Bowl week begins


The question of bowl week fired at Urban Meyer came from a Michigan writer moments after Florida’s first practice Wednesday. Predictably, it had to do with the spread offense, which Michigan appeared to have no clue against in earlier losses to Appalachian State and Oregon.

Meyer quickly gave what has become his standard answer to those questions about the spread.

“It has nothing to do with the offense,” Meyer said. “It’s personnel driven. If you’ve got good players and you’re getting them the ball, any offense is going to be successful, whether it’s the spread or the wishbone or something else. It’s all about the players.”

The spread questions, of course, will be coming up all week, especially coming out of the Michigan camp. The UM defense really did look helpless against it in those two losses, and now the Wolverines must face a Florida spread that has really taken off in the last half of the season and is triggered by Heisman winner Tim Tebow.

This is an offense that certainly should put up some points in Tuesday’s game.

But Meyer is quick to point out that Michigan’s offense is one of the best in the nation when it’s healthy, and it will be healthy Tuesday for the first time in a long time. “When they’re got all their players, they’re as good as any offense in the country,” Meyer said.

And Florida’s defense is not one of the best in the country. Although the Gators did put together an excellent performance in their victory over Florida state, the overall body of work has not been very good. At times, the Gators have been gutted on the ground. At other times, they can’t stop the pass. Michigan is very balanced, so this will be another tough matchup for the defense.

There’s going to be a lot of talk this week about Florida’s spread offense and how Michigan is going to cope with it. Florida’s defense going against this Michigan offense isn’t going to generate a lot of pregame buzz, but it could turn out to be the story of this game.

In the meantime, all the UF players made it to Orlando in time for the first practice and Meyer continues to be very upbeat. It’s obvious he’s pleased with the way his players are getting themselves ready for this game and he likes the matchup. Meyer’s teams have always gone into bowl games well-prepared (that’s why he’s undefeated in the postseason) and it would be stunning if this one was any different.