Upsets rare in recent Florida-FSU series history

The Florida Gators will enter Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking to do something that has only been accomplished once in the last 11 years in their annual series with the in-state rival Florida State Seminoles.

Since 2003, the favorite and/or unanimously higher-ranked team entering the Florida-Florida State game has ultimately won the contest – in fact, it’s happened on 10-of-11 occasions – with the Gators being the only team to pull off an upset victory, which they did on the road in Tallahassee, Florida, in 2004.

Continue Reading » Upsets rare in recent Florida-FSU series history

Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Florida Gators basketball may – or may not – be without two of its best players this week when it participates in the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas beginning on Wednesday.

Redshirt juniors guard Eli Carter (foot sprain) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hairline fractures in hand) both traveled with the Gators on Monday though Carter is not cleared to practice and Finney-Smith has been held out of team drills in order to rest his non-shooting hand as much as possible.

“We don’t play until Wednesday. I would say probably, by after our practice Tuesday, I’ll have a really good gauge of where those guys are at. I know that’s tomorrow, but I know right now both of those guys are not really cleared for practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said on Monday.

“My feeling right now going into this is we’re going to basically have the team we had playing against Louisiana-Monroe. That’s how I’m going into it right now, how I’m approaching it.”

Continue Reading » Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 12

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 39 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 27 players (17 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 12th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S WILL HILL, Baltimore Ravens: Started | four tackles (two solo), two pass defenses; interception returned for touchdown (44 yards)
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 11 tackles (nine solo, one for loss), sack, QB hit [all team-highs]
» Jenkins is tied for 12th in the NFL in solo tackles (62).
CB JANORIS JENKINS, St. Louis Rams: Started | four tackles (three solo), pass defense, interception returned for a touchdown (99 yards)
» Five of Jenkins’s seven career interceptions have been returned for touchdowns.
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Six receptions for 113 yards (targets: 8, long: 54); solo tackle
» Murphy’s 113 yards are his most in a single game since Sept. 26, 2010 and the third-most in his career.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 12

11/24: Muschamp on preparing for FSU, what he’s told Gators assistants, quarterback position

Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators (6-4) held his last regularly-scheduled Monday press conference in order to discuss his team’s upcoming game against the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (11-0) on Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.

OPENING STATEMENT ON FLORIDA STATE

“One of the great rivalries in all of college football. Got a really good football team. We got tremendous respect for [head coach] Jimbo [Fisher] and the job he’s done, and his staff deserves a lot of credit for the games they’ve won. They won a bunch of games in a row. Last time they lost was when the Gators were up there. They’ve done an outstanding job. They’ve got a very good team in all three phases.

“Offensively, really with their team starts with Jameis Winston. He’s a great player, a Heisman Trophy winner. Arm talent, he can throw it any way you want it. He’s just got a great, strong arm. He’s able to throw the touch throws, take the ball to the right spots. He’s got a great pocket presence. He’s a very hard guy to tackle in the pocket. You’ve got to tackle him high. Great toughness for the position, you see the guy take some shots. He’s got a bad ankle, he keeps battling, he keeps playing and keeps playing. At the end of the game, he’s won a bunch of games for them, especially this year putting the game on his shoulders and winning the football game. Tremendous respect for him. …

“Looking forward to going to Tallahassee. Our guys will prepare well. Our guys look forward to this game every year and it ought to be a great atmosphere and environment.”

Continue Reading » 11/24: Muschamp on preparing for FSU, what he’s told Gators assistants, quarterback position

Florida hangs on at No. 18/16 in top 25 polls

The Florida Gators (2-1) remained ranked when the third regular-season editions of the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ Poll were released on Monday, despite dropping a home game to unranked Miami last week and being taken to overtime by Louisiana-Monroe on Friday.

Florida, which opened the season at No. 7/7 and moved to No. 8/7 last week, is now ranked No. 18 by AP voters (down 10 spots) and No. 16 by the coaches (down nine spots).

WeekGator BaitRecordAP Top 25USA TodayNCAA RPI
Preseason--No. 7 (1,153)No. 7 (568)-
2W 68-45 vs. William & Mary1-0No. 8 (1,127)No. 7 (560)-
3L 69-67 vs. Miami
W(OT) 61-56 vs. ULM
2-1No. 18 (467)No. 16 (303)-

UF’s 2014-15 opponents in italics. Wins in blue; losses in red.

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25
1-5: Kentucky (62), Arizona/Wisconsin (3), Duke, North Carolina
6-10: Louisville, Texas, Virginia, Wichita State, Gonzaga
11-15: Kansas, Villanova, Iowa State, VCU, San Diego State
16-20: Ohio State, Miami, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State
21-25: West Virginia, UCLA, Creighton, UConn, Arkansas

USA TODAY COACHES’ POLL
1-5: Kentucky (29), Duke, Wisconsin (2), Arizona (1), Louisville
6-10: North Carolina, Virginia, Gonzaga, Texas, Wichita State
11-15: Villanova, Kansas, Iowa State, VCU, San Diego State
16-20: Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami
21-25: Oklahoma, UConn, UCLA, West Virginia, Providence

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TWO BITS: Florida soccer advances to Elite Eight; Gators volleyball captures 21st SEC title

1 » No. 10 Florida Gators soccer on Sunday advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2014 NCAA Tournament after taking down the No. 16 Texas Tech Red Raiders 3-2 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators may have fallen short of winning their league crown, but Florida is making a significant effort in NCAA play, moving on to the quarterfinals for the fifth time in program history and first since 2003. UF got on the board first with senior midfielder Havana Solaun striking the ball from 20 yards out; it deflected off the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand, and then the post, before finding the back of the net and putting the Gators up 1-0 at 14′. Florida went ahead 2-0 at 21′ after scoring on a glancing header by sophomore forward Savannah Jordan, which came off a free kick from senior MF Annie Speese. Texas Tech fought back with consecutive goals at 37′ and 64′ to tie thing sup, but Speese notched the game-winning goal at 81′ to send UF forward in the postseason.

The Gators will travel out west to continue their trek toward the NCAA title as Florida will next take on the Stanford Cardinal on Friday at 10 p.m. in Palo Alto, California.

2 » It was an eventful week for No. 6 Gators volleyball, which captured the outright 2014 Southeastern Conference Championship on Friday with a 3-1 win against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. The SEC regular-season title is Florida’s second in the last three years and 21st in the last 24 seasons (1991-2008, 2010, 2012), all of which have come under head coach Mary Wise. On Sunday, the Gators won their 18th-straight match of the season, taking down the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Florida has its longest winning streak since 2010 and will play its final games of the regular season on Wednesday vs. South Carolina and Saturday at Texas.

Florida-EKU post-game report: Durkin to coach bowl, Muschamp’s final lesson, Bullard’s decision

The Florida Gators (6-4) took care of business, routing the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (9-3) on Senior Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida’s 52-3 victory on Saturday got the Gators bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012 and also marked the second-largest win margin in any game under head coach Will Muschamp, who was able to leave The Swamp with his head held high.

BOWL GAME COACH CHOSEN

Moments after Florida’s win was finalized, the school announced that defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin would serve as interim head coach for the Gators’ bowl game this year. Durkin, the second-longest tenured member of the staff (five years) behind running backs coach Brian White (six years), will take the reigns of the program once Muschamp’s dismissal is finalized next Saturday, Nov. 29.

FINAL LESSON: A TOUGH WEEK, ROAD AHEAD

There should be no doubt that the entire Florida football team took Muschamp’s dismissal hard. Gators players spoke of him fondly on Monday after his press conference and were obviously playing with an extra gear on Saturday. Junior defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard even went so far as to write his coach’s last name on his eyeblack.

“I’ve just been through a lot and he’s been there for me,” Bullard said. “When I lost my grandmother, he was a big supporter; he let me go home as long as I needed. Just little things he did helping me through that whole situation, he’s just been a real good person to me. I respect him a lot, and actually, I love him. I just wanted to show some respect for him, everything he’s done for me, and show him that I appreciate it.”

Muschamp admitted Saturday that it took a while for Florida to get back in the swing of things this week. Monday’s practice was thwarted due to the weather; Tuesday the team looked “just OK” and did not show “great effort” on the field; and Wednesday was just “a little bit better.”

So Muschamp spent the Gators’ regularly-scheduled Thursday meeting speaking about much more than just the upcoming game but rather how Florida’s players need to deal with his dismissal and their futures going forward.

Continue Reading » Florida-EKU post-game report: Durkin to coach bowl, Muschamp’s final lesson, Bullard’s decision

Florida G Eli Carter avoids serious foot injury

Florida Gators basketball received some good news Saturday when an MRI revealed that redshirt junior guard Eli Carter, who hurt himself late in practice on Thursday, has suffered a mid-foot sprain and not a dreaded Lisfranc injury.

The school announced the test results Saturday evening.

The second Florida starter dealing with an injury already this season, Carter missed Friday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe and could be seen on the bench with a big boot on his foot. Head coach Billy Donovan announced after the game that X-rays on Carter’s foot were negative for a break, but team doctors wanted to do an MRI to fully diagnose the issue.

“They’re concerned with a Lisfranc, whatever her name is or his name is, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of Lisfranc,” said Donovan. “They want to look in to, I think, rule that out, or it’s just a mid-foot sprain. If it’s [a Lisfranc], from what I’ve heard, it’s a pretty extensive time he’s going to be off. And if it’s the other one, then they’re hoping 8-10 days. … We’re just hoping that it’s not the other thing.”

Continue Reading » Florida G Eli Carter avoids serious foot injury

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