Florida women upset No. 6 Kentucky in Lexington

Florida Gators women’s basketball (12-4, 2-0 SEC) pulled off one of the biggest victories in program history on Sunday afternoon, hanging an 83-73 road defeat on the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (13-2, 1-1 SEC) at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY.

Sunday’s victory broke a six-game losing streak for UF against UK and extended the Gators’ current winning streak to eight games, their longest since the 2008-09 season.

Florida won due to some tremendous play from its two backcourt stars.

Senior guard Jaterra Bonds, the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, led all players with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-14 shooting. She hit 10-of-12 free throws and also added six rebounds on the afternoon.

Freshman G Ronnie Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards for Florida, going 9-for-13 from the field and registering two blocks in the contest.

Continue Reading » Florida women upset No. 6 Kentucky in Lexington

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Wambach, Beal, Johnson

1 » A rash of quarterback injuries has shaken the NFL over the first half of the season, and there are also a number of floundering teams in serious need of a boost, but former Florida Gators signal caller Tim Tebow nevertheless remains a free agent. Sunday night, NFL.com‘s Mike Silver reported that the St. Louis Rams had “at least internally discussed the possibility of signing” Tebow though nothing was imminent and it was unlikely to happen. This report came after starting QB Sam Bradford was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a knee injury (he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL). CBSSports.com‘s Jason LaCanfora later tweeted that the Rams have “no desire” to bring in Tebow and that head coach Jeff Fisher “would not consider it.” Instead, St. Louis will go with Kellen Clemens, a career 51.8 percent passer with seven passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions over eight seasons (including 12 starts). The biggest news story involving Tebow over the last few weeks included some shirtless pictures taken while he was on vacation with his family in Hawaii.

As Tebow hopes to have a future in football, it may be another sport entirely where he can make the greatest impact. According to TheMMQB.com, USA Rugby is extremely interested in having Tebow join the program and compete on behalf of the United States in the Olympics (assuming he picks up the sport well). Writer Jenny Vrentas crunches some numbers, with some help from a company named Atlantic Standard, and notes that Tebow’s athleticism is simply off the charts, which makes him a player the rugby community would covet.

Check out three more Florida Gators news BITS…after the break!

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Wambach, Beal, Johnson

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Gators RB Jones breaks out with career game

When Florida Gators sophomore running back Matt Jones was laid up in a hospital bed a number of weeks ago recovering from a serious viral infection, doubt crept into his mind as to whether he would ever get back to form this season.

It took him weeks of check-ups, blood tests and the like just to get on the practice field and more than two full weeks of practice until he saw game action.

That came against Miami on Sept. 7 when he averaged 2.6 yards per carry and coughed up a fumble. He played better two weeks later when Florida hosted Tennessee, scoring a touchdown and averaging 4.1 yards per touch, but fumbled for a second time in as many games.

Jones admitted after Saturday’s contest that he was not physically ready to play in either of those games. He kept telling himself that he was healthy and ready to go, but he was only about 70-80 percent at UM and a bit better than that against UT.

Though he still looked a step slow and did not have his normal burst during the Gators’ 24-7 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, Jones put together a career game he should remember for quite some time. He took a career-high 28 carries for a career-high 176 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per rush and scoring a touchdown, and also grabbed three receptions for 20 yards.

“I’d say I’m about 95 percent right now,” he said afterwards. “That’s what I grind[ed] for all offseason. Definitely missing camp kind of took me off track. But this is what I was really grinding for, just games like this.”

Continue Reading » Gators RB Jones breaks out with career game

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9/28: Florida at Kentucky post-game report

A poised performance by redshirt junior back-up quarterback Tyler Murphy coupled with a breakthough game for sophomore running back Matt Jones and superb defensive effort led the No. 19/20 Florida Gators (3-1, 2-0 SEC) past the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 SEC) on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY. After winning the game 24-7, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.

NEXT GAME TIME ANNOUNCED

Florida will face Arkansas next Saturday on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in a game that will air live on ESPN2. It will be the first night game the Gators will play in that emanates from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since Nov. 26, 2011.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida extended its winning streak against Kentucky to 27 games dating back to 1987. It is the longest active streak against an annual opponent but the sixth-longest such streak all time.
» The Gators are 47-17 all-time against the Wildcats with a 19-10 edge in Lexington. UF is also 33-1 against UK since 1980.
» Florida beat Kentucky by fewer than 34 points for the first time since 2007 (45-37). UF has outscored UK 262-43 over the last six games (2008-13) and shutout its SEC East rival last year (38-0) for the first time since 1996.
» The Gators are 15-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards. Florida is also 17-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 13-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 14-3 when scoring first and 17-1 when leading at half.
» UF is 17-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp.
» Florida has forced at least one turnover in 15-straight games and nabbed at least one interception in seven consecutive contests.
» The Gators have forced the most interceptions among SEC teams this century (355).
» Florida has registered a nation-leading 103 interceptions since 2008. UF is also first in interceptions returned for touchdowns (16) and interception return yards (1,788).
» The Gators had their longest offensive scoring drive of the season in terms of time (7:47), yardage (93) and plays (13).
» Florida has not allowed Kentucky to score an offensive touchdown in 10-straight quarters dating back to 2011. The Wildcats’ sole score Saturday came on a fake field goal on their first drive of the game.
» The Gators were 4-for-4 in the red zone, 8-for-13 on third down and 2-for-2 on fourth down, but their defense held the Wildcats to 0-of-1, 1-of-8 and 2-of-4 in those categories.
» Florida never punted the ball and scored five times in eight drives. The other three included two end-of-halfs and one interception.
» UF outgained UK 402-173 overall and 246-48 on the ground. The Gators also dominated time of possession 38:09-21:51, though it was the least total time they possessed the ball in a game all season.

» Murphy started the game 11-of-11 for 120 yards and a touchdown, adding four carries for 20 yards and a rushing score in the first half. He eventually completed 13-straight passes before finishing his first career start 15-for-18 for 156 yards and added an interception in the second half.
» Jones registered career-highs in carries (28) and rushing yards (176), adding a touchdown to his total while averaging 6.3 yards per touch. It was the first 100-yard game of his career and second by a Florida rusher this season (Mack Brown).
» Freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III registered his third career interception in four career games.
» Senior wide receiver Trey Burton scored his first touchdown of the season and matched a career-high with six receptions. His 66 receiving yards were a game-high. Burton has now scored eight of his 20 career touchdowns against Kentucky.
» Freshman WR Demarcus Robinson earned his first career reception and took it 10 yards on a third-down conversion.

OPENING STATEMENT

“I’m very proud of our football team. It has been a long week for us, psychologically and mentally as much as anything. When you go through Jeff [Driskel]’s situation and Dominique [Easley]’s situation, which happened Tuesday night, very frustrating but you can’t always control your circumstances in life. You can control your vision.

“I told our players, ‘No excuses and no regrets.’ That’s just who we are. We have an expectation level here at the University of Florida on what we’re going to do and where we’re headed with our program. Very pleased with how our guys pulled together and the Gator Nation pulled together and came up here and did what we did. …

“Very proud of our football team. Showed a lot of resolve. They continue to come together in what we’re doing. Very proud of Tyler Murphy and his play.”

Read everything else Muschamp had to say about the game…after the break!
Continue Reading » 9/28: Florida at Kentucky post-game report

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Murphy, Jones lead the way for Gators’ offense as Florida wins 27th-straight against Kentucky

Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy looked like a seasoned, experienced signal caller in his first career start, leading the No. 19/20 Florida Gators (3-1, 2-0 SEC) to a 24-7 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 SEC) on the road at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY, on Saturday evening.

Murphy ended the first half 11-of-11 for 120 yards and a touchdown, adding another score and 20 rushing yards on four carries, and gave the Gators a 21-7 edge at halftime. He threw an interception in the second half but was supported by a strong effort from UF’s dominant defense and sophomore running back Matt Jones, who took a career-high 28 carries for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown.

Florida won its 27th consecutive game against Kentucky dating back to 1986, extending the nation’s longest active winning streak against an annual opponent. The Gators are also 33-1 against the Wildcats since 1980 and have outscored their SEC East rivals 262-43 over the last seven games.

Florida opened up with its longest scoring drive of the season, gaining 93 yards on 13 plays in 7:47 and capping it off with a touchdown when Jones carried the ball into the end zone on 3rd-and-Goal.

Kentucky answered in kind, moving the ball 50 yards in 12 plays before being faced with 4th-and-9 at UF’s 25-yard line. UK lined up for the field goal but faked it with kicker Joe Mansour taking an over-the-head toss from the holder 25 yards to tie the game at 7-7.

Continue Reading » Murphy, Jones lead the way for Gators’ offense as Florida wins 27th-straight against Kentucky

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Gameday: No. 19 Florida Gators at Kentucky

Location: Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, KY [Capacity: 67,606]
Weather: 74°F (feels like 74°F), partly cloudy, winds S at 5 mph
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Best deals on Florida Gators tickets starting at $46 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport)
SiriusXM: 94/200 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: Watch ESPN | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 19/20 FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Mark Stoops
Record: 2-1 (1-0 SEC) Record: 1-2 (0-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -12 | O/U: 46.5

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you missed via the links below!

Depth chart | Story: Special teams not so special | Story: QB Tyler Murphy focused on preparation, leadership | Story: Ousted Kentucky coach Phillips making an impact at Florida | Story: CB Hargreaves making an early impact | Story: Can LB Fowler continue to dominate? | Notes: Friday Final

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is looking to extend its 26-game winning streak against Kentucky, which dates back to 1986. It is the longest active streak against an annual opponent but the sixth-longest such streak all time.
» The Gators are 46-17 all-time against the Wildcats with an 18-10 edge in Lexington. UF is also 32-1 against UK since 1980.
» Florida is favored by 13 points but has not defeated Kentucky by fewer than 34 points since 2007 (45-37). UF has outscored UK 238-36 over the last six games (2008-10) and shutout its SEC East rival last year (38-0) for the first time since 1996.
» Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease spent two years with the Wildcats (2001-02) in the same position. UF wide receivers coach Joker Phillilps was a player (1981-84), graduate assistant (1988-89), assistant coach (1990-96, 2003-04), offensive coordinator (2004-09) and head coach (2010-12) at UK for 23 combined seasons spanning four decades. He is also a native of Franklin, KY.
» Florida failed to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
» Kentucky has not defeated a ranked opponent since 2010.
» The Gators are 14-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (6-9 when rushing for fewer than 150 yards). Florida is also 16-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 12-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 13-3 when scoring first (7-6 when an opponent scores first) and 16-1 when leading at the half (4-8 when tied or trailing at the break).
» UF is 16-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp.
» Against the Hurricanes on Sept. 7, the Gators had two wide receivers gain more than 98 yards in the same game for the first time since Nov. 3, 2007.
» Florida held Toledo to six points in its season opener, the sixth time the team has held an opponent without a touchdown under Muschamp.
» The Gators rank first nationally in time of possession (117.0 minutes), rushing defense (55.3 yards), first downs defense (34), third down conversion defense (.189) and fourth down conversion defense (.000); second in the country in total defense (212.3 yards); and fourth in passing efficiency defense (82.95).
» The Wildcats rank sixth nationally in third down defense (.231).
» Florida has forced at least one turnover in 14-straight games.
» The Gators have forced the most interceptions among SEC teams this century (354).
» Florida has registered a nation-leading 102 interceptions since 2008. UF is also first in interceptions returned for touchdowns (16) and interception return yards (1,788).
» Both coaching staffs will don Coach to Cure MD patches on their clothes in support of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. The program, which is a partnership between Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the American Football Coaches Association, has raised more than one million dollars in six years of existence.

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 19 Florida Gators at Kentucky

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Track the Florida Gators en route to Kentucky

The No. 19/20 Florida Gators are on their way to Lexington, KY, to take on the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. As a long-time special OnlyGators.com feature, the following is the flight information for the Gators, which are flying over on an American Airlines Boeing 757-200 twin-jet.

You can also track the flight live while it is in the air!

ORIGIN: Gainesville Regional Airport (KGNV)
DESTINATION: Blue Grass Airport (KLEX)

DURATION: 1 hour and 33 minutes

DEPARTURE: 3:52 p.m. EDT [scheduled 3:30 p.m. EDT]
ARRIVAL: 5:25 p.m. EDT [scheduled 5:11 p.m. EDT]

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Friday Final: Florida prepares for Kentucky

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp, offensive coordinator Brent Pease, defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and a number of players spoke this week ahead of Saturday’s road game against the Kentucky Wildcats scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. from Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY, and air on ESPNU.

Below are some notes and quotes that fell through the cracks and did not make it into one of the 10 posts already published here on OnlyGators.com (see links).

Monday: Updated depth chart released | Muschamp talks injuries, rushers and more | Special teams not so special (exclusive)
Tuesday: QB Tyler Murphy focused on preparation, leadership
Wednesday: Muschamp updates injures; Steve Spurrier and Mark Stoops join him on SEC teleconference | Ousted Kentucky coach Joker Phillips making an impact at Florida | QB Jeff Driskel undergoes successful surgery | DT Dominique Easley out for the season (torn ACL)
Thursday: CB Vernon Hargreaves III making an early impact | Gators hope BUCK Dante Fowler, Jr. continues to dominate

GETTING THE RUNNING GAME GOING

The Gators are currently ranked 48th in rushing offense, averaging 199.7 yards per game. It’s not exactly where Florida wants to be at this point in the season, and the coaching staff has altered its approach on how carries will be divided up going forward. Rather than having sophomore running back Matt Jones automatically take the bulk of the carries, UF will go with the hot hand each game.

“We know what Matt is capable of and he’ll be fine. What he can’t do is get down on himself emotionally,” Pease said on Tuesday. “He’s still part of the game pan. You just got to understand you just go back and work harder. Kids think everything is always going to be perfect all the time. No, it isn’t. There’s ups and downs, peaks and valleys. What he did last year, he obviously worked himself where he was pretty consistent where he was at. … Now you’re an every-down guy so your expectation of execution is much higher on a play-to-play basis on consistency, performance. He’s fine. He’s a good player. He’ll be alright.”

In addition to giving more carries to redshirt junior Mack Brown, Florida wants to get freshman Kelvin Taylor more involved. Pease believes consistency is the main issue holding Taylor back from making an impact at this point.

Continue Reading » Friday Final: Florida prepares for Kentucky

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