Daily Archives: April 13, 2008

Meyer’s Mood(y)

Now that we’re all basking in the warmth of the afterglow of the Greatest Spring Game Evah! in Gainesville, Florida yesterday, we’ve had time to reflect on how either Florida or South Carolina (!) will emerge to play Southern Cal in the BCS title game and how Chris “I’m a white girl man” Rainey is in line to become Florida’s next Heisman Trophy winner. But we should take a moment to ponder the fate of yesterday’s loser.

It’s still good to be Chris Rainey. It may not be so good to be Emmanuel Moody.

What’s the big deal? After all, Moody led all Gator running backs in rushing Saturday. Yet Coach Urban Meyer, as Rainey respectfully calls the man (no doubt much to the disapproval of Sunday Morning Quarterback), wasn’t a happy camper about Moody’s prospects.

… Later, when asked about Moody, Meyer issued a stern warning to the redshirt sophomore transfer from USC.

“He’s not very good with ball security, and he won’t play tailback at Florida with poor ball security,” Meyer said. “He’s very talented. You saw some great runs. … He’s got talent but there’s no chance you’ll see him play  regardless of what dot com says and all the e-mails I get and everything else, he will not play football if there’s a chance he’ll lay it on the ground.”

Will you people get a life and quit e-mailing the coach? He’s got plays to draw up this summer!

Anyway, this sounds like the beginning of a self-fulfilling prophecy:

… Moody wasn’t made available for interviews Saturday but on the day he announced his transfer to Florida, he told me he chose the Gators because he wanted to be a “feature back.” I asked him if he’d ever watched a Meyer-coached team, because none have had a traditional feature back. The closest Meyer ever came to using an every-down back was in 2003 at Utah, when Brandon Warfield carried 237 times for 976 yards and 11 touchdowns. In fact, 2003 was the only season in Meyer’s seven as a head coach that he didn’t have at least three players with at least 75 rushing attempts.

The numbers don’t lie. In seven seasons, Meyer has never coached a 1,000-yard rusher. In seven seasons, Meyer is 70-16. Does he really need to change a system that has produced that kind of success?

“We won a national championship two years ago without [a feature back] and we led the SEC in offense last year without one,” Meyer said. “It makes it a little harder to coach. You have to be creative.”

So I’ve got two questions. One, how long before Moody thinks about transferring again? Two, how long before Urban Meyer uses Moody’s predicament as a selling point to recruit another “feature” running back?

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