Pat, how did Auburn beat Florida?
"What happened is that Florida didn't come out ready. There was just not a sharpness in their offense. The first half they were just miserable. I don't know how much of it was Auburn and how much was Florida. In the second half Florida had no trouble moving the ball. They scored 17 points and got the ball back
with a chance to win the game. But Auburn kept hitting them
with short passes. And to me that's the way to beat Florida, is to be methodical and be patient, and hit a bunch of short passes on them to move the ball down the field. And you could mix in the run. What Florida does a lot is get a speed rush with two defensive ends and a tackle, and that's when you need to run the ball the ball on them."
Will they be ready for FSU?
"The bottom line is it's still a rivalry game. And this is it, the last game of the year until a bowl game. FSU could probably take away the Tebow runs up the middle, they did it last year. But Tebow's become such a good passer that it may not matter. If you say you're going to take Tebow's runs out of the offense, that'll help you. Then suddenly he hands off to Harvin instead or you've got three receivers open down field. That's what's made their offense so effective this year."
Speaking of Harvin, will he be back and 100%?
"He practiced Monday and seems to be fine. He had migraines for the South Carolina game and was home in bed and couldn't even watch the game it hurt so bad. And he threw up thirty times one day. But they seem to have found the medicine that's going to solve that problem. So I don't think any guy who's sat out two weeks will be 100%, but he's been pretty good when he's 85%."
How about the offensive line?
"They were considered a strength coming in and I think they've lived up to it. They haven't overachieved, but you're talking about a line with one of the starters suspended before the season. They lost their starting left tackle in Phil Trautwein, and they haven't really missed a beat, mainly because this freshmen Marquis Pouncey has come in and played really well. Now he missed last week with an injury. His status will be a big factor
for the offensive line. They say he's probable."
And the defense?
"They've got a lot of injuries and they haven't been real good when they're healthy. Joe Haden who's a decent corner, he's hurt. The other corner's been up in the air all year. You've got a free safety who's a true freshman and a real good hitter, but sometimes gets caught out of position. Their defensive line has been shaky at best all year, especially at tackle. And Michael Pouncey got hurt in the last game. So I'd think FSU would be able to do some things offensively. But I was looking at the stats and FSU's had one game where they scored in the thirties. And they're going to have to get in the thirties to beat Florida, I think."
How about the size of the corners who'll match up against Greg Carr?
"They're in the six foot size range. but they've not shown great ball awareness. So I'm sure FSU has looked at that and said that's a play that'll have to be in there more than once or twice."
Looking ahead, do you see the Gators being a national championship contender again next year?
"Well, next year's the big year for Florida. Tebow will be a Junior, with a year under his belt as a starter. You've got everybody back on offense except Caldwell. Then their offensive line will have Trautwein back. At tailback, they're hoping Emmanuel Moody, who's a transfer from Southern Cal, will help them next year. But the question will be does the defense get better? There's nothing I've seen to think they're going to make a big jump next year. But we've seen it happen before, where a defense was mediocre one year and really good the next because everybody's back. And they'll have just about everybody back. So they're a 9 and 3 team next year if the defense doesn't improve. And if it does improve, there's no reason to think they can't be playing for it all."