Demps helps Gators run over Bulls 38-14

Junior running back Jeff Demps rushed for a career-high 139 yards while totaling 255 all purpose yards Saturday, leading the No. 6/8 Florida Gators (2-0) to a 38-14 win over the South Florida Bulls (1-1) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools in football.

After going three-and-out on their first series, the Gators punted the ball to the Bulls, who put together a 17-play 96-yard drive resulting in a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. Thirteen of South Florida’s 17 plays on the scoring drive were rushes, with QB B.J. Daniels carrying the majority of the load.

Florida once again had trouble getting things going offensively in the first half. The Gators’ first three drives resulted in punts, and snapping issues reared their ugly head early with a few errant balls coming from senior center Mike Pouncey. Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley corralled most of them but mishandled one which resulted in a fumble that he recovered.

Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 39-yard field goal more than halfway through the second quarter, but an interception by senior safety Ahmad Black got Florida the ball back inside USF’s 30 yard line with one minute left in the half. Brantley completed a beautiful 23-yard pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson on first down before tossing a game-tying touchdown to redshirt senior WR Carl Moore to complete a three-play, 29-yard scoring drive in 16 seconds.

Black would end the half with his second interception of the game, sending the Gators into the locker room with all of the momentum. It was his third pick of the young season and 11th of his four-year career.

“The thing about this game is we wanted to let him try to beat us running the ball, because we knew for a fact he wasn’t going to beat us throwing the ball,” Black said after the game. “If he put the ball in the air, it was ours.”

With just over 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, Bulls RB Demetrius Murray took off on a 33-yard run to put South Florida in scoring position. Two players later, Murray fumbled the ball, which was recovered by senior defensive end Duke Lemmens at Florida’s 12. The Gators would not wait long to capitalize. Brantley completed a 21-yard pass to Thompson to give UF some breathing room before handing off to Demps, who broke away for an electric 62-yard score.

USF stalled on their next drive, kicking to junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who replaced redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey (concussion) as punt returner. Jenkins returned the ball 30 yards to the Bulls’ 35, once again putting the Gators in scoring position. Freshman WR Robert Clark got the call on a 15-yard pass reception from Brantley. Now inside the 20, redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody carried the load to the South Florida four, where sophomore RB Mike Gillislee rushed for a short touchdown, putting UF up 21-7.

Florida continued putting the pressure on Daniels and USF, pushing him deep into the backfield on a second-and-eight play from the Bulls’ 48. Unable to find a receiver, Daniels’ pass was intercepted by senior defensive end Justin Trattou, who returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown and extended the Gators’ lead to 28-7.

South Florida refused to go away, however, as Daniels took advantage of UF miscue in the secondary to complete a 51-yard pass to WR Evan Landi. Down on Florida’s 19, Daniels handed the ball of twice to Murray, who reduced his team’s deficit to 14.

A 69-yard return by Demps on the kickoff put the Gators at the 31 yard line, and a subsequent 26-yard rush by the speedster got UF inside the five. Unable to capitalize, Florida called on Sturgis to make his first field goal of the season, a 22-yard attempt.

Jenkins appeared out to get Daniels on the Bulls’ next drive, sacking him on first down from the team’s 29 yard line before intercepting him on the very next play. Looking to put the game away, Brantley, Demps and Moody led the Gators on a 13-play, 57-yard drive that lasted 7:22 and ended with a two-yard touchdown reception by redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (the first of his career) to give Florida a 38-14 lead.

Demps electrified the Gators throughout the game, rushing 11 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, catching one pass for 21 yards and returning two kickoffs for 95 yards. Brantley was consistent through the air, going 18-of-31 for 172 yards and two scores. Thompson and Moore each stepped up in the passing game, combining to catch 11 balls for 123 yards, while Moody and Gillislee rushed for a total of 83 yards.

Defensively, Florida nabbed four interceptions for the second-straight game and fourth time under head coach Urban Meyer. Lemmens stood out with a fumble recovery and sack, and the defensive line got consistent pressure on Daniels in the second half.

UF extended its home winning streak to 12 games and won its 22nd consecutive regular season contest Saturday. The Gators are now 10-0 against intrastate opponents under Meyer and 9-3-2 all-time against the Big East. After giving up three turnovers to Miami (OH) last week, Florida held onto the ball Saturday and simultaneously almost doubled their yardage production offensively.

The Gators hope to build on their strong second half when they leave home for the first time in the 2010-11 season next week to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, TN. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., and the game will air live on CBS.

Photo Credit: Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

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Week 2: No. 6 Florida Gators v. South Florida Bulls

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 89°F, 20% chance of precipitation
Time: 12:21 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network [affiliates]
Sirius/XM: 219/200
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 6 FLORIDA GATORS SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Skip Holtz
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -15; O/U 50

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Saturday is the first-ever meeting between Florida and South Florida in football.
» The Gators are sporting an 11-game home winning streak and have won 21 consecutive regular season games. The Orange and Blue has a .897 (113-13) winning percentage at Florida Field since 1990, good for best in the nation.
» Under Meyer, Florida is 9-0 against intrastate opponents (5-0 vs. FSU, 1-0 vs. Miami, FIU, FAU and UCF).
» The Gators and Bulls were the only two teams in the country to record four interceptions in the first week of the 2010 season. This is the third time UF has picked off four balls under Meyer, the first time four different players did so.
» Florida is 8-3-2 all-time against Big East opponents.
» UF committed a nation-low 84 turnovers since 2005 and has had 23 games in which they did not give up a single turnover (best in the nation).
» The Gators limited Miami (OH) to 0.2 yards per carry last week, four rushing yards on 22 carries. This is the fewest allowed by a Florida defense since it held Tennessee to -11 rushing yards on Sept. 16, 2006.
» For the 20th time in 22 games, the Gators did not allow a single punt return yard.
» South Florida has won six of its last nine games against teams ranked in the Associated Press and/or USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll(s).
» Florida assistant head coach/defense and defensive line coach Dan McCarney was on staff at USF in 2007; co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater worked with Holtz at Notre Dame in 1990.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who is looking to rebound from a rough outing in which he started his first collegiate game. He has thrown 86 consecutive passes without an interception and has a 12-1 TD/INT ratio while playing for the Gators.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who had a career-long 72-yard rushing TD last week. Demps leads the nation in rushing yards per touch (7.8) since 2008 and yards per carry (7.9) since 2009; he complied 98 yards on Saturday.
» Florida’s veteran offensive line…which is hoping senior center Mike Pouncey has overcome his snap problems and continue to be a strong leader for the group.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey…who has moved to the slot after playing running back for two seasons. Rainey hopes to be explosive while playing a modified “Percy Position” and could very well be the team’s best offensive weapon this season. He had a career-high six catches last week.
» Bulls starting QB B.J. Daniels…a dual-threat signal caller who draws comparisons to Michael Vick. Daniels went 15-of-22 for 264 yards and two TDs through the air and rushed five times for 23 yards and one TD on the ground last week against Stony Brook. He finished the 2009 season with 1,983 passing yards, 772 rushing yards and 23 total TDs, completing 53.7 percent of his passes and earning a QB rating of 139.55.
» Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown…who is now the team’s full-time starter opposite junior CB Janoris Jenkins. Brown missed last season with a back injury and is starting his first game Saturday.
» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose…who missed the entire 2009 season with a hamstring injury but is expected to make an immediate impact offensively. Debose did not play against Miami (OH) and will see the field for the first time against South Florida.
» Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee…who has achieved a run of more than 40 yards in back-to-back games, rushing for a 41-yard gain against Miami (OH) and a 52-yard gain in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Probable – Sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (knees), redshirt senior defensive tackles Terron Sanders and Lawrence Marsh
Doubtful – Freshman WR Chris Dunkley (hamstring)
Out – Redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (wrist)

Inactives
None (will update closer to game time)

FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY

The Gators will be featured, in part, during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. In the first hour, Andrews, Desmond Howard and David Pollack will discuss what level of concern Florida should have for their team after a rough first week. Later in the show, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso will talk about the fumbling problems the Gators experienced against Miami (OH) and how easy or difficult it may be to get those fixed in a week’s time.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. South Florida Bulls preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 2: No. 6 Florida Gators v. South Florida Bulls

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9/7: Florida reflects on Miami, looks ahead to USF

The Florida Gators make a selection of coaches and players available to the media each Tuesday, many of whom reflect about the previous game while simultaneously looking ahead to the upcoming contest. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

BROWN READY TO STEP UP AS A STARTER

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown, who has the second starting CB role all to himself after senior CB Moses Jenkins hyperextended his elbow last Saturday, is confident but realizes it is now up to him to keep his side of the secondary secure.

“It definitely puts a little pressure on me to step up because behind me and Janoris [Jenkins], we got three freshmen,” Brown said. “I know how that is. It’s a little tougher as a true freshman.” Brown is speaking about Josh Shaw, Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins, all of whom are his and Janoris Jenkins’ reserves for the foreseeable future. “I’m definitely stepping up and taking the leadership role in that secondary because those are some talented corners. I’m trying to help them mature as fast as I can,” he said, “because one of them is going to have to step up and play.”

TOMLIN WANTS BOTH POUNCEYS (NO KIDDING)

Senior center Mike Pouncey knows he had a terrible game. He knows he needs to improve his snapping. He knows his brother – Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey – was watching. But what Mike found out in the last few days was that he was not the only guy in Pittsburgh paying attention. “[Maurkice] said the guys up there were joking on my snaps,” Mike said. “He told me [Steelers head coach Mike] Tomlin said, ‘Just tell him to keep playing like that, we’ll take him by the end of the first round.’”

However, Maurkice did end up offering some advice. “He told me when he first started at center two years ago, he did the same thing,” Mike said. “His wasn’t as bad but he had high snaps – snaps were everywhere. He said just get back to work, and that’s what I’m doing.”

HOLTZ KNOWS FLORIDA IS STILL TOUGH

South Florida Bulls head coach Skip Holtz, a close friend of Gators head coach Urban Meyer, is well-aware that UF’s performance on Saturday was more an aberration than the norm for one of the best programs in the country over the last few years.

“Everybody right now is saying Florida is broke after last week’s performance,” Holtz said. “They won by 22 points. Their quarterback was 17 of 25. Their two tailbacks averaged 12 yards a carry and nine yards a carry. Defensively, they didn’t give up a touchdown. They gave up 0.2 yards per rush. [Miami (OH)] had 22 rushes for four yards, not four rushes for 22. They did not give up a touchdown. And that’s a bad day.”

QUOTES

Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on Pouncey’s struggles: “No one’s got more focus or attention on that than Mike Pouncey. Those things weren’t all Mike Pouncey. Let’s get that clear. I’m not the least bit concerned about Mike Pouncey. Not even a little.”

Pouncey on his own snap problems: “It’s something I wished I had worked on before but I’m glad it happened at game one, rather than up at Tennessee or this week.”

Sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic on playing well as a starter last week and the defense’s performance: “Mainly [the coaching staff was] concerned about me taking charge out there – making calls for the whole defense and telling everybody what to do. Most of the time I was out there worried about my assignment. [Defensive coordinator Teryl] Austin the last couple of weeks has been getting on me about that. […] You really can’t be satisfied. They still got yards on us. We wanted to get a shutout. We know the field position was bad, but that’s what sudden change is for. We’ve got to go out and pick the offense up when the offense isn’t moving right.”

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9/6: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

Head coach Urban Meyer meets with the media each Monday after the Florida Gators participate in a game the previous Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

PLAYERS SET TO RETURN SATURDAY

Meyer plans to have redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., junior free safety Will Hill and redshirt senior left guard Carl Johnson back with the team for next Saturday’s game against South Florida after all three served suspensions during Florida’s opening game against Miami (OH). Though it is known that Hammond’s punishment came as part of his DUI arrest earlier in the summer, Meyer did not disclose the particular reasons for sitting Hill and Johnson.

On the injury front, Meyer believes redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (knee) and sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) will be able to play on Saturday. However, he is not as optimistic about redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (wrist), who is still recovering.

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR MOSES

After three years of mostly playing special teams, senior cornerback Moses Jenkins was finally able to see the field as a starter on Saturday. Unfortunately for Jenkins, he hyperextended his left elbow while in action and will be out for at least six weeks. Redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown, with whom Jenkins was competing with for the job during summer and fall practice, took over for him during the game even though he was nursing a sprained ankle. He is expected to be the starter this week.

Redshirt junior guard James Wilson was also injured during the game, but he will be fine to play on Saturday.

WEEK ONE CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced that eight Gators graded out as Champions after the Miami (OH) game. As indicated by the contest itself, seven were defensive players while only senior tackle Marcus Gilbert earned the honor on offense. The defenders who were awarded include Brown, junior CB Janoris Jenkins, senior safety Ahmad Black, redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard, senior defensive end Justin Trattou, sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic and redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones.

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE SNAPPING?

After reviewing game tape, Meyer said he and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Steve Addazio discovered that senior center Mike Pouncey was not locking his wrist while snapping the ball, causing it to come out at any number of different angles. It was also mentioned that redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, in his first game as a starter, was not paying as much attention to the snap as he should have been, leading him to mishandle some bad snaps that nevertheless should have been corralled.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 9/6: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

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Grading the Florida Gators vs. Miami (OH) game

Each week following a Florida Gators game, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive grades the team position-by-position based on each unit’s performance. This week, we look at how the Gators fared against the Miami (OH) RedHawks in the first game of the 2010-11 season, which took place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

QUARTERBACKS: C+
Starting off with perhaps the most difficult position to grade after Saturday, we have redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, who did some things right but also had a role in a number of miscues throughout the game in regard to the team’s snapping issues. If you look strictly at his numbers, going 17-of-25 for 113 yards and two touchdowns is a pretty solid day, but a few of his incompletions were bad misses and his second touchdown was basically a wounded duck he threw up on a fourth down that was luckily brought down by redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey in the end zone. Though it is tough to tell not being on the field, Brantley did not seem to show much leadership and even mishandled some bad snaps that he certainly could have corralled in. The offensive play calling did not help him either.

RUNNING BACKS: B-
Speaking of not getting a lot of help, the offensive line seemed unable to open up a single hole for the running backs at the start of the game. Aside from his 72-yard TD run, junior Jeff Demps carried the ball seven times 26 yards. The same goes for sophomore Mike Gillislee, who only notched 14 yards on five carries if you take away his 41-yard breakaway. But the truth is, both players did have those nice long runs and the rushers showed flashes as the game went on. We will also include freshman QB Trey Burton’s Wildcat snaps here, one of which went for a TD. Overall, the unit could have played better, but you have to give them some credit for putting the game out of reach.

Read the rest of Florida’s grades from the season opener after the jump…
Continue Reading » Grading the Florida Gators vs. Miami (OH) game

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Week 1: Gators post-game notes and quotes

Putting forth a lackluster showing in their first game of the 2010-11 season, the No. 3/4 Florida Gators edged the Miami (OH) RedHawks 34-12 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. With so much to discuss following the contest, OGGOA presents some of the most important notes and quotes coming out of The Swamp on Saturday.

POUNCEY STRUGGLES AT CENTER

Senior center Mike Pouncey stayed in school rather than declare for the 2010 NFL Draft for the sole purpose of improving his stock while taking over for his brother in a position more highly coveted by scouts. In his first action at his new position, Pouncey had more than a dozen miscues, snapping the ball too low – or too wobbly – or just plain poorly. One mistake early in the game led directly to a turnover, but a number of others killed offensive momentum or put Florida in a hole early in their series.

“I take full credit for messing up the whole offense,” Pouncey admitted after the game. “It was all on me. I’m the leader of the offense and I let the guys down. I’m going to work my ass off and it won’t happen again. The ball just kept slipping out of my hand. I don’t know how the hell, but it just kept slipping out. We’ll have it fixed by next week. We’ve got USF so we’ll be looking forward to it. […] When we did get stuff going, I f—ed up the snap. And then when we did get stuff going again, s–t, we just kept fumbling. It won’t happen again. […] It was my fault. I’m going to get in here in the morning to fix it. The ball kept slipping out. […] I’m glad it happened in this kind of game – a game that we could have just went out there and won – but if we do it next week we won’t win the game. We weren’t worrying about [Miami] beating us.”

STARTERS SIT FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS

Prior to the game, it was known that at least four starters and two others players would be out of action Saturday. However, it came as a surprise to some to see neither junior safety Will Hill nor redshirt junior left guard Carl Johnson on the field to start the game. As first noted by OGGOA on Twitter, both players were held out of action for disciplinary reasons. “We expect certain things in the classroom. We expect their behavior off the field. You expect a lot of things and if you don’t fulfill that you don’t play,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “Those two guys didn’t fulfill expectations.”

Sophomore S Josh Evans started in Hill’s place, and the Gators were forced to re-shuffle an already misaligned offensive line, putting redshirt junior right guard James Wilson in Johnson’s place at LG and starting redshirt freshman Jon Halapio at his RG spot. Sophomore linebacker Dee Finely (groin) was a late scratch as well.

PAGING ANDRE DEBOSE…COME IN ANDRE DEBOSE

Conspicuous by his absence was redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose. After missing his true freshman season recovering from a hamstring injury, Debose had been performing well in practice and was deemed ready to go for the season opener. But even with Florida’s offensive struggles, Debose was nowhere to be found. Meyer mentioned that there was no intent to keep Debose off of the field, but he would certainly speak with WR coach Zach Azzanni about the situation.

NEW INJURIES OCCUR WHILE OTHERS HEAL

Senior cornerback Moses Jenkins, who earned the starting nod Saturday, appeared to injure his left elbow and forearm after landing on it awkwardly, was put in a sling on the sidelines and iced the area while walking to the locker room during the game. Wilson seemed to injure himself during the fourth quarter, but walked off of the field mostly under his own power. Though no updates were available on those two, Meyer said after the game that sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders and redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed (all of whom have knee injuries) should be active next Saturday against South Florida.

MOORE BLANKED WHILE HINES AND BURTON STEP UP

Meyer was not blowing smoke this fall when he said that sophomore WR Omarius Hines would be an important piece of the puzzle this season. With redshirt senior WR Carl Moore held catchless, Hines played his new hybrid tight end role and reeled in three catches for 49 yards and the team’s first offensive touchdown on the season on a 10-yard slant from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley.

Also contributing the entire game was freshman QB Trey Burton, who played five offensive positions (QB, WR, TE, fullback, H-back) and got some work on special teams. He even notched a touchdown on a two-yard run from the wildcat formation. “I imagine he graded out a winner because he seems to do everything right,” Meyer commented. “Trey Burton is going to be a major impact [player] on this team.”

QUOTES (after the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 1: Gators post-game notes and quotes

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Week 1: No. 3 Florida Gators vs. Miami RedHawks

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 91°F, 30% chance of precipitation
Time: 12:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD
Sirius/XM: 220/199
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 3 FLORIDA GATORS MIAMI (OH) REDHAWKS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Michael Haywood
2009 Record: 13-1 2009 Record: 1-11
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mid-American
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -38; O/U 54

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida is returning 43 letterwiners and 11 starters from the 2009 season – six on offense (junior running back Jeff Demps, redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson, senior center Mike Pouncey, sophomore left tackle Xavier Nixon, redshirt seniors guard Carl Johnson and right tackle Marcus Gilbert) and five on defense (senior safety Ahmad Black, junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins, redshirt seniors linebacker A.J. Jones and defensive tackle Terron Sanders, redshirt sophomore DT Omar Hunter).
» The Gators have a SEC-best opening day winning streak of 20 games and are 76-27 all-time to start the season (62-6 in Gainesville). Teams coached by Meyer at any point in his career are 18-5 to begin the season; he has 16-straight opening day victories.
» Florida is also sporting a 10-game home winning streak and has won 20 consecutive regular season games. The Orange and Blue has a .897 (113-13) winning percentage at Florida Field since 1990, good for best in the nation.
» Miami (OH) leads the all-time series against UF 1-0, defeating the Gators 16-7 in The Swamp in the 1973 Tangerine Bowl; Florida is 10-3 all-time against the MAC.
» The Gators are the only team in the nation to finish the season in the top three in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls in three of the past four years; Florida is also the only school in the country to be ranked in the top five of the preseason coaches’ poll in each of the last four years.
» The RedHawks’ passing offense and passing defense each ranked 23rd in the nation in 2009, respectively throwing for 273.2 and giving up 190.4 yards per game.
» UF committed a nation-low 81 turnovers since 2005 and has had 23 games in which they did not give up a single turnover (best in the nation).

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who will be starting the first game of his Florida career. In 2009, he went 36-of-48 for 410 yards and seven touchdowns. Brantley tossed 75 percent of his balls for completions and finished the year with a QB rating of 194.9. He has thrown 61 consecutive passes without an interception and has a 10-1 TD/INT ratio for his Gators career.
» Florida’s veteran offensive line…which has combined for 87 career starts and is led by Pouncey (32). That total is the highest among returning offensive linemen since Meyer’s first season as coach in 2005.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey…who is moving to the slot after playing running back for two seasons. Rainey will be explosive while playing a modified “Percy Position” and could very well be the team’s best offensive weapon this season.
» Linebackers sophomore Jon Bostic and redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins…who are each trying to win the starting role in the middle but will likely split snaps Saturday. The same goes for cornerbacks redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown and senior Moses Jenkins, each of whom hope to win the job opposite junior Janoris Jenkins.
» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose…who missed the entire 2009 season with a hamstring injury but remains a five-star recruit expected to make an immediate impact.
» Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis…who set a UF record for field goal attempted in a season (30) in 2009 and had the second-highest total of field goals made in school history (22).
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who has been receiving extra attention at tight end during practices and is one of Meyer’s favorite youngsters. With other TEs injured and developing, Burton may see action early and often.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries (All out)
Senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders (knee), redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed (knee) left tackles redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan (wrist), sophomore Xavier Nixon (knee), sophomore LB Dee Finley

Inactives
Redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. (indefinite suspension), junior S Will Hill (team decision)

FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY

The host of the first game to air Saturday on ESPN, Florida will be profiled in part during the network’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. The main feature on the Gators will be a report from Tom Rinaldi focusing on Meyer’s decision to unretire one day after resigning from his job before the 2010 Sugar Bowl. Additionally, ESPN will feature a sound bite from Meyer talking about Florida’s offense, which will then be discussed by analysts Desmond Howard and David Pollack.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Miami RedHawks preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 1: No. 3 Florida Gators vs. Miami RedHawks

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TWO BITS: Jenkins’ future, coaches adjusting

1 » It is no secret that Florida Gators junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins is already a top prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft – and he has not even played a down in the 2010 season yet. ESPN currently ranks him as the No. 10 overall draft prospect for next year, and Jenkins is aware that he could very well follow in Cleveland Browns rookie CB Joe Haden’s footsteps not only at Florida but also in the pros as well. Pahokee High School head coach Blaze Thompson told the Palm Beach Post Tuesday that Jenkins is “one of those guys that doesn’t accept the back seat and isn’t intimidated by many people. The NFL is his dream. If by the end of the year he’s slated as a first-round pick, I would say Florida’s losing a corner. It’s hard to pass that money up.” The Post’s Jason Lieser also points out something else interesting – that new Gators defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was dejected to learn that Jenkins was only a sophomore when he was evaluating defensive backs prior to the 2010 NFL Draft; he was looking at Haden, but Jenkins stood out to him on film.

2 » Though Florida’s coaching staff has changed drastically since last season, assistant head coach and defensive line coach Dan McCarney believes the current lineup is as good as ever. “I think they all come from phenomenal programs, good people, they are winners,” he said, according to Florida Today. “Most, if not all, have a great background with Urban Meyer, which makes it pretty unique. […] I’ve been on some great staffs. I think this one may be as good as any I’ve ever been around.”

Extra BIT » Remember when OGGOA told you that former Gators softball player and ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown had signed an endorsement deal with Icehouse? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. According to MillerCoors, which distributes Icehouse, ESPN decided to nix the deal even after they initially approved it when Brown’s agent broached the subject. Brown can now continue to enjoy her Coronas without having to worry about angering her sponsor.

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