Florida's Urban Meyer seeking balance in offense

Regardless of who plays quarterback for top-ranked Florida on Saturday night at No. 4 LSU, coach Urban Meyer would like to see more from his passing game.

The Gators (4-0, 2-0) rank 58th in the country in passing, averaging nearly 219 yards a game. They rate even worse against teams from the Sunshine State, falling behind Florida State (17th), Florida Atlantic (25th), Miami (37th), Florida International (41st) and South Florida (54th).

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and backup John Brantley have combined for 10 touchdown passes and just one interception, but Florida's success has come mostly on the ground. With Tebow, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey leading the way, the Gators top the nation in rushing at nearly 308 yards a game.

Meyer would like to see more balance.

"When you're playing the group we're playing this week, you're going to have to be balanced," Meyer said. "We're a little unbalanced right now."

The Gators have excuses: Starting receiver Deonte Thompson (hamstring) missed the last two games, and fellow receivers Carl Moore (back) and Andre Debose (hamstring) are likely out for the year. Receiver Riley Cooper and tight end Aaron Hernandez also missed time because of the flu.

Also, Florida has enjoyed early, double-digit leads in every game.

"It's 31-0 after the first quarter (against Kentucky)," Meyer said. "You're not going to be zinging the ball all over the place. And you had injuries and illness at receiver. We've got to get that going. We've all done this a long time. You have to be balanced to win a big game, and right now, we're not."


RESURGENT RUN: LSU running back Charles Scott decided to return for his senior year instead of turning pro. Up until last week at Georgia he wasn't having the kind of season he envisioned when he made the decision.

The 234-pound running back had two late touchdowns against the Bulldogs, one on a short powerful run through the line, the other on a tackle-breaking 33-yard scamper in the final minute. He finished with 95 yards on 19 carries.

"Just to come out and have good game like that and let my team know they can rely on me definitely made a difference in the confidence level," Scott said.

Scott rushed for 1,174 yards as a junior and could have turned pro, but returned for his senior year and proceeded to put up numbers well below his previous standard. In his first four games he rushed for 52, 49, 63 and 15 yards. Scott refused to blame the offensive line.

"It's hard to say what was what, because maybe they were blocking it perfectly and I was missing cuts," he said. "This game, we were on the same page. They were blocking perfect and I was hitting the holes."


WHERE'S JULIO?: No. 3 Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy is tired of answering questions along the lines of, "What's wrong with Julio Jones?"

Absolutely nothing, says McElroy.

"It seems like every interview I do, somebody is asking me, 'Why isn't Julio getting more involved?" he said "Just because Julio is not catching balls doesn't mean he's not involved. He's very involved. He demands the eyes, four eyes are on him every time we snap the ball. That's two from a safety and two from a corner. He makes a difference whether he catches a ball or not."

Jones did miss one game and most of another with a bruised right knee. His nine catches are tied for third on the team, while his 160 yards is tied for second. It is far off his record-setting freshman season, but coach Nick Saban said the focus on Jones helps other players get open.

"Without developing statistics, you're doing a lot to help your team win," Saban said. "We continue to try to get him the ball. I think if he continues to do the things that he's doing, his time's going to come."


KICKER, PUNTER, ACTOR: Spencer Lanning has been about everything South Carolina could've hoped for this season in replacing all-Southeastern Conference kicker Ryan Succop, now starting for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Turns out Lanning's not so bad at punking the Gamecocks, either.

He is tied for the SEC lead with 10 field goals, stands fourth among league punters with a 41.9-yard average and even earned a game ball for his last-ditch, TD-saving tackle of Ole Miss' Marshay Green.

His best performance may have come on the practice field.

Coach Steve Spurrier asked Lanning to grab his hamstring on the final conditioning run at practice Sept. 30. Spurrier called in the trainers as special teams coach Shane Beamer and strength coach Craig Fitzgerald looked on in horror at the prospect of losing the team's only experienced kicking specialist.

"Coach Beamer supposedly turned ghost white. Coach Fitz said he'd lost his job," Lanning recalled Tuesday.

After a few moments, Spurrier ended the prank -- at least for some. "It was funny for everybody," Lanning said. "But I still have guys come up to me and ask how my hamstring is."


RAPPING FOR BERRY: Tennessee is putting the talents of a Volunteers basketball player to work spreading the word about Eric Berry.

As part of the school's Eric Berry for Heisman campaign, Tennessee employed Vols forward Renaldo Woolridge, who writes and records rap songs in his free time under the name "Swiperboy," to star in a video about Berry posted on ericberryforheisman.com.

"Eric Berry calls the shots, don't worry 'bout a reception, throw it my way, just worry 'bout interceptions," Woolridge raps in the video.

Berry is the NCAA active career leader with 13 interceptions and is 15 return yards away from owning that record, too. He leads Tennessee and ranks third in the SEC with 45 tackles.


STREAK ENDS: Kentucky superfan Jim Brown's streak is over.

The 90-year-old Brown missed his first home game since 1944 on Saturday when an illness kept him from attending Kentucky's 38-20 loss to No. 3 Alabama.

Brown had attended Kentucky's last 412 home games. Take out the 1944 season -- when he was serving in the armed forces in World War II -- he hadn't missed a game since his freshman year at Kentucky in 1938.

Brown expects to start a new streak when the Wildcats return home on Oct. 24 to take on Louisiana-Monroe.

The streak has spanned 12 coaches and more than seven decades and seven bowl appearances.


AP Sports Writers Brett Martel in Baton Rouge, La.; John Zenor in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Will Graves in Lexington, Ky. Beth Rucker in Knoxville, Tenn. and Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C. contributed to this report.