12/6: Meyer, Paterno speak about Outback Bowl

Florida Gators (7-5, 4-4) head coach Urban Meyer and Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4) head coach Joe Paterno spoke with the media on Monday now that their respective teams have been selected for the 2011 Outback Bowl set to be played on Jan. 1, 2011, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

MUTUAL RESPECT RUNS DEEP

Meyer has always expressed his respect for those in his profession – like Paterno – who have paved the way for his success as a head football coach. Mentioning before the season that he and his wife Shelley have spent some personal time with the Paternos recently, Meyer again stated his admiration for the man on Monday. “Coach Paterno is college football,” he said. “It’s an honor to coach against him. He does it the right way.”

Paterno shared a similar sentiment. “Urban is one of my favorite people in coaching,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to play against him. He has been very innovative and ahead of things. He’s not one of those showoffs or anything like that. He is very honest. He seems to always be one step ahead of the people he is playing against.”

ADDAZIO STILL THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – FOR NOW

Asked if Steve Addazio would retain his offensive coordinator role next season, Meyer was quick to answer. “I’m expecting that to happen. I’ll keep you updated,” he said. Though he did leave some wiggle room in his reply, Meyer has maintained that he has appreciation for Addazio and has not given any indication that he would be leaving the staff. That being said, Addazio could retain the offensive coordinator title while giving up the playcalling duties to a co-offensive coordinator – in theory.

A rumor began over the weekend that Meyer had contacted and was in the process of trying to convince Oklahoma State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dana Holgorsen to leave Stillwater, OK, for the same position and responsibilities in Gainesville, FL. Whether or not that rumors holds water remains to be seen.

He also had this to say about coaching staff changes in general. “So much happens,” Meyer said. “At this time, I can’t make any statements. There is so much going on with the profession right now.”

MCCARNEY TEMPORARILLY REPLACED

With assistant head coach defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney leaving the team after the regular season to take the top job with North Texas, Meyer was forced to find a suitable replacement for his team’s bowl game. He has temporarily promoted graduate assistant Tony Weaver to coach the defensive line for the Outback Bowl and will reevaluate the position after the season officially concludes.

INJURY UPDATES

Meyer updated the injury status for a number of players on Monday. He said redshirt freshman QB/tight end Jordan Reed has yet to practice since suffering a concussion against Florida State, junior running back Jeff Demps (foot) is wearing a protective boot and hopes to be able to play on Jan. 1, and both redshirt senior defensive tackles Terron Sanders (shoulder) and Lawrence Marsh (hip) will likely miss the game after having surgery on their injuries last week.

QUOTES (After the break…)
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Week 13: Gators post-game news & notes

Falling flat on their faces with an embarrassing 31-7 loss to the No. 22 Florida State Seminoles (9-3) on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL, the Florida Gators (7-5) completed their worst season under head coach Urban Meyer in lackluster fashion. OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes.

COMPLETE REBUILDING EFFORT PROMISED

Meyer got right to it after the loss Saturday, going on a mini-rant about what he needs to do in order to turn the Gators around immediately.

“I can assure you we are going to rebuild this thing and build it up the right way and do it right. Obviously we are down a little bit. I didn’t believe we would be that far down – but we are,” he said. How do you build up a program? I’ve done it a few times. You build it up with tough players, tough coaches, and you got to play better. You have to have a plan to win.

“Obviously this is the first time…2010 is the first time in 10 years we did not follow a plan to win. You can’t turn the ball over. I didn’t think our guys did not play hard…we [just] did not play smart. We did not coach smart and we didn’t take care of the ball. Four turnovers – I know at least three led to direct touchdowns. And I didn’t manage the game right on that fake punt. With that said, we’re going to be rebuild it right though, not wrong. We’re going to rebuild it right.”

He added that his immediate plan is to prepare the team to honor the seniors with a bowl win and recruit at a high level to infuse the program with some new players. “Recruit our butt off is what we’re going to do – and that starts tonight,” Meyer said. “Coaches are all on the road tomorrow, so we’re going to recruit our butt off and build this thing back up. Obviously we’re down. We got to build this thing back up. [...] How do you rebuild it? Tough-ass players and tough-ass coaches.”

THE QUARTERBACKS AND JOHN BRANTLEY

Though the three-quarterback system was cute and effective coming out of the bye week against Georgia and the following week against Vanderbilt, it has blown up in Florida’s faces over the last few games. Whether that is because of how the coaching staff has handled the transition of signal callers during drives (mostly) or simply the concept all together (somewhat), Meyer said it will certainly be looked at soon and could be completely revamped before the bowl game.

“There’s a chance, sure. I have no idea [right now]. I know one thing – we went up and down the field before our quarterback-slash-tight end got hurt. Had some decent drives. I think we ran the ball for 200-something yards. We were just really ineffective in certain areas. Really, really ineffective,” he said. “If that’s because of three quarterbacks, we’ll blow that thing completely out of the water. We’re in immediacy and then we’re in the future; right now we’re in immediacy, we’re going to do everything we can to win the bowl game and work our tail off.”

It should be noted that Meyer has referred to redshirt freshman Jordan Reed as someone who will play tight end for this team in the future, mentioning that is the position he believed he would succeed at. This is the first occasion recently that Meyer has referred to him as a quarterback, though that is probably a minor point.

One of the major issues with the system on Saturday was the fact that the coaching staff seemed to only bring redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley in on third-and-longs – obvious passing downs. Though Brantley’s performance was no doubt lackluster, he was not necessarily given a fair shake or allowed to possibly build any type of momentum throughout the contest. “Some of those are early first and 10s, it wasn’t all third and medium. But yeah, it probably is [unfair],” Meyer said. “We’re just trying to do the best we can to move the ball right now. Trying to find that mix.”

FAILED FAKE PUNT AND PENALTIES

In addition to the Gators’ three fumbles and interception, one of the most catastrophic mistakes made during the game was Meyer’s call of a fake punt on a 4th and 5 from inside Florida territory. Claiming he “just wanted to make something happen” for the team early with that call, Meyer realizes he made a game-changing mistake with the call. “It didn’t happen. It killed us,” he said.

Also of issue were the numerous drive-stalling penalties that landed the Gators in vulnerable spots throughout the game. “Awful. Real huge concern. That’s a huge concern,” he said of the miscues.

QUOTES (After the break…)
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Seminoles embarrass Gators with 31-7 rout

Everything went wrong for the Florida Gators (7-4) Saturday night at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL, as the No. 22 Florida State Seminoles (9-3) snapped a six-game losing streak to their bitter in-state rivals by cruising to a dominant 31-7 victory.

Down 7-3 going into the second quarter, Florida State put together a 21-point effort before halftime by taking advantage of a number of Florida miscues. The Seminoles would add a touchdown in the second half and shut the Gators out for the final three quarters of the game, earning their biggest win in the series since 1988 (52-17).

After a phantom facemask penalty on senior safety Ahmad Black helped FSU earn a field goal on their first possession, redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose returned the ensuing kickoff for 62 yards. UF got on the board quickly putting together a five-play, 32-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 20-yard pass from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley to freshman WR Robert Clark.

A fumble by redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (in at QB) ended what appeared to be a promising drive for Florida in the middle of the first quarter, and a second fumble by redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey on the Gators’ next possession at their own 14 gave Florida State the ball back in scoring position. Two plays later QB Christian Ponder tossed a quick pass to WR Lonnie Pryor to give the Seminoles a 10-7 lead that they would never look back from.

Faced with a three-and-out at their own 36 yard line on their next possession, UF attempted a fake punt on 4th and 5; unfortunately senior punter/kicker Chas Henry was stopped a yard short for the team’s first failed fake punt under head coach Urban Meyer. On the very next play, Ponder completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to WR Rodney Smith who beat redshirt junior cornerback Moses Jenkins for a wide-open score to put FSU up 17-7.

The Seminoles would have to work a bit harder for their final points of the quarter, putting together a 12-play, 73-yard drive that concluded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to WR Taiwan Easternling. The Gators appeared to bounce back quickly with 2:47 left on the clock as Reed and Rainey ran the ball for a combined 60 yards to just enter the red zone. However, after a Florida State timeout to slow things down, Brantley was brought in for Reed on 2nd and 8 and subsequently threw an interception.

FSU would put the game away for good on their first possession of the third quarter, piecing together a 10-play, 71-yard touchdown drive; Ponder tossed his third score of the day with a 29-yard pass to WR Willie Haulstead.

In addition to their numerous miscues, Florida appeared undisciplined and inept by committing 11 penalties for 79 yards (most courtesy of the offensive line). The Gators outgained the Seminoles 212-112 on the ground, but UF was no match for a FSU passing attack that almost quadrupled their effort (221-64).

Brantley, who mostly saw work on obvious passing downs until Reed left the game with a concussion in the second half, finished 6-of-12 for 52 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Reed and Rainey rushed for 74 and 73 yards, respectively, and junior running back Jeff Demps took nine carries for 44 yards. Ponder finished 16-of-24 for 221 yards with three touchdowns, and Smith ended up as his leading receiver with four receptions for 79 yards and a score.

Saturday’s loss was just Meyer’s second rivalry game defeat during his tenure at Florida (Georgia, 2007) and his first to Florida State.

Photo Credit: Steve Cannon/Associated Press

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Week 13: Florida Gators at Florida St. Seminoles

Location: Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL [Capacity: 82,300]
Weather Forecast: 65°F, clear skies
Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST)

TV: ABC/ESPN
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Sirius/XM: 212/198
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS No. 22 FSU SEMINOLES
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher
Record: 7-4 Record: 8-3
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida State -2; O/U 51

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series with Florida State 33-19-2. The Gators have won six straight games against the Seminoles including going 5-0 under Meyer with a 2-0 mark in Tallahassee. UF has won the last six meetings between the two teams by an average of 21.8 points and the last three by an average of 30 points.
» The Gators are 17-1 in rivalry games under Meyer including nine consecutive wins and a 5-0 mark against the Seminoles.
» UF is tied for the national lead with 17 interceptions on the season. Seven have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» Florida is back out of the BCS, Associated Press and USA Today top 25 after returning to the rankings three weeks ago. This season is the first time the Gators have been unranked in all three under Meyer. Florida had been listed in every poll since he took over in 2005 until they lost to Mississippi State three weeks ago.
» The Gators’ offense has seen 15 different players overall score a touchdown this year – including defense and special teams.
» Florida is the only school in the nation that has four players with at least three interceptions. Overall, eight Gators have at least one interception.
» The Seminoles slightly out-rank the Gators in all four major statistical averages; however, their statistics come against what many would consider inferior ACC competition. Florida State is 63rd in passing yards (212.6), 33rd in rushing yards (183.4), 37th in points scored (31.7) and 14th in points against (18.8) compared to Florida being 70th in passing yards (202.8), 49th in rushing yards (161.4), 40th in points for (31.3) and 26th in points against (20.2). The teams have not faced a common opponent this season.
» UF under Meyer is 42-1 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-3 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 38-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 39-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 33-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» FSU’s Fisher has faced UF 16 times while an assistant at Auburn, LSU and Florida State; Florida is 11-5 in those contests (4-2 vs. Auburn, 4-3 vs. LSU, 3-0 vs. LSU).
» Gators defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, while defensive backs coach at Wake Forest (1991-93), faced the Seminoles three times and won every meeting.
» Florida freshman offensive lineman Chaz Green and Florida State’s Christian Green both attended Tampa Catholic High School. Gators defensive lineman Glen Watson and the Seminoles’ Anthony Porterfield both went to Escambia High School. FSU WR Jared Haggins attended Lakeland High School with a number of UF’s seniors.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

FLORIDA
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has an 8-8 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing an interception last week. He has completed 188-of-304 passes (61.8 percent) for 1,968 yards and has a passer rating of 119.6.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed…both of whom will spell Brantley at quarterback in Florida’s new three-QB system. Burton set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has 12 scores on the season, has played five positions and is second on the team in rushing (64 carries for 316 yards). Reed got his first meaningful snaps behind center two weeks, going 16-of-29 for 180 yards with three touchdowns and a pick. He also ran 40 times for 186 yards with five more scores.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (487 yards) after missing two full games and being limited in six others. He was Florida’s leading rusher in its first five games of the season.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey..who returned to action for the first time in over a month against Georgia and has 34 carries for 227 yards (along with 18 receptions for 173 yards) and five touchdowns this year.
» Redshirt freshman WR/kick returner Andre Debose…who set a school single-season record with his second kickoff return touchdown two weeks ago. With an 88-yard return against LSU and a 99-yard return against South Carolina, he is the only freshman nationally with two in 2010 and one of only two players nationally with two in 2010. He is one of the reasons why the Gators rank No. 5 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC in kickoff returns with a 26.4 average.
» Sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.…who is quickly becoming one of Florida’s most important pass catchers. He was the team’s leading receiver against Mississippi State and caught three passes for 46 yards against Georgia and another three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown against Vanderbilt the following week.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had missed five-straight field goal attempts (one negated by penalty) before nailing back-to-back kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime a month ago.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 13 balls this season. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior CB Janrois Jenkins (three), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three), and junior S Will Hill (three) have accounted for all but one of the unit’s picks.
» Black…who has led Florida in tackles seven times this season: vs. South Carolina (career-high 16), LSU (13), Georgia (12), Miami (10), Mississippi State (10), USF (8) and Vanderbilt (4). He is tops on the team overall with 96 tackles, including nine for loss.

FLORIDA STATE
» QB Christian Ponder…who leads his team in offense having passed for 1,817 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions. He has also rushed 88 times for 159 yards and four scores. Ponder did not play in last year’s game due to injury.
» WR Bert Reed…who is Ponder’s top pass catcher hauling in 50 balls for 514 yards and two touchdowns this season.
» RBs Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas…who have combined for 1,128 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
» LB Nigel Bradham and DE Brandon Jenkins…who lead the Seminoles, respectively, with team bests in tackles (80) and sacks (10).

INJURIES

» Active: Senior C Mike Pouncey (lightheadedness)
» Probable: Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), junior CB Janoris Jenkins (concussion), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (hamstring), redshirt senior LB A.J. Jones (hamstring), sophomore LB Dee Finley (fractured collarbone)
» Questionable: Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose (ankle)
» Inactives: Redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators at Florida State Seminoles preview after the jump!
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11/23: Addazio, Sanders discuss Florida State

Florida Gators offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio and redshirt senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders spoke to the media Tuesday as they look a look back on the year and ahead to the team’s final regular season game against the Florida State Seminoles.

PLAYERS NOT QUESTIONING THE OFFENSE

Asked if individual offensive players were venting any frustration to him about the unit this season, Addazio said he has not heard any direct concerns because everyone is on the same page both pre- and post-game. “The answer to that is simple: They have complete faith and trust and they watch the tape. They know. You come in here and you watch the tape on Sundays and surely see what we set out to do, what happened and what didn’t happen. There’s no mysteries there. One-on-one conversations are about how that particular one guy is doing. Our guys are great, man. They’re great. The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. What happens is not complicated to see, it’s not hidden in numbers. It’s on video – there it is.”

INJURED BACKS HURT BRANTLEY, INCREASED NEED FOR OPTION

With all three of Florida’s primary running backs injured at one point or another early in the season, Addazio believes redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley had no choice but to reduce his role behind center for some more athletic signal callers to get snaps. “There’s no question that we went through a period of time here where we really had virtually no running backs,” he said. “So you have to have the ability to still run the ball. The utilization of some running quarterbacks – you have to use all tools that are available to you. Did injuries impact that? Obviously the answer is, ‘Yes.’”

That being said, Addazio agrees with Brantley’s assertion that he took the reduced role in stride and thinks both redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed and freshman QB Trey Burton’s selflessness are integral to the success the trio has had recently. “[Reed’s] a beautiful kid, he really is. ‘I’ll do whatever I need to do to help this team win,’ [is what he says]. That’s his mindset, that’s Trey Burton’s mindset, that’s Johnny Brantley’s mindset. That’s what’s great about our kids.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
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11/22: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, senior safety Ahmad Black and redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins answered questions for the media on Monday about a variety of topics concerning the Florida Gators, their win at home on Saturday against the Appalachian State Mountaineers and this week’s road game against the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee, FL. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

QB JOHN BRANTLEY

On playing Florida State historically: “Florida State is a very good team, they handle themselves well. Florida is also good – I remember that Nokia Sugar Bowl with [Danny] Wuerffel and all those guys. It’s been the biggest game always circled in my book.”

On how the offense has not changed: “We’re still running the same plays, I’m just not running as much of an option. It’s really the same play calls, same play action, same drop back calls. We’re just emphasizing pass with me and the option stuff with Jordan [Reed] and Trey [Burton].”

On the offensive line failing to block the blitz consistently: “They’re not perfect. They can’t be perfect. And I don’t expect them to be. Sometimes maybe it’s the line or maybe it’s me holding onto the ball too long.”

On if this game holds extra importance this year: “It doesn’t matter about the past. We just got to go out and win this one.”

On redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson: “Ever since that Georgia game he’s really been practicing hard, catching every ball.”

On the winning streak over FSU: “We know about it. We mention it. We just have to go out and win this one.”

SS AHMAD BLACK

On being a Florida State fan growing up: “Who lied and said that?”

On continuing the winning streak against FSU: “It’s a pretty big deal here.”

On the rivalry’s importance in recruiting: “It’s pretty big considering a lot of players that are from the state of Florida – their last few schools are usually Florida, Florida State and Miami.”

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11/22: Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference

Head coach Urban Meyer and a small group of players meet with the media each Monday before the Florida Gators compete in a game the following Saturday. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the event this week.

LONG LIST OF INJURY UPDATES

Though even more Florida players are currently dealing with injuries, Meyer updated the status of a number of guys. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose (ankle), redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown (hamstring) and redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones are all listed as probable for Saturday. Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley (ankle) is questionable and redshirt sophomore defensive end Earl Okine (concussion) is doubtful. Florida should receive preliminary word on junior CB Janoris Jenkins’ status on Monday after he suffered what was initially deemed a minor concussion over the weekend.

Meyer also noted that the Gators are indeed seeking a medical hardship waiver for kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has already missed seven games this year with a back injury. If it is granted, Sturgis will enter next season as a redshirt junior.

CHAMPIONS

Meyer announced Monday that 19 Gators had earned the designation of Champions after Saturday’s win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Offensively, Meyer named senior center Mike Pouncey as his player of the game along with redshirt senior tackle Marcus Gilbert, redshirt senior T Maurice Hurt, redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, sophomore running back Mike Gillislee, redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks, redshirt freshman G Jon Halapio, redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey, redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed, redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr., redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson and freshman QB Trey Burton as his champions. On the defensive side of the ball, senior LB Brandon Hicks won the POG award, while senior safety Ahmad Black, redshirt junior CB Moses Jenkins, senior DE Duke Lemmens, redshirt senior DT Terron Sanders and freshman DT Sharrif Floyd were champions.

NO MORE PUNISHMENT FOR MOORE

Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore was ejected from Saturday’s game after retaliating during a fight with an opposing player. Meyer said Monday that Florida would not impose another penalty on the player seeing as the standard punishment is missing half of a game and he has already done that. “I had a meeting with him yesterday. We don’t do that, and I’m going to reemphasize that with the team,” Meyer said. The NCAA also decided not to pursue the issue further.

HELPING BRANTLEY IMPROVE

Asked how Brantley needs to improve from this point forward as a quarterback, Meyer said his two biggest issues are getting rid of the ball quickly and knowing when to “burn it” when being blitzed or having no open men downfield. Meyer cited the fact that Brantley being sacked causing a 2nd and 17 puts the Gators in a deeper hole than a simple incompletion on 2nd and 10 would.

He also noted, like he has previously this year, that Brantley (as a dropback passer) needs a strong, big running back and solid tight end play to compliment him. “When you have a quarterback like that, he’s got to be able to hand the ball off. It’s nothing new – it’s been like that for 100 years,” Meyer said. “When you’re limited at tight end and you’re limited at fullback [and you don’t have a big running back], you’re in quicksand. Hand the ball off – play action pass – and then utilize the dropback passing game.”

QUOTES (After the break…)
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Gators topple Mountaineers 48-10 on Senior Day

Saturday in The Swamp was a celebration for the Florida Gators’ senior class as they led their team for the final time at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to a dominant 48-10 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Florida (7-4) had lost its previous three games in Gainesville, FL, before defeating Appalachian State (9-2), a rarity for a senior class that was 19-2 at home going into this year.

Unlike the rest of the season, the Gators’ offense got a quick start on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game and four of its first five. Florida led 28-0 going into halftime, but head coach Urban Meyer took his foot off the gas in the second half; UF still outscored ASU 20-10 in the latter part of the game.

Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed led the way for the Gators with four touchdowns including three on the ground and one through their air to redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley in what was the first reception of Brantley’s career. UF’s leading passer, Brantley finished 16-of-22 for 222 yards and one interception.

Redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey dominated early with 40 yards rushing on the first drive including a 16-yard touchdown; he finished the day taking six carries for 87 yards and catching two balls for 23 yards. Reed carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards, and RBs sophomore Mike Gillislee and redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody tallied 56 yards apiece on the ground.

Florida’s players accounted for a number of career-highs in the contest. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson reeled in six catches for a career-high 100 yards, freshman defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell swarmed for a career-high nine tackles, and redshirt junior cornerback Moses Jenkins and senior LB Brandon Hicks each notched a career-high seven tackles.

Hicks also forced a fumble in the second quarter that was eventually recovered by senior safety Ahmad Black; it led to Reed’s TD pass to Brantley. Senior punter/kicker Chas Henry made all six of his extra point attempts and punted the ball once for 42 yards.

The Gators finished with a season-high 311 rushing yards and 547 total yards while scoring seven touchdowns – the most this year. The final score was attributed to redshirt senior defensive tackle Gary Beemer, a walk-on who Meyer gave three carries inside the three in order to score his first career touchdown.

Saturday was an emotional day for Florida’s seniors. A number of players – including center Mike Pouncey and Black – were noticeably teary-eyed when being introduced before the game. Pouncey put his head down in Meyer’s chest and Black dropped to his knees in the end zone. After Beemer’s touchdown, his helmet came off in celebration and he pumped up the crowd while tightly holding onto the ball.

UF hopes to keep the emotion and energy going next week when they take on Florida State on the road in Tallahassee, FL, in the final game of the 2010 regular season. Kickoff will be set shortly for either 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Photo Credits: The Gainesville Sun

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