Brooks says Boyd misread options

September 27, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Because he ran so well against Indiana, Kentucky quarterback Shane Boyd went into Saturday's game at No. 16 Florida confident he could do so again.

Boyd's success against Indiana, though, also showed the Gators that they needed to concentrate their defense on stopping Boyd.

Florida's defense did just that Saturday in a 20-3 win over Kentucky. The same UK offense that amassed 560 yards and 51 points against Indiana scored on a career-best 51-yard field goal by Taylor Begley on its first drive, but never got inside the Florida 20-yard line after that. Kentucky finished the game with just 207 yards and coach Rich Brooks emphasized Sunday that part of the problem was Boyd's decision-making.

"The game he played, considering he was coming off the best game of his career, was not up to standard," said Brooks during his weekly teleconference. "He missed a few checks, but that was understandable in that environment. He had some passes dropped, he missed some passes and he made some bad decisions on keeping the ball on the option when pitching (the ball) was the right decision."


Boyd ran 14 times for 32 yards and was 17-for-35 passing for 134 yards with one interception. Brooks said a bruised left shoulder hampered Boyd's passing, especially late in the game, but that he should be fine for this week's home game with Ohio University.

"He's okay, other than maybe mentally," Brooks said. "I just talked to him. He's not sure (about why he kept the ball so much). He had so much success running last week, maybe he thought he could do it all over again. But when the pitch key says pitch the ball, that's what you do. A couple of times he did not even look at the pitch key when he decided to run."

Brooks said it was obvious Florida's defense was not going to over-pursue plays and give Boyd a chance to cut back for big gains like he did against Indiana.

"They were not going to allow him to be the guy keeping the ball on the option, either," Brooks said. "Having said that, he ought to be able to figure out to pitch the damn ball.

"We're talking about four or five plays on the option. That was not the difference in the game, but it could have allowed us the opportunity to move the (first down) chains and have shots to do more with our offense."

Brooks admitted that Florida's "athletic ability and speed" on defense contributed to his team's problems.

"We got very few yards after the first hit. Last week we had quite a few," Brooks said. "Whether it was receiver, running back or quarterback, when we got hit, we were down."

UK's defense allowed 523 yards, but also came up with three interceptions and had Kentucky within 13-3 midway of the final period. The defense inside the 20-yard line pleased Brooks as did the interceptions, but he was not happy with the 262 yards rushing the Gators had.

"Some was gap control. Some was their back," Brooks said. "He made us miss tackles because he's a strong runner. But when we played our gaps, he had nowhere to go. When we didn't, he got going untouched. We missed way too many tackles, too."

UK notes:

* Brooks said inside linebacker Dustin Williams had a "displaced fracture of both bones" in his left forearm and would have surgery Wednesday or Thursday. His status for the rest of the year will be evaluated to see if he can play with a cast or not.

He also said freshman running back Tony Dixon "rolled" the same ankle he hurt in August and that linebacker Jon Sumrall had a bruised chin. Both are expected to practice and play this week. Brooks also noted that receiver Gerad Parker, out two weeks after cutting his leg in practice, should start running today and could play Saturday.

* Freshman Aaron Miller graded the best of any offensive lineman in his second start. Brooks said Micah Jones, a backup freshman lineman, "continues to miss assignments."

* Brook said it was a "stupid call by the head coach" and poor communication on his part that led Marcus McClinton to run on punt formation and not make a first down.

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