Florida Gators at No. 13 South Carolina Gameday

Location: Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 80,250]
Weather Forecast: 57°F, sunny, winds SSW at 6 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. (ET)

SiriusXM: 220/199
Online Video: CBSSports.com
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
Record: 5-4 (3-4) Record: 7-2 (5-2)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +3; O/U 40


Need to catch up on the Gators before week four action? No problem. OGGOA has been here all week compiling a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam Saturday afternoon at 12:00 p.m.

Story: Florida’s The Hawk belt motivates defenders

Muschamp’s presser | Weis comments on offense | Muschamp’s update

» Florida leads the all-time series against South Carolina 23-5-3 and holds a 10-4-1 advantage in games played in Columbia, SC. Before falling to USC in 2010, UF had won four-straight contests and 18 of 19 dating back to 1964.
» This will be the first time since 2004 that the Gators are not ranked when playing the Gamecocks. South Carolina has never faced Florida when the former was ranked and the latter was not.
» Spurrier led UF as head coach from 1990-2001, picking up six SEC titles and a national championship. He was also the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner and played for the Gators from 1964-66.
» Spurrier is 2-4 when facing his former team.
» South Carolina will be the fifth ranked opponent that Florida has faced. The Gators are 0-4 against such teams and will have played four of the five games away from home.
» The Gamecocks are holding homecoming this weekend.
» South Carolina can clinch the SEC East if they defeat UF and Georgia falls to Auburn. Should they beat the Gators on Saturday, it will be the first time they have gone undefeated in the SEC East in school history.
» Florida is 5-0 when outrushing their opponent but 0-4 when being outrushed.
» The Gators are last in the nation in penalties, committing 78 in nine games. Florida has lost/given up 584 yards due to those miscues. Those numbers average out to UF committing 8.67 penalties per game for 64.89 yards.
» In their five victories, the Gators are outscoring opponents 54-3 in the first quarter, while in their losses they have been outscored 31-17. UF has also scored on their opening drive in four of nine games.
» Florida has half as many upperclassmen (19 seniors, 14 juniors) as they do underclassmen (33 sophomores, 33 freshmen) on the roster the season.
» Fourteen different Gators made their first career start this season including five freshmen and three redshirt freshmen; 15 total have seen action this year.
» UF’s offense has struggled as of late, and Florida has had major problems putting the ball in the end zone. The Gators have scored points in 25 of 36 quarters this season and touchdowns in only 19 of those quarters.
» Florida is No. 14 nationally and fifth in the SEC in total defense (306.1 yards per game). The Gators are also No. 20 nationally and fourth in the SEC in scoring defense (19.7 points per game).
» UF’s pass defense is allowing just 182.8 yards per game, good for fourth in the SEC and 11th nationally.
» The Gators’ defense is seventh in the nation in preventing third-down conversions, allowing just 30.3 percent of those attempted to be successful.
» Florida’s defense has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (312) since 2000. UF also has the most interceptions in the nation (73) since 2008.
» The Gators and Gamecocks lead one another in a pair of major statistical categories. Florida tops South Carolina in national averages of passing yards 189.3-179.8 (92nd-98th) and points against 19.7-20.1 (20th-24th), while USC leads UF in rushing yards 188.3-156.4 (36th-62nd) and points scored 29.9-26.0 (50th-72nd). The teams have played five common opponents, each defeating Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt and falling to Auburn. The Gamecocks, however, defeated Georgia 45-42, while the Gators fell 24-20.


Riding a pair of victories, Florida hoped to continue its momentum at home against South Carolina. The Gators wound up falling 36-14 to the Gamecocks in a game that saw Steve Spurrier lead his team to its first SEC East title while winning in The Swamp for the first time as a visitor. Things looked promising for UF early when Andre Debose returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but South Carolina ran the ball down Florida’s collective throats with Marcus Lattimore carrying the rock 40 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns. The Gators accounted for just 226 total yards in the game and did not register a single point on offense until late in the fourth quarter.


» Probable: Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley (arm), redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey (ankle), redshirt sophomore Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (concussion), redshirt freshman tackle Chaz Green (ankle)
» Questionable: Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray (shoulder)
» Inactive: Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee)


» Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley (#12)…who has completed 58.8 percent of his passes (94-of-160) this season for 1,360 yards and six touchdowns but also threw three interceptions including one returned for a score. Brantley had missed 10 quarters of action after injuring his ankle against Alabama but returned with limited health and mobility against Georgia.
» Redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey (#1)…who has 831 yards of total offense this season with five touchdowns (including a punt block return). Rainey is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 15.3 yards per reception and leads Florida in rushing and receiving this season. He became the first player in school history to have a rushing, receiving and return touchdown in the same game, achieved the school and SEC record for career punt blocks (five), and is the active leader in that category nationally. He also rushed for 100 yards or more in three-straight games, the first UF player to do so since Fred Taylor last accomplished that feat 14 years ago.
» Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose (#4)…who jumped to second on the Gators’ receiving list with mirror image 65-yard touchdowns against Alabama and LSU. Fans have been waiting for Debose to emerge for some time, and his 272 receiving yards are the second-best on the team through its first nine games. Additionally, his 22.7 yards per catch is the highest average in the SEC and second nationally.
» Redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who had four receptions for a career-high 69 yards two weeks ago against Georgia. He also caught just the second receiving touchdown of his career that Saturday – his first this season.
» Sophomore safety Matt Elam (#22)…who is the most valuable member of Florida’s secondary in only his second year. He is tied for second on the team in tackles (53) and at one point created turnovers in three-straight games (fumble-INT-INT). His 12 tackles against LSU three weeks ago marked a career high, and his 6.5 tackles for loss this season is second-best on the team.
» Defensive tackles sophomore Dominique Easley (#2) and redshirt senior Jaye Howard (#6)…who have solidified the interior of one of the Gators’ strongest units. Howard is the team’s most experienced player on defense (26 starts), while Easley may be its most dynamic off the snap, with a first-step raved about by teammates and coaches alike. Howard and Easley have combined for 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks through nine games.
» Linebackers junior Jon Bostic (#52) and redshirt sophomore will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (#3)…who are 1-3 on the team in tackles. Bostic (65) and Jenkins (46) have each excelled in different areas for Florida. The former has six tackles for a loss and three sacks while the latter has one sack and five pass breakups on the year.
» Redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturigs (#19)…who has returned for Florida after missing eight games one year ago with an injured back. He is 17-for-19 in field goal attempts on the season (long: 55) and is perfect with 21 extra points, leading the Gators with 72 points scored this season. Sturgis is second in the nation with 17 field goals made but missed a game two weeks ago (leg).

» QB Connor Shaw (#14)…who has started the last four games for the Gamecocks after beginning the season as a backup. Shaw threw four interceptions in his first start (vs. Kentucky) but has a 2-4 TD-INT ratio through the air over the last three games (though he has rushed for three scores).
» RB Brandon Wilds (#22)…who has stepped in as starting running back after Marcus Lattimore went down with an injury three weeks ago. Wilds averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 28 touches against Tennessee but struggled last week gaining just 21 yards on 10 carries at Arkansas.
»WR Alshon Jeffery (#1)…who is USC’s most dynamic healthy offensive weapon. Jeffery is the team’s leading receiver with highs in receptions (36), yards (487) and touchdowns (five). He is easily Shaw’s favorite target and is a tough match-up for any team. Jeffery needs just 15 yards to be the school’s all-time leading receiver.
» Defensive end Melvin Ingram (#6)….who has scored three times this season including two fumble recoveries and a 68-yard run on a fake punt. He also has 5.5 sacks on the season – fourth best in the SEC.

Florida wins season opener in 40-point rout

The sharpshooting No. 8/10 Florida Gators opened the 2011-12 regular season in style Friday night, dominating the Jackson State Tigers 99-59 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Sophomore center Patric Young posted his first career double-double, and a duo of guards – junior Kenny Boynton and redshirt junior Mike Rosario – led Florida with 19 points each on 14-of-25 combined shooting (9-of-15 from downtown).

The Gators opened the game by outscoring the Tigers 18-3 in under five minutes and held a 59-23 lead at the half. Florida began the second half with a 15-0 run to take a game-high 51-point lead with nearly 17 minutes left to play.

UF outrebounded JSU 44-29 and forced 24 turnovers while only giving up the ball 10 times. Florida also dished out 14 more dimes (20-6) and held Jackson State to 34 percent shooting while hitting 51.3 percent of their tries during the contest.

Young tied a career-high with 12 points and added 10 rebounds for his first double-double. Four other Gators (including Boynton and Rosario) posted double digit points.

Freshman G Brad Beal shot 1-of-6 from downtown but posted 14 points. Senior point guard Erving Walker contributed 10 points and notched a game-high four assists.

Sophomore forward Will Yeguete was efficient in his 15 minutes of action, hitting three of four shots for seven points and seven boards. Redshirt freshman F Cody Larson scored the first points of his career, and sophomore PG Scottie Wilbekin played 15 minutes after sitting out the exhibition game due to a broken finger.

Florida passed its first test of the young season but will have a much tougher opponent in their next game as they are set to face Ohio State on the road in Columbus, OH on Tuesday. The game will air live at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (15-1)

With just days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 basketball season gets underway, the second half of OGGOA‘s series – The Countdown – takes a look at those players on the roster wearing jerseys ranging from No. 15-1.

15 – Will Yeguete (Bourdeaux, France)
Sophomore forward
6’7” 222 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010-11 Season: A diamond in the rough, Yeguete joined Florida as a three-star recruit out of high school last year. He played for Florida Air Academy (the same school attended by Walter Hodge) for two years, averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds in his senior season. Prior to that, Yeguete lived in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and France before coming to the United States with his family. As a freshman last year, he averaged 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per game but was often a spark off the bench for the Gators who could attack the boards and be active on the floor.

2011-12 Outlook: Yeguete has been told by head coach Billy Donovan that he is being counted on to be a rebounding machine, a role he embraces tremendously. “I know that’s my first thing – defensively getting rebounds,” he said. Though he is comfortable with that assignment, Yeguete has also been trying to improve his offense in order to stay on the floor longer and contribute even more to the team. “I’ve tried to be more aggressive offensively. I can’t just play defense,” he said. “Coach D wants me to be a fixture on offense and not turn the ball over. I’ve been working on it a lot lately and the whole summer, so I think it’s coming along pretty good.”

11 – Erving Walker (Brooklyn, NY)
Senior guard
5’8” 177 lbs.

Quick Bio: The lone remaining player from Florida’s 2008 recruiting class, Walker joined the Gators as a three-star point guard but has become a veteran leader and dynamic shooter. Arguably Donovan’s favorite current player, Walker earned second team All-SEC honors in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. He was also nominated to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2008-09 and led the team in assists and steals during his sophomore season. Walker has hit numerous game-tying and game-winning shots in his career, often coming through in the clutch late in the second half for Florida. He has also had his share of miscues, turning the ball over too often and taking poor shots.

2010-11 Season: The Gators leader in points (539) and steals (41) as a junior, Walker started 37 games and was Florida’s leading scorer often throughout the season. He scored more than 18 points in three-straight non-conference games, had a season-high 25 at South Carolina and scored double-digit points in each of UF’s first three NCAA Tournament games. Walker also had a team-high 87 turnovers and posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.4 (fourth-best on the team among active players).

2011-12 Outlook: Donovan charged Walker this offseason with leading the SEC in assists and spreading the ball around to the Gators’ numerous dynamic scorers. He scored 15 points and dished four assists in the exhibition game but played within the system and looked to have improved. Nevertheless, Florida is going to need Walker to hold onto the ball and only take quality shots in order to maximize his ability this year. “He has really tried to grasp and understand who he is playing with on the floor. His assist-to-turnover ratio in practice has been very good. He has an idea and understanding of the challenges in front of him, and I feel like he’s really trying to do that,” Donovan said.

5 – Scottie Wilbekin (Gainesville, FL)
Sophomore guard
6’2” 178 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010-11 Season: A two-star recruit coming out of high school, Wilbekin skipped his senior season and accepted a scholarship to UF as a junior. A lifelong fan of the Gators, Wilbekin proved to be a capable backup point guard last year, spelling Walker when he was tired and also allowing him to play off the ball on occasion. He posted the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team (2.2) and earned one start. Wilbekin scored a season-high 11 points against North Carolina A&T and handed out six dimes on two occasions last year. He was the first player to come in off the bench in 16 games and led Florida in assists in five different games.

2011-12 Outlook: Though he broke one of his fingers in practice and missed the exhibition game, Wilbekin will be healthy and is set to return for the start of the season. He will continue to serve as the primary backup point guard and a good backcourt defensive presence for UF, though it is unknown how often Donovan may go without one in order to get more shooters on the floor.

4 – Patric Young (Jacksonville, FL)
Sophomore forward/center
6’9” 247 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010-11 Season: A 2010 McDonald’s All-American, Parade Magazine second-team All-American and a five-star recruit out of high school, Young was the Gators’ top recruit one year ago. With a veteran frontcourt set as starters, he served as the primary reserve, playing 17.8 minutes per game off the bench (with two starts when Vernon Macklin got injured). Young averaged 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds but also blocked a team-high 31 shots, earning his way onto the SEC All-Freshman team. He was the first player off the bench 22 times and dunked the ball 16 times. Young had the opportunity to leave for the NBA after the season but chose to stay for at least his sophomore year (if not beyond).

2011-12 Outlook: Moving into a starting role in his second year, Young is Florida’s primary frontcourt presence this season. His size, strength and athleticism makes him tough to defend, but his offensive game continues to be a work in progress. However, Young is an impressive defender who – if he can keep his fouls down – may very well find his way on some All-SEC teams at season’s end. “Pat is an absolute monster. Watching him workout this summer, he really impressed me. He competes and plays so hard and has a great motor and is all about the team and winning,” former Florida forward Chandler Parsons told OGGOA last week. “He’s going to have to play big all year long and lead the way rebounding. He’ll also have to step up and block shots as well as finish everything around the rim. I believe in him and think he has the potential to be one of the best centers in the conference.”

3 – Mike Rosario (Jersey City, NJ)
Redshirt junior guard
6’3” 191 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit out of high school who signed with Rutgers and played there for two years, Rosario was just the second sophomore in team history to hit 1,000 career points. He was named a freshman All-American and Big East All-Rookie in his first when he set the team’s all-time freshman scoring mark with 517 points. As a sophomore, Rosario scored 16.7 points per game and led Rutgers in scoring 19 times with 28 double-digit scoring games and nine games in which he posted 20 or more points. He transferred to Florida one year ago and sat out the 2010-11 season.

2011-12 Outlook: Back in action once again, Rosario adds another dynamic scoring option to the Gators’ offense. He is also a solid defender who – like Walker – Donovan wants to learn to play within UF’s system. Rosario scored 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting (4-for-7 from downtown) with six assists and two steals during the exhibition game and was visibly excited to be playing college basketball gain. Though he may have hoped to be a starter for Florida, Rosario will instead play off the bench and will likely be the team’s primary sixth man. “The biggest thing for Mike is just being more and more consistent each and every day,” Donovan said. “We’ve got to be a very unselfish group, and Mike’s got a good feel of how to play. He’s smart, he’s intelligent. He’s competitive. He’s got to be an everyday guy though.”

1 – Kenny Boynton (Pompano Beach, FL)
Junior guard
6’2” 189 lbs.

Quick Bio: The No. 3 leading scorer in Florida high school basketball history, Boynton was a five-star recruit who has started all but two games in his entire Gators career. A McDonald’s All-American and Parade All-American who honored with a SEC All-Freshman nomination in 2009-10, he led UF in scoring his first year and posted a school-high 27 points against BYU in the NCAA Tournament that year. Boynton only shot 37.6 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three in his first season but still managed to be an important part of Florida’s team.

2010-11 Season: Returning as a starter, Boynton averaged 14.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting slightly better from the field (38.5 percent) and downtown (33.1 percent). He made 82.3 percent of his foul shots and turned the ball over 15 fewer times than he did as a freshman. Boynton continued to be a streaky shooter but scored in double digits in each of the Gators’ final 16 games including every SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament contest. He was also named to the SEC All-Tournament Team and the All-SEC second team in 2010-11.

2011-12 Outlook: Boynton scored a team-high 21 points (on 6-of-11 shooting from downtown) in Florida’s exhibition game and said he has been working on being a more consistent shooter all offseason. “Instead of trying to change it [my form], I have just been getting more repetitions and get used to it.,” Boynton explained. “Basically getting more practice makes perfect, so I have been trying to shoot a lot of it every day.” His defense was a highlight throughout the 2010-11 season, and Donovan plans to continue playing him on the opposition’s best backcourt player each game. “He’s got a better understanding of shot selection. He is a consistent guy every single day. He gives you great effort. He works really hard. He’s a great kid and he wants to be a good player,” Donovan said.

Florida’s The Hawk belt motivates defenders

Motivation is a key for any football team. With the Florida Gators this year, some of that has come in the form of individual awards presented after each game.

Most popular amongst the team is The Hawk, a championship belt presented to the player that head coach Will Muschamp decides best represented a ball hawk with his performance during the game.

“We got to get the ball and create turnovers. Whoever is doing the most – we have some big point system of getting the ball back, how you create turnovers and knocks backs – there are a lot of different things that go into it,” junior linebacker Jon Bostic explained.

The belt (see below) is handed out each week by defensive line coach Bryant Young and signed by the player who earns the recognition.

Sophomore cornerback Jaylen Watkins was the recipient this week for his two pass breakups against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

“He played a great game, and he deserved it,” said redshirt junior defensive tackle Omar Hunter, who jokingly said that he has been left out of all the fun. “They’re cheating me, but I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get it one week.”

Hunter said the players treat the belt as the representation of a “championship performance.” So much so, in fact, that they will even joke about it on the sidelines during games, proclaiming that they are going to get a sack on the next play or make a big pass defense in the secondary so they can own the belt for the week.

“Whoever plays the best, guys take a lot of pride in that,” he said. “Guys play hard for those kinds of things. We look forward to seeing who is going to win it every week.”

With at least three games to go in the 2011 season, Hunter’s motivation is unchanged as far as the belt is concerned.

“I want it. I want it. I want it,” he said with a smile.

Photo Credit: Jason Lieser/Palm Beach Post

11/9: Watkins steps up, Patchan improving

With the Florida Gators finally earning a victory on Saturday after a difficult four-game losing streak, a number of players were made available to the media Wednesday to discuss how the team is progressing heading into Saturday’s game on the road against the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks.


After allowing a touchdown against Georgia, sophomore defensive back Jaylen Watkins worked hard in practice last week on his head turns and ability to play the ball while it is in the air. That paid off Saturday against Vanderbilt as Watkins became a disruptive player who earned praise from head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn this week.

“It was good to see him get some pass breakups in the ballgame. I was real pleased to see him do that,” Quinn said Wednesday evening.

Watkins attributed his improvement to preparation. “All week [Quinn] told me to get the ball off guys in the Georgia game. I was in two good positions and didn’t get the ball off. I think I was in good positions [against Vanderbilt and did my job],” he said. Watkins added that he stayed after practice to work on getting his head around and learning to play the ball better in the air. “Trying not to get a pass interference, timing when the ball is coming and actually getting it down when it’s coming [are the most difficult parts of playing the position,” he added.


» Junior linebacker Jon Bostic on redshirt freshman Michael Taylor: “He’s growing up every week. He was asked to step up last week and that is what he did.”

» Bostic on redshirt senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard: “Leadership. With him being a senior, him being here the longest out of everyone, he’s seen everything. He’s been here during the good times and the bad times. He’s the one keeping everybody going and everybody up.”

» Bostic on beating a team with a winning record: “It’s important. It doesn’t change from week-to-week. Every week we want to go out and win.”

» Watkins on sophomore safety Matt Elam: “Matt is a leader. When we play teams that do the option and all that, we move him down to nickel to get him on the edge because he’s strong and smart.”

» Redshirt sophomore tackle Matt Patchan on returning and playing better: “I’m not perfect, so I always have to get better. That’s the way I approach every day. Everything I do in practice and in the games is to make improvements and get better.”

» Patchan on offensive line coach Frank Verducci: “Coach is a great coach. He really knows the technique part of it. It’s good that he’s an NFL type guy so he comes in and we get to learn that way. It’s really impressive. I like working with him.”

Redshirt junior DT Omar Hunter on beating South Carolina and/or FSU: “Those are big wins. Any time you can line up against South Carolina or FSU, those are big games. We always want to win those games.”

» Quinn on redshirt freshman defensive end Lynden Trail: “We’re hoping to keep developing him. Right now he hasn’t cracked the two-deep in that way, but he’s out there practicing and working hard at it. […] For us inside it was more just controlling blocks, being productive as a rusher, where he can make some more plays.”

Allen’s Alley: Previewing the 2011-12 Gators

A four-year member of the Florida Gators basketball program under head coach Billy Donovan, former forward Adam Allen – a four-star recruit coming out of Milton High School – was forced to retire due to multiple knee surgeries. No longer with the team, he has joined OGGOA as a basketball columnist and will provide his unique perspective on the team throughout the 2011-12 season.

College basketball season has arrived, and the excitement is in full force surrounding the new-look Florida Gators squad. Florida basketball has the potential to be one of the best programs in the nation this year and should be one of the most exciting teams to watch from November to March.

The Gators feature what could be the best backcourt in the nation to go along with a rather inexperienced but talented frontline that has been waiting to prove itself.

There is no question that this team possesses the talent to be great but concerns surround the backcourt chemistry and keeping
everyone happy with playing time.

Guards senior Erving Walker, junior Kenny Boynton, sophomore Scottie Wilbekin and sophomore Casey Prather already have experience playing together, but how will the addition of two potential star players in freshman Brad Beal and redshirt junior transfer Mike Rosario wind up working long-term?

In head coach Billy Donovan‘s portrait, he sees a perfect combination. Many wonder how the talented guards will share the ball and allocate shots amongst one another. The only true “pass-first” guard is Wilbekin but sharing the ball will be an issue with this group. Coach Donovan will have the guards playing together and feeding off each other because he is the best in America at getting players to understand their role and what they need to do to help the team win.

Read the rest of this edition of Allen’s Alley…after the break!
Continue Reading » Allen’s Alley: Previewing the 2011-12 Gators

FOUR BITS: All-SEC, Oliver, Meyer, Jones

1 » The Southeastern Conference announced its coaches’ preseason All-SEC first and second team selections on Wednesday, and three Florida Gators were honored on the lists. Senior point guard Erving Walker and junior guard Kenny Boynton both earned first team nominations, while sophomore center Patric Young was the only UF representative placed on the second team. Walker and Boynton were both on the media’s All-SEC second team, and Young was left off.

2 » Former Florida safety Louis Oliver was one of six people inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening. Fellow former Gators student-athlete Dara Torres was inducted previously. “It is very flattering,” Oliver said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “I am very excited to be in a group that includes a group like [Dan] Marino, Coach [Don] Shula, H. Wayne Huizenga, Michael Irvin and those types of people. Just to be recognized with those people puts me in a category that most people aren’t in. It’s not Canton, Ohio, but it is a really big deal for me.”

3 » With Joe Paterno stepping down from his job as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions at the end of the season, former Gators head coach Urban Meyer is obviously going to be the No. 1 name on the list of the university and fans. Meyer discussed his admiration for Paterno at the 2011 Outback Bowl but has also said on numerous other occasions how much he is enjoying his time off from the game. However, Meyer is not the only candidate as Miami head coach Al Golden and Rutgers top man Greg Schiano could also be in the running for the job. The fact of the matter is that Meyer may very well not be ready to return to college football and could also look at the sport’s landscape (with major violations and legal issues going on at his supposed top two destinations of Ohio State and Penn State) and choose to wait a bit longer.

4 » Central Florida Knights head coach Donnie Jones was suspended three conference games without pay and publicly reprimanded by the NCAA on Wednesday for being aware of contact between a recruiter for a sports agency and student-athletes and not preventing it. The recruiter allegedly paid tuition and travel expenses for some players and recruits. “As the program’s head coach, I accept responsibility for mistakes when they occur,” he said in a statement from the school. A former assistant at Florida under head coach Billy Donovan, Jones took his UCF team to Gainesville two Saturdays ago for an exhibition game against UF.

11/9: Will Muschamp’s SEC teleconference

With the Florida Gators coming off their first win in over a month and set to face the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks this Saturday, head coach Will Muschamp spoke during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference to provide some insight about where his team is at heading into the contest.


Muschamp said that redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley (arm), redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey (ankle), redshirt freshman tackle Chaz Green, redshirt sophomore linebacker Jelani Jenkins (concussion) and redshirt senior guard Dan Wenger are all good to go and expected to play Saturday. Redshrit junior LB Lerentee McCray (shoulder), on the other hand, will be a game-time decision.

Though redshirt sophomore center Jonotthan Harrison was pulled from the Vanderbilt game due to inconsistencies in his shotgun snaps, he is working this week and trying to earn the job back. He is competing with Wenger (a center at Notre Dame) and redshirt junior Sam Robey, who replaced Harrison on Saturday.

“Jon’s played well for us,” Muschamp said. “His consistency in snaps since we’ve gone to strictly shotgun formation due to John’s ankle [has been an issue]. That has been the only issue. As far as his assignments and blocking, he’s been fine.”


A Florida fan and football player growing up, Muschamp kept a close eye on South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. When he faced him both as a player at Georgia and defensive coordinator at Auburn, he understood even more why Spurrier is so good.

“I’ve got great respect for coach Spurrier as an opponent when I was a player and the job he did with his football teams. Being a player wanting to be a coach, you see the success he had here at Florida and how he really turned this place around to winning championships. As an opponent, I have tremendous respect as a player and now as a coach,” he said. “It’s the way he does things. He does things the right way. He goes by the rules, works hard and his teams compete each Saturday every time out. I have a lot of respect for the man and what he’s accomplished.”


» On the Penn State story: “It’s obviously tragic. I don’t know all the facts; we’ve been working. If the allegations are true, my thoughts are with the victims and the victims’ families at this time.”

» On how the quality of college football teams have changed with freshmen wanting to play right away: “I don’t know that the quality of the game is a whole lot different. There are some teams right now a little ahead of the others. There are younger players playing – a lot of guys are coming out [early] now for the NFL and that sets you back a little bit as a program because you count on a guy to be here and then he’s not there. Generally if he’s leaving early, he’s a really good player. […] All of the freshmen coming in because of recruiting now think they’re going to start as a freshman. They don’t want to go to a school that has an incumbent starter. Some of those things make your depth not as good as it’s been in past years where you’re a little paper thin at certain areas as far as positions are concerned.”

 Page 454 of 780  « First  ... « 452  453  454  455  456 » ...  Last »