Looking back on winning the SEC East title and ahead to Saturday’s game against the South Carolina Gamecocks, head coach Jim McElwain of the No. 10 Florida Gators (8-1, 6-1 SEC) met with the media to discuss his offense’s struggles, defense’s successes and all the things going both right and wrong for the Gators through the first 10 weeks of the season.
When the No. 10 Florida Gators (8-1, 6-1 SEC) line up Saturday on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks, the recently crowned SEC East champions may be without up to three defensive starters.
Head coach Jim McElwain announced Monday that junior defensive tackle Joey Ivie is out with an undisclosed injury, senior defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard is “probably doubtful” with “an arm deal,” and junior safety Keanu Neal is “questionable with a foot.”
Leave it to a former coach to take some credit for the Florida Gators’ surprising current success.
After first praising Florida and its players for winning the SEC East on Sunday, Will Muschamp was sure to remind Auburn reporters that he told Gators fans the new coach should have no excuses when taking over the program as the cupboard was not bare when he left Gainesville, Florida.
The Florida Gators (8-1, 6-1 SEC) moved up slightly in the weekly top 25 rankings, checking in at No. 11 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll coming off a sloppy 9-7 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Last week, the Gators were listed at No. 11 in the AP rankings and No. 12 in the USA Today poll. Florida now has 887 votes (-36) in the Week 10 AP rankings and 949 votes (+7) in the USA Today poll.
While much of the polls went as expected, Clemson received 31 first-place votes in the AP Top 25 and is the new No. 1 team in the nation, jumping Ohio State. Florida is the fifth-ranked one-loss team in the AP poll, behind Alabama (3), Notre Dame (6), Stanford (7), LSU (9) and Utah (10).
No. 10 Florida Gators football (8-1, 6-1 SEC) was chewing its collective nails throughout the game Saturday but left Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as the 2015 SEC East division champions after escaping a tough Vanderbilt Commodores team 9-7 on a late field goal by redshirt junior kicker Austin Hardin.
It is Florida’s first SEC East crown since 2009 and the first time the Gators won a game with fewer than 10 points scored since 1968 (Florida State).
OnlyGators.com will be back with more later, but here are five immediate takeaways from Florida’s latest victory.
No. 10 Florida Gators football (7-1, 5-1 SEC) is riding high after a hot start to its first season under new head coach Jim McElwain.
With the Vanderbilt Commodores in town for homecoming, the Gators decided to break out a brand new set of white helmets for the game.
No. 10 Florida Gators football returns home for the first time in a month to host the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Gators have an opportunity to clinch the SEC East crown and a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, while the ‘Dores hope to keep hope for a similar fate alive.
Here’s a look ahead at Saturday’s game: what to know and how to watch Florida-Vanderbilt.
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 84°F, mostly sunny (0% chance of rain), winds SE at 5 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Paul Carcaterra)
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
An injury suffered in an exhibition game has cost the Florida Gators one of their few experienced players as redshirt senior forward Alex Murphy will miss 4-6 weeks after partially tearing his plantar fascia, the school announced Friday.
Murphy suffered the injury in the first half of Thursday’s 89-42 win over Palm Beach Atlantic. An MRI conducted Friday revealed the injury, which should keep him out of action through the majority of Florida’s nonconference slate as the Gators start the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Navy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Though Murphy was a reserve Thursday and is expected to come off the bench most of the season for Florida, he is one of a handful of players that actually suited up for the Gators last season when he averaged 5.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Murphy will likely be placed in a boot for the duration of his recovery as it is a non-weightbearing injury. Barring a need for a minor repair, surgery is not usually required.