Instant Replay: Florida flashes new-look offense in 65-0 rout of Eastern Michigan

One week later than initially scheduled, the Florida Gators (1-0) kicked off their 2014 season on Saturday with a 65-0 trouncing of the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-1) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida extended its winning streak in season-opening contests to 25 games while starting the campaign with the exact type of blowout victory that fans hoped for all offseason. OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

Deciding drive: Starting on its own 23-yard line after receiving an Eagles punt late in the first quarter, the Gators traveled 77 yards in 10 plays to take a 24-0 lead and put the game out of reach early for Eastern Michigan. Florida entered the red zone on a 42-yard deep vertical throw from redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel to redshirt senior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar and crossed the goal line two plays later when freshman running back Brandon Powell rumbled into the end zone from 12 yards out. Driskel went 31-for-45 for 248 yards with a touchdown on the afternoon, while Dunbar hauled in five receptions for 81 yards. Powell had three catches for 24 yards including his score.

Important injuries: Midway through the second quarter, redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee got his left leg rolled up on by senior right guard Trenton Brown. McGee had his left ankle placed in an air cast before a stretcher cart was brought out to drive him off the field. Earlier in the first quarter, junior left tackle D.J. Humphries was brought to the locker room after injuring his ankle following UF’s first touchdown of the game. He did not return. In a post-game interview on SEC Network, head coach Will Muschamp noted that the team has lost McGee “probably for the season.”

Check out the second half of The Quick Slant…after the break.
Continue Reading » Instant Replay: Florida flashes new-look offense in 65-0 rout of Eastern Michigan

Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Eastern Michigan

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 84°F (feels like 92°F), scattered t-storms (chance of rain: 40 percent)
Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT

TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Matt Stinchcomb, Heather Mitts)

Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 93/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS E. MICHIGAN EAGLES
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Chris Creighton
Record: 0-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mid-American

Odds: Florida -40.5 | O/U 55.5

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Notebook: Muschamp reinstates suspended players reinstated, more Florida starters named ahead of new opener | Notebook: Kurt Roper, Jeff Driskel believe in Demarcus Robinson | Notebook: Muschamp goes off on those criticizing his discipline |
Notebook: LB Michael Taylor, DE Dante Fowler ready to lead…and hit hard |
Interview: Heather Mitts returns to Gainesville

Continue Reading » Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Eastern Michigan

Friday Final: Gators soccer star Heather Mitts returns to Gainesville with SEC Network

Former Florida Gators soccer star Heather Mitts, a three-time Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team and 2013 inductee into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame, recently traded in her cleats for a microphone.

A major part of the Gators’ 1998 NCAA Championship-winning soccer team, Mitts went on to have a 12-year professional career before officially retiring in March 2013. She has since decided to embark on a career in sports broadcasting, which she actually began years ago as a part-time soccer analyst for FOX Sports and ESPN.

Now a sideline reporter (football) and analyst (soccer) for the SEC Network, Mitts will be returning to Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday as part of the broadcast team that will cover Florida’s football game against Eastern Michigan, the first-ever Gators contest that will be aired live on the network.

OnlyGators.com sat down with Mitts for 20 minutes on Thursday. She spoke at length about playing most of her professional career with a Florida teammate and close friend in Abby Wambach, moving into a broadcasting role, her love for the Gators and her admiration for UF head coach Becky Burleigh.

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: How tough of a decision was it for you to ultimately retire from the game you love and hang up your cleats for good?
HEATHER MITTS: “You know what? It wasn’t actually that hard because I just felt like I had a lot of injuries towards the end of my career and I was able to do something that I loved for, gosh, as any years as it was. Since college, I literally thought I was going to play one or two years post-college, and I was able to go to three Olympics and one World Cup. To be able to kind of retire on a high note as well, with the Gold medal, being 35 years old with all the injuries that I had, it was just kind of like the right time for me to walk away. I felt really content with my decision.”

Continue Reading » Friday Final: Gators soccer star Heather Mitts returns to Gainesville with SEC Network

Healthy Percy Harvin runs wild Thursday for Seahawks; Gators NFL depth chart

Hoping to play a full regular season for the first time since 2011, a healthy and rejuvenated Percy Harvin opened eyes on Thursday as a game-breaking wide receiver, ball-carrier and returner for the Seattle Seahawks, which hosted the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL Kickoff game.

Helping Seattle trounce Green Bay 36-16, the former Florida Gators standout racked up 160 all-purpose yards for the Seahawks, 100 of which were from scrimmage. Harvin led his team in receiving with seven catches for 59 yards (including a 33-yard reception, his longest since Oct. 7, 2012) and finished second in rushing with four carries for 41 yards, adding 60 return yards on three kickoffs just for good measure.

Harvin’s game-breaking ability should be a boon for Seattle all season. The 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year is arguably the most electric player in the league, a characteristic many forgot but were reminded of last season when he opened the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII by bringing a kickoff back for a touchdown.

Continue Reading » Healthy Percy Harvin runs wild Thursday for Seahawks; Gators NFL depth chart

TWO Video BITS: Erin Andrews, Coleman Hutzler

1 » Participating in a long-running segment on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, former Florida Gators dazzler Erin Andrews – now a sideline reporter for FOX Sports and a host on Dancing With the Stars – read a mean tweet about herself on the air. Andrews has been the subject of much harassment on Twitter throughout her career, so it is especially nice for her to be on this NFL-specific segment (though not as funny as when Gators head coach Will Muschamp read one about him last Saturday).

Continue Reading » TWO Video BITS: Erin Andrews, Coleman Hutzler

Florida LB Taylor, DE Fowler ready to lead…and hit; Gators see Muschamp as tough but fair

A pair of defenders are ready to lead the way for the Florida Gators both on and off the field, while players disagree with some critics labeling head coach Will Muschamp as soft in light of his decision to reinstate three suspended players for the Eastern Michigan Eagles game on Saturday.

THE MAN FOR THE JOB

Losing Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell last year – plus Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd and Lerentee McCray the season before – the Gators spent a portion of the offseason searching for veteran leaders to unite the program and take it to another level in 2014.

In stepped redshirt senior linebacker Michael Taylor, a 10-game starter in 2013 who is as confident off the field as he is aggressive on it. Not only have his Florida teammates fallen in line behind him, the coaching staff also views him as a trustworthy extension of their teachings on the gridiron.

“Mike, really his entire career, has been about all the right things and what we stand for as a program. He’s never an issue off-the-field. He’s a very tough, physical, hard-working guy. He loves football. He’s really into it. He’s already graduated from here,” explained defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.

Continue Reading » Florida LB Taylor, DE Fowler ready to lead…and hit; Gators see Muschamp as tough but fair

Florida-Idaho declared “no contest,” Gators pay Vandals with game to be scheduled for 2017

The Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals have decided to cancel – rather than reschedule – their season-opening college football game, which was set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 30 from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, before first being delayed and then suspended due to weather.

Florida will pay Idaho its contractually agreed upon $975,000 fee for the game. The schools also agreed to schedule a contest as part of their the 2017 season slates.

“We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand,” Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a school release.

Added Vandals AD Rob Spear: “I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare. It was not in our best interest to play 11 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017.”

Continue Reading » Florida-Idaho declared “no contest,” Gators pay Vandals with game to be scheduled for 2017

The Silver Lining for Wednesday, September 3

He comes from France

All four senior basketball players that left the Florida Gators last offseason have now found professional homes despite none being selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.

First was center Patric Young, who worked in the NBA Summer League with the New Orleans Pelicans (which guaranteed him a spot in training camp). By the time Summer League had commenced, Young agreed to a standard two-year, $1.35 million rookie contract with the franchise and is expected to be a contributor this season.

Point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who spent the Summer League playing for two different teams, was unable to find a home in the NBA but instead got a soft landing spot overseas. Wilbekin inked a contract with the Cairns Taipans of the Australian Basketball League and is already in Australia working out with his team.

Continue Reading » The Silver Lining for Wednesday, September 3

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