No. 21 Louisville stuns No. 3 Florida in Sugar Bowl

Despite being overwhelming favorites and the team with the BCS pedigree, the No. 3 Florida Gators (11-2) were blasted on Wednesday evening by the No. 21 Louisville Cardinals (11-2), which pulled off a 33-23 upset victory at the 2013 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

Louisville scored on the first play from scrimmage of each half, overwhelmed Florida’s defense throughout the game and capitalized on each one of its opponent’s miscues to pull off the greatest victory in program history and biggest upset in BCS bowl game history. The Gators also snapped their streak of four-straight bowl wins and fell in a BCS game for the first time since 2000.

Florida put itself in an early hole on the very first play from scrimmage as sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel’s pass was tipped off the hands of redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose only to be intercepted by Louisville cornerback Terrell Floyd and returned for a touchdown just 15 seconds into the game. The defensive score was the Cardinals’ first of the season.

The Gators then went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and allowed UL QB Teddy Bridgewater to convert three third downs before running back Jeremy Wright carried the ball in for a one-yard touchdown. The 12-play, 83-yard drive ended with 6:47 left in the first quarter and gave UF its largest deficit of the season.

Continue Reading » No. 21 Louisville stuns No. 3 Florida in Sugar Bowl

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Robinson spurns Florida, flips back to Clemson

Less than one week after four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) decommitted from the Clemson Tigers and pledged to join the Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class, the top-tier pass catcher had a change of heart and decided to rescind his promise to Florida and recommit to play for Clemson next season.

According to Rivals affiliate TigerIllustrated.com, which first reported his flip, the Gators have lost arguably their most important commitment since head coach Will Muschamp took over the program as Robinson was a top-tier talent at a major position of need. UF’s leading returning receiver, redshirt sophomore Quinton Dunbar, reeled in just 31 receptions for 306 yards and four touchdowns during the 2012 season.

Robinson was the third pass catcher listed at 6’2” or taller and the fifth overall wide receiver to make a pledge for Florida this cycle. He is a Rivals100 and ESPN 300 talent who is respectively listed as the No. 48 and No. 157 overall prospect in the nation.

A big target with plenty of strength and more than enough speed, Robinson would have been the highest-rated receiver to sign with the Gators since Andre Debose (No. 21) in 2009. His flip to Florida was believed to be fueled, in part, by UF’s hiring of Joker Phillips as receivers coach.

Robinson had been long considering a switch to the Gators and chose to do so following a meeting with Muschamp, Phillips and running backs coach Brian White last Wednesday. He met with members of the Tigers’ coaching staff late in the week and chose to make a change even after visiting Florida over the weekend.

The Gators do still have four remaining receivers committed for the 2013 cycle in four-stars Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL) and three-stars Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA) and Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL).

Florida now has 25 total pledges including 24 that count as members of the 2013 recruiting class. The Gators will likely look to add a fifth receiver to their class.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

WR Demarcus Robinson flips to Florida Gators

The Florida Gators’ impressive recruiting haul added another huge piece Wednesday when four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) decided to rescind his soft verbal pledge to Clemson and commit to join Florida’s 2013 class.

Robinson is the third pass catcher listed at 6’2” or taller and the fifth overall wide receiver to make a pledge for the Gators this cycle. The Rivals100 and ESPN 300 receiver is a big target with plenty of strength and more than enough speed to succeed in the Southeastern Conference.

Arguably Florida’s most important commitment since head coach Will Muschamp took over, Robinson is a top talent at a major position of need for the Gators. UF’s leading returning receiver, redshirt sophomore Quinton Dunbar, reeled in 31 receptions for 306 yards and four touchdowns during the 2012 season.

Ranked as the No. 48 overall prospect nationally by Rivals, Robinson is the highest-rated receiver to commit to Florida since Andre Debose (No. 21) in 2009. He is listed as the 157th best player in the country by ESPN.

Robinson’s flip from Clemson was most certainly fueled, in part, by UF’s hiring of new wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, who along with Muschamp and running backs coach Brian White paid the prized recruit a visit in his home on Wednesday. He will visit Florida this upcoming weekend and plans to enroll early.

The Gators have added four new commitments over the last four days but also lost one long-time commit on Monday. Florida now has 25 total pledges including 24 that count as members of its 2013 recruiting class.

Robinson joins four-stars Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL) and three-stars Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA) and Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL) as wide receivers in the class.

His decision was first reported by Gator Country’s Andrew Spivey.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11/26: Jenkins out, players praised, bowl notes

No. 4 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review the team’s important 37-26 victory over the then-No. 10 Florida State Seminoles and preview the next few weeks of inaction.

INJURY UPDATES

Exciting the game early, redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins learned that he broke a small bone in his foot and will be out 4-6 weeks. Muschamp said he was having surgery on the foot Monday and will probably miss the bowl game.

Florida is relatively healthy otherwise. Redshirt sophomore LB Neiron Ball (ankle) will be back in time for the bowl game. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (ankle) is sore but fine coming out of the Florida State victory. Redshirt junior center Jonotthan Harrison (ankle) got dinged up and is in a boot but will be OK as well. Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Leon Orr (kidney infection) should be able to return to physical activity this week.

As far as sophomore safety De’Ante Saunders, Muschamp said he remains out for the bowl game with what was mentioned a few weeks ago to be the hamstring injury.

Reporter: “Saunders, you said a couple weeks ago wouldn’t…”
Muschamp: “Yeah, he won’t be in the bowl game.”
Reporter: “Is that injury or discipline?”
Muschamp: “Yep. he won’t be in the bowl game.”
Reporter: “Because of?”
Muschamp: “Injury.”

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 11/26: Jenkins out, players praised, bowl notes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No. 4 Florida Gators chomp No. 10 Florida State as Mike Gillislee rumbles for two touchdowns

A 24-point fourth quarter for the No. 4 Florida Gators (11-1) turned around what looked to be an epic collapse and clinched a 37-26 win over the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (10-2) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL.

Florida senior running back Mike Gillislee led the way for the Gators offense, rumbling for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. That unit got plenty of support from the defense and special teams, which combined to recover five turnovers on the afternoon. Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis was also clutch for UF, making all three of his field goal attempts with a long of 45 yards.

Florida opened up the game throwing, completing two of its first three passes and tossing the ball eight times on a 14-play, 54-yard drive that lasted 5:47 and ended with a 39-yard field goal Sturgis. Florida State took the kickoff at the 35-yard line after Sturgis booted it out of bounds and got down to UF’s 27 in just two plays. However, a third-down interception thrown by FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel and caught by junior safety Matt Elam ended the possession without any points going on the board.

The Gators looked to be stalled at their own 34-yard line on their next drive, but a 31-yard scramble by sophomore QB Jeff Driskel extended the possession, which wound up going 62 total yards. Faced with 3rd-and-1 at the Seminoles’ 26, Driskel threw incomplete on a play action and junior running back Trey Burton missed brother and sophomore tight end Clay Burton on a muddle huddle play attempted on fourth down.

A few possessions later, Florida put together another long drive but stalled short of the end zone. The Gators converted two third-down tries but settled for a 45-yard field goal to take a 6-0 lead after gaining 54 yards in 10 plays.

Florida got another big play from its special teams on the ensuing kickoff as junior linebacker Darrin Kitchens forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore defensive back Jabari Gorman at Florida State’s 21-yard line. Three plays later, Gillislee rumbled nine yards down the left sideline for a touchdown, giving UF a 13-0 lead with 5:26 left in the first half.

The Seminoles were able to hold on to the ball on the next kickoff, but Manuel threw his second interception of the game on the opening play from scrimmage, tossing a bullet right into the hands of redshirt junior Will LB Jelani Jenkins. The Gators would waste the possession by getting called for two penalties and suffering a big loss on third down.

Florida State finally made some offensive gains on its last possession of the first half as Manuel completed three passes and scrambled for 23 yards to put his team in field goal range. The Seminoles reduced its deficit to 13-3 at the half as K Dustin Hopkins knocked in a 50-yard field goal.

UF won the time of possession battle 21:58-8:02 in the first half and nearly doubled up FSU on offense but had a bigger advantage before the home team’s final possession as it sported a 192-53 advantage through the first 27:50 of the opening half.

Read the rest of the Florida-Florida State game story…after the break!
Continue Reading » No. 4 Florida Gators chomp No. 10 Florida State as Mike Gillislee rumbles for two touchdowns

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“One snap away” mantra kept Brissett going

When head coach Will Muschamp chose sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel to start for the Florida Gators over classmate Jacoby Brissett back in September, he stressed that the team could win with either player and that Brissett was just “one snap away” from having the starting job to himself.

That was not meant to be an indictment of Driskel’s ability to hold on to the job, which he has done for nine games over three months, but rather the fact that a player can go down with an injury at any time and his replacement will need to step up and fill in.

Driskel going down with an injury is exactly what happened on Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette when, trying to avoid the rush on Florida’s second possession of the third quarter, he seriously injured his ankle. Brissett came on immediately to complete the series, not knowing how long Driskel would be out of action.

“I think it’s very difficult to come in the middle of a series for a quarterback,” Muschamp said after the game. “I think he did a fantastic job. … I think he handled it very well.”

Though the starter would wind up not returning to the game, Brissett entered the contest with a thin 13-10 lead. One play later, sophomore punter Kyle Christy had his attempt blocked and returned for a touchdown, meaning the back-up was suddenly put in a position where he would have to engineer a come-from-behind victory.

“You have to practice and play like that, knowing it’s one snap away like what happened [Saturday],” Brissett said. “It’s bad that it happened to Jeff at this point of time in the season but with Coach installing that one snap away [philosophy], I had to make sure that when I got my chance I didn’t make a fool of myself and that I came out and did what I had to do.”

Brissett nearly did just that on the offense’s next possession, throwing incomplete on third down and nearly having the ball intercepted. He was sacked twice on the next offensive drive and overthrew a wide open wide receiver in redshirt senior Frankie Hammond, Jr. on the following possession. Then came his moment.

Read the rest of this story..after the break!
Continue Reading » “One snap away” mantra kept Brissett going

Tags: , , , , , ,

11/9: Florida vs. Louisiana-Lafayette post-game

No. 6 Florida Gators football (9-1) struggled mightily but eventually came away with a tough 27-20 victory over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (5-4) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday. Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is now 5-0 all time against Louisiana-Lafayette though Saturday’s win was its first since the school has adopted that name. Its previous four victories came against Southwest Louisiana.
» The Gators are 13-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp, 10-0 when rushing for more than 150 yards (UF had 149 on Saturday), 10-3 when scoring first and 12-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida was 3-3 in the red zone and has scored on 30-of-36 trips (83.3 percent) this season, converting just 19 of those possessions (52.8 percent) into touchdowns.
» UF has converted a paltry 52-of-142 of its third-down attempts (36.6 percent) this season after going just 4-for-14 in such situations on Saturday.
» The Gators held the Ragin’ Cajuns to 2-of-12 on third down but allowed their visitors to continue drives with poorly-timed penalties. UF’s defense has held opponents to 38-of-144 on third down conversions (26.4 percent) in 2012.
» Louisiana-Lafayette was just the second team (Tennessee) to score 20 points on Florida this season. The Gators have held three teams to 17 points, two under 15 and three to a touchdown or less.
» Florida is +12 in turnover margin through 10 games after being -12 in 2011.
» The Gators are now 65-22-2 all-time on homecoming in The Swamp.

PLAYER NOTES

» Sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy blocked a punt for the second-straight game and continues to be a standout performer for Florida on special teams.
» Redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed bounced back from a tough performance against Georgia to register career-highs in receptions (five) and yards. He also matched a career-long with a 39-yard catch.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis inched closer to Jeff Chandler’s school record of 67 made field goals. Sturgis connected on two more attempts and now has 17 on the year, putting him four away from tying Chandler. He is also six field goals away from tying the school single-season record of 23, which was set by Bobby Raymond.
» Redshirt junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins not only had the game-winning touchdown on a punt block return, he also led the defense with seven tackles.
» Sophomore quarterback Jacoby Brissett saw his most extensive action of the season and made the most of it, leading the Gators to a game-tying touchdown on a three-yard pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quinton Dunbar.

OPENING STATEMENT

“We certainly make it interesting. It’s a football team that is finding ways to win games. We certainly shot ourselves in the foot enough in the game to put it in that situation. I thought we managed the game very well late in the game as far as field position was concerned and time was concerned in what we wanted to do and then our players going out and executing it. I credit our football team. I know one thing: There’s nobody questioning that character in that room and the resolve and the fight. Sometimes our decision making could be questioned, but I think our guys have continued to believe in what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and the way we’re going to get it done and they have a strong belief in that. That’s a hard thing, I know in a coaching perspective, I’ve been on the other end when you’re, ‘Oh no, here we go again’ mentality instead of embracing the station, the adversity, handling it and finding a way to do it. It ain’t just been one time this year; it’s been a bunch. I really credit our kids’ resolve in this situation.

“Obviously the penalties just killed us in this game, and they were [legitimate] penalties. We’ve talked about it. We’re going to reemphasize it again. We’ve emphasized it every day in every situation we could. We’ve benched guys and we’ve done everything we can do. I’m going to find another way. I don’t know. We’re going to meet as a staff [Sunday] and figure out what we need to do to continue to move forward and improve our team. That’s where it really hurts.”

A few minutes later, Muschamp continued speaking about the team’s resolve.

Read the rest of what Muschamp and the players had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 11/9: Florida vs. Louisiana-Lafayette post-game

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/22: Muschamp on injuries, awards, turnovers

No. 2 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review the team’s big 44-11 win over the then-No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks and preview Saturday’s game against the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs.

INJURY UPDATES

Muschamp said that junior cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) and redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral) are once again out for Saturday’s game. Freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman (ankle) will return to practice Monday before being evaluated again, and junior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (hamstring) will sit on Monday but return to practice on Tuesday (probable for Saturday).

PLAYER AWARDS

Offensive Player of the Game: junior running back Trey Burton
“Trey does a lot of things for our football team offensively, special teams, really a lot of things go through him. We have a package for him in every game, and we certainly were able to use it Saturday and it was very efficient.”

Big Plays: redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed, redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar, junior WR Solomon Patton

Scrap Iron: redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green

Defensive Player of the Game: junior defensive end Dominique Easley

Ball Hawks: Burton (two), Patton, sophomore CB Loucheiz Purifoy (two), redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray, junior DT Sharrif Floyd, sophomore CB Jabari Gorman, sophomore RB Chris Johnson

Special Teams Player of the Game: Purifoy and sophomore punter Kyle Christy
* Christy was also named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Big Plays: Burton, Patton and Johnson

Scout Team Players of the Week: Special Teams – freshman LB Jeremi Powell, Defense – freshmen DL Alex McCalister and Quinteze Williams, Offense – freshman walk-on RB Mark Herndon

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 10/22: Muschamp on injuries, awards, turnovers

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 10 of 20  « First  ... « 8  9  10  11  12 » ...  Last »