Senior Day – Gameday: No. 6 Florida Gators vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 68°F, few showers (30% chance of rain), winds NNE at 1 mph
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Starting at $15 on TiqIQ

TV: Pay-Per-View (Larry Vettel, Nat Moore) | ESPN GamePlan (outside Florida)
SiriusXM: 104/201 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: (outside Florida)
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Jack Crowe
Record: 9-1 Record: 6-4
Conference: Southeastern (FBS) Conference: Ohio Valley (FCS)
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: OFF


» Florida and Jacksonville State have never squared off on the gridiron.
» The Gators have the No. 1 ranked strength of schedule nationally.
» Florida can finish 7-0 at home in a season for just the third time in school history. The 2006 and 2009 UF teams also accomplished that feat.
» The Gators are 13-1 against unranked opponents and 3-6 against ranked teams under Muschamp since he took over in 2011. Florida is 3-1 against ranked opponents this season with wins of Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina and a loss to Georgia.
» UF was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but have flipped that around and are 4-1 in 2012 in that category with all four victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» The Gators are 10-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 1-5 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 13-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 9-1 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 10-3 when scoring first and 12-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida has scored on 30-of-36 red zone trips (83.3 percent) but have only converted 19 of those possessions (52.8 percent) into touchdowns.
» UF has converted a paltry 52-of-142 third-down attempts (36.6 percent) this season, which is tied for 88th nationally in that category.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 38-of-144 on third down conversions (26.4 percent), which is good for seventh-best in the nation. UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida is averaging 33:11 in time of possession through 10 games, a margin that ranks sixth nationally and first in the SEC by 1:36 per game.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 155-55 in the second half (34-27 over the last three games) and 85-23 in the fourth quarter.
» Florida is third in scoring defense nationally (12.9 points per game).
» The Gators are +12 in turnover margin through 10 games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (341) since 2000.
» Florida has grabbed 15 interceptions so far in 2012 and has already surpassed its 2011 total of eight picks. UF has registered at least one pick in seven-of-10 games and has also forced eight fumbles.
» The Gators are first nationally in pass efficiency defense (90.4), fifth in total defense (284.9 yards per game) and 11th in rushing defense (99.9 yards per 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. UF has not yet registered a kick return (or punt return) in 2012.
» The Gators are second nationally in net punt average (41.9 yards per punt).

Read about the injuries and absences and Senior Day…after the break!
Continue Reading » Senior Day – Gameday: No. 6 Florida Gators vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

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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)

– 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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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (49-40)

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.

49 – Darrin Kitchens (Homestead, FL)
Junior linebacker
6’1” 229 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star prospect who committed to Florida late in the process, Kitchens has been productive throughout his young career. He played on the kickoff coverage team in nine of 13 games during his freshman season, registering a pair of tackles.

Career Stats (22 games): 23 tackles (nine solo, 2.5 for loss)

2011 Season: A reserve for most of the season who played on defense and special teams, Kitchens earned his first career start against Furman, a game in which he registered a team- and career-high 12 tackles. He recorded 21 tackles over 13 games including 2.5 for a loss.

2012 Outlook: Kitchens and redshirt sophomore Neiron Ball have been competing all offseason for the starting Sam linebacker job which became available when redshirt senior Lerentee McCray moved over to the Buck position. With Ball being versatile and also repping at Buck, it is possible that Kitchens will win the Sam job by default though both players will see plenty of field time in 2012.

47 – John Crofoot (Windemere, FL)
Redshirt junior kicker
5’11” 156 lbs.

Quick Bio/2011 Season: A walk-on high school kicker whose brother is also on the team, Crofoot spent his freshman year as a long snapper but did not see the field and eventually took a redshirt. He transitioned to being a kicker and holder in 2010 and played in nine games, serving as the starting holder in the final seven games. Crofoot was also Florida’s starting holder last season; the Gators’ kickers combined to go 24-for-29 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points.

2012 Outlook: Though redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Murphy has also held the ball during fall practice, Crofoot enters the season as the starter once again and should hold down the job for the duration of the year.

Check out five more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
Continue Reading » The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (49-40)

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (49-40)

With just 40 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the sixth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 49-40.

49 – Darrin Kitchens (Homestead, FL)
Sophomore linebacker
6’2” 230 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Kitchens was a late commit to Florida who is currently majoring in social & behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: Played on the kickoff coverage team in 10 of 13 games during his freshman season, registering a pair of tackles.

2011 Outlook: Slotted as a second/third-string weakside linebacker on the spring depth chart, Kitchens may see the field on defense during his second year with the team but will do so in a reserve role.

48 – Neiron Ball (Jackson, GA)
Sophomore linebacker
6’2” 220 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee last spring, Ball was a four-star prospect who was All-State in Georgia and currently majors in social & behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: On the field for all 13 games, Ball accumulated 10 tackles while mostly serving as a member of the kickoff and kickoff return special teams units.

2011 Outlook: After a blood vessel ruptured in his brain back in February, Ball hospitalized, treated and diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation in his brain. Now healthy and recovering, he has been unable to practice or workout with the team and is expected to take a medical redshirt for his sophomore season. Ball hopes to return when he is completely healthy and in football shape next year.

47 – John Crofoot (Windemere, FL)
Redshirt sophomore kicker
5’11” 155 lbs.

Quick Bio: A walk-on who majors in business, Crofoot spent his freshman year as a long snapper but eventually took a redshirt after he did not see the field.

2010 Season: Transitioning to a kicker and holder, he played in nine games last year and helped then-punter/kicker Chas Henry complete some important field goals including the 37-yard game-winner in overtime against Georgia.

2011 Outlook: Will compete for the holder job on field goals and extra points.

46 – Drew Ferris (Carlsbad, CA)
Sophomore long snapper
6’0” 215 lbs.

Quick Bio: A highly rated long snapper coming out of high school, the social & behavioral sciences major did not play as a freshman and took a redshirt in 2010.

2011 Outlook: Entered spring as the back-up long snapper and will likely retain that role throughout the season as long as redshirt sophomore Christopher Guido holds down his job.

44 – Kyle Christy (Brownsburg, IN)
Freshman punter
6’2” 195 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee this January, Christy was one of the highest rated punters in the nation coming out of high school and committed to Florida partially because of Henry’s departure and the ability to start right away.

2011 Outlook: The starter going into spring practice, he was called “a real talented guy” with “a real good leg” by head coach Will Muschamp in April. Muschamp has been putting extra pressure on him during practice by standing right next to him while punting in an effort to help him mature quickly and rid himself of any nervousness going into the season.

41 – Hunter Joyer (Wesley Chapel, FL)
Freshman fullback
6’0” 237 lbs.

Quick Bio: The top-rated fullback nationally, Joyer enrolled in the summer and is expected to compete for time on the field right away.

2011 Outlook: On National Signing Day, Muschamp raved about how Joyer can help the team going forward. “We’re going to get back to more traditional as far as running two back runs. And he’s a young man that’s got a lot of lower body power, punch and explosion,” he said. “He’s a very strong young man. He lives in the weight room, and we’re excited to what he brings to our football team from a toughness standpoint.”

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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FOUR BITS: Crofoot, Easley, Beal, Brombacher

1 » In addition to earning a commitment from four-star 2012 running back Matt Jones (Seffner, FL) on Monday, the Florida Gators also found out that long-snapper/tight end Kyle Crofoot has decided to accept an offer to be a preferred walk-on for 2011, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays. The brother of Florida redshirt freshman walk-on kicker/holder John Crofoot, Kyle will enroll in the summer with hopes of eventually earning a scholarship.

2 » The subject of rumors throughout the season, Gators freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley recently spoke with his hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, about his tumultuous season and newfound happiness at Florida. “I thought about leaving,” he told the paper, citing the demanding nature of head coach Urban Meyer and the stage of The Swamp as tough obstacles to overcome. “I was just uncomfortable with a lot of things. I was wondering if I was at the right place for me. […] It wasn’t what I was used to. [Gainesville, FL] is a lot different than Staten Island.” With an improved mindset and new coaching staff behind him, Easley is hopeful to turn things around at the University of Florida. “They let me know what they expected, and said they’d give me an opportunity to show them what I can do,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to hear, and I feel a lot more comfortable about the way things are going.”

3 » Florida basketball is in the middle of putting together what looks to be an exciting season, but plenty of discussion continues to surround five-star guard Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO), who will join the program at the end of the year. Featured along with his Chaminade High School teammates on ESPNU Saturday, Beal exploded for 40 points, six assists, six rebounds and four steals as he propelled his team to a 76-58 victory. “That was something, really something,” the opposition’s head coach, Randy Reed, said of Beal’s showing. “He has a smooth, old-school spirit. One of the best I’ve ever seen in St. Louis. […] His basketball IQ is so much higher than these high school player. His IQ is like a junior in college. He’s so smooth I don’t think he even sweats on the court. I don’t think we’ll see another kid like him around here for a while.” [VIDEO]

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell described Beal’s performance this way:

Randy Reed kept running different defenders at Beal, tall ones and short ones, quick ones and burly ones, and Beal lit each and every one of them up. Slashing drives down the lane. Muscling spin moves in the paint. Three-pointers and mid-range pullups that kept making sweet, sweet string music from every conceivable angle. […]

Watching him play basketball against other high school kids with less sparkling hoop résumés like this is almost unfair. He is that good. He is that smooth. He is that completely aware of how to play the game the right way, even with the dazzling athletic flourishes he put on display on national [TV].

4 » Starting her senior season with a bang, Gators pitcher Stephanie Brombacher was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after posting a 3-0 record including her second perfect game in as many seasons. Read more about Brombacher’s trio of stellar performances over the weekend right here.

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