11/16: Addazio discusses Pouncey, Gamecocks

Florida Gators offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio spoke to the media Tuesday as he took a final look back on the tough loss against the South Carolina Gamecocks and ahead to this week’s game.

HE’s BAAAAAAAAAACK

Perhaps the most important note coming out of Addazio’s availability on Tuesday was him confirming what head coach Urban Meyer said a day earlier – plans are for him to return as offensive coordinator for the Gators in 2011. Asked if he felt his job was safe next year, Addazio furrowed his brow and replied, “Yeah. Absolutely. I think coach addressed that, didn’t he?” When the question about Addazio’s desire to come back in the same role was broached, he was also quick to respond with, “Absolutely. Absolutely.”

POUNCEY A TOP 10 DRAFT PICK?

There is little doubt that Florida senior center Mike Pouncey will be a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Whether that will be as a center or a guard is anyone’s guess. According to Addazio, he is hearing that Pouncey could go higher or at least in the same range as his brother did a year ago.

“He’s at the pinnacle of his game right now. He’s projected to be a top 10 pick. Playing lights out,” Addazio said. “That’s the feedback. I’m not an NFL prognosticator, OK? So if he ends up 17 or he ends up 16, is that bad?”

Addazio also discussed the Pouncey twins and why both have been so successful. “They’re really bright guys. They really get it,” he said. “They get it from a schematic standpoint. They understand defenses, blitzes, pressures, packages. Obviously Maurkice – that was evident through the interview process after the season as he went through the combine. The comments and feedback back were he was probably one of the most prepared offensive linemen to come out of college football. That’s why he’s had such a remarkable rookie season. [...] Mike can play all three positions. Mike knows everything that goes up in that. He’s a heck of a football player and extremely intelligent.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/16: Addazio discusses Pouncey, Gamecocks

No. 9 Gators exposed as No. 4 Buckeyes roll 93-75

Billed as one of the premiere games to start the 2010-11 college basketball season, the No. 9/10 Florida Gators and No. 4/5 Ohio State Buckeyes squared off Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Unfortunately, after an intense first half, only one team showed up to close out the game with the Buckeyes (2-0) trouncing the Gators (1-1) 93-75.

Defense and ball control doomed Florida in the second half; UF allowed Ohio State to score 55 points and shoot 70.6 percent from the floor as they tore through the press and scored in bunches on the fast break.

Freshman forward Jared Sullinger and junior guard David Lighty led the way for OSU with 26 points apiece. Sullinger dominated down low making 13-of-17 shots and notching 10 rebounds (five offensive), while Lighty was the most efficient starter of the court draining 9-of-11 buckets.

Gators sophomore G Kenny Boynton had one of his best offensive performances in the orange and blue, going 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-8 from downtown for 21 points. Defensively he struggled in the press and had trouble in containment.

Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin rebounded from a rough opening game with an intense first half that included 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He was shut down after halftime with only one more bucket on two attempts. Also struggling late was junior point guard Erving Walker, who turned the ball over six times after the half and finished with seven giveaways. By contrast, the Buckeyes had eight turnovers as a team.

Florida took a seven-point lead in the first half but went into the locker room up only three even though they out-rebounded Ohio State 17-7. The two teams went back-and-forth to start the second half with the Buckeyes taking the lead over the Gators for good with 12:14 left on a three-pointer from G Jon Diebler to go up 59-57.

OSU outscored UF 37-18 down the stretch and took a game-high 20-point lead on a dunk by F Dallas Lauderdale with 1:15 to go. Ohio State finished the second half shooting a spectacular 70.6 percent from the field compared to 63.2 percent for Florida.

In all, the Buckeyes got off 13 more shots than the Gators, notched 11 more assists (22-11) and gave up significantly fewer turnovers (18-8). However, they were out-rebounded 26-17 with the majority of the difference coming in the first half.

Senior F Chandler Parsons, who was quiet at points during the game, finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting with a team-high seven boards, while sophomore F Erik Murphy – Florida’s lone veteran reserve – was the team’s primary threat off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Losing what was likely one of their toughest match-ups of the non-conference slate, UF will attempt to regroup as they take on North Carolina A&T at home on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports.

POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » No. 9 Gators exposed as No. 4 Buckeyes roll 93-75

No. 9 Florida Gators vs. No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 6:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: ESPN
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 9 FLORIDA GATORS No. 4 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Thad Matta
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big Ten
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -2; O/U 142.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Ohio State leads the all-time series against Florida 6-4, but the Gators are 2-1 in Gainesville, FL, against the Buckeyes. UF’s last victory against OSU was 84-75 in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game, but Ohio State struck last with a 62-49 win in Columbus, OH, in 2007.
» Florida hasn’t fared well against the Big Ten, posting a 15-26 all-time record against the conference; however, the Gators defeated then-No. 2 Michigan State 77-74 just last year in a similar early season game.
» UF has started the season with a 2-0 record for the last eight years.
» Under Donovan, the Gators have defeated 10 top five opponents. The last three have all been against the Big Ten.

KEEP AN EYE ON…
Some contributions from Malik Grady – OGGOA Correspondent

» Defending freshman Jared Sullinger…who is 6’9” and 280 lbs. but has an offensive repertoire as a big man that will match any seen across the entire country this year. Sullinger simply knows how to score and use his body to put stress on defenses. He can shoot, post up and move without the ball.
» Force turnovers from David Lighty…who is a senior that handles the ball for Ohio State but is not a true point guard. He showed some weakness in their opener with four turnovers and is prone to making mistakes.
» Establish a fast tempo…by trapping in the half court and shooting at a high percentage. If Florida doesn’t score early, the Gators are often unable to set up the press, where smaller guys like junior PG Erving Walker and sophomore guard Kenny Boynton can thrive more as defensive factors.
» Stay out of foul trouble…something that could certainly happen early to hobbled redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin and green freshman C Patric Young against the Buckeyes’ strong and physical frontcourt.
» Let senior F Chandler Parsons get his…because once he gets on a roll it become increasingly difficult to cool him down. Parsons will have a number of responsibilities on Tuesday, but feeding him the rock early on the perimeter and allowing him to make some plays will pick him up from the get-go.
» Take advantage of the home crowd…which is hungry for a victory in Gainesville after the football team suffered a tough loss on Saturday. The O’Connell Center can be one of the toughest places to play in the United States (recently ranked No. 5) when the crowd is hyped and into the game.

INJURIES

» Active: Redshirt senior C Vernon Macklin (knee)
» Inactive: Redshirt junior F Adam Allen (knee)

Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 10 recap

With the 2010-11 NFL season now underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 10 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance.OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the 10th week of the season.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Seven solo tackles, two passes def., interception, two kickoff returns for 51 yards (long: 32)
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings: Team-high four receptions for 64 yards (targets: 6, long: 53), touchdown; six kick returns for 151 yards (long: 33)
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 1-for-1 for three yards, touchdown; two rushes for two yards, touchdown

LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Four tackles (two solo)
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: One rush for -2 yards
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Four tackles
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Two solo tackles for loss, sack
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Denver Broncos: Three receptions for 57 yards (targets: 10, long: 40), touchdown
DE JARVIS MOSS, Denver Broncos: Two solo tackles
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Two solo tackles, pass defended
KR BRANDON JAMES, Indianapolis Colts: Four receptions for 36 yards (targets: 8, long: 17), two punt returns for five yards
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Solo tackle
DT JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Five solo tackles, QB hit
LB CHANNING CROWDER, Miami Dolphins: Two tackles
CB LITO SHEPPARD, Minnesota Vikings: Two solo tackles
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Two targets, pass defended
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Two tackles (one solo)
DT GERARD WARREN, New England Patriots: Three tackles (one solo), half sack
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Target
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Two solo tackles (one for loss)

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN — NO STATISTICS / DID NOT PLAY
C Maurkice Pouncey (Pittsburgh Steelers) – WR David Nelson (Buffalo Bills), DE Jermaine Cunningham (Patriots), FB Earnest Graham (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), QB Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins)

BYE WEEK
DE Alex Brown (New Orleans Saints), G Cooper Carlisle, WR Louis Murphy (Oakland Raiders), LB Brandon Siler (San Diego Chargers)

INACTIVES
LB Andra Davis (Bills), S Major Wright (Chicago Bears), RB Fred Taylor (Patriots), LT Max Starks (Steelers)

NOTES
– Tebow recorded his first career NFL passing touchdown…on his first career NFL pass.
– Dunlap recorded his first career NFL sack.

OGGOA RELATED: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

11/15: Donovan, players speak about Ohio State

No. 9/10 Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan likes to talk – and we like to listen – which is why we have compiled some of the most important news, notes and quotes from his latest media availability in the following post. Additional material from some of Florida’s players can also be found below.

FIRST PHYSICAL TEST COMES IN GAME TWO

Donovan has made it a point over the last two seasons to schedule tough opponents early both to increase strength of schedule and test his team. That is why the No. 4/5 Ohio State Buckeyes are heading to Gainesville, FL, on Tuesday for a rekindling of a recent rivalry.

“This is a great test and a great opportunity for both [teams]. One because it is so early in the season, it is the second game for both of us right now,” Donovan said Monday. “There’s a long way to go, you find out a lot more about your team in these situations. There will probably be some things in the game that we will need to get better at improve on. They’ll probably say the same thing. There’s no question we’re going against a physical frontcourt with [Dallas] Lauderdale, [Jared] Sullinger and [Deshaun] Thomas and that poses great challenges for our frontcourt as well to do the things we are talking about physically.”

But wouldn’t it be better for everyone involved if the game was a few weeks later? “Part of me really, really likes the fact that it is really this early,” Donovan continued. “The opportunity to play against a team clearly that returns four starters, they return guys that won a Big 10 Championship. They’re veterans and they add the best recruiting class in the country to their team. And Sullinger [is] arguably the best player in the country. […] Things are going to get exposed that you gotta get better at and sometimes its better off finding out those things now than it is later.”

YOUNG WILBEKIN COULD PAY DIVIDENDS

Freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin had an impressive showing in his first regular season game, showcasing his poise, crisp passing and mature defense. Donovan raved about Wilbekin on Monday and hinted that he should see the court plenty this season.

“He’s really a disciplined kid, and when I say ‘disciplined,’ he really does the right things at the right time. When you talk about the discipline part of doing your job and doing the things you need to do, that’s what has really enabled him to come in and play,” he said. “His game will get better. As a coach, you always enjoy playing guys [from whom] you kind of know what you’re getting. I’ve been very, very impressed with him. I’ve been impressed with his toughness, and I’ve been impressed with his stamina.”

MACKLIN’s KNEE ACTING UP

Asked about the health of redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin, Donovan confirmed that he is dealing with some knee issues – specifically tendinitis and bone spurs. “He’s been in and out of practice here the last couple of days. He’s dealing with some knee issues; it’s nothing that s going to prevent him from playing [Tuesday],” he said. “Going forward that is a concern for me. We’ll have to wait and see, but he’s been battling it now for the last week to 10 days. It’s definitely probably affected him some, but I’ve always been the believer when you step across the lines and put the jersey on, you have to go out there and play.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/15: Donovan, players speak about Ohio State

11/15: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, senior center Mike Pouncey and senior linebacker Brandon Hicks answered questions for the media on Monday about a variety of topics concerning the Florida Gators and their loss on Saturday to the South Carolina Gamecocks at home in Gainesville, FL. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

BRANTLEY: I’M NOT TRANSFERRING

For those of you who hoped thought that Brantley would be transferring at the end of the season, think again. A rumor was started two weeks ago that Brantley would be sitting down after the season with his family and having a serious conversation about whether or not he would remain with Florida next year with the possibility of transferring having already been discussed. But will he?

“[Laughing] Absolutely [I will be here next year]. My dad called me last weekend, right when he landed back from Nashville. He asked me, he didn’t know what was going on. I had no idea either. I haven’t said anything to him about [transferring]. He’s never said anything to me about that. Those are just all rumors,” Brantley said Monday. “I’m a Gator through in and through out. I always will be a Gator. I love this place and have no regrets at all.”

Brantley did admit that his college career has not gone as expected thus far, but he insists that he has no regrets and would have come to play for the Gators even if he knew in advance how things were going to go this year. “I’ve learned so much these past few years, and then this year will definitley help me out later in life,” he said.

As for how next year will go, Brantley said he trusts the coaches and thinks they will do their best to tailor the offense to suit his skill set. “The option deal is not my kind of thing,” he admitted once again, while simultaneously repeating that he is perfectly fine with other players being brought in as substitutions to run those types of plays.

SENIORS LOOKING FORWARD TO THEIR DAY

“I bleed orange and blue,” Pouncey said to open up his media availability on Monday. “I never give up on this program, this team. Obviously I’ll be a pro player one day, but we got two or three more games left and that’s what our main focus is on. We obviously want to send our senior class out on the right note, especially for those guys who gave their lives to this program.”

He said the above while responding to a question about whether or not he was already looking ahead to his NFL future. Asked if he and the senior class think Senior Day next weekend holds less meaning or prestige, Pouncey shook his head no. “It will obviously be an emotional day next weekend. It’s tough for me, because I feel like I gave my all for this program,” he said. “It just sucks to end on a note like this, but I want to finish this season out strong with a couple wins. [...] For guys who gave their life to this program, it doesn’t [hold any less meaning]. We obviously accomplished a lot while I was here – our four years. This weekend coming up is going to mean the world to me.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/15: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

11/15: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

Head coach Urban Meyer and a small group of players meet with the media each Monday before the Florida Gators compete in a game the following Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

STAFF/PERSONNEL EVALUATIONS

Though Meyer said that, like every year, he will evaluate his staff and team members at the appropriate time (read: end of the season), he also made it a point that there is still plenty of year left and the No. 1 objective at this point is to win games for the seniors as well as the rest of the team. “We’re into solutions, not blame and not excuses,” he said. “We need to get this place back to where we need to get it.”

Asked if he believed offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would be removed from his current position with different responsibilities next year, Meyer said the following: “I don’t think that will happen. I’m not into blame, I’m not into excuses, we’re into solutions. Right now the solution is somehow have a great Tuesday and Wednesday. I know that’s a coach-speak answer, especially around here, but that’s what we do.”

ENERGY VOID AT ISSUE IN GAINESVILLE

All season, through the close wins and losses, Meyer along with his coaching staff and players discussed “execution” as the main issue. Things changed on Monday with everyone talking about a lack of energy on a game-to-game basis. “I don’t see an offense full of life. I don’t see a lot of energy,” Meyer said. “That’s one thing as a head coach that concerns me. That’s all personnel based and success based. [...] We’re a staff that believes energy equals production.”

“We have energy givers on the team, but it’s a collective effort,” senior center Mike Pouncey added later. “When you have one or two guys giving energy on the field, it turns out like that. [...] [Our team has] guys that just drift away during the course of a game.”

BRANTLEY IS THE QUARTERBACK AT FLORIDA

Contrary to what many may think hope, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley will remain the Gators’ signal caller now and for the foreseeable future. “He’ll start at quarterback for Florida this weekend,” Meyer said. “We have to do a better job in a lot of areas and to say it’s all our quarterback – that’s not fair – and that won’t be said. Obviously our team wouldn’t say that. [...] We have to raise the level of play around him.”

Though the roles of freshman QB Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed behind center will expand, Brantley is the starter and will likely remain that way through 2011. He has not raised any issue with being replaced for option plays, and that is likely what will continue happening the rest of his time in the orange and blue.

MEYER PANICKED EARLY ON SATURDAY

Meyer also put the onus on himself for how the team performed once it was down 15-7 to the South Carolina Gamecocks. He said that – as he tends to do – he panicked and that resonated throughout the entire team. Instead, Meyer believes they should have stuck to the offensive game plan (using three QBs, hurry-up offense) rather than putting the ball mostly in Brantley’s hands with the thought that the team had to throw to get out from behind a deficit.

Because the team did not get into a rhythm, Meyer said the up-tempo was ineffective. The team could not gain any yardage on first down – leading to too many 3rd down and longs – and it went away from utilizing Burton simply because he was shut down early by South Carolina’s run defense.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/15: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

SIX BITS: soccer-NCAA, volleyball-SEC, Whitson

1 » Opening up the 2010 NCAA Tournament at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Friday, No. 5 Florida Gators soccer (19-2-2, 9-1-1 SEC) scorched the Mercer Bears (10-9-1, 7-3 A-Sun) 3-0. Redshirt sophomore midfielder McKenzie Barney (15’, 73’) and junior MF/forward Tahnai Annis (48’) scored Florida’s three goals as the Gators out-shot the Bears 16-7. Unfortunately…

2 » Florida was not so fortunate in second-round action, taking the Duke Blue Devils (11-7-4, 7-3 ACC) into penalty kicks after the teams were held scoreless through regulation and two overtimes. In PKs, the Gators (19-2-3, 9-1-1 Sec) fell to the Blue Devils 4-2. Duke made all of its attempts while Florida only received goals from Barney and redshirt senior goalkeeper Katie Fraine with Annis’ saved and junior F Lindsay Thompson’s attempt going wide. The Gators end the 2010 season having won both the Southeastern Conference Championship and regular season title.

3 » In better news for the University of Florida, the No. 1 Florida volleyball team (24-1, 17-0 SEC) clinched at least a share of the 2010 SEC regular season title on Sunday by defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide (10-17, 2-15 SEC) 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-17) on Senior Day at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was impressive once again, leading the Gators with 10 kills and no errors along with 15 assists and seven digs. She notched her 12th-straight double-double and has been having an impressive season. Florida’s seniors also got in on the action with OH Callie Rivers, middle-back Lauren Bledsoe and libero Erin Fleming combining for 18 kills, 15 digs and six blocks on Sunday. UF has three more regular season matches – all on the road – before the 2010 SEC Tournament begins.

Three more BITS including an interesting piece on a Florida baseball commit…
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: soccer-NCAA, volleyball-SEC, Whitson

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