Senior Day – Gameday: Florida Gators vs. No. 2 Florida State Seminoles

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 66°F (feels like 66°F), partly cloudy, winds NE at 14 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Luginbill)
SiriusXM: 85 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com [Blackout Map] | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS No. 2 FSU SEMINOLES
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher
Record: 4-7 Record: 11-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +29 | O/U 52.5
and you can also bet on Super Bowl game in Feb 2014.

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 missed via the links below!

Story: Changes ahead for offensive staff | Notebook: Will Muschamp talks coaching changes, fixing the Gators and more injuries | Q&A: Brent Pease asked 17 questions about job status, future at Florida | Notebook: Muschamp provides updates on injuries, thoughts about Pease | Friday Final: Bittersweet finale for Florida seniors

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida leads the all-time series against Florida State 35-21-2 and holds a 20-9-1 record in Gainesville.
» The Gators will finish below .500 on the season for the first time since 1979 and below .500 in SEC play for the second time since that year (2010).
» UF lost to three unranked opponents this season and is now 18-4 against such teams under Muschamp. Last week, it dropped its first game to a Division I-AA/FCS team in school history.
» The Gators lost their second-straight game under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and are now 15-2 in such circumstances. Florida also lost for the second consecutive time under Muschamp (third overall) when leading at the half and are now 18-3 in that situation. UF is 18-5 when holding opponents to 21 points or less, 13-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards and 14-5 when scoring first in a game.

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!
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Gameday: No. 15 Florida Gators vs. Florida State

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2 (Mike Crispino, Len Elmore)
SiriusXM: 108/200 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(13/15) FLORIDA GATORS FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton
Record: 5-1 Record: 5-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -8 | O/U 138

PRE-GAME READING MATERIAL

» Story: PG Scottie Wilbekin stepped up on Monday – in more ways than one
» Notebook: Updates on Florida’s injuries, Harris’s suspension and UF-FSU scheduling

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida has won four-straight against Florida State and lead the all-time series 42-22 (including 11-6 under Donovan). UF is 20-6 against FSU at home (6-1 under Donovan).
» The Gators have won 19-straight games at home in the O’Dome and 20 in a row against non-conference opponents.
» Should UF defeat FSU on Saturday, its senior class (2010) would be just the second in school history to never lose to its in-state rivals (2009).
» Florida is 4-3 against top-25 ranked opponents dating back to last season with all three losses coming away from its home court.
» The Gators are 59-8 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida is 0-7 dating back to last season in games decided by single digits.
» UF’s defense has started off allowing just 59.3 points per game through five contests, making it the stingiest in the SEC. Five-straight opponents have failed to reach 61 points against the Gators.
» Donovan is looking for his 16th consecutive 20-win season. Florida has him ranked sixth all-time in that category behind only Dean Smith, Lute Olson, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith and Jim Boeheim.
» Senior forward Casey Prather is just the third player under Donovan to score 27 or more points three times in a single season (Teddy Dupay, Nick Calahtes) and has already done so just six games into the 2013-14 campaign.

Read the rest of the Florida-Florida State gameday preview…after the break!
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Muschamp critical of Gators’ defensive start

Anyone that watched the sloppy offensive performance put forth by the No. 9/12 Florida Gators (1-1) on Saturday was aware that the team squandered multiple opportunities to put points on the board and assist a defense that struggled early in the first quarter but was stout for the vast majority of the game.

Head coach Will Muschamp would certainly agree, but he was not about to let the defense off the hook for the way it played early in Saturday’s 21-16 loss to the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes (2-0).

“Disappointed early. I thought we gave them way too much momentum and belief early in the game. I thought we should’ve played much better early in the game. Very disappointed with the first two series,” he said.

“Alignment, communication, assignment – you name it, we didn’t do it very well in the first two series. We got very discombobulated, in my opinion, defensively.”

Florida gave up 21 points on Saturday, only the third time in the last 16 games under Muschamp that the Gators defense allowed that at least that many points in a contest.

Of those 21 points, Miami scored 14 off a pair of Florida turnovers.

UM quarterback Stephen Morris led a nine-play, 50-yard touchdown drive after UF sophomore running back Matt Jones fumbled the ball on the game’s opening series.

Canes running back Duke Johnson ran for a two-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter after Gators junior QB Jeff Driskel was sacked by linebacker Tyriq McCord and fumbled the ball at UF’s four-yard line.

Muschamp was displeased with Miami’s initial touchdown drive but even more upset that Florida gave up a long touchdown on the Hurricanes’ third offensive possession, which came right the Gators had capitalized on a timely punt block.

Continue Reading » Muschamp critical of Gators’ defensive start

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9/7: Florida at Miami post-game report

Five turnovers and a sloppy performance doomed the No. 9/12 Florida Gators (1-1) on Saturday against the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes (2-0) at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. After falling 21-16 to Miami, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Miami improved to 29-26 all-time against Florida with no future games scheduled.
» The Gators failed to start the season 2-0 after doing so in eight-straight years.
» Florida fell to 1-6 under Muschamp when rushing for fewer than 150 yards, 3-6 when allowing 21+ points and 4-8 when tied or trailing at halftime.
» Saturday’s win was the Canes’ first over a ranked opponent since Oct. 22, 2011.
» The Gators have forced at least one turnover in 13-straight games.
» Miami made its 74th appearance on ESPN, second-most among college programs.
» Florida had two players register 98+ receiving yards in the same game for the first time since Jan. 1, 2010. It was the first time since Nov. 3, 2007 that two wide receivers eclipsed 98+ yards.
» A Gators quarterback passed for over 219 yards for the first time since Nov. 19, 2011. That was also the last time a Florida receiver registered a 100+ yard game.
» The Canes posted 212 total yards, just seven more than Toledo a week ago. The last time Miami had fewer yards in a victory was Oct. 26, 1996.
» UF bested UM statistically in total offense (413-212), passing yards (291-162), rushing yards (122-50), first downs (22-10), third-down efficiency (.400-.090) and time of possession (38:20-21:40).
» It was the second time as many seasons that the Gators committed at least five turnovers in a single game.
» Florida’s defense gave up 21 or more points for just the third time in the last 16 games under Muschamp dating back to the bowl game following the 2011 season.
» It was just the fourth time under Muschamp (28 games) – and second time since the start of the 2012 season (15 games) – that the Gators coughed up two first-quarter touchdowns. Florida is 1-3 in those four games.

» Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell, returning after spending 20 months without playing a college football game, registered a sack for the second-straight game.
» Freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III nabbed an interception for the second-straight game. He also switched his uniform from No. 16 to No. 1, becoming the first true freshman to wear No. 1 since Keiwan Ratliff in 2001.
» Junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy blocked his third kick in two seasons.
» Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel threw for a career-high 291 yards.
» Wideouts senior Solomon Patton and redshirt junior Quinton Dunbar both registered career-highs in receptions and receiving yards. Patton finished with six catches for 118 yards and also picked up the first touchdown of his career. A South Florida native, Dunbar hauled in seven balls for 98 yards.

OPENING STATEMENT

“We gave them way too much momentum early in the game, defensively the first drive. We just got out of sorts with our substitutions and communications. It settled down as the game went on. Gave them a big play. You give a team belief and certainly that’s what we did defensively early. You can’t turn it over five times and go 1-for-6 in the red zone scoring touchdowns. Moving the ball, had over 400 yards, thought we mixed the run and pass well, probably did some good things at times. But the bottom line is you cannot continue to shoot yourself in the foot and give somebody else an opportunity, especially on the road, and we certainly did that. We gave them way too much momentum early in the game defensively, and you’re not going to win any games turning it over five times, especially in the red zone – just killer turnovers.

“I felt like the fourth down, going for that early, I feel like we needed to. We weren’t stopping them defensively at that time very well. I felt that we needed to spit the ball in the end zone. Disappointed with the turnovers and the red zone situation and the momentum early in the game. I thought our kids fought hard and gave themselves an opportunity there at the end with an on-side kick and see what happens. I credit our kids for that. We need to go back in the off week, go back with ball security, coming together and playing a little better in this situation.”

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say after the game…
Continue Reading » 9/7: Florida at Miami post-game report

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Florida flops in Miami as Canes top Gators 21-16

The No. 9/12 Florida Gators led the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes in nearly every major statistical category on Saturday afternoon, but Florida’s massive amount of turnovers – especially in the red zone – became the stat that really counted as Miami took an early lead and never lost it in a 21-16 victory in Sun Life Stadium.

In what was the last time the Gators and Hurricanes will square off in the regular season for the foreseeable future, Florida committed six turnovers including one on downs and four in the red zone. Miami improved to 29-26 in the all-time series.

Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel threw two interceptions – one on 3rd-and-Goal at the Miami 11-yard line early in the second quarter and another on 3rd-and-3 at the UM 17-yard line with less than seven minutes to play. He also fumbled the ball on UF’s ensuing possession when he was left unprotected and rocked for a nine-yard sack.

Sophomore running back Matt Jones, playing his first game of the season after recovering from a serious viral illness that forced him to miss multiple weeks of fall practice, fumbled on his third carry of the game during the opening possession.

The Hurricanes responded to Jones’ miscue, completing a nine-play, 50-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass from QB Stephen Morris to WR Herb Waters.

The tide appeared to turn in favor of the Gators late in the first quarter when junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, returning to the field from a one-game suspension, blocked a punt that Florida recovered at Miami’s nine-yard line. Driskel ran in untouched for a touchdown two plays later, but a failed two-point conversion attempt by redshirt junior back-up QB Tyler Murphy left Florida trailing 7-6.

Unfortunately for UF (1-1), its defense remained unglued on UM’s next possession, giving up positive yardage on five of the next six snaps including a 52-yard touchdown pass from Morris to WR Phillip Dorsett.

Driskel moved the Gators down the field, hitting senior WR Solomon Patton for 46 yards, but threw his first interception of the game in the red zone. Following a three-and-out, Florida found itself in the red zone again, faced with a 4th-and-1 on Miami’s 16-yard line after three-straight runs by Jones. A keeper was called for Driskel, who was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

The Gators returned to the red zone for a third-straight possession as Driskel hit Patton on receptions of 17 and 18 yards during the 12-play drive. However, Florida coughed up the ball once again as senior WR Trey Burton fumbled after a short reception.

Continue Reading » Florida flops in Miami as Canes top Gators 21-16

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Gameday: No. 9 Florida Gators at No. 24 Miami

Location: Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL [Capacity: 76,854]
Weather: 86°F (feels like 94°F), cloudy, isolated t-storms (30%), winds ENE at 6 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Best deals on Florida Gators tickets starting at $152 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter (Limited)

No. 9/12 FLORIDA GATORS No. 24 MIAMI HURRICANES
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Al Golden
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -3.5 | O/U: 48

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Miami leads the all-time series against Florida 28-26, though the Gators actually have a 14-13 advantage going head-to-head with the Hurricanes in Miami, FL.
» Though Florida won the last meeting between the two schools in 2008, that victory snapped a six-game winning streak for Miami in the series.
» The Gators and Canes played annually from 1944-1987 but did not square off at all in the 1990s. On Saturday, they will be sharing the field for the sixth time this century.
» Florida hopes to open the season 2-0 for the ninth-straight year.
» UM has not played a team from the SEC since facing UF in 2008.
» Florida was 4-2 against ranked opponents in 2012, posting a 164-133 scoring margin in those games. Miami, on the other hand, was 0-3 against ranked teams last season and got outscored 36-126 in those contests.
» The Gators are 13-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (1-5 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards). Florida is also 15-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 11-2 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 13-3 when scoring first (6-5 when an opponent scores first) and 15-1 when leading at the half (4-7 when tied or trailing at the break).
» The Hurricanes are 11-2 under Golden when scoring 30+ points.
» UF still leads the nation in interceptions (97), interception return yards (1,703) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (16) since 2008.
» Florida had two touchdown drives of 80+ yards against Toledo, the first time that’s happened in the same game since Nov. 5, 2011.
» Miami has amassed 500+ yards of offense in three-straight games along with a combined 126 points and average margin of victory of 22.0 points.
» The Gators’ defense held the Rockets to six points last week, the sixth time the team has held an opponent without a touchdown under Muschamp.
» The Canes have gone three games without allowing an opponent to score a touchdown on their home field. In those 160:39 minutes, Miami has only given up six field goals and 18 total points.
» Florida has forced at least one turnover in 12-straight games.
» The Gators have forced the most interceptions among SEC teams this century (349).
» UM will be making its 74th appearance on ESPN, second-most in the history of the network (Auburn – 75).

» Redshirt junior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar (Miami, FL), redshirt junior safety Cody Riggs (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) are all South Florida natives named captains for Saturday’s game.
» Others playing in front of their friends and family include senior linebacker Darrin Kitchens (Homestead, FL), junior S Jabari Gorman (Miami, FL), junior tight end Tevin Westbrook (Coconut Creek, FL), redshirt freshman defensive lineman Bryan Cox, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, FL), freshman running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL) and freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL).

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 9 Florida Gators at No. 24 Miami

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Florida Gators gymnastics gets revenge, lacrosse earns a big win, softball starts 2013 season 5-0

No. 1 Florida Gators gymnastics (5-1, 4-1 SEC) scored the second-highest total in program history on its way to defeating the defending national champion No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-2, 3-2 SEC) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Florida took down Alabama 198.100-196.850, avenging the Crimson Tide’s 0.075-point victory over the Gators in the 2012 NCAA Super Six.

UF’s huge score was fueled by phenomenal all-around performances from freshman Bridget Sloan and senior Ashanée Dickerson. Sloan’s mark of 39.675 is second nationally only to a 39.700 from Florida sophomore Kytra Hunter, and Dickerson’s 39.650 was highlighted by a career-best 9.975 mark that won the floor exercise.

Sloan and junior Mackenzie Caquatto shared the uneven bars title with dueling 9.950s. Caquatto doubled up in event titles with a score of 9.925 to win balance beam.

These great feats for the Gators came on a night where Hunter, an All-American the nation’s top-ranked all-around performer, fell on both bars and beam. However, when the team needed her to come through in the final event, Hunter registered a 9.950 on floor to help her team to a huge win.

A total of 8,074 fans – the ninth-largest crowd in program history – filled the O’Dome and created an electric atmosphere for Florida throughout the night. Equally impressive was the Gators’ registering such a huge score with Hunter battling a stomach flu and junior All-American Alaina Johnson still sidelined with a stress reaction in her back.

Read about what Florida lacrosse and softball did over the weekend…
Continue Reading » Florida Gators gymnastics gets revenge, lacrosse earns a big win, softball starts 2013 season 5-0

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12/5: Florida at Florida State post-game report

No. 5/6 Florida Gators basketball (7-0) thrashed the Florida State Seminoles (4-4) by 25 points on Wednesday in Tallahassee, FL. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media and shared some of his thoughts after the game.

Also included in this special post-game report are animated GIFs and thoughts from former players on UF’s blowout victory over FSU.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida has now won four-straight against Florida State, increasing its all-time record to 42-22 including 11-6 under Donovan and 5-3 in Tallahassee under Donovan. UF’s true seniors have never lost to FSU.
» The Gators swept the Seminoles in football, basketball and baseball (5-0) in the 2012 calendar year for the first time in school history.
» Florida has now held five of seven opponents to 49 points or fewer. The Gators have only given up 26 points or more in a single have twice in 14 halves.
» UF is 32-1 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» Florida had 15 assists on 27 baskets and outscored FSU in the paint 34-14.
» The Gators out-rebounded the Seminoles 34-26, forced 22 turnovers (for 32 points) and registered 14 steals.
» The 47 points scored by Florida State tied for the second fewest against Florida in series history. It is also the lowest point total FSU has registered at its home arena.
» Florida had a game-high 37-point lead during the game.

PLAYER NOTES

» Senior guard Kenny Boynton scored 14 points in the game and now has 1,690 for his career, passing Stacey Poole (1,678) for fifth on the school’s career scoring list. He led the Gators offensively despite going just 1-for-8 from downtown. Boynton is now 1-for-13 from three-point land over the last two games.
» Redshirt senior G Mike Rosario had his best offensive game of the season, matching Boynton with a game-high 14 points and doing so while going 2-for-4 from downtown and 6-for-10 from the field.
» Junior center Patric Young continued to display his improved energy, scoring 10 points and adding a game-high eight rebounds. He missed all three of his foul shots.
» Junior forward Erik Murphy (hip pointer) did not start but played quite well off the bench, scoring nine points and adding seven boards.
» Freshman G Michael Frazier II once again played exceptionally well in his reserve role. He scored 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting (2-for-3 from long range) and now has 31 points over the last two games.
» Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin‘s defensive effort was noticable throughout the contest. He registered five steals, dropped five dimes and scored five points.
» Seminoles G Michael Snaer was held scoreless in the first half but finished the game with a team-high 10 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

Read what Donovan had to say and see much more…after the break!
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