Florida Gators announce offseason surgery for six players, including Martez Ivey, Brandon Powell

The Florida Gators were blessed with top-notch health for much of the season but that deteriorated – as it often does – late in the 2015 campaign with multiple players sitting out both the 2015 SEC Championship Game and 2016 Citrus Bowl.

On Wednesday, Florida announced offseason surgery for six players – and actually provided details as to their injuries – though none appear to be serious enough to put statuses in question for next season.

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Florida deserves underdog status, but Gators certainly belong in the SEC Championship

To appreciate where the Florida Gators will stand Saturday – on the field of the Georgia Dome preparing to square off against the best team in the Southeastern Conference (if not college football) in the league’s title game – one has to remember how Florida started the season.

The Gators did not have a starting quarterback, nor did it look like they had the offensive talent to truly compete against top-tier opponents. Hell, the team didn’t even have a kicker. Except head coach Jim McElwain developed a star signal caller in a matter of weeks, turned a three-star freshman into the team’s best pass-catcher, injected life into a dormant tight end position, turned a walk-on kicker into a scholarship performer and somehow made a Frankenstein offensive line work – at least most weeks.

Florida did not sneak into Saturday’s SEC Championship via tiebreaker; it worked and earned this spot by sweeping the SEC East and routing Ole Miss 38-10 to go 6-1 in league play.

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How Jim McElwain plans to zap some life into listless but victorious Florida Gators

The battered, bruised yet still 10-1 Florida Gators are headed to a fish market.

At least that’s what head coach Jim McElwain claimed would be on tap for the team this week after being “very disappointed” in Florida’s effort Saturday against FAU.

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Quick hits: No. 8 Florida Gators survive FAU Owls 20-14 in overtime; McElwain makes more history

No. 8 Florida Gators football (10-1) survived a tough test from the Florida Atlantic Owls (2-9), eventually scoring a touchdown in the first overtime to pull off a 26-20 victory at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

With the victory, Jim McElwain became the winningest first-year head coach in program history, picking up his 10th win – one more than Urban Meyer (2005), Steve Spurrier (1990), Galen Hall (1985) and Ray Graves (1960).

Here are six immediate takeaways from the Gators’ latest victory.

Continue Reading » Quick hits: No. 8 Florida Gators survive FAU Owls 20-14 in overtime; McElwain makes more history

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Steve Spurrier: Austin Hardin’s kick vs. Vanderbilt bigger than mine for Florida in 1966

Steve Spurrier‘s Heisman Trophy honor in 1966 was attributed to his stellar play as quarterback and punter for the Florida Gators, but many believe it was a clutch field goal he kicked to beat Auburn late in the season that put him over the top and made him the easy choice for the award.

During an interview with long-time Florida scribe Buddy Martin this week, Spurrier said that kick – one of the most important moments in school history – was nothing compared to the one Gators redshirt sophomore Austin Hardin made last Saturday.

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McElwain talks offensive struggles, defensive successes as Gators prep for Gamecocks

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.

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Jim McElwain was exactly what the Gators needed

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.

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Florida Gators name new walk-on backup kicker; Austin Hardin to start vs. Georgia

Seemingly recovered from a nagging injury, redshirt sophomore kicker Austin Hardin will start for the No. 11 Florida Gators on Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Florida announced as much Friday when releasing the name of the team’s new walk-on kicker.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators name new walk-on backup kicker; Austin Hardin to start vs. Georgia

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