people that you can attack.
“This is an unusual group because they really don't have one. They're solid across the front, solid at linebacker, solid in the secondary. Throw on top the fact they're very well-coached and not a grab-bag operation and you have your work cut out for you.”
The Tide defense has been almost impossible to crack through the first four games, but Weis and the Gators appear to be looking forward to the challenge.
“I think we'll show up on Saturday,” Weis said. “I think we have a lot of confidence in our own ability and we realize this will be quite a challenge and we have a lot of respect for the Alabama defense and their coaching staff.
“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, too.”
Through the first four games of the season, Weis' offense has been run through speedy tailbacks Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, who have combined for 1,015 total yards (running and receiving) and eight touchdowns.
They are the focal point — and the aspect of the offense that Alabama likely will target in preparation.
“We have to wait and see how they play the game (on defense),” Weis said. “You have to have multiple ways of being able to do that (effectively use Demps and Rainey). You can't just do the same thing each week. You have to have a plan where if they stop this, you have another way of getting to the same means to an end.
“You just have to see how it goes. You go into the game and you have to have to plan and tweak. You have to have a plan ready to go depending on what they end up doing.”
Weis said the one thing the Gators can't afford to do is turn the ball over Saturday.
“We have to do our job,” he said. “One of the things is take care of the football, not give up any easy points to the opponent. I think we go do what we do and take care of the football, it's going to be a good game.”
The Gators certainly have a good feel for what the Tide do defensively. Will Muschamp was a defensive coordinator under Nick Saban at LSU, and also worked with Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart when Muschamp and Smart were at LSU.
There's also the Bill Belichick influence that Weis is familiar with.
“It's funny. When Will and I talked today, one of the first things I did was say, ‘Tell me about Nick, tell me about Kirby,' “ Weis said. “These are like his boys.
“I know Nick worked for Bill back in the Cleveland (Browns) days before (Saban went to) Michigan State. A lot of the terminology is the same. A lot of the things are consistent.
“One thing is they've got a good, sound system that they have a lot of familiarity with. They also have good players. Sometimes you wish that weren't the case, but that's the case. We have to make sure we don't create any mismatches in the opposite direction.”
UF quarterback John Brantley said he is looking forward to seeing the plan Weis comes up with to attack the Tide defense.
“He does a great job,” Brantley said. “After the first series, he really knows what (the opposing defense) is going to do the rest of the game. He goes off that. He just does a great job calling plays.”
Weis may be calling some plays Saturday that have not been seen yet.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.