Injuries pile up for Florida Gators: Jenkins, Riggs out; Powell re-injured; Gillislee good to go

One would think the news would be more positive for the No. 17/18 Florida Gators coming off a big win on the road against the Texas A&M Aggies, but head coach Will Muschamp actually spent most of his weekly Monday afternoon press conference delivering plenty of bad news as it pertains to his team’s health.

“We’ve kind of got a saying around here: ‘Man down, man up,’” he said.

Muschamp announced Monday that redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (broken thumb) and junior cornerback Cody Riggs (fractured foot) will both miss at least a month after being injured against Texas A&M.

Jenkins, who had surgery on Monday, will definitely be out at least for this week’s road game against the Tennessee Volunteers but may be able to return sooner than his timetable dictates if doctors approve a protective device for his hand.

Riggs, however, could be out as long as six weeks depending how his foot heals as doctors said he does not need surgery on the fracture.

Freshman LB Antonio Morrison will take over for Jenkins as the starter at Will, but the Gators will also see plenty of redshirt sophomore Michael Taylor in a reserve role at both inside positions. Junior Darrin Kitchens will also have a bigger role in the defense.

Defensive backs sophomore Jabari Gorman and redshirt freshman Valdez Showers both filled in for Riggs on Saturday and will continue doing so in the near future. Junior Matt Elam will likely transition back to playing much more safety while junior Jaylen Watkins, who moved into the starting cornerback role last week, will take over at nickel.

The bad news continued as Muschamp added that junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in April during the team’s spring game and hoped to return sometime in October, re-injured his knee while rehabbing and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

“He is being reevaluated next week. He has got some swelling on the knee. We took the MRI – probably a little too much swelling to tell really where he is right now,” Muschamp said. “We’re going to reevaluate him next week. Very disappointing for him. Really a setback as far as where he is and where we thought he would be at this point as excelled as his rehab has gone.

“Talking to him [Monday] morning and his parents throughout the weekend, more than likely Ronald will redshirt this year. It’s just disappointing for him, a guy that mentally has been a rock, just been amazing in how he’s handled the process. And again, he’s handled it very well. The diagnosis is not totally final yet; we want to look at it again next week. Certainly it has put a speed bump in the recovery process. Very disappointed for him and us.”

Not all was negative on the injury front.

Senior running back Mike Gillislee, who has four of his team’s five touchdowns this season and appeared to hurt his groin while scoring in the fourth quarter on Saturday, only “strained” the muscle and will be able to practice all week.

“He’s going to be fine. He’ll be fine for this weekend,” Muschamp said. “He’s going to practice [Monday]. We just had a staff meeting and they said he is going to practice, so I think he should be fine. We probably won’t rep him 40 times [in practice]. We’ll make sure he’s ready to go for Saturday [and] we feel like he’s fully available.”

Senior safety Josh Evans (shoulder) and redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green (cramps) are both good to go as well.

Florida will also get sophomore defensive back De’Ante Saunders (hamstring, suspension) and freshman tight end Kent Taylor (concussion) back for the Tennessee game though redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (strained pectoral) will probably be out until the bye week (at least two more weeks).

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9/8: Florida at Texas A&M post-game report

No. 23/24 Florida Gators football (2-0, 1-0 SEC) struggled in the first half but turned things around in the final 30 minutes and defeated the Texas A&M Aggies (0-1, 0-1 SEC) on Saturday afternoon in both teams’ Southeastern Conference opener at Kyle Field in College Station, TX. After the game head coach Will Muschamp discussed what occurred on the field and in the locker room.

MUSCHAMP’s OPENING STATEMENT

“It was a good win for our team. The guys continue to fight hard and play the game and play it for 60 minutes. And it wasn’t always pretty – first half defensively. Third down was an adventure. You’ve got to give them credit. Johnny Manziel is a fantastic athlete. He’s a guy that really has got legs and he extended plays and made plays for them. You got to give him credit. A lot of off-rhythm plays, very difficult to defend. We did a better job in the second half of controlling the line of scrimmage. That was the difference. There was no magic potion. We came in and told the guys just to squeeze blocks, play thicker on blocks, quit running up the field. You get an illusion that these guys are a passing football team and really they’re not right now with Johnny. They’re a running football team; a screen, short, controlled passing game. He’s going to have high percentages in every game because of the throws that they’re making and asking him to do.

Offensively I thought we ran the ball extremely well. Obviously whether it was protection, holding the ball too long at the quarterback position or we had a busted route I know on one of the sacks where the ball should have gone – we got to get that stuff cleared up. A 3rd-and-1 late in the game was critical for us; we did not convert, which was very disappointing. But we ran the ball well, we stayed balanced in the game, and we moved the football. Coming into this environment, which is a pretty solid environment, I thought our guys responded well, hung in there and did what we had to do to win the game.

Guys, we’re going to have a lot of games like this now. It’s just who we are. We’re going to grind it out. We’re going to win. That’s what we kind of are as a mentality as a football team as we continue to grow and mature through the year.”

WINNING THE FOURTH QUARTER

SEC opponents outscored the Gators 72-22 in the fourth quarter during Muschamp’s first season in 2011. Florida was much better not only in the fourth quarter but in the entire second half on Saturday, coming from behind out of the break for the first time in Muschamp’s tenure (1-5). The coach undoubtedly noticed this improvement and praised his team for its efforts.

“The second half we just played more disciplined football. They were 0-for-6 on third down; we forced six punts. We did a nice job of flipping the field in some situations,” he said. “[We] really won the game on offense there at the end. When they knew we were going to run it, we ran it. We had to run it. The 3rd-and-1 [failure] was disappointing but other than that, heck man, when you line up and are able to run the football and people know you’re going to run it, that’s what you have to do.”

He continued, “Last year, I don’t know, man. I don’t know if we win this ballgame. As far as running the football when you had to [in order] to win. Making stops defensively when you had to. Doing the things you got to do to win football games.”

Muschamp said the biggest change defensively in the second half was the defensive line. Florida’s aggressiveness was hurting them as Texas A&M invited the rushers to run up the middle while Manziel hit the creases that were created by those actions.

“I told them, ‘I’m firing you if you run up the field again. Sit on the line of scrimmage, squeeze blocks inside and quit running up the field. That’s what you want to do. Just sit on the line of scrimmage and get your hands on people and play thick on people. If you’ll do that then we won’t have run lanes anymore.’ And we didn’t have any run lanes in the second half,” he explained.

Muschamp called the final possession the “happiest moment in Florida history for me – that and the Ohio State game,” noting that being able to run it successfully when your opponent knows that is your intention puts a smile on his face. He was also ecstatic about the victory as a whole, especially one coming in such a tough road environment.

“I told our team, ‘I’m not big into those sort of things.’ With all of our hospitality in the SEC, we’re trying to make everybody happy. Everybody wanted the glory story here with A&M and they didn’t get it. I’m very proud of our team to come in here, play well and do what we had to do to win the game,” he said.

“We played two games and we’re 2-0. That’s what you’re supposed to be.”

”I’M NEVER GOING TO…APOLOGIZE FOR WINNING”

Read the rest of the Florida-Texas A&M post-game report…after the break!

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Gators “gig” Aggies 20-17 in SEC initiation

It was a tale of two halves for the No. 23/24 Florida Gators on Saturday as they faced the Texas A&M Aggies for the first time in 35 years at Kyle Field in College Station, TX. Florida (2-0) struggled defensively in the first half but was dominant in the latter portion of the game, stifling Texas A&M (0-1) offensively and coming away with a 20-17 victory in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Senior running back Mike Gillislee led the Gators with 83 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries but missed most of the second half after seemingly pulling his groin on his second score. Joining him as an effective member of Florida’s offense was sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel, who made his first career start but still went 13/16 for 162 yards and made plenty of plays with his legs.

The Aggies’ offense was led by freshman QB Johnny Manziel, who was 23/30 for 173 yards and carried the ball 17 times for a net of 60 yards with a touchdown. Senior RB Christine Michael also chipped in 13 carries for 33 yards and a score for Texas A&M.

The Gators defense allowed 270 yards of offense and 17 first-half points but clamped down at the end of the game, holding the Aggies scoreless and allowing them to register a total of 64 yards of offense.

Florida’s defense looked dominant on the first two plays of the game, but a 16-yard rush by Manziel followed by a personal foul penalty on sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson gave Texas A&M the ball across midfield.

The Aggies then converted on a 4th-and-1 before being stopped in the red zone as junior safety Matt Elam and Roberson broke up consecutive fade passes. TAMU was forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal and take an early 3-0 lead.

The Gators answered back immediately with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive led by Driskel. He moved Florida down the field nicely, but UF was put in a tough spot when sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer was stopped short on 3rd-and-1 at the 16-yard line.

Florida executed a fake field goal run with junior running back Trey Burton, and a personal foul facemask added to the end of the play put the Gators in scoring position. Two plays later Burton took a Wildcat snap and handed it off to Gillislee, who tumbled into the end zone with 3:51 left in the first quarter.

Read the rest of the Florida-Texas A&M game story…after the break!

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Gameday: No. 23 Florida Gators at Texas A&M

Location: Kyle Field – College Station, TX [Capacity: 82,589]
Weather Forecast: 89°F, partly cloudy, winds N at 21 mph
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT / 2:30 p.m. CDT

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
SiriusXM: 94/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network (affiliates)
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(23) FLORIDA GATORS TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin
Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC) Record: 0-0 (0-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -1; O/U 49.5

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what happened with the Gators over the last week? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

Jeff Driskel named starting QB | LS Drew Ferris out | CB Jaylen Watkins steps up | CB Jeremy Brown returns | Sumlin gives edge to UF | Quinn talks defense

EXTRA CREDIT: Four things Florida must do to top Texas A&M on Saturday

HISTORY / STREAKS

» Saturday’s contest between Florida and Texas A&M is not only TAMU’s season opener but also the school’s first-ever SEC game. The Gators are 1-1 historically against the Aggies with their last meeting coming in the 1977 Sun Bowl.
» Florida, however, is 1-7-2 all-time playing in the state of Texas and 10-11-2 all-time against seven total teams from the state. TAMU is 25-2 in home openers.
» Saturday’s game will be featured as a host site for ESPN’s College GameDay. It is the 21st time (14-7) that the Gators will be on the road for College GameDay. The Aggies will be hosting College GameDay for the third time (0-2).
» Florida is 8-1 against unranked opponents and 0-5 against ranked opponents since Muschamp took over the program in 2011.
» Sumlin is coaching his first game at Texas A&M after the team had its season opener postponed due to Hurricane Issac. He coached Houston to a 13-1 record in 2011.
» The Gators had eight true freshmen play in their season opener including three on defense, four on offense and one on special teams.
» Florida is not scheduled to face Tennessee to open their conference slate for the first time since 1996. (UF-UT was slated for the third week of the 2011 season but was postponed because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.)
» The Gators were scheduled to face Louisiana-Lafayette in week two but are instead playing an SEC game in the second week of the season for the first time since 1995.
» The Aggies are playing a conference opponent in their season opener for the first time since 1967 and just the third time in program history.
» Florida sophomore Jeff Driskel and Texas A&M redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel will both start the first games of their respective college careers at quarterback on Saturday. Driskel played as a reserve in 2011 and saw plenty of action last week; for Manziel it will also be the first college football game in which he has ever played.
» The Gators rushed for 220 yards (5.2 yards per carry) last week in an effort to prove that the team has a power running game worth respecting. UF is now 8-2 under Muschamp when eclipsing the 100-yard rushing benchmark and 0-4 otherwise.
» Florida’s offense converted just 5-of-16 third-downs (31 percent) against Bowling Green last Saturday.
» The Gators held the Falcons to 4-of-17 on third down (23.5 percent), continuing a trend from 2011 in which UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent).
» Florida has forced eight turnovers in its last five games dating back to last season.
» The Gators are 8-1 under Muschamp when leading at the half but 0-5 when tied or trailing at that point in the game.
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010.
» Texas A&M set school records in 2011 in passing, scoring and total offense (seventh nationally). TAMU is returning eight starters from that offense but neither their starting quarterback nor primary running back.
» TAMU’s offensive line allowed just nine sacks in 13 games in 2011 and was only flagged for holding twice (the last time in the second game of that season).
» The Aggies led the country in 2011 with 51 total sacks and are returning their top two pass rushers from last season.
» Some college football rule changes for 2012: kickoffs moved up to the 35-yard line, touchbacks moved up to the 25-yard line, player losing his helmet in action results in halting participation immediately and sitting out one full play.

LAST TIME OUT

Florida and Texas A&M have only met on the gridiron twice before with their last showdown occurring in El Paso, TX in the 1977 Sun Bowl. The Aggies stomped the Gators 37-14 that day, forcing five turnovers and enveloping their opponents with a hard-hitting defense. Then-Florida head coach Doug Dickey lost starting quarterback Jimmy Fisher to a dislocated ring finger in the first quarter and was irked at the end of the game when Texas A&M went for a two-point conversion on their final touchdown. The teams’ only other meeting was in Gainesville, FL back in 1962 when the Gators routed the Aggies 42-6 by winning the battle on the ground 206-72.

ESPN: KEYS TO THE GAME

Read the rest of the Florida-Texas A&M preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sides of the field.
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 23 Florida Gators at Texas A&M

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9/4: Watkins steps up, penalties a problem

A handful of Florida Gators football players met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the team’s season-opening victory and look ahead to Saturday’s road game against the Texas A&M Aggies at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.

WATKINS MAKING A STATEMENT

Head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn maintained all summer that there would not be two starting cornerbacks but rather a four-man rotation that was each on the field about 75-90 percent of the time throughout the course of the game. While that was somewhat true on Saturday, sophomores Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Pufioy played the most but not necessarily the best. Junior Jaylen Watkins stood out during the game and made a legitimate case to be the one starting opposite of Roberson at least in the next game.

“He was very productive,” senior safety Josh Evans said of Watkins. “We spoke before the game and I just gave him a chat to go out there and play his game. He showed that, and as a team we liked it. We’ll be expecting a lot from him this year.”

Watkins realizes that all he can do is show up and make an impact, that it is ultimately the coaches who decide how much he sees the field each contest. He did that on Saturday, registering three pass breakups while Purifoy struggled immensely with his tackling.

“It’s up to the coaches. I expect to [start], but it’s a coaches’ decision,” he said.

“We’re going to go with the guys who are doing pretty good in that game. Coaches have confidence in all four of us. It’s not really a big deal. All of us pretty much play an equal amount of snaps.”

PENALTIES, MISSED TACKLES ARE PLAYER PROBLEMS

Both Watkins and Evans chocked up most of Florida’s 14 penalties on Saturday to mental errors, noting that as players they have to be better in being more tuned in and not making silly mistakes like jumping offsides.

“It was the first game so we knew we were going to have a few penalties,” Watkins said. “The penalties we did have were mostly mental errors on the players, something that they got to go within themselves – being too aggressive at times. Obviously coach addressed it. We don’t want to go down the road we did last year with penalties. We had 100 yards of penalties that led to a few scores, too.”

Evans noted that staying disciplined is the key.

“Sometimes our front gets a little anxious and wants to get a quick jump on the ball, which is good sometimes but can hurt us in the long run, too,” he said. “Just staying focused, everybody watching and keeping their eye on the ball. That’s something we can work on definitely in practice and any other way we can.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Watkins on quick passes being tough to defend: “I feel like a lot of people try to avoid our pass rush so they want to do quick passes. We press pretty much every down so a lot of quick slants and pick routes, teams try to do that to us. It was good having it last week because we might see it this week, too.”

» Evans on how the defense can make fewer mistakes when tackling: “Just working on our fundamentals, working on our craft. This week working on our tackling drills. [...] We’ve been trying to keep our [missed] tackling under double digits. In a game, if you can do that, hopefully it’s a win.”

» Evans on the atmosphere of Kyle Field: “It’s The Swamp. We’re used to 90,000. We’re used to the same crowd. So that won’t impact us.”

» Redshirt senior guard James Wilson on the offensive line’s relationship with senior running back Mike Gillislee: “We love Gilly. He’s always telling us, ‘Just hold that one more time. Just hold that block a little bit longer; I got you.’ He feeds back to us, and it’s really a good relationship.”

» Wilson on offensive coordinator Brent Pease being caught cursing on TV: “What coach doesn’t cuss?”

» Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins on how freshman Buck LB Dante Fowler, Jr. performed: “I thought he played well for being his first college game. I was real proud of him.”

» Jenkins on junior defensive end Dominique Easley’s performance on Saturday: “Yeah, he looked like himself. He was real disruptive like always.”

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Gameday: No. 23 Florida Gators vs. Bowling Green

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 90°F, partly cloudy, winds ENE at 5 mph
Time: 3:35 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza)
SiriusXM: 112/199
Online/Mobile Video: WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

(23) FLORIDA GATORS BOWLING GREEN FALCONS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Dave Clawson
Record: 0-0 Record: 0-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mid-American
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -28.5; O/U 47.5

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on the Gators before the first game of the 2012 season? No problem. OGGOA has been here the entire offseason compiling a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam.

Quarterbacks will split snaps by quarter in opener | Updates on injuries, freshmen set to play | Defense wants to show it on the field

HISTORY / STREAKS

» Florida and Bowling Green have never squared off on the football field though both teams are coming off disappointing seasons in which they went 3-5 in conference games.
» The Gators are 78-27 all-time in games that open the season and hold a 63-6 mark in Gainesville; UF is on a 22-game winning streak in season openers, which is tops in the SEC and second nationally to Nebraska (26).
» Florida opens the 2012 campaign ranked in the polls for the 22nd-straight season.
» UF was 7-1 against unranked opponents and 0-5 against ranked opponents in 2011.
» Offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis are new additions to the Gators’ coaching staff, which also lost wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill to a resignation for personal reasons during the offseason. Graduate assistant Bush Hamdan has taken over for Hill in an interim capacity.
» Muschamp was the 15th (of 22) head coach in school history to complete his inaugural season with a winning record, finishing 7-6 after a bowl game victory.
» Florida had the No. 8-ranked total defense nationally in 2011 (299.5 yards per game).
» The Gators defense only amassed 14 turnovers in 2011 but forced six of those in the final four games of the season. UF had a turnover margin of zero in their seven victories and -12 in their six losses (-12 overall).
» Florida had the second-best third-down defense in the nation in 2011, holding opponents to a conversion rate of 27.3 percent (48-of-176).
» The Gators still lead nation in interceptions (76), interception return yards (1,412) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (14) since 2008.
» Florida was 7-2 when rushing for more than 100 yards in 2011 but 0-4 when failing to eclipse that benchmark.
» The Gators were 7-1 in 2011 when leading at the half but 0-5 when tied or trailing at that point in the game.
» Florida converted 32 of 37 red zone opportunities (86.5 percent) in 2011 but only scored touchdowns 18 times (48.6 percent) in those 37 chances. UF was better towards the end of the season, finding the end zone in seven of their last 11 opportunities (63.6 percent) over the final five games.
» The Gators have had at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010.
» The Falcons are returning 20 total starters and feature a much more veteran roster overall than a year ago. However, Bowling Green still has the 10th-youngest roster in the country with 41.9 percent made up of freshmen.
» BGSU will be facing an SEC program for just the fourth time in school history. The game with UF was originally scheduled when Urban Meyer, a former head coach of the Falcons, was leading the Gators.
» Thirteen members of the Bowling Green roster are from the state of Florida, second-most of any state behind, of course, Ohio (44).
» Some college football rule changes for 2012: kickoffs moved up to the 35-yard line, touchbacks moved up to the 25-yard line, player losing his helmet in action results in halting participation immediately and sitting out one full play.

LAST TIME OUT

This is the first-ever meeting between Florida and Bowling Green on the gridiron.

Read the rest of the Florida-Bowling Green preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sides of the field.
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 23 Florida Gators vs. Bowling Green

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (9-1)

With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.

9 – Josh Evans (Irvington, NJ)
Senior safety
6’2” 201 lbs.

Quick Bio: One of only five true seniors on the roster, Evans was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who appeared in 21 games over his first two seasons. He was forced into a reserve role because of the Gators’ extreme depth at safety but bided his time until his junior season.

Career Stats (34 games): 71 tackles (52 solo, 2.5 for loss), sack, fumble recovery, two interceptions, pass defense

2011 Season: Evans started eight games his junior year but played in all 13 contests, registering 51 total tackles including a career-high 11 against South Carolina. Arguably his best game of the season came in his last, the Gator Bowl, where he notched five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.

2012 Outlook: Evans made additional strides this offseason, according to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who said his communication and confidence has improved. Now making more plays than ever in the defensive backfield, he is once again listed as a starting safety and should hold down that position all year. “I think Josh has improved tremendously, and it has nothing to do with athleticism, it has to do with communication and being on the same page and anticipation. The safety position, a lot of it is anticipation for the communication,” head coach Will Muschamp said recently. “That’s where I think Josh has taken the next step, and he certainly has done that. And he’s been very good in camp, and he was very good throughout spring as far as taking the next step.”

8 – Jeremy Brown (Orlando, FL)
Redshirt junior cornerback
5’10” 184 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star prospect, Brown was sidelined by back problems for two full seasons and earned a redshirt as a freshman. He made it a point to rehab his back as much as possible during and after the 2009 season and sought to earn a starting role when Joe Haden declared early for the NFL. Brown succeeded in that goal in 2010, winning the job across from Janoris Jenkins and starting 10 contests. He missed the final two regular season games with a hamstring injury but played in the Outback Bowl.

Career Stats (11 games): 15 tackles (11 solo, one for loss), three interceptions, five pass defenses, touchdown

2011 Season: Brown suffered a knee injury right before the season began and was expected to only miss a few weeks of action. Many accused Muschamp of misleading the public as to the severity of Brown’s injury, but the coach explained in the spring that was not the case. “Our medical evaluation was he was going to be out for a week,” Muschamp said. “That’s what I was told. [...] Jeremy was a situation where he rehabbed, it didn’t work, we rehabbed a different way, it didn’t work. We continued to progress, we tried to work him back in practice as the season was going, and he just never responded to rehab, so eventually we had surgery.”

2012 Outlook: Returning to practice this summer, Brown fractured his wrist and had surgery on July 18. He was reevaluated on Aug. 28 to see if he could return to practice though the result of that check-up is not yet known. Brown would have had an opportunity to start at cornerback for Florida this season, but his injuries allowed four other players to jump ahead of him in the pecking order. He should see the field eventually if he can get back healthy but may have to focus on 2013 (his sixth and final season) to regain his starting job.

Check out 11 more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!

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Florida Gators 2012 opening week depth chart

Though things could still change over the next five days, the Florida Gators on Monday morning released the team’s first official depth chart for the 2012 season. As was noted by head coach Will Muschamp last week, sophomore quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel will both play against the Bowling Green Falcons though who will take the first snap has not yet been determined.

Florida omitted players who are not participating in the season opener, therefore the below depth chart is not the “best case scenario” version. A list of those players can be found at the end along with some additional explanations.

QB: Jeff Driskel OR Jacoby Brissett
RB: Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown
FB: Hunter Joyer, Trey Burton
WR (X): Frankie Hammond, Jr., Latroy Pittman/Andre Debose
WR (Z): Quinton Dunbar, Solomon Patton
F: Trey Burton, Omarius Hines
TE: Jordan Reed, Clay Burton

LT: Xavier Nixon, Kyle Koehne
LG: James Wilson, Ian Silberman
C: Jonotthan Harrison, Sam Robey
RG: Jon Halapio, Jessamen Dunker
RT: Chaz Green, Trip Thurman

DE: Dominique Easley, Earl Okine
DT: Sharrif Floyd, Damien Jacobs
NT: Omar Hunter, Leon Orr
Buck DE: Lerentee McCray, Dante Fowler, Jr.
Sam LB: Darrin Kitchens, Neiron Ball
Mike LB: Jon Bostic, Michael Taylor
Will LB: Jelani Jenkins, Antonio Morrison

CB: Jaylen Watkins OR Louchiez Purifoy
CB: Marcus Roberson OR Cody Riggs
S: Matt Elam, Valdez Showers
S: Josh Evans, Jabari Gorman
Nickel CB: Matt Elam, Jaylen Watkins
Dime CB: Matt Elam, Brian Poole

K: Caleb Sturgis, Brad Phillips
P: Kyle Christy, Todd Fennell
H: John Crofoot, Tyler Murphy
LS: Drew Ferris, Kyle Crofoot
KR: Andre Debose, Solomon Patton
PR: Marcus Roberson, Andre Debose

OUT SATURDAY: Redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral), sophomore defensive back De’Ante Saunders (hamstring), junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell (ACL), freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee), redshirt junior DL Kedric Johnson (knee)

POSSIBLY OUT SATURDAY: Redshirt junior DB Jeremy Brown (wrist), freshman LT D.J. Humphries (MCL), freshman DB Marcus Maye (knee), redshirt freshman OL Tommy Jordan (shoulder)

NOTES
- Debose is not listed as a starting receiver.
- Koehne and Thurman are inserted as reserve tackles because Patchan is out.
- Silberman is listed as the second-string left guard because Koehne is filling in at tackle.
- Taylor is at Mike LB and Morrison at Will LB as reserves but both are interchangeable.
- All four cornerbacks are expected to see 75 percent of the snaps in a particular game.
- Phillips beat out freshman Austin Hardin for the No. 2 kicker job.
- Murphy is the back-up holder after working on that during the fall.

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