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

By Adam Silverstein
January 1, 2011

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

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

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


» 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.


» 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.

» 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.


» 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)


  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Let’s win this one for Urban!
    To tacky?

  2. GatorsFanLA says:

    In 2011… Only Gators Get Out Alive!

    Go Gators!!!

  3. John S says:

    Come on Addazio, call plays with nothing to lose and we’ll
    have success.

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    Really Brantley, did you not see that triple coverage or
    was that the only read you had?

  5. g8ter27 says:

    He didn’t see it bc he didn’t look. Please don’t “think”
    about transferring anymore John, just do it!

  6. g8ter27 says:

    Does anyone have ANY idea why brantley is still playing. Is
    Reed dead? Are the coaches just playing one final cruel trick on

  7. Mr2Bits says:

    I really can’t wait for the door to hit Dazz in the ass, he
    is so bad it makes me sick. Hopefully he will take Brantley with
    him as well. I am just baffled at the lack of coaching and
    game-plan we have put together today. I now see Urbes was hanging
    with the ESPN crew because we clearly have not practiced since the
    FSU game. This is the most pathetic performance one could ask for
    especially with so much motivation with Urbes leaving.

  8. dp says:

    Is there a reason why on every third and nine that Branley
    refuses to go through his progressions and throw downfield? These
    three yard passes are killing me. It’s time to bench him. It’s over

  9. g8ter27 says:

    Every third down and long we bring Brantley in to throw a
    two yard pass with the recivers back turned to the defense..every
    time! Who sucks more, Brantley or Addazio?

  10. John S says:

    Good job Gators. We will miss you Ahmad, incredible
    performance again.

  11. Mr2Bits says:

    I am really proud of our defense pulling out the win today.
    They really played their hearts out for Urbes as its a sad day
    sending him off. I wish him the best. Outside of that, this was an
    absolutely awful coached game. Terrible play calling and even worse
    game management. One example : The PSU fumble on the kickoff. The
    replay and crowd all saw the ball came out before he hit the ground
    and not a challenge from any of our coaches to be found. I am glad
    to see this season end to say the least.

  12. Daniel M. says:

    onlygators Moses Jenkins interception to close out the
    game. about 3 hours ago Yeah Jenkins did get the final pick but
    figuratively speaking, I’d say AB35 closed out the game. That tweet
    confused me. Regardless, a superb win for obvious reasons and s
    great ending to an otherwise painful season.

  13. HardToKillGtr says:

    The Gators played as good as they were coached and in some cases the talent didn’t transfer from high school to college. This year already feels better.

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