Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators were in the news off the field in 2010, the Gator Nation was making plenty of headlines on it as well. From game-winning baskets to displays of pure emotion, Florida experienced some unique athletic moments in 2010. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 10 On the Field Moments of the Year.

OGGOA RELATED: Top 10 for 2010: Off the Field Stories of the Year

10 » FLORIDA WINS INAUGURAL LACROSSE GAME (2/20/10)
When Florida decided it wanted to start another women’s athletics program, the University Athletic Association did extensive research and found out that women’s lacrosse would be the perfect fit. In preparation for their first season, the Gators and head coach Amanda O’Leary secured the country’s No. 1 recruiting class (according to Inside Lacrosse Magazine). All the hard work and preparation to get the team ready paid off on Feb. 20 when lacrosse debuted in the brand new Donald R. Dizney Stadium to a boisterous crowd of 2,114 spectators. Florida defeated Jacksonville 16-6 behind four goals and four assists from freshman sensation Ashley Bruns. All-in-all the Gators faced 16 championship-caliber teams and played so well that they reached the 2010 ALC Tournament semifinals. In just their second year of existence, Florida women’s lacrosse is ranked as the No. 17 team in the country going into the 2011 season.

9 » NEAR VICTORIES/HEARTBREAKING LOSSES (5/25/10 * 3/18/10 * 10/9/10)

It is rare for teams to go undefeated and even less likely that an entire athletic program can go through a season without its share of close losses and nail biting finishes. Such was the case for the Gators in 2010. On May 25, No. 3 women’s tennis was barely defeated by the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal for the 2010 NCAA National Championship. Stanford won 4-3 after Florida rallied when they were just two individual games away from being defeated. The Gators forced third sets in two singles matches; sophomore Joanna Mather took down her opponent but senior No. 65 Marrit Boonstra was not as lucky. Losing her first set 6-4, Boonstra fought back to even her match with No. 33 Mallory Burdette by taking the second set 6-7 (4). Down 2-0 in the third, she pushed ahead with a valiant effort to take a 5-4 lead but ended up losing her final three games, the match itself and the championship.

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons, No. 10-seed Florida got in a bit easier than some might have expected. Matched up against the No. 7-seed Brigham Young Cougars in the event’s opening game, the Gators fought hard but could not stop Cougars star guard Jimmer Fredette. Allowing BYU to jump ahead 59-46 in the second half, UF came back behind freshman G Kenny Boynton and junior forward Chandler Parsons. Florida missed potential game-winners during regulation (Parsons) and the first overtime (Boynton) and eventually fell to Brigham Young 99-92 in a double-overtime heartbreaker with Fredette adding to his game-high 37 points.

Though losing a national championship and NCAA Tournament game are both difficult, Gators fans will probably look back on No. 12/14 Florida’s shocking loss to the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers on Oct. 10 as the worst near-victory of the season. Wearing orange jerseys for the first time since 1989, the Gators came back from a 12-point deficit when freshman wide receiver Andre Debose returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, sophomore running back Mike Gillislee rumbled in for a touchdown and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley completed a two-point conversion to sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive. All Florida wanted when its defense came out was a stop, but LSU put together a 62-yard game-winning drive that included numerous third down conversions and a converted fake field goal attempt on fourth down from UF’s 36-yard line with 35 seconds remaining. Back-to-back passes to WR Terrence Toliver (of 28 and 3 yards, respectively) and the Tigers left The Swamp with a 33-29 victory. Players have noted that the loss was a negative turning point in the season, one that may or may not have led to the team dropping their third-straight game one week later at home to Mississippi State.

Continue Reading » Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

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11/22: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, senior safety Ahmad Black and redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins answered questions for the media on Monday about a variety of topics concerning the Florida Gators, their win at home on Saturday against the Appalachian State Mountaineers and this week’s road game against the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee, FL. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

QB JOHN BRANTLEY

On playing Florida State historically: “Florida State is a very good team, they handle themselves well. Florida is also good – I remember that Nokia Sugar Bowl with [Danny] Wuerffel and all those guys. It’s been the biggest game always circled in my book.”

On how the offense has not changed: “We’re still running the same plays, I’m just not running as much of an option. It’s really the same play calls, same play action, same drop back calls. We’re just emphasizing pass with me and the option stuff with Jordan [Reed] and Trey [Burton].”

On the offensive line failing to block the blitz consistently: “They’re not perfect. They can’t be perfect. And I don’t expect them to be. Sometimes maybe it’s the line or maybe it’s me holding onto the ball too long.”

On if this game holds extra importance this year: “It doesn’t matter about the past. We just got to go out and win this one.”

On redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson: “Ever since that Georgia game he’s really been practicing hard, catching every ball.”

On the winning streak over FSU: “We know about it. We mention it. We just have to go out and win this one.”

SS AHMAD BLACK

On being a Florida State fan growing up: “Who lied and said that?”

On continuing the winning streak against FSU: “It’s a pretty big deal here.”

On the rivalry’s importance in recruiting: “It’s pretty big considering a lot of players that are from the state of Florida – their last few schools are usually Florida, Florida State and Miami.”

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11/22: 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.

LONG LIST OF INJURY UPDATES

Though even more Florida players are currently dealing with injuries, Meyer updated the status of a number of guys. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose (ankle), redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown (hamstring) and redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones are all listed as probable for Saturday. Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley (ankle) is questionable and redshirt sophomore defensive end Earl Okine (concussion) is doubtful. Florida should receive preliminary word on junior CB Janoris Jenkins’ status on Monday after he suffered what was initially deemed a minor concussion over the weekend.

Meyer also noted that the Gators are indeed seeking a medical hardship waiver for kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has already missed seven games this year with a back injury. If it is granted, Sturgis will enter next season as a redshirt junior.

CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced Monday that 19 Gators had earned the designation of Champions after Saturday’s win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Offensively, Meyer named senior center Mike Pouncey as his player of the game along with redshirt senior tackle Marcus Gilbert, redshirt senior T Maurice Hurt, redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, sophomore running back Mike Gillislee, redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks, redshirt freshman G Jon Halapio, redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey, redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed, redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr., redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson and freshman QB Trey Burton as his champions. On the defensive side of the ball, senior LB Brandon Hicks won the POG award, while senior safety Ahmad Black, redshirt junior CB Moses Jenkins, senior DE Duke Lemmens, redshirt senior DT Terron Sanders and freshman DT Sharrif Floyd were champions.

NO MORE PUNISHMENT FOR MOORE

Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore was ejected from Saturday’s game after retaliating during a fight with an opposing player. Meyer said Monday that Florida would not impose another penalty on the player seeing as the standard punishment is missing half of a game and he has already done that. “I had a meeting with him yesterday. We don’t do that, and I’m going to reemphasize that with the team,” Meyer said. The NCAA also decided not to pursue the issue further.

HELPING BRANTLEY IMPROVE

Asked how Brantley needs to improve from this point forward as a quarterback, Meyer said his two biggest issues are getting rid of the ball quickly and knowing when to “burn it” when being blitzed or having no open men downfield. Meyer cited the fact that Brantley being sacked causing a 2nd and 17 puts the Gators in a deeper hole than a simple incompletion on 2nd and 10 would.

He also noted, like he has previously this year, that Brantley (as a dropback passer) needs a strong, big running back and solid tight end play to compliment him. “When you have a quarterback like that, he’s got to be able to hand the ball off. It’s nothing new – it’s been like that for 100 years,” Meyer said. “When you’re limited at tight end and you’re limited at fullback [and you don’t have a big running back], you’re in quicksand. Hand the ball off – play action pass – and then utilize the dropback passing game.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 11/22: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

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Gators remain unranked after easy win Saturday

The Florida Gators (7-4, 4-4 SEC) were knocked out of the top 25 polls for the first time under head coach Urban Meyer a few weeks ago after losing at home to Mississippi State. Back-to-back wins against Georgia in Jacksonville, FL, and Vanderbilt on the road saw Florida earn a spot back in all three polls two weeks ago, but Florida found themselves on the outside looking in once again after losing to South Carolina last week. Though the Gators did defeat the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-1) on Saturday, the win was certainly not enough to vault them back into the rankings.

WeekResultBCSUSA TodayAssociated Press
Preseason--No. 10 (930)No. 10 (894)
2W 24-6 vs. Toledo-No. 9 (974)No. 12 (875)
3L 16-21 at Miami-No. 20 (410)No. 18 (405)
4Open-No. 18 (398)No. 19 (412)
5W 31-17 vs. Tennessee-No. 19 (449)No. 20 (414)
6W 24-7 at Kentucky-No. 19 (515)No. 18 (481)
7W 30-10 vs. Arkansas-No. 17 (574)No. 17 (536)
8L 6-17 at LSU-No. 22 (240)No. 22 (249)
9L 17-36 at Missouri-NR (4)NR (17)

USA TODAY
Last Week 1-25: Oregon (46), Auburn (6), Boise State (5), TCU (2), Wisconsin, LSU, Ohio State, Stanford, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Missouri, South Carolina, Nevada, Texas A&M, Iowa, Miami (FL), Mississippi State, Arizona, Utah, Northwestern

This Week 1-25: Oregon (48), Auburn (4), Boise State (5), TCU (2), Wisconsin, LSU, Ohio State, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Nevada, Arizona, Florida State, Utah, North Carolina State, Iowa, Mississippi State
*Florida received 12 votes (No. 31).

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Week 1-25: Oregon (38), Auburn (12), Boise State (9), TCU (1), LSU, Wisconsin, Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska, Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Nevada, USC, Iowa, Mississippi State, Arizona, Miami (FL), Utah

This Week 1-25: Oregon (37), Auburn (13), Boise State (10), TCU, Wisconsin, LSU, Stanford, Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina State, Florida State, Utah, Iowa, Mississippi State
*Florida received 4 votes (T-33).

BCS
Last Week 1-25: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Michigan State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Nevada, Texas A&M, Iowa, Mississippi State, Arizona, Utah, Miami (FL), Florida State

This Week 1-25: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Florida State, North Carolina State, Iowa, Mississippi State

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

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Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes

Rebounding with a dominant 48-10 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-2) on Senior Day Saturday in Gainesville, FL, the Florida Gators (7-4) seemed to get some of their mojo back winning the first game in their last four tries at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

BLACK AND POUNCEY REDUCED MEYER TO A “WHIMPER”

After watching his seniors put on a stellar performance as a class on Saturday, head coach Urban Meyer gushed about two guys in particular – safety Ahmad Black and center Mike Pouncey.

“You [go] start-to-finish with guys; you see the growth not only as football players,” Meyer said after the game. “Ahmad – I have never been around a football player that has made such a progress from day one until day four years later. He’s the best strong safety in college… I can’t say that because I don’t know all of them, but if I had my draft pick of a strong safety, I’m taking Ahmad Black.

“And then Mike Pouncey – him and his brother and I saw his mom break down before the game crying – what those two meant for this program… To think there’s not going to be a Pouncey playing for us next year, that’s real hard to deal with right now.”
Asked after the game if he cried like his players did when they came out of the tunnel before the contest, Meyer tried to act tough but then let down his guard. “I don’t use the word ‘cry’ – that’s soft,” he said. “Whimper? Eye moisture and whimper. [Does] ‘whimper’ sound tough enough? Balled my eyes off then. I was emotional, those are good guys.”

MEYER RECOGNIZES THAT DEFENSE IS STILL STRUGGLING

Though Florida’s defense had a decent day, Meyer continues to notice that it is not playing near the level it did the last two seasons. “I think we could have played better, I really do. I think they played well, but there’s a style of play that’s been a tradition set way before these guys and that is just dominant changing-line-of-scrimmage defense,” he said. “I think we’ll get there eventually; we’re not there right now.”

TAKING BACK GIVING UP THE SWAMP

When Meyer took over in 2005, two of his main goals were dominating the Gators’ natural rivals and reclaiming The Swamp as a land of dominance. Though Meyer is 2-0 (and going for 3-0) against Florida’s traditional rivals this season, his team had previously lost three-straight games at home. “Awful. It’s not back. We’re going to work all offseason to get that thing back. It’s not,” Meyer said. “To say you’re going to go beat Appalachian State and say you got homefield advantage [back], that’s something… We beat it into them when we first got here and we’re going to re-beat… We lost more games [at home] I believe this year than we did the whole previous five years. That’s absolutely unacceptable. That will be a major discussion in the offseason.”

HIS NAME IS GARY…GARY BEEMER

A redshirt senior walk-on who has been specializing in defensive end on the Gators’ practice team, Gary Beemer is a player who may be unknown to most coaches. Not Meyer, who went out of his way to make sure he scored a touchdown on Senior Day. “Gary Beemer is one of my favorite players on our team,” he said. “He’s a guy that is about as unselfish a guy as you’re going to get. Our players love him because he goes every day. He’s going to go into a career of coaching. I grabbed him in the third quarter and said, ‘If we get close enough, I’d like to hand you the ball.’ We did that to Javier [Estopinan] a couple of years ago – just out of respect for the kid.”

INJURY UPDATES

» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose – ankle – tweaked it before the game warming up, held out as a precaution; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown – hamstring – pulled it earlier in the week and was held out; should be ready next week
» Junior CB Janoris Jenkins – concussion – suffered a “slight” concussion during the game and was held out from that point forward; should be ready next week
» Redshirt sophomore defensive end Earl Okine – concussion – suffered one during the game; next week’s status is unknown
» Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley – ankle – left on crutches and may be out for the season if it is a high ankle sprain
» Sophomore linebacker Dee Finley – broken collarbone – will return next week

QUOTES (Some good stuff after the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 12: Gators post-game news & notes

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Gators topple Mountaineers 48-10 on Senior Day

Saturday in The Swamp was a celebration for the Florida Gators’ senior class as they led their team for the final time at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to a dominant 48-10 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Florida (7-4) had lost its previous three games in Gainesville, FL, before defeating Appalachian State (9-2), a rarity for a senior class that was 19-2 at home going into this year.

Unlike the rest of the season, the Gators’ offense got a quick start on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game and four of its first five. Florida led 28-0 going into halftime, but head coach Urban Meyer took his foot off the gas in the second half; UF still outscored ASU 20-10 in the latter part of the game.

Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed led the way for the Gators with four touchdowns including three on the ground and one through their air to redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley in what was the first reception of Brantley’s career. UF’s leading passer, Brantley finished 16-of-22 for 222 yards and one interception.

Redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey dominated early with 40 yards rushing on the first drive including a 16-yard touchdown; he finished the day taking six carries for 87 yards and catching two balls for 23 yards. Reed carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards, and RBs sophomore Mike Gillislee and redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody tallied 56 yards apiece on the ground.

Florida’s players accounted for a number of career-highs in the contest. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson reeled in six catches for a career-high 100 yards, freshman defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell swarmed for a career-high nine tackles, and redshirt junior cornerback Moses Jenkins and senior LB Brandon Hicks each notched a career-high seven tackles.

Hicks also forced a fumble in the second quarter that was eventually recovered by senior safety Ahmad Black; it led to Reed’s TD pass to Brantley. Senior punter/kicker Chas Henry made all six of his extra point attempts and punted the ball once for 42 yards.

The Gators finished with a season-high 311 rushing yards and 547 total yards while scoring seven touchdowns – the most this year. The final score was attributed to redshirt senior defensive tackle Gary Beemer, a walk-on who Meyer gave three carries inside the three in order to score his first career touchdown.

Saturday was an emotional day for Florida’s seniors. A number of players – including center Mike Pouncey and Black – were noticeably teary-eyed when being introduced before the game. Pouncey put his head down in Meyer’s chest and Black dropped to his knees in the end zone. After Beemer’s touchdown, his helmet came off in celebration and he pumped up the crowd while tightly holding onto the ball.

UF hopes to keep the emotion and energy going next week when they take on Florida State on the road in Tallahassee, FL, in the final game of the 2010 regular season. Kickoff will be set shortly for either 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Photo Credits: The Gainesville Sun

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Week 12: Florida Gators vs. App. St. Mountaineers

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 76°F, clear skies
Time: 12:30 p.m. (EST)

TV: PPV [Information]
TV Replays: Sun Sports – Sun., Nov. 21 at 8:30 a.m.; Tues., Nov. 23 at 11:00 p.m.
Online Video: ESPN3.com (Outside of Florida only.)
Sirius/XM: 215/200
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS APP. STATE MOUNTAINEERS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Jerry Moore
Record: 6-4 Record: 9-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southern (FCS)
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -23.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida and Appalachian State have never squared off before, but the Gators are 24-2 all-time against Southern Conference opponents.
» Since 2005, UF and ASU have combined for five national championships. The Gators have won two FBS titles (2006, 2008), while the Mountaineers have captured three-straight FCS championships (2005-07).
» Florida has faced three FCS schools since 2006, beating them a combined 194-22. However Appalachian State is easily the best of the bunch, having won six-straight conference titles (2005-10) under Moore’s leadership.
» UF is tied for the national lead with 17 interceptions on the season. Seven have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» Florida is back out of the BCS, Associated Press and USA Today top 25 after returning to the rankings two weeks ago. This season is the first time the Gators have been unranked in all three under Meyer. Florida had been listed in every poll since he took over in 2005 until they lost to Mississippi State three weeks ago.
» The Gators’ offense has seen 15 different players overall score a touchdown this year – including defense and special teams.
» Florida is the only school in the nation that has four players with at least three interceptions. Overall, eight Gators have at least one interception.
» UF under Meyer is 41-1 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-3 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 38-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 38-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 33-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» Florida redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson and sophomore right tackle Xavier Nixon are both from North Carolina, while Appalachian State boasts five players from the state of Florida. ASU defensive coordinator Dale Jones was a former UF assistant (1991).

SENIOR DAY

The Gators’ 2010 senior class is one of the winningest classes in SEC history with a 41-10 record in their time in the Orange and Blue. However, that is not the only accomplishment the class has made in the last four years. The senior class also has:

Two National Championships – Three BCS bowl game wins (2010 Sugar Bowl) – Two SEC Championships (three appearances) – Three SEC Eastern Division titles – 29-5 record at The Swamp – 15-1 record vs. rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, FSU and Miami)

* Brandon Antwine – #47 – DT – Garland, Tex.
* Ahmad Black – #35 – SS – Lakeland, Fla.
* Lorenzo Edwards – #26 – LB – Orlando, Fla.
* John Fairbanks – #59 – LS – Celebration, Fla.
* Marcus Gilbert – #76 – LT – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
* Chas Henry – #17 – P/K – Dallas, Ga.
* Brandon Hicks – #40 – LB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Maurice Hurt – #74 – T/G – Milledgeville, Ga.
* Carl Johnson – #57 – G – Durham, N.C.
* A.J. Jones – #16 – LB – Tampa, Fla.
* Duke Lemmens – #44 – DE/LB – Westlake Village, Calif.
* Lawrence Marsh – #90 – DT – Augusta, Ga.
* Emmanuel Moody – #21 – RB – Coppell, Tex.
* Carl Moore – #9 – WR – Rancho Cordova, Calif.
* Mike Pouncey – #55 – C – Lakeland, Fla.
* Terron Sanders – #92 – DT – Bradenton, Fla.
* Justin Trattou – #94 – DE – Ramsey, N.J.
* Justin Williams – #7 – WR – Folkston, Ga.
————————————————————————
* Gary Beemer – #61 – DT – Valrico, Fla.
* Miguel Carodine – #41 – S – Gainesville, Fla.
* Eugene Minchin – #33 – LB – Gainesville, Fla.
* Shawn Schmieder – #70 – DT – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Solomon Schoonover – #29 – WR – Aventura, Fla.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

FLORIDA
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 8-7 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing an interception last week. He has completed 172-of-282 passes (61.0 percent) for 1,746 yards and has a passer rating of 117.4.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed…both of whom will spell Brantley at quarterback in Florida’s new three-QB system. Burton set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has 10 scores on the season, has played five positions and is second on the team in rushing (56 carries for 279 yards). Reed got his first meaningful snaps behind center two weeks, going 11-of-19 for 120 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He also ran 16 times for 84 yards with another score.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (488 yards) after missing two full games and being limited in five others. He was Florida’s leading rusher in its first five games of the season.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey..who returned to action for the first time in over a month against Georgia and has 28 carries for 140 yards (along with 16 receptions for 150 yards) and three touchdowns this year.
» Redshirt freshman WR/kick returner Andre Debose…who set a school single-season record with his second kickoff return touchdown last week. With an 88-yard return against LSU and a 99-yard return against South Carolina, he is the only freshman nationally with two in 2010 and one of only two players nationally with two in 2010. He is one of the reasons why the Gators rank No. 5 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC in kickoff returns with a 26.1 average.
» Sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.…who is quickly becoming one of Florida’s most important pass catchers. He was the team’s leading receiver against Mississippi State and caught three passes for 46 yards against Georgia and another three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown against Vanderbilt the following week.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had missed five-straight field goal attempts (one negated by penalty) before nailing back-to-back kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime three weeks ago.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 13 balls this season. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior CB Janrois Jenkins (three), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three), and junior S Will Hill (three) have accounted for all but one of the unit’s picks.
» Black…who has led Florida in tackles seven times this season: vs. South Carolina (career-high 16), LSU (13), Georgia (12), Miami (10), Mississippi State (10), USF (8) and Vanderbilt (4). He is tops on the team overall with 93 tackles, including nine for loss.

APPALACHIAN STATE
» QB DeAndre Presley…who has passed for 2,066 yards and 17 touchdowns with only four interceptions this season while simultaneously leading his team on the ground with 727 rushing yards.
» WR Brian Quick…who has a team-high 36 catches for 685 yards and seven TDs.
» Linebacker D.J. Smith, defensive tackle Jabari Fletcher and CB Mark LeGree…who lead the team with 108 tackles, seven sacks and five interceptions, respectively.

INJURIES

Active/Probable: Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), redshirt sophomore DT Jaye Howard (ankle), sophomore LB Jon Bostic (bruised sternum)
Inactives: Redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones, redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), sophomore LB Dee Finley (fractured collarbone), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Catch the Gators’ 11th game of the season live on television on pay-per-view, via the radio or through OGGOA‘s live updates on Twitter.
 

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11/18: Meyer provides player updates, injury news

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer met with the media after practice on Thursday and divulged a few important notes about the team’s 11th game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details which you can check out below.

FORGET ANY RUMORS, MEYER’s BACK

When discussing staff evaluations (which he will do after the season), Meyer casually noted Monday that he will be back in 2011. Though most assumed that would be the case considering he is feeling better and under contract, rumors persisted throughout the early part of the season that he decided to come back for only one more year. He put those questions to rest on Thursday. “Oh yeah. One hundred percent. Absolutely,” Meyer said when asked to clarify that he would be back at Florida next season.

STICKING WITH THREE QUARTERBACKS

Meyer also said on Monday that he panicked when last weekend when South Carolina jumped out ahead and simultaneously shut down freshman quarterback Trey Burton early. He noted the same thing would not happen this week as the Gators will stick with the three QB system for the entire game. As for how they manage the rotation? “A lot of it’s based on flow, but we script a few series and we get those guys in the game,” he said. “A lot of it is flow, how they’re playing and how we’re moving the ball.”

Though Meyer said after the Vanderbilt game that redshirt freshman Jordan Reed‘s future was at tight end, he gave a cryptic answer Thursday when asked if he had given any consideration to moving him back to signal caller full-time. “I don’t know. We’re just trying to get this [win]. At some point that will be discussed,” he said. “The task at hand is we got to get this seventh win somehow.”

INJURY UPDATES

» Junior running back Jeff Demps (foot) – active – “He hasn’t practiced in six or seven weeks. He kind of goes through the motions because he’s a tough kid and holds onto the ball. Devastating.”
» Redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones (hamstring) – out
» Redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard (ankle) – active
» Sophomore LB Jon Bostic (bruised sternum) – probable
» Sophomore LB Dee Finley (broken collarbone) – out
» Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring) – active – close to 100 percent
» Freshman DT Dominique Easley (suspension) – eligible

QUOTES

On senior center Mike Pouncey: “I love the term ‘Gator Great,’ because I think that’s really descriptive. He’ll certainly go down in that trophy room as one of the greatest players ever to play here. Part of a national championship, leader, tough, moved positions. He’s one of my favorites of all time because of his passion and love for the game and his love for this university. He loves Florida.”

On rallying the troops for the game: “I asked them to stick together and let’s send these seniors out winners. I’m proud of those guys. We just got to get them a win. They can finish as one of the winningest classes in SEC history and Florida football history.”

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