Fastbreak: Two-faced Florida Gators fight for big 68-62 win over Ben Simmons-led LSU

No one can truly put a finger on the 2015-16 Florida Gators basketball team. In one week, it dominated an SEC road opener against its rival, got blown out while giving little-to-no effort against a middle-of-the-road team and then turned around and earned a wire-to-wire victory against the nation’s best player.

Florida completed its uneven week Saturday with a wild 68-62 win over the LSU Tigers in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s victory and the week that was with seven quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida redshirt sophomore center John Egbunu made a baby hook shot with 49 seconds left, helping mitigate a three-point play by LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons to push the Gators ahead by three. Egbunu preceded that short jumper with two made free throws and followed it with two more as he finished 5-for-10 from the line but made five of his last six attempts from the charity stripe. The Tigers did not score again as Simmons turned the ball over twice in the final 40 seconds.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Two-faced Florida Gators fight for big 68-62 win over Ben Simmons-led LSU

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Silver Lining: Now great(er) expectations for the Florida Gators in Year 1 under Jim McElwain

Great(er) expectations for the Gators

Sorry, Jim McElwain: Consider your expectations reset.

No longer are followers of the Florida Gators content to see a rebuilding team in the midst of a turnaround, one that was projected to lose as many as half of its games while working out the kinks and shedding some old skin on the way to becoming a program that could be a legitimate contender for its division crown in 2016.

No. That’s not how it works when you open your first season at Florida, one of the nation’s top five jobs, with six straight wins, the long-awaited unearthing of a game-changing starting quarterback (albeit a suspended one) and the evolution of a top-flight playmaker that has been largely absent for the Gators since Percy Harvin left early for the NFL in 2008.

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Six quick hits: LSU, Fournette run over Gators 35-28; Florida still in control of own SEC destiny

The No. 8 Florida Gators (6-1, 4-1 SEC) faced their toughest test of the season Saturday night at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Not only did the No. 6 LSU Tigers (6-0, 4-0 SEC) pull out a hard-fought 35-28 win, it became the only remaining undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference and left Florida with plenty of questions to answer as it enters the latter half of the 2015 campaign.

“That was a heck of a college football game. It was a lot of fun to be a part of. It was a great crowd. Two really good football teams. And that team that came up on the strong end of it, they deserved to win. They took it to us,” UF head coach Jim McElwain said after the game. “But I’m going to tell you what, I’m really proud of our football team. This Gator football team is a good football team, too, don’t forget. They handled themselves in a great way.”

Before that goes down though, let OnlyGators.com breaks down seven of the most important takeaways from the Gators’ first loss under McElwain.

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Gameday – Florida Gators at LSU: What to know, how to watch on TV, live stream online

No. 8 Florida Gators football is coming off a difficult week but must keep its focus and test its will against the No. 6 LSU Tigers on Saturday evening. Florida is hoping to avoid dropping a Southeastern Conference game in order to keep its lead atop the SEC East and continue moving forward as a program.

Here’s a look ahead at Saturday’s game: what to know and how to watch the Gators.

Viewing information

Location: Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, Louisiana [Capacity: 102,321]
Weather: 67°F, partly cloudy (0% chance of rain), winds NNE at 5 mph

Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)

Streaming Video: WatchESPN | Mobile Video: Watch ESPN app (iPhone) / (Android)
SiriusXM: 93/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

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Florida Football Friday Final: Gators take on ‘gang’ mentality vs. LSU, Fournette; Grier update

We’re back with Florida Football Friday Final, where OnlyGators.com takes a last look at the No. 8 Florida Gators as they prepare for their toughest test of the season, a showdown with the No. 6 LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Florida (6-0, 4-0 SEC) and LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC) are on a collision course for each other after running through the first half of the 2015 campaign undefeated. Saturday’s game will air live nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m.

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Florida QB Will Grier suspended for full year, including 2015 season, for banned substance

Florida Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier will be suspended for a full calendar year – including the remainder of the 2015 season – for a violation of the NCAA’s banned substance policy.

Grier’s suspension was handed down after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, a source told OnlyGators.com early Monday afternoon. The school confirmed as much when McElwain opened up a press conference an hour later.

“Will Grier won’t play this week and obviously in the near future due to taking a supplement, an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it that was on the NCAA list of things that you can’t have,” he began. “It’s something that he feels horrible about. It’s an honest mistake, and yet, can be prevented by just checking with our medical staff. I want everybody to understand that this is a mistake we’ll learn from.”

At the same press conference, Grier confirmed that he “took an over-the-counter supplement that had something in it,” noting he “did not check with the medical staff before taking it.”

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Florida Gators at LSU Tigers will play at night in Death Valley on Oct. 17

No. 11 Florida Gators football has seen a lot go its way in recent weeks, but it will not be able to avoid a night game in Death Valley on Oct. 17 when it travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to face the No. 7 LSU Tigers.

With CBS choosing Alabama at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m.) over the cross-division rivalry, Florida at LSU will be played at 7 p.m. ET and air live nationally on ESPN.

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Florida Gators secondary looking to prove ‘DBU’ tag is authentic, not arrogant

Plenty was written this offseason about the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers, specifically over which school should be considered “DBU” (in other more words, the best program in the nation at shutting down passing offenses and sending defensive backs to the NFL).

The Gators and Tigers certainly have their own cases about which program has been most successful historically, but Florida is hoping to prove that its secondary is not only head and shoulders above LSU but every other unit in the nation this season.

And no one is a bigger fan of the Gators’ defensive backs than their head coach.

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