Bye Week Bulletin II: What to watch while UF’s off


The Florida Gators have their second of two open dates this Saturday and will not step foot on the gridiron – but that does not mean there are no college football games to watch. In this season’s second edition of the Bye Week Bulletin, OnlyGators.com points out the best and most interesting games to keep a close eye on this Saturday.

Feel free to use the comment section on this post to discuss all of Saturday’s games.

MUST WATCH

No. 1 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Florida fans that believe Dan Mullen should/will be the Gators’ next head coach will tune in anyway but for the rest of you – hopefully most of you – an additional reason is likely needed to give up your Saturday afternoon to check out this contest. Well, Kentucky has been more than respectable this season, and it’s hawking secondary could give Mississippi State some fits. The Wildcats taking down a Bulldogs team that has run through three at-the-time top 10-ranked opponents may be an unlikely scenario, but it is not an impossibility. Plus, unlike Mullen, there is a head coach worth paying attention to in this game – Mark Stoops.

No. 3 Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0 SEC) at No. 24 LSU (6-2, 2-2 SEC) – 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Now-ranked LSU’s rushing game found its stride against Florida and doubled down in a 41-3 blowout of Kentucky. The Tigers have outscored teams not named Auburn by 25.7 points per game with close wins over then-No. 14 Wisconsin (28-24) and Florida (30-27) as well as a devastating loss against then-unranked Mississippi State (34-29). LSU will be hosting Ole Miss in Death Valley at 7:15 p.m. A night game in Tiger Stadium with Les Miles coaching? Anything can happen.

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Billy Donovan offers support for Florida’s football coach, again: ‘I am a huge Will Muschamp fan’

For the second time in 10 days, Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan went out of his way to openly praise Will Muschamp, standing behind Florida’s embattled football coach as Muschamp faces a likely dismissal following his team’s poor start to the 2014 season.

Last Wednesday, Donovan said he had an “enormous amount of respect” for Muschamp, noting that he took over a challenging situation in 2011 and dealt with an insane number of injuries in 2013. Donovan even revealed that he had Muschamp speak with the basketball team this past summer in order to enlighten players on how quickly success can turn into struggle.

During an appearance on an ESPN.com college basketball podcast that was published on Friday, Donovan went even further in his support of Muschamp.

“I will tell you this: I am a huge Will Muschamp fan,” he said.

Continue Reading » Billy Donovan offers support for Florida’s football coach, again: ‘I am a huge Will Muschamp fan’

Kasey Hill still growing, preparing to step in at point guard for Florida Gators

Photo Credit: ESPN Images

It is rare for a freshman to start right out of the gate for the Florida Gators but that is exactly what point guard Kasey Hill did last season as he flashed explosiveness and potential in place of Scottie Wilbekin, who was suspended for the first six games of the 2013-14 campaign due to a violation of team rules.

Unfortunately for Hill, he only got four starts to himself to begin the season, as an ankle injury he suffered against Southern put him on the shelf for two weeks. By the time Hill returned to the court, Wilbekin was firmly entrenched again as Florida’s starter, but Hill nevertheless averaged 21 minutes per game over his final 28 contests (he missed four more games due to a groin injury).

With Wilbekin one of four seniors no longer with the program, and Hill easily the most experienced and talented point guard remaining on the Gators’ roster, the sophomore will have no questions about his role with the team this season.

Continue Reading » Kasey Hill still growing, preparing to step in at point guard for Florida Gators

Florida Gators lose Baker and Thomas, two top-rated 2015 linebacker commits

For the second time this week, a highly-rated 2015 linebacker commitment has decided to part ways with the Florida Gators.

On Thursday, two days after four-star Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) decommitted from the program, four-star Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) followed suit.

Baker and Thomas are the highest-ranked players in the Gators’ 2015 recruiting class according to Rivals and ESPN, respectively.

Baker is ranked as the No. 36 overall player in the country by Rivals (No. 68 by ESPN), while Thomas is rated as the No. 68 overall player by ESPN (unranked by Rivals).

Continue Reading » Florida Gators lose Baker and Thomas, two top-rated 2015 linebacker commits

Billy Donovan on Florida’s practice intensity, Eli Carter’s return, early evaluations, SEC Media Day

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Monday, less than one week after his team began fall practice. Donovan discussed a number of pressing topics facing the Gators as they prepare for the 2014-15 season.

DOUBLE RAINBOW PRACTICES!

Donovan put Florida to work as soon as the team convened for practice last week, holding double sessions on Friday and Saturday with Sunday off and a fifth practice on Monday. Overall, he was pleased with the early results, especially on Saturday when there was a lot of installing and teaching going on with the team.

“Their attitude was good. They worked hard. It was really good effort. I thought there was sustained intensity. I thought the two freshmen, there was a lot thrown at them in those first four practices on Friday and Saturday, and they seemed to absorb it. They have a pretty good basketball IQ, picked things up. I think those guys will continue to get better,” he explained.

Asked why the Gators did not open practice with more pomp and circumstance – such as Midnight Madness (with or without a rap star running out with the team only to airball a shot) – Donovan somewhat avoided the question, instead pointing to his preference to get the team as ready as possible for the season with the time he has allotted.

Continue Reading » Billy Donovan on Florida’s practice intensity, Eli Carter’s return, early evaluations, SEC Media Day

Treon Harris sexual battery investigation incident report released by University of Florida police

The University of Florida on Wednesday released its full police report on the incident involving Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris and an accusation of sexual battery by a female student.

The three-document report, which totals 166 pages, shows a comprehensive investigation that included an extensive interview process as well as the collection of evidence both in physical and digital form.

Continue Reading » Treon Harris sexual battery investigation incident report released by University of Florida police

Florida QB Treon Harris will start vs. Georgia

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced Wednesday that freshman quarterback Treon Harris will start for the team when it takes on the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 1.

“Treon, you saw what he did late in the game [against Missouri]. He has a knack for making plays and making some good things happen for our football team,” Muschamp said. “We’ve struggled with production at the quarterback position and that’s been an issue for us – along with some other [positions] – but that’s been a huge issue for us. He’s a guy that has a knack for making plays.”

Harris will have two weeks getting first-team repetitions ahead of the Gators’ showdown with the Bulldogs.

“He has a much better understanding [of the offense] as we continue to move forward,” Muschamp added. “We got an open week now where he’s getting a bunch of reps.”

Continue Reading » Florida QB Treon Harris will start vs. Georgia

4 BITS: Driskel, Baker, Demps, Patton, Murphy

1 » Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel reportedly missed at least some portion of practice ahead of the Missouri game while dealing with a right ankle injury, which became more apparent last Saturday when his ankle was heavily taped before the contest. Driskel also hardly ran the ball in the game, just one week after carrying it 21 times. While it is currently unknown whether the still-imploding Driskel will get the start against Georgia on Nov. 1 – head coach Will Muschamp may address that very topic during his only media appearance of the week, the SEC teleconference on Wednesday – it looks like he is still missing some practice time.

OnlyGators.com reader Jeremy sent in the following photo, which he snapped Tuesday on his way to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for an event. In the photo below, freshmen Treon Harris and Will Grier (dressed in full pads) are leading the pack of quarterbacks out to the practice field while Driskel is bringing up the rear, holding his helmet but neither wearing pads nor football pants.

I was taking my kids to see Sesame Street Live at the O’Dome tonight. When we parked, we noticed the football team going to the practice field. The players were upbeat and giving my kids high-fives. Then the quarterbacks walked by. Treon Harris and Will Grier led the way and looked focused. Driskel was at the back. No pads, no pants. He looked like a player who wasn’t practicing. Muschamp walked by, smiled and looked like a beaten soul.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Driskel, Baker, Demps, Patton, Murphy

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