October 26, 2009

Meyer says Tebow frustrated

Tim Tebow isn't a happy camper, and this time it has nothing to do with the Georgia Bulldogs, who square off against the Gators Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville.

No, this time, Tebow is angry at himself.

"He's very frustrated," Florida coach Urban Meyer said during his weekly teleconference. "He's used to playing at a certain level."

That wasn't the case Saturday against Mississippi State.

The former Heisman Trophy winner completed just 12 of 22 passes for 127 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns, an effort that disgusted Tebow so much that he declined to conduct interviews following Florida's 29-19 victory.

Meyer agreed that it wasn't vintage Tebow, who endured arguably his worse day for the defending national champs. In fact, if not for a pair of pick-6 interceptions by safety Johnthan Banks, Florida could well be heading into Saturday's showdown against the Bulldogs coming off its first loss of the year.

"A lot of guys are frustrated," Meyer said. "You go down there and win 29-19, 10 points on the road and same old song and dance as the last couple weeks. Guys want to play better."

That's not all.

According to Meyer, if there was one thing about his offense that displeased him it's the fact that Tebow seemed locked into two receivers - Aaron Hernandez and Riley Cooper - throughout the game against Mississippi State.

Hernandez caught five passes for 32 yards and Cooper four for 63. No other receiver caught more than one pass.

Meyer said that has to change.

"There's no chemistry issue," Meyer said. "We just need to do a better job spreading it around a bit. Last week was probably our best week of throwing the ball in practice. Our receivers are healthy, Deonte (Thompson) is healthy; Frankie Hammond made a good push. It's all tied together, all 11 guys, not just Tim. We just have to do a better job."

Meyer said the frustration felt by Tebow is similar to that of the defense following Florida's 23-20 victory over Arkansas two weeks ago.

"One of the greatest stories of all is when we hold that Arkansas team and the defense was really upset with how they played," Meyer said. "Our job as coaches is to coach them really hard, manage expectations and just play, have fun playing the game and not worry about this, worry about that."

Bulldog coach Mark Richt has no doubt that the Bulldogs will get Florida's best shot.

Why wouldn't they?

The Gators (7-0, 5-0) sit atop this week's BCS standings, and as long as they win out, will play for their second-straight national championship in January.

"We've got to prepare for this game thinking that Florida is going to be at its best, which I'm sure they will be," Richt said. "We have no reason to think that's not we're going to get. We've always gotten Florida's best shot before so that's we've got to be expecting."

Still, Meyer wants to make sure his team doesn't star pointing fingers, something he said he's keeping a close eye on.

He even held a team meeting to remind his players to stay focused, and to be watchful what they tell the media regarding some of Florida's recent close calls.

"I'm very on guard with the human element. I have seen it in the past. I haven't seen it on this team yet. Just like this group of questions I have today I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about the young players and how they handle it and the way questions are sometimes worded and all of a sudden it's front-page headlines so-and-so said this, of course he didn't say that," Meyer said. "I know how our players feel about each other. I just want to make sure that I addressed it. We had a great meeting and have very good chemistry on our team. Our guys are going to stick together."

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