Florida Gators basketball dominates FSU 72-47

The No. 5/6 Florida Gators entered the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, FL on Wednesday evening expecting a hard-fought game against an in-state rival. Instead, Florida (7-0) dominated the Florida State Seminoles (4-4) from start to finish, piling up a 20-point lead at the half and remaining undefeated following a 72-47 victory.

The Gators used a relentless defensive effort and efficient offensive game to pull away early and hold on for the win. UF forced 22 turnovers, scored 32 points off those turnovers and overwhelmed FSU in the paint, winning the rebounding battle 34-26 and outscoring the hosts 34-14 down low.

In a sloppy first half for both teams, Florida and Florida State exchanged runs with the Gators ending the first 20 minutes on top by a huge margin. UF opened up the game by scoring 10 straight to take a 12-2 lead, but FSU quickly responded with a 7-0 run to cut its deficit to 12-9.

The Seminoles found themselves on the wrong end of a 15-3 scoring stretch, and the Gators used a half-ending 7-0 run to take a 20-point lead into the break.

Florida opened up the second half with a 15-4 run that put it ahead 50-19. Minutes later, the Gators stretched that lead to a game-high 37 points and cruised to the finish.

Senior guards Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario led the way with 14 points each on a combined 10-of-22 shooting from the field. Junior center Patric Young chipped in 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Freshman G Michael Frazier II also hit double digits, scoring 12 points on 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.

Though he was relegated to a bench role after missing practice this week with a hip pointer, junior forward Erik Murphy looked sharp when he was on the court and finished with nine points and seven boards.

UF shot 49.1 percent from the field, registering 14 steals on the evening and 15 assists on 27 made baskets. FSU’s 47 points matched its total in 2001, which marked the second-fewest points scored by the Seminoles in the history of the series.

Florida will return home to practice and prepare for its toughest test of the season, a 10 p.m. contest against Arizona in Tucson, AZ on Dec. 15. Next Saturday’s game will air live on ESPN nationally.

POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM CELEBRATION

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Gameday: (5) Florida Gators at Florida State

Location: Donald L. Tucker Center – Tallahassee, FL [Capacity: 12,100]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

TV: ESPNU/ESPNUHD (Rich Hollenberg, Len Elmore)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com [Map] | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 5 FLORIDA GATORS FSU SEMINOLES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton
Record: 6-0 Record: 4-3
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -7 | O/U 136.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 41-22 all-time against Florida State and currently holds a three-game winning streak over its in-state rivals. UF is 10-6 against FSU under Donovan and 4-3 on the road in Tallahassee.
» Four of the Gators’ regular starters are averaging double figures.
» Florida has held four of its six opponents to 49 points or fewer. The Gators have only given up 26 points or more in a single half twice so far this campaign.
» UF dominated in its season opener, holding Alabama State to just nine first-half points and setting a school record in the shot clock era for fewest allowed in a half.
» Florida is 31-1 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» The Gators were just 3-5 against top-25 opponents last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams. UF is currently scheduled to take on seven top-25 opponents as part of the 2012-13 campaign and is already 1-0 in such games.
» Florida is second nationally in scoring defense (48.5 points), fourth in scoring margin (+25.3 points per game) and ninth in rebounding margin (+11.2 per game) and field goal percentage defense (.350).
» The Gators are second nationally in fouling, committing 12.5 per game, and 144th nationally in assists, dishing just 13.5 per game.
» The Seminoles have 10 players averaging double-digit minutes.
» Florida State is 126th nationally in scoring margin (+5.9 points per game) and 167th nationally in rebounding margin (+1.3 per game).
» FSU has three players scoring in double figures, all of whom also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game or more. Its top three long-range shooters all hit 41.9 percent or better from downtown.

Read the rest of the Florida-Florida State preview…more after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: (5) Florida Gators at Florida State

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12/3: Donovan on Murphy (hip), FSU, Muschamp

With the No. 5/6 Florida Gators set to play their first rivalry game of the season against the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday in Tallahassee, FL, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Monday to discuss his team’s 6-0 start and how it has been playing so far this season.

MURPHY DOWN, OUT FOR FLORIDA STATE?

Donovan revealed on Monday that starting senior forward Erik Murphy has not practiced since the Marquette game. Murphy apparently suffered a hip pointer that has been bothering him so much that he is now questionable to play in Florida’s first rivalry game of the season on the road at Florida State.

“Murphy’s been out right now. He has not practiced since the Marquette game. What his status will be on Wednesday, I’m not sure,” Donovan said. “He’s not practicing [Monday]. He has a bad hip pointer. … Erik, based on what he’s able to do [Tuesday], if anything, may have something to do with starting lineups.”

Junior F Will Yeguete, who has been starting at the three all season long, said Murphy is in a tough spot. “I talked to him. He’s a little sore still. He doesn’t really know what to do about it. He’s got to let his body heal. He’ll keep stretching and doing some treatments; those are the only things he can do,” he said.

Should Murphy miss the game or be limited in his minutes, Donovan could move Yeguete back down to the four and roll with a three-guard starting lineup. Redshirt senior G Mike Rosario said he does not think that would be much of a problem because of how much adversity the Gators have faced depth-wise this season.

“I feel like Will can give us some good minutes at that spot. I feel like everyone’s prepared. We went without a couple guys during the season already, so now we know how to do it,” he said.

Also likely to return to the starting five is junior center Patric Young, who was demoted to a bench role last week against Marquette after having a bad attitude during practice. Young rebounded with his best game of the season and has supposedly learned a lesson from the entire situation.

“Patric, I think, has responded very well. I’m really happy with the way he’s responded not only in the game; he’s responded well in practice,” Donovan said. “He’s responded well. That’s what he needs to do. He practiced very well [Sunday] and it impacted our team in a very positive way.”

Read the rest of this post…after the break!
Continue Reading » 12/3: Donovan on Murphy (hip), FSU, Muschamp

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SIX BITS: Muschamp, Tebow, Parsons, Horford

1 » Yahoo! Sports took a closer look at the Florida Gators football program that has been remade this season under head coach Will Muschamp. As part of the feature, a couple of players described how fractured the team had become under Urban Meyer. “Toward the end of Coach Meyer’s time here, a lot of guys were out for themselves – not buying into the team concept,” redshirt senior defensive tackle Omar Hunter explained. “He was out for himself, so they thought the same thing. … Guys were showing up late for practice and workouts. Guys were supposed to be back on Sunday and didn’t get back until Monday. There was no discipline.” Muschamp also discussed his recruiting philosophy in the piece. “I’ll turn my back on a five-star guy if he isn’t a good guy,” he said. “I have zero reservations about that. Zero reservations. … I’m the recruiting coordinator here. You’re not a good guy, you go somewhere else. We’ll play you. We’ll beat you.”

2 » The New York Jets will face Arizona on Sunday, three weeks after quarterback Tim Tebow fractured his ribs in a game. Though Tebow has been dressed for each of the last two game and even played two weeks ago, he missed last week’s contest. Head coach Rex Ryan on Wednesday said Tebow will again be cleared to play on Sunday. Whether or not he actually steps on the field remains to be seen.

3 » Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, off to a great start in his sophomore NBA season, missed Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City and is undergoing an MRI on his right shoulder on Thursday. The MRI is believed to be precautionary, and he is expected to return on Saturday if he is cleared by team doctors as expected.

Be sure to check out three more BITS after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Muschamp, Tebow, Parsons, Horford

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11/26: Jenkins out, players praised, bowl notes

No. 4 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review the team’s important 37-26 victory over the then-No. 10 Florida State Seminoles and preview the next few weeks of inaction.

INJURY UPDATES

Exciting the game early, redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins learned that he broke a small bone in his foot and will be out 4-6 weeks. Muschamp said he was having surgery on the foot Monday and will probably miss the bowl game.

Florida is relatively healthy otherwise. Redshirt sophomore LB Neiron Ball (ankle) will be back in time for the bowl game. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (ankle) is sore but fine coming out of the Florida State victory. Redshirt junior center Jonotthan Harrison (ankle) got dinged up and is in a boot but will be OK as well. Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Leon Orr (kidney infection) should be able to return to physical activity this week.

As far as sophomore safety De’Ante Saunders, Muschamp said he remains out for the bowl game with what was mentioned a few weeks ago to be the hamstring injury.

Reporter: “Saunders, you said a couple weeks ago wouldn’t…”
Muschamp: “Yeah, he won’t be in the bowl game.”
Reporter: “Is that injury or discipline?”
Muschamp: “Yep. he won’t be in the bowl game.”
Reporter: “Because of?”
Muschamp: “Injury.”

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 11/26: Jenkins out, players praised, bowl notes

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The Florida Gators are sexy, and they know it

It started out as a joke, something Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp uttered on Nov. 19 during his weekly Monday press conference.

After Florida beat Jacksonville State 23-0, a marginal score for a game against a FCS opponent, Muschamp quipped that a win is a win whether or not fans believe it is done in an impressive, or sexy, manner.

“My wife told me I was sexy after the game. She said, ‘We don’t win sexy, but you’re sexy.’ That’s a positive. There’s something good in that, I guess. She was kidding,” he said.

After the Gators trounced the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday in Tallahassee, FL, scoring 24-straight points in the fourth quarter to get back a lost lead, Muschamp had every reason in the world to boast. He did so by calling back his statement from just under one week earlier.

“I think it was a really sexy win. I was going to come in with my shirt off, but my wife…I don’t know if that would have worked. The players did not want me to do that,” he said with a wide smile.

Muschamp’s feelings of sexiness aside, what Florida has accomplished this season is undoubtedly attractive.

After taking down FSU on Saturday, UF is now 4-1 against teams currenty ranked in the BCS top 12 with its sole loss coming to the No. 3 team in the nation in Georgia. The Gators won two of those games on the road and beat the other two by a combined score of 58-17 in Gainesville, FL.

“Guys, our resume speaks for itself,” Muschamp said to the media in attendance at his post-game press conference. “I mean, come on, you know, you guys have covered the southeast. You’ve covered the SEC. You’ve seen where we’ve played, who we’ve played and the quality of football teams we’ve beaten. We’ll play anyone, anywhere…whatever that slogan is.”

Read the rest of this story…after the break!
Continue Reading » The Florida Gators are sexy, and they know it

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11/24: Florida at Florida State post-game report

No. 4 Florida Gators football (11-1) concluded the regular season with a huge 37-26 victory over the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (10-2) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL on Saturday. Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida won 11 regular season games for the fifth time in school history.
» The Gators are 4-1 vs. teams currently in the BCS top 12.
» Florida is 34-21-2 all-time against Florida State and leads the series 13-11-1 on the road in Tallahassee. This was UF’s first victory vs. FSU in three years.
» The Gators boast the No.1 ranked strength of schedule nationally.
» Florida is 4-6 against ranked teams under Muschamp with a 4-1 mark in 2012 with wins over Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State (and a loss to Georgia).
» The Gators are 12-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards, 11-1 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 12-3 when scoring first and 14-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida has faced four top-25 total offenses, giving up an average of 20 points per game to those teams. FSU was the first opponent that UF let score more than 20 points this season.
» The Gators have faced five top-20 total defenses and five top-20 scoring defenses. Against the Seminoles, the Gators scored 37 points.
» Florida completed 8-of-15 third-down conversion attempts (53.3) percent despite heading into the game with a 34.3 percent conversion average.
» The Gators possessed the ball for 36:20, 3:31 longer than their season average, which ranked ninth nationally and first in the SEC.
» Florida is +17 in turnover margin after being -12 in 2011. UF forced five turnovers on Saturday and gave up the ball just once.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 115-29 in the fourth quarter in 2012.
» Florida has grabbed 19 interceptions so far in 2012, 11 more than it registered one year ago. UF has grabbed at least one pick in nine games and has also recovered 10 fumbles.
» UF’s defense has allowed just two passing touchdowns over its last six games.

PLAYER NOTES

» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis made three field goals for the second-straight week and fifth time this season. He has set the school record for made field goals in a career with 69, passing Jeff Chandler’s former record of 67. Sturgis also tied Bobby Raymond’s single-season record of 23 made field goals.
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee became the first Florida rusher to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau since Ciatrick Fason in 2004. Saturday was his third 140+ yard game of the year his fourth two-touchdown game of the season. Gillislee alone rushed for more yards than Florida State has allowed to any team this season.
» Seven different Gators forced and/or recovered turnovers on Saturday: junior safety Matt Elam (INT), redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (INT), sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson (INT), sophomore LB Darrin Kitchens (FF), sophomore CB Jabari Gorman (FR), freshman LB Antonio Morrison (FF), junior defensive end Dominique Easley (FR). The five total turnovers were a season-high.
» Sophomore CB Loucheiz Purifoy became the first player since Keiwan Ratliff (2002) to start on offense and defense in the same game.
» Sophomore RB Matt Jones registered a career-high 81 rushing yards and ran for more yards than the Seminoles had given up to six teams this season.

OPENING STATEMENT

“We seem to make it interesting and overcome [the penalties]. Very proud with how we played the game, the mental toughness that we played with. When I first came to Florida, it was a little bit of a question mark. Last time we were in this stadium it was a 31-7 game, and it wasn’t tonight. That football team showed you their resolve and their fight and their oneness and their togetherness, and I’m very proud to be a part of them. We have an outstanding staff that’s completely on board with what we’re trying to do and we have all the support to continue to move forward. Just very proud of the victory. The fifth team in UF history to win 11 games in the regular season. Heck of a season. Pulling for ‘Fight On.’ Some of them guys, I’ve always been a big Lane Kiffin fan.”

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say on the run and the players…

Continue Reading » 11/24: Florida at Florida State post-game report

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No. 4 Florida Gators chomp No. 10 Florida State as Mike Gillislee rumbles for two touchdowns

A 24-point fourth quarter for the No. 4 Florida Gators (11-1) turned around what looked to be an epic collapse and clinched a 37-26 win over the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (10-2) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL.

Florida senior running back Mike Gillislee led the way for the Gators offense, rumbling for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. That unit got plenty of support from the defense and special teams, which combined to recover five turnovers on the afternoon. Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis was also clutch for UF, making all three of his field goal attempts with a long of 45 yards.

Florida opened up the game throwing, completing two of its first three passes and tossing the ball eight times on a 14-play, 54-yard drive that lasted 5:47 and ended with a 39-yard field goal Sturgis. Florida State took the kickoff at the 35-yard line after Sturgis booted it out of bounds and got down to UF’s 27 in just two plays. However, a third-down interception thrown by FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel and caught by junior safety Matt Elam ended the possession without any points going on the board.

The Gators looked to be stalled at their own 34-yard line on their next drive, but a 31-yard scramble by sophomore QB Jeff Driskel extended the possession, which wound up going 62 total yards. Faced with 3rd-and-1 at the Seminoles’ 26, Driskel threw incomplete on a play action and junior running back Trey Burton missed brother and sophomore tight end Clay Burton on a muddle huddle play attempted on fourth down.

A few possessions later, Florida put together another long drive but stalled short of the end zone. The Gators converted two third-down tries but settled for a 45-yard field goal to take a 6-0 lead after gaining 54 yards in 10 plays.

Florida got another big play from its special teams on the ensuing kickoff as junior linebacker Darrin Kitchens forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore defensive back Jabari Gorman at Florida State’s 21-yard line. Three plays later, Gillislee rumbled nine yards down the left sideline for a touchdown, giving UF a 13-0 lead with 5:26 left in the first half.

The Seminoles were able to hold on to the ball on the next kickoff, but Manuel threw his second interception of the game on the opening play from scrimmage, tossing a bullet right into the hands of redshirt junior Will LB Jelani Jenkins. The Gators would waste the possession by getting called for two penalties and suffering a big loss on third down.

Florida State finally made some offensive gains on its last possession of the first half as Manuel completed three passes and scrambled for 23 yards to put his team in field goal range. The Seminoles reduced its deficit to 13-3 at the half as K Dustin Hopkins knocked in a 50-yard field goal.

UF won the time of possession battle 21:58-8:02 in the first half and nearly doubled up FSU on offense but had a bigger advantage before the home team’s final possession as it sported a 192-53 advantage through the first 27:50 of the opening half.

Read the rest of the Florida-Florida State game story…after the break!
Continue Reading » No. 4 Florida Gators chomp No. 10 Florida State as Mike Gillislee rumbles for two touchdowns

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