9/2: Roper, Driskel believe in matured Robinson

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and a couple of his players met with the media on Tuesday to provide some thoughts on the Gators and Florida’s new season-opener against the Eastern Michigan Eagles set for 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

LEADERS BELIEVE IN DEMARCUS ROBINSON

When sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was announced as suspended on Saturday, many assumed it was the conclusion of his season-ending suspension from 2013. Head coach Will Muschamp pointed out on Monday that was not the case, noting that Robinson’s suspension was for a completely separate, albeit not announced, university sanction.

That means Robinson, a four-star prospect who was supposed to be a breakthrough player for Muschamp and the Gators’ offense, has been suspended on three separate occasions in one full season and one not-played game during his time at Florida.

While Robinson has seen plenty of the dog house, Roper stated on Tuesday that he’s had no issues whatsoever with Robinson since taking over as UF’s offensive coordinator.

Continue Reading » 9/2: Roper, Driskel believe in matured Robinson

Florida remains unranked in top 25 polls

The Florida State Seminoles held on to the No. 1 spot in the first regular-season editions of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and USA Today Coaches’ Poll, released on Tuesday.

Unranked in either preseason poll for the first time since 2003 and not finding a spot in USA Today‘s preseason rankings for the first time since it took over the coaches’ poll in 1991, the Florida Gators remained unranked after their scheduled season-opener against the Idaho Vandals was suspended due to weather.

UF did, however, finish within the top five unranked teams in both polls.

Florida State received 46-of-60 first-place votes in the AP poll and 57-of-62 first-place votes in the USA Today rankings, making it the overwhelming choice for top team in the country this week.

Check out the complete polls…after the break!

Continue Reading » Florida remains unranked in top 25 polls

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4 BITS: Horschel, tough schedule, Florida Field

1 » Former Florida Gators golfer Billy Horschel was in contention to win the 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship…all until his second shot on the final hole of the event. Trailing by one stroke, Horschel was 198 yards away from the hole and set to reach the green in two on the par-5 18th, a hole he birdied thrice before, when he instead chunked a 6-iron into the marsh. Instead of finishing with an eagle or birdie, which respectively would have won him the tournament or forced a playoff, Horschel posted a bogey on 18. He finished in a three-way tie for second, losing the event (and the chance for the full winner’s purse of $1.44 million) to Georgia’s Chris Kirk. Horschel still brought home $597,333. Horschel’s second-place finish vaulted him from 82nd to 20th in the FedExCup, and he should receive a spot in the 2014 Tour Championship. He could also be a dark horse candidate for the United States’ Ryder Cup team.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Horschel, tough schedule, Florida Field

Options being considered for Florida-Idaho game

With discussions ongoing and no resolution expected until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest, the athletic departments of the Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals are considering a number of options after the season opening showdown between the teams scheduled for Saturday was delayed and then suspended due to weather.

The primary options being discussed are either rescheduling the game this season or cancelling it outright, declaring it a no contest without a victor.

However, within each of those options are a number of variables that must be considered.

RESCHEDULING THE GAME

The Gators and Vandals both possess an open week on Oct. 25, which would make moving the game to that date a no-brainer, right? Wrong.

The Oct. 25 bye week is immensely important for both programs.

Continue Reading » Options being considered for Florida-Idaho game

9/1: Foley, Muschamp comment on Florida-Idaho, Gators suspensions, named starters

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to open up game week ahead of his team’s new home opener against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m.

He and athletic director Jeremy Foley spoke at length about Florida’s false-start against the Idaho Vandals, which was delayed and then suspended due to lightning, and the Gators’ focus with another week to go before stepping on the field.”

THE SUSPENDED PLAYERS: REINSTATED

Sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (university sanction) and defensive tackles senior Darious Cummings and redshirt freshman Jay-nard Bostwick (violations of team rules) have all be reinstated. Muschamp said Monday that all three players will be back in action for Florida next Saturday against Eastern Michigan.

“They will be back this week with us,” said Muschamp of his Cummings and Bostwick. “They have, not just as far as the suspension for a game, they’ve handled a lot of other things for me.”

In regards to Robinson, Muschamp said his university sanction has been “resolved” and his punishment was not a continuation of the suspension that cost him the final two games of 2013. “This was a totally separate issue,” he noted.

Continue Reading » 9/1: Foley, Muschamp comment on Florida-Idaho, Gators suspensions, named starters

4 BITS: Horschel, U.S. Open, Spikes, Grossman

1 » Former Florida Gators golfer Billy Horschel (-11) is in contention at the Deutsche Bank Championship, one stroke back of leader Russell Henley (-12) with the event’s final round set to begin Monday afternoon. Horschel and Henley will tee off at 1:55 p.m. as the final pairing but will also face stiff competition from Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Chris Kirk, all of whom are just two shots back at -10. Horschel’s best finish this season has been sixth (twice, most recently at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June). He’s looking for his first tournament victory since 2013 when he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Horschel has already earned $1.3 million this season. Former Gators golfers Camilo Villegas and Matt Every also made the initial cut at the Deutsche Bank, but Villegas is at the back of the pack and Every got cut after shooting an 86 in the third round.

2 » Florida freshman tennis player Brooke Austin is competing in the junior’s bracket of 2014 U.S. Open, facing Evgeniya Levashova in opening-round action. The match is suspended, as of press time, with Austin up 4-1 in the second set after falling 6-0 to Levashova in the first. Former Gators star Lisa Raymond, also participated this year, teaming with fellow American Vania King in the women’s doubles draw. Pushing past opponents in the first two rounds, Raymond/King fell 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 6-2 to Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova of Russia on Monday. The oldest woman to ever win a Grand Slam doubles title (back in 2011 at age 38 with partner Liezel Huber), Raymond has won nearly $10 million in her career with 15 Grand Slam doubles titles and a bronze medal in mixed doubles from the 2012 London Olympics.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Horschel, U.S. Open, Spikes, Grossman

2 BITS: McDonald arrested; Patton, Demps signed

1 » San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald, a seven-year NFL veteran who just last week restructured his contract, was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of felony domestic violence. According to NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo, who broke the story on Twitter, the San Jose Police Department confirmed McDonald was arrested at approximately 2:45 a.m. when officers were called to a residence. Trujillo, citing sources, further reports that the alleged domestic violence victim is pregnant. This is the second time in his professional career that McDonald has been arrested for a felony; he was first popped for driving under the influence in 2010.

Three days ago, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced harsher penalties for players and league employees involved in domestic violence or sexual assault incidents. A six-game suspension will be handed down to first offenders with a second violation resulting in an indefinite suspension that could on appeal last at least one season but may potentially be a lifetime ban. McDonald will be the first player testing these rules, though it is not known when or how the league will choose to hand down these penalties. With Goodell and the league under so much scrutiny following the seemingly slap-on-a-wrist two-game suspension dealt to running back Ray Rice, there is more pressure than ever for the NFL to act swiftly in these situations.

2 » Wide receiver Solomon Patton and running back Jeff Demps were two of three former Florida Gators players cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. Both players have since cleared waivers and will now be signed to the team’s practice squad, according to Tampa Tribune beat writer Roy Cummings. Safety Major Wright, also cut by the Bucs, was one of four other Gators that received their walking papers on Saturday. The others included offensive linemen Jon Halapio (New England) and Maurice Hurt (Washington) and defensive end Justin Trattou (Minnesota).

Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 4 + Cuts

The 2014 NFL preseason continued on Thursday with 44 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

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

Below are full game statistics for all 24 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the fourth week of the preseason.

NFL teams were forced to make final cuts on Saturday as they pared down their rosters to 53 players. Six former Florida players were cut on Saturday, and one more on Sunday, leaving 37 on rosters heading into Week 1 of the regular season.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

TE TREY BURTON*, Philadelphia Eagles: Six receptions [team-high] for 45 yards (targets: 6, long: 21), touchdown
» An undrafted free agent, Burton made Philadelphia’s 53-man roster.
WR SOLOMON PATTON*, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Two receptions for 34 yards [team-high] (targets: 6, long: 25), touchdown; two kickoff returns for 39 yards (long: 20); punt return for nine yards
» Patton, an undrafted free agent, was cut by the Bucs on Saturday.

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

Continue Reading » Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 4 + Cuts

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