Jenkins spurns NFL for another year with Gators

Florida Gators junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins, arguably the team’s best defensive player in 2010, has officially decided to return for his senior season rather than begin his professional career declare for the 2011 NFL Draft.

“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to return to school for my senior year. I spent some time with my family and Coach [Will] Muschamp and came to the conclusion it was in my best interest to return to school,” said Jenkins, according to a University of Florida release. “Coach Muschamp was very supportive throughout the whole process, regardless of my decision, but he wanted to make sure I had all of the facts. I’m looking forward to working towards my degree, completing my rehab and getting back on the field with my teammates.”

Jenkins, who has totaled 106 tackles, eight interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two sacks and two forced fumbles in three seasons at Florida, earned All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press (first team) and Southeastern Conference coaches (second team) this year for his stellar play.

“I’m excited that Janoris has made a decision to come back to school,” Muschamp said. “I would have supported him in whatever decision he made, but I commend him for making a mature decision. It would have been real easy for Janoris to make an emotional choice and leave early, but with our contacts in the NFL, we were able to assist him in understanding his draft status and he made an educated decision that will be beneficial to him in the long term.”

Projected to be a first-round pick as a junior before the season began, Jenkins was considered the third-best cornerback and No. 11 overall player available in this year’s draft, according to ESPN and Scouts, Inc.

He was ready to declare for the draft before sitting down with Muschamp.

With his return, Muschamp and young secondary coach Travaris Robinson have a reliable senior to champion an otherwise inexperienced unit. Florida will likely be starting sophomores at both safety positions (Matt Elam, Josh Evans) and may do the same at cornerback depending who wins the position battle in the offseason.

Jenkins sent Gators fans into a frenzy Sunday evening with the innocuous tweet “Gator Nation I’m back…” and did not follow up with any additional information. He confirmed his decision Monday morning with another tweet, “Headed to class with nothing but ‘joy.’ Gator Nation I’m back…”

OGGOA learned on Sunday that Jenkins has long had a desire to earn his degree and staying in school was always a strong consideration for him. He is pursuing a degree in anthropology and is believed to be on track to graduate next year.

He is only the second true freshman in school history to start at cornerback on opening day (Joe Haden) and was named to the 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team. Jenkins helped the Gators win the 2009 BCS National Championship by totaling five tackles in the game. He was equally effective in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, recording five solo tackles (one for loss) and a pass break-up in Florida’s win.

Jenkins registered 43 tackles, three interceptions and one sack as a junior in 2010 while playing most of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He had surgery after the regular season to correct the injury and missed the Gators’ 37-24 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

After speaking with two sports medicine experts, OGGOA has learned that Jenkins’ injury would not have prevented him from working out for NFL scouts before draft day should he have decided to play in the league next season.

Fellow junior, safety Will Hill, will declare for the draft though his intentions have not been made official yet. UF will release a statement if and when Hill’s decision to pursue a professional football career is official.

OGGOA RELATED 1/5: Will Hill to forgo senior season, enter NFL Draft

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Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators were in the news off the field in 2010, the Gator Nation was making plenty of headlines on it as well. From game-winning baskets to displays of pure emotion, Florida experienced some unique athletic moments in 2010. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 10 On the Field Moments of the Year.

OGGOA RELATED: Top 10 for 2010: Off the Field Stories of the Year

10 » FLORIDA WINS INAUGURAL LACROSSE GAME (2/20/10)
When Florida decided it wanted to start another women’s athletics program, the University Athletic Association did extensive research and found out that women’s lacrosse would be the perfect fit. In preparation for their first season, the Gators and head coach Amanda O’Leary secured the country’s No. 1 recruiting class (according to Inside Lacrosse Magazine). All the hard work and preparation to get the team ready paid off on Feb. 20 when lacrosse debuted in the brand new Donald R. Dizney Stadium to a boisterous crowd of 2,114 spectators. Florida defeated Jacksonville 16-6 behind four goals and four assists from freshman sensation Ashley Bruns. All-in-all the Gators faced 16 championship-caliber teams and played so well that they reached the 2010 ALC Tournament semifinals. In just their second year of existence, Florida women’s lacrosse is ranked as the No. 17 team in the country going into the 2011 season.

9 » NEAR VICTORIES/HEARTBREAKING LOSSES (5/25/10 * 3/18/10 * 10/9/10)

It is rare for teams to go undefeated and even less likely that an entire athletic program can go through a season without its share of close losses and nail biting finishes. Such was the case for the Gators in 2010. On May 25, No. 3 women’s tennis was barely defeated by the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal for the 2010 NCAA National Championship. Stanford won 4-3 after Florida rallied when they were just two individual games away from being defeated. The Gators forced third sets in two singles matches; sophomore Joanna Mather took down her opponent but senior No. 65 Marrit Boonstra was not as lucky. Losing her first set 6-4, Boonstra fought back to even her match with No. 33 Mallory Burdette by taking the second set 6-7 (4). Down 2-0 in the third, she pushed ahead with a valiant effort to take a 5-4 lead but ended up losing her final three games, the match itself and the championship.

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons, No. 10-seed Florida got in a bit easier than some might have expected. Matched up against the No. 7-seed Brigham Young Cougars in the event’s opening game, the Gators fought hard but could not stop Cougars star guard Jimmer Fredette. Allowing BYU to jump ahead 59-46 in the second half, UF came back behind freshman G Kenny Boynton and junior forward Chandler Parsons. Florida missed potential game-winners during regulation (Parsons) and the first overtime (Boynton) and eventually fell to Brigham Young 99-92 in a double-overtime heartbreaker with Fredette adding to his game-high 37 points.

Though losing a national championship and NCAA Tournament game are both difficult, Gators fans will probably look back on No. 12/14 Florida’s shocking loss to the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers on Oct. 10 as the worst near-victory of the season. Wearing orange jerseys for the first time since 1989, the Gators came back from a 12-point deficit when freshman wide receiver Andre Debose returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, sophomore running back Mike Gillislee rumbled in for a touchdown and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley completed a two-point conversion to sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive. All Florida wanted when its defense came out was a stop, but LSU put together a 62-yard game-winning drive that included numerous third down conversions and a converted fake field goal attempt on fourth down from UF’s 36-yard line with 35 seconds remaining. Back-to-back passes to WR Terrence Toliver (of 28 and 3 yards, respectively) and the Tigers left The Swamp with a 33-29 victory. Players have noted that the loss was a negative turning point in the season, one that may or may not have led to the team dropping their third-straight game one week later at home to Mississippi State.

Continue Reading » Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

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As expected, Janoris Jenkins to enter NFL Draft

Florida Gators junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins has decided to forgo his final season of NCAA eligibility and will declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, a source “close to the decision” told ESPN’s Joe Schad on Thursday.

Jenkins, arguably Florida’s best defensive player in 2010, totaled 106 tackles, eight interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two sacks and two forced fumbles in three seasons with the Gators. He earned All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press (first team) and coaches (second team) this year.

Only the second true freshman in school history to start at cornerback on opening day (Joe Haden), Jenkins was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2008 helped Florida win the 2009 BCS National Championship by registering five tackles in the game. He was equally effective in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, recording five solo tackles (one for loss) and a pass break-up in the Gators’ victory.

As a junior in 2010, Jenkins registered 43 tackles, three interceptions and one sack while playing most of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He had surgery after the regular season to correct the injury and missed Florida’s 37-24 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

Projected to be a top junior NFL prospect before the season began, Jenkins is considered the third-best cornerback and No. 11 overall player according to ESPN.

Fellow junior, safety Will Hill, has also decided to declare for the draft. The University of Florida will release statements when each player makes his intention to pursue a professional football career official.

Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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Brantley to meet with Weis before deciding

Before he makes a final decision on whether or not he will remain with the Florida Gators for his redshirt senior season, quarterback John Brantley will meet with new offensive coordinator/QB coach Charlie Weis and then consult with his family, according to two reports released Wednesday.

“We hadn’t talked and probably won’t talk until Charlie Weis is here. I hadn’t even talked to him,” his father John Brantley III said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “We want to meet Coach Weis before John does anything. That may not be for a while,” Brantley III related to The Gainesville Sun.

Brantley struggled in his first season Florida’s starter, throwing for only 2,061 yards and nine touchdowns. He also gave up 10 interceptions and appeared to lack the confidence to toss the ball down the field. In a chance to redeem himself in the post-season, Brantley threw a pick on UF’s first offensive play of the 2011 Outback Bowl.

Even though the Gators held a team meeting on Wednesday, Weis was not in attendance as he is still fulfilling his current duties as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City will face Baltimore on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first round of the NFL Playoffs.

Known for his proficient offenses and ability to develop quarterbacks, Weis may be just what Brantley needs to turn his career around at Florida.

The Sun reports that Brantley is enrolled in spring classes and attended the meeting. Juniors cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Will Hill, both of whom have decided to but have not officially declared for the 2011 NFL Draft, were not in attendance.

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Will Hill to forgo senior season, enter NFL Draft

Florida Gators junior safety Will Hill has decided to forgo his final season of NCAA eligibility and plans to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, a source close to the team and a separate source close to the player confirmed to OGGOA on Wednesday.

Hill – a five-star recruit and PARADE All-American who was a consensus top-five high school football player in the country in 2007 – totaled 132 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack in three seasons at Florida.

He was chosen to the SEC All-Freshmen Team in 2008 after leading the Gators with 22 special team tackles including three in the 2009 BCS National Championship. Hill made five starts at safety in 2009 and once again led UF in special teams tackles (13).

As a junior in 2010, Hill caught two interceptions against Georgia including one in overtime that helped lead Florida to victory. (He also grabbed another on a two-point conversion attempt in the same contest.) He was suspended for the first two games of the season (disciplinary reasons) and sat out the beginning of the 2011 Outback Bowl.

OGGOA first reported following the bowl game that Hill left the field immediately after the final whistle and did not celebrate with his teammates or outgoing coaches. Most around the program did not expect him to remain with the team in 2011.

Projected to be a top junior NFL prospect before the season began, Hill was named to the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list but failed to live up to the expectations of both draft analysts and fans. ESPN grades Hill as a 68 in its “draftable defensive backs” projections, eight points below teammate and senior S Ahmad Black (76). His rating could improve significantly with a nice showing at the combine.

Fellow junior, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, is also expected to declare for the draft. The University of Florida will release statements when each player makes his intention to pursue a professional football career official.

UPDATE (1/10/11 at 5 p.m.): Since we first reported this story, Jenkins has decided to remain at UF and will not be entering the draft.

Photo Credit: Stephen Morton/Associated Press

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Meyer exits with a smile as Gators pick off Nittany Lions 37-24 in 2011 Outback Bowl

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer wanted to go out with a bang and senior safety Ahmad Black – perhaps Meyer’s favorite player on the team – made sure that was exactly what happened. With the Penn State Nittany Lions threatening to score a potential game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, Black intercepted quarterback Matthew McGloin and returned the ball 80 yards for a touchdown to ice a 37-24 win for the Gators in the 2011 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

Florida (8-5) defeated Penn State (7-6) on Saturday in Tampa, FL behind a defense that intercepted McGloin five times and an offense that did not commit a single turnover after giving up the ball twice in the first quarter. Redshirt junior QB John Brantley threw an interception on UF’s first play from scrimmage, and freshman QB Trey Burton fumbled into the end zone when the Gators were threatening to score from the one.

Rallying from a 17-14 deficit at halftime, Florida scored four straight times to end the game and did not allow the Nittany Lions to put up a single point in the fourth quarter. Meyer walked away from the Gators with a win over future Hall of Fame head coach Joe Paterno and a 5-1 record in bowl games.

Penn State jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when McGloin hit wide receiver Derek Moye with a five yard pass.

Sophomore tight end Omarius Hines tied the game at the start of the second quarter with a 16-yard end around run for a touchdown, and redshirt sophomore defensive end Lerentee McCray put Florida up 14-7 after returning a punt blocked by freshman WR Solomon Patton 27 yards for a touchdown.

WR Michael Zodrich evened things up for the Nittany Lions with a one-yard score just minutes later, and kicker Colin Wagner helped Penn State take a 17-14 halftime lead with a 20-yard field goal.

After Gators senior punter/kicker Chas Henry hit a 30-yard field goal to tie the game at 17, McGloin ran the ball in from two yards out to put PSU back put 24-17. Henry’s career-long 47-yard field goal near the end of the third reduced UF’s deficit to 24-20.

Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee helped Florida jump ahead 27-24 with a one-yard touchdown run to begin the fourth quarter, and Henry added a 20-yard field goal to put the Gators ahead 30-24 before Black’s game-sealing interception return.

Black also nabbed an interception off McGloin in the first quarter. Freshman cornerback Cody Riggs picked him off to start the second quarter, senior linebacker Brandon Hicks earned his first career interception at the end of the third quarter and redshirt junior CB Moses Jenkins grabbed a pick to end the game.

Henry, who helped Florida manage its field position all game and was clutch in his field goals, had an uncharacteristic 14-yard punt go out of bounds starting at the Gators 23 and failed in a fake punt opportunity. With over seven minutes to go in the third quarter, Henry had a fake punt called in which he was supposed to throw a pass to wide open junior safety Will Hill Instead he tucked it and ran four yards – one yard short of the first down. He also had a long of 58 and downed two inside the 20 (one to the one).

Penn State outgained Florida 350-279 in total yards, 211-101 in yards through the air and 32:49-27:11 in possession time. The Gators outrushed the Nittany Lions 178-139 yards. Both teams were inefficient on third down with UF going 4-for-15 and PSU connecting on 5-of-18 attempts.

Redshirt freshman QB Jordan Reed, who took the vast majority of snaps behind center for Florida, finished as the team’s leading passer and rusher. He completed 8-of-13 passes for 60 yards and rushed 24 times for 68 yards. Brantley was 6-of-13 for 41 yards and an interception in mostly third down work. Redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey carried the ball six times for 66 yards (including a long of 51).

Hines was the team’s leading receiver with two receptions for 27 yards. Redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson and Burton each caught two passes for 22 yards.

McGloin finished 17-for-41 for 211 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions for Penn State. Running back Evan Royster – the Nittany Lions’ all-time leading rusher – carried the ball 20 times for 98 yards and added four catches for 51 yards.

Moye caught the majority of McGloin’s passes, finishing with five receptions for 79 yards and a number of first downs. CB D’Anton Lynn caught Brantley’s early interception and recovered Burton’s fumble in the first quarter.

After Black’s interception, chants of “Urban Meyer, Urban Meyer” rained down from the Gators side of the stadium. Florida improved to 16-0 under Meyer when blocking a punt in a game, a statistic he has always been proud of as the team’s head coach.

Photo Credit: Rob C. Witzel/Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun

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2011 Outback Bowl Gameday Preview (Tampa, FL): Florida Gators vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Location: Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL [Capacity: 65,856]
Weather Forecast: 75°F, clear skies
Time: 1:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ABC/ABCHD
Sirius/XM: 120/140
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Joe Paterno
Record: 7-5 (4-4) Record: 7-5 (4-4)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big 10
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -7; O/U 48

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida is undefeated (2-0) against Penn State in the all-time series, beating them in the 1962 Gator Bowl (17-7) and 1997 Citrus Bowl (21-6). They are also 22-14-3 all-time in Tampa but only 1-2 in Outback Bowl appearances.
» Meyer is 4-1 in bowl games with the Gators and will be coaching in the Outback Bowl for the second time in his career. He and Florida defeated Iowa 31-24 in his first bowl game with the school in 2006.
» Meyer is one of nine coaches in college football history to compile multiple 20-game winning streaks and only one of two who remain active. The other is Paterno. Meyer is, however, the only active coach with three 13-win seasons on his resume.
» Penn State offensive coordinator Galen Hall was Florida’s head coach from 1984-89, compiling a 40-18-1 record with the Gators. UF defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was formerly a graduate assistant with PSU from 1991-92.
» Paterno was the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator when they lost to the Gators 17-7 in the 1962 Gator Bowl.
» Florida under Meyer is 53-3 when holding an opponent under 21 points, 57-3 when leading at the half, 62-6 when out-rushing an opponent, 49-2 when scoring first and 45-4 against unranked opponents.
» The Gators out-rank the Nittany Lions in three of the four major statistical averages. Florida is 44th in rushing yards (165.6), 48th in points scored (29.3) and 31st in points against (21.1) compared to Penn State being 75th in rushing yards (142.8), 81st in points scored (24.6) and 39th in points against (22.6). PSU, however, has the 52nd best passing game in the country (231.3 yards), while UF is 85th (191.3 yards). The teams’ only common opponent – Alabama – beat both of them handily.

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 9-9 TD-INT ratio this season. He has completed 194-of-316 passes (61.4 percent) for 2,020 yards and has a passer rating of 118.8 on the year.
» 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 (73 carries for 347 yards). Reed has performed admirably in limited action, completing 18-of-33 passes for 192 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. He is also sixth on the team in rushing with 53 carries for 260 yards and five scores.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (531 yards) after missing two full games and being limited in seven 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 against Georgia after being suspended. He has been acting mostly as a rusher for UF since returning and has amassed 300 yards on 45 carries. Rainey has also caught 22 balls for 198 yards and has five total touchdowns this year.
» Redshirt freshman WR/kick returner Andre Debose…who set a school single-season record with two kickoff return touchdowns 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.
» 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 was named the nation’s best punter this season, and Meyer often uses his leg to improve field position after offensive lapses.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 13 balls this season. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black, junior CB Janrois Jenkins, redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown, and junior S Will Hill have all picked off three balls and accounted for all but one of the unit’s picks this season.
» 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 102 tackles, including nine for loss.

PENN STATE
» QBs Robert Bolden and Matthew McGloin…each of whom have completed 58 percent of their passes and have thrown for over 1,300 yards this season. McGlion – with a 142.6 QB rating and 13-4 TD-INT ratio – has been more productive offensively.
» RB Evan Royster…who is the Nittany Lions’ leading rusher taking 188 carries for 916 yards and six touchdowns. He also holds career-high running back marks for PSU with 3,834 yards and 29 touchdowns.
» Penn State’s receiving corps…which consists of four pass catchers with more than 25 receptions and three with more than 400 yards. Derek Moye leads PSU with 48 catches for 806 yards and seven touchdowns on the season.

INJURIES

» Active: Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot)
» Inactives: Junior CB Janoris Jenkins (shoulder), redshirt senior OL Maurice Hurt (knee), redshirt senior DT Lawrence Marsh (hip), redshirt senior DT Terron Sanders (shoulder), redshirt junior fullback Steven Wilks (neck), redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)
 

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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!
Continue Reading » Week 13: Florida Gators at Florida St. Seminoles

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