In his weekly press conference, Urban Meyer was praising his players and staff for the Gators' thrashing of Georgia. And he was praising Georgia's talent, calling the Bulldogs "great, great football players."
This is a tried-and-true tactic used by a certain former Gator ball coach. You know, talk about how talented the players were that you just dominated. Meaning that those talented players weren't as well prepared, as well trained — as well coached — as his players.
But on to this week's game in Nashville. Vanderbilt is the No. 2 team in the nation in red zone scoring, converting 22 of 24 attempts. The No. 1 team? The Florida Gators, are 34 for 35, and Meyer, a stats junkie, is very aware of the importance of this stat to his team's success.
(Now if Vanderbilt's offense could only move the ball to the red zone, the Commodores would have no problems.)
Here's what Meyer had to say about the Commodores:
"It is the best Vanderbilt team we've gone against. They are very well coached. They started off 5-0. We have our hands full. Defensively, they are playing very well. They have a linebacker we think is the best in the conference. On special teams, they are very well coached. They are a bowl team."
Thanks, Coach. We hope you're right.
By the way, which linebacker are you talking about? Patrick Benoist, who leads the team in tackles despite wearing a club on his hand? Or Chris Marve, the brilliant freshman?
Meyer actually says he's working on crowd noise. When's the last time a coach taking his team to Nashville worked on facing crowd noise? (Though Tuberville should have.)
"I saw the Vanderbilt-Auburn game when Vanderbilt beat them in every phase of the game," Meyer said. "They are fighting for bowl games and fighting for a lot of stuff. They are playing against the Florida Gators. We'll work crowd noise and we'll work on stuff we do for a typical SEC road game at night."
The game is a sellout, and it is at night, and it is on ESPN2.