Florida's defense going to be under the microscope this week after getting
shredded in the second half of Saturday night's 59-31 romp over Troy. But
Urban Meyer was quick to come to the defense of his defense on his Sunday
teleconference with the media.
Meyer said if the offense had just taken care of the ball in the second
half, the overall UF implosion would not have occurred.
The big turning point started when wide receiver Andre Caldwell lost a
fumble after making a catch on the opening possession of the second half
that led to an easy three points for Troy.
That turnover changed the entire momentum of the second half. From that
point on in the third quarter, the offense stumbled all over itself and
kept quickly giving the ball back to a potent Troy offense. The Gators
managed only 12 yards of total offense in the quarter.
UF's defense was put in bad spot after bad spot and had a difficult time
fending off the onslaught.
Had the offense been only half as good as it had been in the first half,
the problems on defense would not have been exposed the way they were. The
Gators would have put up 70 points or so and it would have been a nice 35
or 40-point victory and no one would be complaining.
Yes, the defense still has some holes. The inside pass rush is
non-existant and the play at cornerback has been inconsistent to poor.
But blame the offense, not the defense, for the way that game fell apart
in the third quarter.
As for Caldwell and kick returner Brandon James, there was no news on
their injuries Sunday. Caldwell has a sprained knee and James a sprained
ankle and their status is uncertain for the Tennessee game. Meyer said he
would not comment on their injuries until his hears something definitive
from team doctors.