TWO BITS: soccer, volleyball victorious; Lacroix

1 » No. 7 Florida Gators soccer (8-1-1, 2-0 SEC) continued its hot start over the weekend with a pair of 2-0 road victories against the Kentucky Wildcats (6-3, 0-1 SEC) on Friday and the Vanderbilt Commodores (4-5-1, 0-1-1 SEC) on Sunday. Friday’s contest saw sophomore midfielder/forward Erika Tymrak (47’) and junior MF/F Tahnai Annis (81’) with goals, while freshman F Taylor Travis (14’) and redshirt sophomore MF McKenzie Barney (79’) contributed scores on Sunday. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Katie Franie broke Jordan Kellgren’s (1999-2002) Florida career solo shutouts record with her 22nd on Sunday. The Gators return home for a pair of matches this weekend, facing Mississippi State on Friday and Ole Miss on Sunday.

2 » Also performing well over the weekend was No. 3 Florida volleyball (10-1, 3-0 SEC), which defeated the Ole Miss Rebels (9-4, 3-1 SEC) 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-19) on Sunday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Junior middle-back Cassandra Anderson and sophomore right-side Tangerine Wiggs notched a combined 16 kills and five blocks to lead the Gators. Junior RS/setter Kelly Murphy continued her streak of significantly contributing to her team’s victory with six kills, five digs, two blocks and a team-high 18 assists. Senior outside hitter Callie Rivers added 10 digs and seven kills.

Extra BIT » Florida senior tennis player, No. 9 Alexandre Lacroix, won the 2010 Napa Valley Classic title on Sunday, defeating No. 8 Eric Quigley of Kentucky 10-6 in the final. Lacroix combined to win his three matches 30-15 at earned a USTA wild card for a future event with his victory.

Florida rises in latest USA Today, AP Top 25 polls

For the first time this season, the Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) advanced in both the USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls. Just one day after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 0-1 SEC) 48-14 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, the Gators rose one spot in the respective polls.

Ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll going into the season, Florida was moved down to No. 6 three weeks ago, losing 115 points in the process; voters also dropped them two weeks ago to No. 7 (taking away 22 more points) and last week to No. 8 (losing 16 more points). With Texas losing, Florida was promoted back to No. 7 this week, gaining 47 points.

The AP voters had the Gators ranked No. 4 in their preseason poll, but knocked them down four spots after the first week, taking away 172 points from their total. Florida lost 201 more points two weeks ago, falling to No. 10. However, UF rose last week – one spot to No. 9 – gaining eight points in the process. Because Texas lost, the Gators are now listed at No. 7 with an 88-point increase.

USA TODAY
Last Week 1-10: Alabama (55), Ohio State (3), Boise State, Texas, TCU, Oregon, Nebraska (1), Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin

Last Week 1-10: Alabama (57), Ohio State (2), Boise State, Oregon, TCU, Nebraska, Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, LSU

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Week 1-10: Alabama (53), Ohio State (5), Boise State (1), TCU, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida, Arkansas

This Week 1-10: Alabama (57), Ohio State (2), Boise State (1), Oregon, TCU, Nebraska, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford, Auburn

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

Week 4: Gators post-game news and notes

After starting slow for their first three games, the No. 8/9 Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) came out of the gates strong Saturday night en route to a dominating 48-14 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes.

TREY-MENDOUS PERFORMANCE

Freshman quarterback Trey Burton was obviously the man of the match for the Gators on Saturday, setting a Florida record for most touchdowns in the game with six. He surpassed Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow’s five touchdown performance against South Carolina in 2007 (Tebow also had two passing scores), and also set a school record for total points by a non-kicker (36). Above all else, Burton proved that the Gators have other weapons besides junior running back Jeff Demps, and his versatility was an important factor in the team’s dominating performance Saturday evening.

“Trey Burton was fantastic. Someone told me he had six touchdowns. Six touchdowns. There’s a lot of great players who have played in this stadium, and I think he broke some record. That’s tremendous,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I thought he was a good player when we recruited him, a really good player. We had no idea what we had until we figured it out during training camp. Versatility, the intelligence, the competitiveness, those are things you just don’t know until you get your hands on a player.”

DEBOSE GETS SOME THROWS

After barely seeing the field during the first three weeks of the season, redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose made his true debut in impressive fashion during the first quarter on Saturday. On Florida’s first series, he caught a 14-yard pass and a seven-yard pass to help the Gators score their first points in the first quarter all season. He also had catches of seven and eight yards to finish the first quarter with a team-high 36 yards. “It feels really good,” Debose said after the game. “I’ve been practicing really hard this week. That made feel really ready for tonight.”

Meyer noted that Debose’s plays in the first quarter were scripted, which is part of the reason he did not see much action the rest of the game. “That was on purpose. He earned that,” Meyer said of Debose’s touches. “All you gotta do is practice well, and Debose will be nonexistent next week if he doesn’t practice well. Florida may be a little different. You earn your right to get on that field, and he actually earned that right this week during practice. He did a great job. […] No, he wasn’t [practicing well in previous weeks]. It was not because he wasn’t trying; it was just because the multitude – it’s that deer in the headlights look. He really locked in this week, and we simplified some things.”

ENTIRE OFFENSIVE LINE BANGED UP

Anyone who watched the game noticed that, at one time or another, seemingly every starting offensive lineman was down with a lower leg injury. Turns out, every starting offensive lineman did suffer a lower leg injury. “At one point, every one of our linemen either had a sprained ankle or swollen knee, and they battled through it,” Meyer said. “We were close to TKO there, and they fought through it.” None are expected to be limited going into next week’s game at Alabama.

Also of note is the fact that redshirt senior Marcus Gilbert, the team’s right tackle who had been starting at left tackle with sophomore Xavier Nixon out of commission, was moved back to left tackle against Kentucky. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio made the move to make the line more stable, placing the younger Nixon at right tackle. Chances are, based on the performance of the unit Saturday, this is a permanent decision.

FIRST QUARTER FIRSTS

Coming into Saturday’s game, Florida had not scored a single point in the first quarter in any of its first three contests. As Meyer preached to the media and players during the week, the Gators made it a point to start strong against the Wildcats, putting up a pair of touchdowns in the opening period. Brantley came out throwing, and Debose’s presence provided UF with that extra bit of explosiveness the team has apparently needed.

THREE IS A CHARM FOR THREE FLORIDA DEFENDERS

Senior safety Ahmad Black came into the Kentucky game with three interceptions on the season. It was probably a bit of a surprise for many to see redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown and sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic join him in that club after each picked off Kentucky QB Mike Hartline. Brown returned his for a touchdown, high-stepping into the end zone; though his other two interceptions were also impressive, this one could very well be the most memorable for a player who struggled through back injuries for two years. The Gators lead the nation with 12 interceptions as a team.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES

Demps, after running the ball eight times for 57 yards, left the game at the beginning of the second half with what Meyer believes his a sprained foot. Apparently Demps hurt the same foot last week and aggravated the injury during the game. “Dempsy has a foot that they’re taking a look at. He hurt it last week, we’re hoping it’s just a sprained foot,” Meyer said. The Miami Herald reports that Demps had an X-ray on his foot last night, most likely to make sure it was not broken or fractured.

Redshirt senior defensive tackles Lawrence Marsh (stitches, hamstring) and Brandon Antwine (shoulder) also missed the Kentucky game, but Meyer was confident that both would be back in action at Alabama next Saturday. Freshman defensive lineman Dominique Easley (foot, funeral) missed a bunch of practice this week; whether or not he will be ready for the following game is up in the air.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 4: Gators post-game news and notes

Trey bien! Freshman Burton scores six times as No. 8/9 Gators trounce Wildcats 48-14

Freshman quarterback Trey Burton scored a school-record six touchdowns Saturday night as the No. 8/9 Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) throttled the Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 0-1 SEC) 48-14 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Burton, who broke the record previously held by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, recorded five rushing touchdowns and caught another on a pass from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley. He was responsible for all of the Gators offensive points on the night with the only other touchdown coming via an interception that redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown grabbed by jumping a passing route in the second quarter.

In addition to Burton’s record night, Florida won its 24th straight game against Kentucky, 24th consecutive regular season game and 16th regular season Southeastern Conference game in a row. The win also marked No. 100 for head coach Urban Meyer, who became the sixth fastest coach in NCAA history to reach the milestone.

The Gators’ offense started the contest on fire, scoring 14 points in the first quarter on an 11-yard run and 11-yard reception by Burton. The points were the first scored in the opening quarter all season by Florida.

Down 21 in the second quarter, the Wildcats found themselves in the red zone for the first time all game. Instead of kicking a field goal on 4th down from the 11, Kentucky had wide receiver Chris Matthews pretend to run off the field on a field goal try. Instead, he split out wide and caught an open touchdown for their first score of the game.

The Wildcats would only reach the end zone once more in the contest with Matthews catching his second touchdown, this time on a 27-yard pass from Kentucky QB Mike Hartline with 6:58 remaining in the third quarter.

Florida’s defense was responsible for two picks Saturday with the second coming from sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic. Brown and Bostic joined senior safety Ahmad Black as Gators with three interceptions on the season. Florida’s defense has now accounted for a nation-high 12 picks and recorded UK’s first two turnovers of the season.

Brantley arguably had his best game of the season, going 24-of-35 for 248 yards, one touchdown and his first interception in his last 156 attempts. Sophomore running back Jeff Demps led Florida on the ground with eight carries for 57 yards but left the field with a sprained foot in the second quarter. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson brought in five balls for a team-high 86 yards, redshirt senior WR Carl Moore caught four passes for 72 yards (all first downs) and freshman WR Andre Debose recorded his first statistics of the season with four receptions for 36 yards.

Burton, the Gators’ star freshman, finished with 42 pass yards, 40 rushing yards and 37 reception yards to go along with his six touchdowns (five rushing).

For the Wildcats, top-tier athlete Randall Cobb threw an 11-yard touchdown and caught seven passes for 67 yards. Hartline finished 21-for-39 for 242 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. RB Derrick Locke took 23 carries for 103 yards, and Matthews took care of the receiving catching six balls for 114 yards and both of his team’s scores.

Coming off perhaps their most impressive performance of the season, Florida will face their biggest test on the road next Saturday against the No. 1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC) in Tuscaloosa, AL. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., and the game will air live on CBS.

John Raoux/Associated Press

Week 4: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 87°F, 20% chance of precipitation
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: ESPNU
Sirius/XM: 220/199
Online Video: N/A
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 8/9 FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Joker Phillips
Record: 3-0 (1-0) Record: 3-0 (0-0)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -14; O/U 50

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida has won 23 consecutive regular season games, 13-straight home games and 15 regular season SEC games in a row.
» The Gators are 43-17 all-time against the Wildcats and have won 23 games in a row against Kentucky. That is the second-longest active streak for a major Division I school against a major opponent in an uninterrupted series. UF is 24-4 vs. UK at home.
» After squeaking out a 45-37 victory over the Wildcats in 2007, the Gators have won the last two meetings by an average of 46 points.
» After all three of Tennessee’s scores last week, Florida answered with a score of its own on the drive immediately following.
» The Gators have gone 8-for-8 in the red zone over the last two games with seven touchdowns and a field goal. Florida’s red zone efficiency is 84.6 percent on the season including 10 touchdowns and one field goal.
» UF has scored 30+ points in four straight games, the longest active streak in the SEC.
» The Gators lead the nation with 10 interceptions through three games.
» Florida has committed a nation-low 86 turnovers since 2005 and has had 24 games in which they did not give up a single turnover (best in the nation). Comparatively, Kentucky has not turned the ball over this season and ranks 16th nationally and second in the SEC in turnover margin at +4.
» The Wildcats come into the game ranked second in the SEC in scoring offense (44.3 points) and total offense (497.3 yards).
» Kentucky is third in the SEC in total defense (257.7) first in passing defense (109.7).
» Gators head coach Urban Meyer comes into the contest with 99 career wins.
» Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio worked at Notre Dame in 2001 on the same staff as Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips. Phillips took over as wide receivers coach on the staff after Meyer left to take the top job with Bowling Green. Phillips also coached with UF strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti while both were with Cincinnati in 1998.
» Wildcats running backs coach Larry Brinson played for the Gators from 1972-76 and achieved 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns in his college career.
» Both teams’ coaching staffs will wear the Coach to Cure MD patches on Saturday to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who has thrown 140 consecutive passes without an interception and has a 15-1 TD/INT ratio while playing for the Gators.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who has achieved 150 or more all-purpose yards in each of the last three consecutive games. He is the first Florida player to do so since Percy Harvin in 2007. Demps has also led the Gators in rushing in every game this season with totals of 98, 139 and 73 yards. He ran the ball a career-high 26 times last week against Tennessee.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson…who had career-highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (83) two weeks ago against South Florida. As Brantley’s primary pass catcher, 11 of Thompson’s 13 catches this season have been for first downs.
» Sophomore WR Omarius Hines…who appears to contribute in different ways each week for Florida. Hines took a fake punt 36 yards last week against Tennessee, setting up an important and game-changing scoring drive.
» Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore…who may have had the best game of his Gators career last Saturday catching two big first downs, each of which led to touchdowns.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who has played multiple other positions this season including H-back, WR, tight end, fullback and special teams. He has two Wildcat formation touchdowns already this year.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted seven balls this season. Senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (two) and redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown are leading the way for the unit with their performances. Black is also tops in the SEC with 24 tackles on the year and is the conference’s active leader in interceptions (11) and interception return yards (233).
» Sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic…who has nabbed two interceptions in three games and been a tackling machine (14 in the last two contests) for UF.
» Kentucky athlete Randall Cobb…who is second on the team in rushing with 108 yards and one touchdown on nine carries; he is also UK’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to WR and RB, Cobb plays quarterback, returns punts and kicks and is the holder for extra points and field goals. He is second in team history with 28 touchdowns and is second on the team and third in the SEC in all-purpose yardage averaging 145.3 yards per game.
» Wildcats RB Derrick Locke…who is the SEC’s leading rusher, averaging 124 yards per game. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in all three games this season.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Probable – Redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody (thigh)
Doubtful – Freshman WR Chris Dunkley (hamstring)
Out – Redshirt sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan (wrist)

Inactives
(Will update closer to game time)

FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY

The Gators are not set to be featured in particular during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. However, the analysts will certainly be discussing the Florida-Kentucky game at various points during the broadcast. Notes in the section are as of press time. Will be updated if something else is learned closer to the game.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 4: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats

TWO BITS: Foley on arrests, Noah on Chicago

1 » Amid growing concerns about the numerous arrests of Florida Gators football players over the last few years, USA Today reached out to athletic director Jeremy Foley to pick his brain about the issue. “No one here condones our players stepping out of line, and everyone here wants to get better and we will get better,” he said. “[The football staff is] working constantly at modifying behavior and, at the end of the day, the majority of the players who come through this program will make us all proud and not just because they are good football players.” The paper also spoke to Gainesville Police Department spokeswoman Tscharna Senn, who relates the player arrests to those of regular students. “Every weekend downtown, we make those same arrests across the board of other University of Florida and Santa Fe College students,” she said. “They are no different in that respect other than their name carries more weight with media.”

2 » Former Gators center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls has been the focal point of trade rumors between his team and the Denver Nuggets for superstar Carmelo Anthony. And while the Bulls do not seem to have any interest in trading Noah, he does understand if Chicago decides to part with him in the end. “It’s part of the business,” he told ESPN. “I understand what kind of caliber of player Carmelo Anthony is. I’m trying to stay positive. […] My goal is I want to stay in Chicago and I think we can do something really special here and I hope I can be a part of it.” Brand new teammate forward Carlos Boozer agrees. “I want Joakim Noah to stay,” he said. “I don’t want to see him in any uniform but a Bulls uniform. […] Jo loves being a Chicago Bull, so for him, he’ll be excited at camp. I’ve known him for three-four months now, and his excitement level to be in this city and play for the Bulls is not matched by anybody else.”

Photo Credit: White House

9/23: Florda Gators week four practice notes

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer met with the media after practice on Thursday and divulged a few important notes about the team’s fourth game Saturday against the Kentucky Wildcats. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details.

DEBOSE GROWS

With Florida’s offense putting forth less than stellar performances over the first three games of the season, one of the most heavily discussed topics by fans and the media has been the development of redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose. Though he did not play in the team’s opener against Miami (OH), Debose did see limited time against South Florida and Tennessee but has yet to record a reception on the season. That is a fact that might change this week.

“Andre Debose has had a great week of practice,” Meyer said Thursday, noting he had a “really good practice” on Wednesday. “[He hadn't been practicing well] not because he’s not trying, just [because of] the complication of the offense. Really good day yesterday. That was really encouraging. But that was normal growth. Everybody wants them to be something they’re not. He didn’t play a snap last year.”

Meyer also noted that he is developing at a normal pace, citing that the limited time he has been able to practice at full speed is what hindered him the most. Debose completely tore his hamstring off the bone last season and, while he has been perfectly healthy this year, did miss a lot while being out of commission.

TIGHT ENDS DEVELOPING

The Gators have been using six offensive linemen at times this season instead of putting a tight end in the game; this was most notable last week against Tennessee when sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon played one more spot out wide. The reason for this? Florida has a very young group of players at the position with Meyer’s preferable starter still coming along from a training camp injury.

Jordan Reed’s getting close to full speed. A guy named Gerald Christian is getting a little better,” Meyer said. “At the end of the day, you gotta block SEC defensive ends to play tight end at Florida. We’re getting better. We need that position. If you put an offensive lineman there, there’s no threat of pass.”

QUOTES

On the offense’s execution this week: “The pitch-and-catch has been much better. The receivers are starting to get healthy and their legs back. I think they were blown out a little bit during training camp. We’re getting a little bit of depth. You’re seeing Stephen Alli, you’re seeing Andre Debose starting to get going.”

On who shined this week: “Our receivers had their best day Wednesday, which is real encouraging.”

On redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey’s status: “He’s not part of the team. That’s all I got to say. […] Nowhere near the team. […] I’m not even thinking about that. I’m letting everything will be handled and at some point we’ll have to address it and that point’s not now.”

On freshman quarterback Trey Burton switching numbers (from 13 to 8): “Switching numbers? Is that right? I have no idea, I’m not the numbers coach. I delegated that.”

On offense starting slow each September: “When’s that? Every year? September won-loss record is OK though.”

On redshirt sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan‘s health: “I love Patchan’s intensity, emotion – we need him in the lineup. [..] He’s doing all condition and he’s still two [games] away.”

On eventually winning 200 games: “I hope we can tackle Randall Cobb, man.”

On coaching until Bobby Bowden’s age: “I don’t think I can do that.”

On not scoring a point in the first quarter yet: “A lot of urgency to get that corrected. Because we certainly have the scheming and players to do it.”

Florida Hall of Famer J. “Papa” Hall passed

Former Florida Gators running back, track & field athlete and University of Florida Hall of Fame member J. “Papa” Hall passed away on Sept. 15. He was 79.

Hall, who along with Rick Casares and Buford Long was a member of perhaps the most powerful group of running backs in school history, was the Gators’ leading rusher in 1952 with 671 yards. He was “recruited by every major Southern college” (according to the Tallahassee Democrat), but chose to play in Gainesville, FL, because it was close to home.

The winner of two national collegiate high jump championships (1951, 1953) during his time at Florida, Hall also set a national indoor high jump record (6’11”) while in school. He helped lead the Gators to their first-ever bowl game victory, a 14-13 win over Tulsa in the 1953 Gator Bowl. Described by author Buddy Martin as “swift with long legs and a big stride,” Hall rushed 17 times for a team-high 94 yards in that game and caught two passes for a team-high 60 yards, accounting for almost half (154 yards) of Florida’s total offensive output (334 yards) that day.

He was picked up by the New York Giants after college but instead chose to attend law school and pursue a career as a judge.

Elected to the Leon County Circuit Court in 1980, Hall presided there for 18 years, serving 10 more years as a replacement judge before retiring. Fair skinned, he was diagnosed with melanoma a few months ago and skin cancer spread throughout his body eventually leading to his demise.

OGGOA sends our deepest condolences to the Hall family.

 Page 483 of 659  « First  ... « 481  482  483  484  485 » ...  Last »