At this point, Urban Meyer will always be known as an offense-oriented coach. However, it was clear in his coach show this week that he loves him some defense and special teams too.
Meyer was grinning big on Sunday, something he generally doesn’t do except after wins over highly ranked teams. He even coined the term “blue shirts” to describe his defense while praising its effort, and then he brought up Jeff Demps’ punt block. He said the big wins while he’s been at UF have had great defense and special teams, and he mentioned Tennessee, LSU, and the national championship game specifically as big wins.
As for the offense, it “had some struggles” but it made some plays and didn’t turn the ball over. Apparently that was enough for him.
For the whole show, he kept talking about how well the defense played, using the “blue shirts” term, and saying that if you’re not trying hard you “stick out like a sore thumb.” He almost seemed happiest breaking down the special teams, which meshes with reports from practice about the punt blocking drills being his favorite kind, and he has since said that he thinks Chas Henry is the best punter in college football.
By the end of the show, he was practically beaming about the defense and special teams, while also mentioning that the offense made some plays too. He didn’t appear to come away with as low an opinion of the offensive performance as many of the fans did, mainly since he had a higher opinion of Miami’s defense than many of the fans did.
It clearly delights him to have a good defense after the debacle that was last year. How good it ends up being will be decided in conference play. But in case you needed a refresher: Tennessee, Ole Miss, LSU, and Kentucky are breaking in new starters at quarterback; Tennessee and Arkansas have drastically new offensive schemes; South Carolina and FSU have quarterback competitions going on; and Vandy is still Vandy, despite its big win last week.
“Florida Football with Urban Meyer,” his weekly coach show, airs on Sunday mornings in Florida, but it doesn’t come on in Charlotte until Tuesday afternoons.