Florida coach Urban Meyer said he was so worried about his young defense going into the Tennessee game that he needed to take an Ambien to get to sleep Friday night. The reality, though, is that Meyer went to bed feeling much better about his defense ” and his team in general ” after watching Troy wipe out Oklahoma State, a team that had been competitive against Georgia on the road.
He didn’t really need a pill.
Troy’s offensive outburst against UF in the second half the week before is what brought on a lot of the anxiety about the young Florida defense. As it turns out, Meyer was right about the Trojans ” they are an excellent offensive football team.
Meyer got confirmation watching the Troy win Friday night on ESPN. So did the Florida players, who also watched the game in their rooms at the team hotel.
“I sure did (get some confidence about the defense watching the Troy game),” Meyer said. “Our team watched it, too. I went around and bed-checked everybody at 10: 30 and everybody had it on.
“We have a lot of respect for Troy. To see them fly around and play the way they did, score at will (against Oklahoma State), that gave me a little more confidence as a coach. I thought Troy was very good. They are very good. They’ll have one of the top offenses in America at the end of the year.”
The Troy experience was a valuable one for the young defense because the Gators learned from it. And that’s what this season is all about for a defense that figures to improve over the course of the year with each lesson learned.
The defense made huge strides with its performance Saturday ” and should build from there.
Urban Meyer should sleep better this week.