Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes

Rebounding with a dominant 48-10 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-2) on Senior Day Saturday in Gainesville, FL, the Florida Gators (7-4) seemed to get some of their mojo back winning the first game in their last four tries at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

BLACK AND POUNCEY REDUCED MEYER TO A “WHIMPER”

After watching his seniors put on a stellar performance as a class on Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer gushed about two guys in particular – safety Ahmad Black and center Mike Pouncey.

“You [go] start-to-finish with guys; you see the growth not only as football players,” Meyer said after the game. “Ahmad – I have never been around a football player that has made such a progress from day one until day four years later. He’s the best strong safety in college… I can’t say that because I don’t know all of them, but if I had my draft pick of a strong safety, I’m taking Ahmad Black.

“And then Mike Pouncey – him and his brother and I saw his mom break down before the game crying – what those two meant for this program… To think there’s not going to be a Pouncey playing for us next year, that’s real hard to deal with right now.”
Asked after the game if he cried like his players did when they came out of the tunnel before the contest, Meyer tried to act tough but then let down his guard. “I don’t use the word ‘cry’ – that’s soft,” he said. “Whimper? Eye moisture and whimper. [Does] ‘whimper’ sound tough enough? Balled my eyes off then. I was emotional, those are good guys.”

MEYER RECOGNIZES THAT DEFENSE IS STILL STRUGGLING

Though Florida’s defense had a decent day, Meyer continues to notice that it is not playing near the level it did the last two seasons. “I think we could have played better, I really do. I think they played well, but there’s a style of play that’s been a tradition set way before these guys and that is just dominant changing-line-of-scrimmage defense,” he said. “I think we’ll get there eventually; we’re not there right now.”

TAKING BACK GIVING UP THE SWAMP

When Meyer took over in 2005, two of his main goals were dominating the Gators’ natural rivals and reclaiming The Swamp as a land of dominance. Though Meyer is 2-0 (and going for 3-0) against Florida’s traditional rivals this season, his team had previously lost three-straight games at home. “Awful. It’s not back. We’re going to work all offseason to get that thing back. It’s not,” Meyer said. “To say you’re going to go beat Appalachian State and say you got homefield advantage [back], that’s something… We beat it into them when we first got here and we’re going to re-beat… We lost more games [at home] I believe this year than we did the whole previous five years. That’s absolutely unacceptable. That will be a major discussion in the offseason.”

HIS NAME IS GARY…GARY BEEMER

A redshirt senior walk-on who has been specializing in defensive end on the Gators’ practice team, Gary Beemer is a player who may be unknown to most coaches. Not Meyer, who went out of his way to make sure he scored a touchdown on Senior Day. “Gary Beemer is one of my favorite players on our team,” he said. “He’s a guy that is about as unselfish a guy as you’re going to get. Our players love him because he goes every day. He’s going to go into a career of coaching. I grabbed him in the third quarter and said, ‘If we get close enough, I’d like to hand you the ball.’ We did that to Javier [Estopinan] a couple of years ago – just out of respect for the kid.”

INJURY UPDATES

» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose – ankle – tweaked it before the game warming up, held out as a precaution; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown – hamstring – pulled it earlier in the week and was held out; should be ready next week
» Junior CB Janoris Jenkins – concussion – suffered a “slight” concussion during the game and was held out from that point forward; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore defensive end Earl Okine – concussion – suffered one during the game; next week’s status is unknown
» Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley – ankle – left on crutches and may be out for the season if it is a high ankle sprain
» Sophomore linebacker Dee Finley – broken collarbone – will return next week

QUOTES (Some good stuff after the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes

Gators topple Mountaineers 48-10 on Senior Day

Saturday in The Swamp was a celebration for the Florida Gators’ senior class as they led their team for the final time at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to a dominant 48-10 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Florida (7-4) had lost its previous three games in Gainesville, FL, before defeating Appalachian State (9-2), a rarity for a senior class that was 19-2 at home going into this year.

Unlike the rest of the season, the Gators’ offense got a quick start on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game and four of its first five. Florida led 28-0 going into halftime, but head coach Urban Meyer took his foot off the gas in the second half; UF still outscored ASU 20-10 in the latter part of the game.

Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed led the way for the Gators with four touchdowns including three on the ground and one through their air to redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley in what was the first reception of Brantley’s career. UF’s leading passer, Brantley finished 16-of-22 for 222 yards and one interception.

Redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey dominated early with 40 yards rushing on the first drive including a 16-yard touchdown; he finished the day taking six carries for 87 yards and catching two balls for 23 yards. Reed carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards, and RBs sophomore Mike Gillislee and redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody tallied 56 yards apiece on the ground.

Florida’s players accounted for a number of career-highs in the contest. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson reeled in six catches for a career-high 100 yards, freshman defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell swarmed for a career-high nine tackles, and redshirt junior cornerback Moses Jenkins and senior LB Brandon Hicks each notched a career-high seven tackles.

Hicks also forced a fumble in the second quarter that was eventually recovered by senior safety Ahmad Black; it led to Reed’s TD pass to Brantley. Senior punter/kicker Chas Henry made all six of his extra point attempts and punted the ball once for 42 yards.

The Gators finished with a season-high 311 rushing yards and 547 total yards while scoring seven touchdowns – the most this year. The final score was attributed to redshirt senior defensive tackle Gary Beemer, a walk-on who Meyer gave three carries inside the three in order to score his first career touchdown.

Saturday was an emotional day for Florida’s seniors. A number of players – including center Mike Pouncey and Black – were noticeably teary-eyed when being introduced before the game. Pouncey put his head down in Meyer’s chest and Black dropped to his knees in the end zone. After Beemer’s touchdown, his helmet came off in celebration and he pumped up the crowd while tightly holding onto the ball.

UF hopes to keep the emotion and energy going next week when they take on Florida State on the road in Tallahassee, FL, in the final game of the 2010 regular season. Kickoff will be set shortly for either 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Photo Credits: The Gainesville Sun

Week 12: Florida Gators vs. App. St. Mountaineers

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 76°F, clear skies
Time: 12:30 p.m. (EST)

TV: PPV [Information]
TV Replays: Sun Sports – Sun., Nov. 21 at 8:30 a.m.; Tues., Nov. 23 at 11:00 p.m.
Online Video: ESPN3.com (Outside of Florida only.)
Sirius/XM: 215/200
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS APP. STATE MOUNTAINEERS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Jerry Moore
Record: 6-4 Record: 9-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southern (FCS)
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -23.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida and Appalachian State have never squared off before, but the Gators are 24-2 all-time against Southern Conference opponents.
» Since 2005, UF and ASU have combined for five national championships. The Gators have won two FBS titles (2006, 2008), while the Mountaineers have captured three-straight FCS championships (2005-07).
» Florida has faced three FCS schools since 2006, beating them a combined 194-22. However Appalachian State is easily the best of the bunch, having won six-straight conference titles (2005-10) under Moore’s leadership.
» UF is tied for the national lead with 17 interceptions on the season. Seven have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» Florida is back out of the BCS, Associated Press and USA Today top 25 after returning to the rankings two weeks ago. This season is the first time the Gators have been unranked in all three under Meyer. Florida had been listed in every poll since he took over in 2005 until they lost to Mississippi State three weeks ago.
» The Gators’ offense has seen 15 different players overall score a touchdown this year – including defense and special teams.
» Florida is the only school in the nation that has four players with at least three interceptions. Overall, eight Gators have at least one interception.
» UF under Meyer is 41-1 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-3 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 38-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 38-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 33-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» Florida redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson and sophomore right tackle Xavier Nixon are both from North Carolina, while Appalachian State boasts five players from the state of Florida. ASU defensive coordinator Dale Jones was a former UF assistant (1991).

SENIOR DAY

The Gators’ 2010 senior class is one of the winningest classes in SEC history with a 41-10 record in their time in the Orange and Blue. However, that is not the only accomplishment the class has made in the last four years. The senior class also has:

Two National Championships – Three BCS bowl game wins (2010 Sugar Bowl) – Two SEC Championships (three appearances) – Three SEC Eastern Division titles – 29-5 record at The Swamp – 15-1 record vs. rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, FSU and Miami)

* Brandon Antwine – #47 – DT – Garland, Tex.
* Ahmad Black – #35 – SS – Lakeland, Fla.
* Lorenzo Edwards – #26 – LB – Orlando, Fla.
* John Fairbanks – #59 – LS – Celebration, Fla.
* Marcus Gilbert – #76 – LT – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
* Chas Henry – #17 – P/K – Dallas, Ga.
* Brandon Hicks – #40 – LB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Maurice Hurt – #74 – T/G – Milledgeville, Ga.
* Carl Johnson – #57 – G – Durham, N.C.
* A.J. Jones – #16 – LB – Tampa, Fla.
* Duke Lemmens – #44 – DE/LB – Westlake Village, Calif.
* Lawrence Marsh – #90 – DT – Augusta, Ga.
* Emmanuel Moody – #21 – RB – Coppell, Tex.
* Carl Moore – #9 – WR – Rancho Cordova, Calif.
* Mike Pouncey – #55 – C – Lakeland, Fla.
* Terron Sanders – #92 – DT – Bradenton, Fla.
* Justin Trattou – #94 – DE – Ramsey, N.J.
* Justin Williams – #7 – WR – Folkston, Ga.
————————————————————————
* Gary Beemer – #61 – DT – Valrico, Fla.
* Miguel Carodine – #41 – S – Gainesville, Fla.
* Eugene Minchin – #33 – LB – Gainesville, Fla.
* Shawn Schmieder – #70 – DT – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Solomon Schoonover – #29 – WR – Aventura, Fla.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

FLORIDA
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 8-7 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing an interception last week. He has completed 172-of-282 passes (61.0 percent) for 1,746 yards and has a passer rating of 117.4.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed…both of whom will spell Brantley at quarterback in Florida’s new three-QB system. Burton set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has 10 scores on the season, has played five positions and is second on the team in rushing (56 carries for 279 yards). Reed got his first meaningful snaps behind center two weeks, going 11-of-19 for 120 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He also ran 16 times for 84 yards with another score.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (488 yards) after missing two full games and being limited in five others. He was Florida’s leading rusher in its first five games of the season.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey..who returned to action for the first time in over a month against Georgia and has 28 carries for 140 yards (along with 16 receptions for 150 yards) and three touchdowns this year.
» Redshirt freshman WR/kick returner Andre Debose…who set a school single-season record with his second kickoff return touchdown last week. With an 88-yard return against LSU and a 99-yard return against South Carolina, he is the only freshman nationally with two in 2010 and one of only two players nationally with two in 2010. He is one of the reasons why the Gators rank No. 5 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC in kickoff returns with a 26.1 average.
» Sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.…who is quickly becoming one of Florida’s most important pass catchers. He was the team’s leading receiver against Mississippi State and caught three passes for 46 yards against Georgia and another three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown against Vanderbilt the following week.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had missed five-straight field goal attempts (one negated by penalty) before nailing back-to-back kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime three weeks ago.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 13 balls this season. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior CB Janrois Jenkins (three), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three), and junior S Will Hill (three) have accounted for all but one of the unit’s picks.
» Black…who has led Florida in tackles seven times this season: vs. South Carolina (career-high 16), LSU (13), Georgia (12), Miami (10), Mississippi State (10), USF (8) and Vanderbilt (4). He is tops on the team overall with 93 tackles, including nine for loss.

APPALACHIAN STATE
» QB DeAndre Presley…who has passed for 2,066 yards and 17 touchdowns with only four interceptions this season while simultaneously leading his team on the ground with 727 rushing yards.
» WR Brian Quick…who has a team-high 36 catches for 685 yards and seven TDs.
» Linebacker D.J. Smith, defensive tackle Jabari Fletcher and CB Mark LeGree…who lead the team with 108 tackles, seven sacks and five interceptions, respectively.

INJURIES

Active/Probable: Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), redshirt sophomore DT Jaye Howard (ankle), sophomore LB Jon Bostic (bruised sternum)
Inactives: Redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones, redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), sophomore LB Dee Finley (fractured collarbone), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Catch the Gators’ 11th game of the season live on television on pay-per-view, via the radio or through OGGOA‘s live updates on Twitter.
 

11/18: Meyer provides player updates, injury news

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer met with the media after practice on Thursday and divulged a few important notes about the team’s 11th game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details which you can check out below.

FORGET ANY RUMORS, MEYER’s BACK

When discussing staff evaluations (which he will do after the season), Meyer casually noted Monday that he will be back in 2011. Though most assumed that would be the case considering he is feeling better and under contract, rumors persisted throughout the early part of the season that he decided to come back for only one more year. He put those questions to rest on Thursday. “Oh yeah. One hundred percent. Absolutely,” Meyer said when asked to clarify that he would be back at Florida next season.

STICKING WITH THREE QUARTERBACKS

Meyer also said on Monday that he panicked when last weekend when South Carolina jumped out ahead and simultaneously shut down freshman quarterback Trey Burton early. He noted the same thing would not happen this week as the Gators will stick with the three QB system for the entire game. As for how they manage the rotation? “A lot of it’s based on flow, but we script a few series and we get those guys in the game,” he said. “A lot of it is flow, how they’re playing and how we’re moving the ball.”

Though Meyer said after the Vanderbilt game that redshirt freshman Jordan Reed‘s future was at tight end, he gave a cryptic answer Thursday when asked if he had given any consideration to moving him back to signal caller full-time. “I don’t know. We’re just trying to get this [win]. At some point that will be discussed,” he said. “The task at hand is we got to get this seventh win somehow.”

INJURY UPDATES

» Junior running back Jeff Demps (foot) – active – “He hasn’t practiced in six or seven weeks. He kind of goes through the motions because he’s a tough kid and holds onto the ball. Devastating.”
» Redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones (hamstring) – out
» Redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard (ankle) – active
» Sophomore LB Jon Bostic (bruised sternum) – probable
» Sophomore LB Dee Finley (broken collarbone) – out
» Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring) – active – close to 100 percent
» Freshman DT Dominique Easley (suspension) – eligible

QUOTES

On senior center Mike Pouncey: “I love the term ‘Gator Great,’ because I think that’s really descriptive. He’ll certainly go down in that trophy room as one of the greatest players ever to play here. Part of a national championship, leader, tough, moved positions. He’s one of my favorites of all time because of his passion and love for the game and his love for this university. He loves Florida.”

On rallying the troops for the game: “I asked them to stick together and let’s send these seniors out winners. I’m proud of those guys. We just got to get them a win. They can finish as one of the winningest classes in SEC history and Florida football history.”

Florida bounces back to rout N.C. A&T 105-55

Just two days after suffering a tough loss at home to No. 4/5 Ohio State, the No. 9/10 Florida Gators (2-1) rebounded with a dominating 105-55 victory over the North Carolina A&T Aggies (1-3) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Senior forward Chandler Parsons and sophomore guard Kenny Boynton led the Gators with 16 points apiece and were just two of eight Florida players to score in double figures on the evening. Freshman F Will Yeguete proved to be a dominating presence down low, grabbing 15 rebounds (nine offensive) while also scoring seven points, dishing four assists and stealing the ball thrice.

Yeguete’s 15 boards were the most by a freshman since Al Horford (18 vs. Alabama in 2005), but he was not the only first-year player to have a big night. Center Patric Young posted 11 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks, G Casey Prather scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting (2-of-4 from downtown), and point guard Scottie Wilbekin finished with 11 points and six assists.

Rounding out the starting five for the Gators were senior C Vernon Macklin (10 points, six rebounds, two blocks), PG Erving Walker (11 points, six assists, no turnovers) and sophomore F Erik Murphy (11 points, four rebounds, two blocks). Murphy started the first game of his young career in place of senior F Alex Tyus, who missed the contest with a mild concussion but is expected to return to action on Sunday.

Up 28 points late in the first half and eventually winning the game by 50, Florida scored 52 points in the paint, 35 off turnovers and 25 on second chances. The Gators’ bench produced 41 points, which helped UF score more than 100 for the first time since defeating North Florida by 102 in 2007. Florida also notched 26 assists, 16 steals and eight blocks while turning the ball over 11 times as a team.

Though most of the team was solid defensively, head coach Billy Donovan had to sit Boynton early on due to a poor defensive effort. He returned to the court after a quick talking to and helped hold North Carolina A&T to 34.5 percent shooting on the evening.

The Gators are back in action in less than 72 hours, taking on Morehead State in the O’Dome on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports.

POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » Florida bounces back to rout N.C. A&T 105-55

11/17: Meyer, Austin, Heater talk about week

OGGOA had the opportunity to participate in Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday (we will be doing so every week). Below are some notes from the event along with thoughts from defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, both of whom also spoke with the media.

REFUSAL TO THROW PEOPLE UNDER THE BUS IN PUBLIC

The comments sections here on OGGOA have been running wild with readers questioning why Meyer is so supportive of his players and coaches and refuses to discuss their shortcomings with the media. As we opined over the last few days, Meyer said he refuses to drag those on the team through the mud in the public eye, even though they are being held accountable and will be dealt with at the proper time. “I’ve done this for a long time,” he said. “[20]05 was probably the last time I remember that there was a lot of that kind of discussion. Discussion I’m usually not a part of because my obligation is to these football players and to this football team and the staff. All we’re trying to do is win the next game. Obviously there will be accountability because that’s our profession, that’s what we do. To make it public and throw players under the bus or coaches under the bus, that’s not part of our plan.”

DEMPS’ INJURY HAS BEEN DEVASTATING TO PLAYER, TEAM

It was obvious when junior running back Jeff Demps was reported to be injured with a “sprained foot” that Florida would be losing its biggest playmaker for at least a short period of time. But while coaches hoped and gave positive signs that he would be able to return, it is looking more and more like Demps will remain out of action – especially considering he has barely played since the third week of the season.

“He’s got a stress reaction in his foot. He doesn’t practice. It’s just very frustrating,” Meyer said. “Jeff’s a competitor and obviously one of the most talented guys in the country and a guy we need. It’s been hard. He has not been near 100 percent really since the Tennessee game. That was our No. 1 playmaker going into the season. It’s been devastating on all fronts. Any offense you see across the country, take their No. 1 playmaker out of the offense and the blow is going to be severe – especially if you’re not as strong in some areas.”

HEAPING PRAISE ON THE SENIOR SAFETY

With Senior Day on Saturday, Heater and Austin took some time out to discuss senior safety Ahmad Black, how talented he is and how far he has come since joining the program four years ago. Heater, with whom Black has a close personal relationship, was able to speak about him in a more broad sense.

“Anybody who watches football can appreciate the quality player that he is now,” he said. “He came in as a freshman, got hurt early. He was one of those tag-a-long guys out of Lakeland. Too small, too this, too that. The reality is he was really a tremendous player once he had the opportunity to go show it. We’re proud of him, and it’s amazing what he’s accomplished.

“He has always been a great kid. Happy with a smile on his face. He’s grown, he’s matured. He takes care of his business a little bit better than he used to when he was younger. Very accountable guy, which is what you hope happens by the time a guy leaves out of here. You hope he’s learned how to grow and be an accountable guy, and he has been.”

One of the reasons Black will be so successful at the next level is his tackling; in fact, even as a safety, he leads the defense in tackles this season. “I had a pro scout tell me that [he is the best tackler in college football] today,” Heater said. “He’s got a gift for it. He’s an athletic guy. He’s really athletic. […] First off, he’s tough. If a guy doesn’t want to make a tackle, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. Some guys don’t want to make a tackle. He’s a tough guy. Then it becomes just that ability to weave himself through people and around people and make plays the way he does. He’s extraordinary.”

Austin agrees about Black’s tackling abilities. “Outstanding. One of the best I’ve seen. Outstanding. One of the best. Period. Outstanding,” he said. “He’s a good open field tackler, and when he squares you up, he will hit you. He’s stumped guys. He’s good, he’s really good.”

As for how he will do at the next level? “He looks like a player. He’s not going to pass all the height, weight, speed little contests. But when you put on the film, boy he is a football player,” said Austin, a NFL defensive backs coach for seven years. “It only takes one team to like you, that’s all it takes. And somebody will like him; he’s too good not to like. When you put on the game tape, I’d be hard pressed to find a better safety.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/17: Meyer, Austin, Heater talk about week

11/17: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…II

Junior safety Will Hill, freshman defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and senior linebacker Lorenzo Edwards answered questions for the media on Wednesday about a variety of topics concerning themselves and the Florida Gators. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

HILL THINKING ABOUT FLORIDA FOOTBALL

Before the season, Hill was tabbed by a number of NFL Draft analysts as one of the top safeties who would likely be available at next year’s event. However, according to the player, his focus is on the Gators and the NFL will be a dream he reaches for after his senior year. “Right now? Yes. Yes. I plan on being back next year,” Hill said Wednesday. “I haven’t been thinking about it. All I’ve been thinking about is just the season.”

One of the reasons Hill will likely stick around is the fact that he did not perform at the level many expected for most of the season. Asked to evaluate his year, he said he believes, “It’s just a decent season. Everybody will love to have a lot of stats and everything like that. I’m alright with it. I just think about getting better.”

ROCKY RELATIONSHIPS; THOUGHTS ABOUT LEAVING

Floyd was candid and honest when questioned Wednesday about the relationship between the freshman and the team’s veterans, pointing out that things were rough between the two groups for a large portion of the season. “It started off a little shaky then we started bringing them together and started being a team instead of segregated,” he said. “Coming in you got to gain their trust. They’ve been giving up a lot for the program. I think we did that throughout the season. We started to come together before the Georgia game, but it started to show towards the end of the Georgia game. We were just running around, cheering each other on. It was like a family type thing.”

Part of it was realizing that, now in college, the young players who were new to the team would not be treated the same way they were last year. “Everybody was the man in they school – in high school,” he said. “They come into a program [like Florida] where you really got to work and you really got to earn what you want. It’s probably hard but mostly they just had to do what they had to do.”

In fact, things were so trying for him that he thought maybe he had made a mistake. “I love it here,” Floyd said. “I hit a wall a couple times, but that’s a given. Everybody going to hit a wall. This is my school. I love it. […] Just problems. Not really wanting to be here. That’s what freshmen do. At the end of the day, I know where I belong.”

WINNING TWO FOR THE SENIORS

Echoing a sentiment shared by head coach Urban Meyer and a number of players on Monday, Hill and Floyd both said they were motivated to win the last two regular season games for the senior class. “[We are] just really trying to get this thing to send the seniors off right. It’s their last game in The Swamp. Last two games around here. We got to send them off the right way,” Hill said. “It’s important to send them off on a good note,” Floyd added. “We haven’t had great success the last games at home, so we got to send them off with a bang this week.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/17: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…II

FOUR BITS: Lee hurt, Moss cut, golf, swimming

1 » Just one week ago, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee knocked out New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler’s tooth during a game. When Lee’s elbow hit Chandler’s face, it was deeply punctured by the tooth, which was then removed by force. Lee was only expected to be out of action a few days to let the deep wound heal properly, but he has no missed a week and has yet to return to the court. In fact, Lee has been hospitalized most of the time due to a massive infection and serious swelling that occurred in the area. He has already undergone two procedures to clean the infection and may mess two-to-three more weeks as he tries to recover. “I know there is a lot of speculation out there, but it almost doesn’t matter how it was treated,” Dr. Bill Maloney told the media on Wednesday. “I don’t think they could have avoided this. The die was cast when he got the tooth through the skin with a deep enough puncture wound to allow the bacteria to get in there.” The infection may need to be “washed out” four or five more times before Lee can leave the hospital, which the team hopes will occur by week’s end.

2 » In a move many fans of the team have expected to come for quite some time, the Denver Broncos have released the No. 17 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, defensive end/outside linebacker Jarvis Moss. Since being drafted by Denver, Moss has totaled 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 33 games; however, he has only registered five tackles and has not notched a single sack in 16 games since the start of last year. When head coach Josh McDaniels took over in 2009, he began utilizing a 3-4 defense and moved Moss from DE to OLB. Unfortunately for the former Florida Gators star, the change in position did not help his production. “He’s been a great kid for us, done everything we asked him to do. It just hasn’t been a perfect fit,” McDaniels said. “Hopefully he can find a place that will be a better fit and suits what [he] can do.”

Read about Florida’s big-time signees in golf and swimming…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Lee hurt, Moss cut, golf, swimming

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