Clear67° WeatherClear67° Weather

Gator Report

Antonya English

Gators guard Michael Frazier a preseason All SEC first team pick

Florida junior G Michael Frazier II on Wednesday was selected to the preseason All-SEC First Team.

Frazier, the only returning starter from last season's 36-3 Final Four team, averaged 12.4 points per game as a sophomore, while setting a school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 118. He was twice named SEC Player of the Week, and shot 10-for-15 from 3-point range in the SEC Tournament.

The Florida men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the SEC behind expected national champion contender Kentucky. Florida, the defending SEC regular season and SEC Tournament champions, received 258 points in the preseason media poll behind Kentucky. The Wildcats had 20 first-place votes.

Florida opens its season on Friday, Nov. 14, at home against William & Mary at 6 p.m.

 

Full Story

Flroida names Treon Harris as new starting QB for Georgia game

Florida coach Will Muschamp said today that freshman QB Treon Harris will be the starting QB for the Gators' game vs. Georgia game on Nov. 1, replacing fourth-year junior Jeff Driskel.

"Treon Harris will start the Georgia game," Muschamp said. "He’s getting all the reps right now. Jeff (Driskel) certainly is going to have a role in that game."

Harris has played in three games this season with his most playing time coming in this past Saturday's 42-13 loss to Missouri, in which he split time with Driskel. 

"Treon, you saw what he did late in the game," Muscahmp said. "He has a knack for making plays and making some good things happen for our football team. We've struggled with production at the quarterback position, and that's been an issue for us along with others. But that's been a huge issue for us. He's a guy that has a knack for making plays. He's got a much better understanding as we continue to move forward. We've got an open week now where he's getting a bunch of reps. Jeff's still going to have a role on our football team as a quarterback. Right now we feel like that was the best move moving forward." …

Full Story

Tim Tebow says Gators lack confidence, heart

Tim Tebow once gave a speech so impassioned it is now immortalized on a plaque outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

He won a Heisman Trophy and played on two national championship teams with the Gators.

So if anyone is qualified to criticize what's happening with the program right now, he's probably among them.

Tebow, now an analyst on the SEC Network, said on a radio interview Tuesday morning on Jacksonville's 1010XL that the Gators lack confidence on offense and aren't playing with the heart former Florida teams have had.

"They’re hoping that something is going to go well for them instead of believing someone’s going to step up and make the play," Tebow said. "They have to change that mind-set."

While Florida QB Jeff Driskel has taken the majority of the criticism for the Gators' offensive woes, Tebow said it's more complex than that.

"The thing about football is you have to have all 11 guys working together on every single play," Tebow said. "On this offense they are not working together. It’s either the left guard, the left tackle, the right tackle, the receiver drops the ball, the quarterback makes a bad read." …

Full Story

Steve Spurrier not interested in returning to Gainesville

In the midst of Florida's 42-13 loss to Missouri Saturday night, members of the national media - and some fans - began openly speculating about whom would replace Florida coach Will Muschamp.

Yes, at that point the feeling was that there was no doubt Muschamp was going to be fired.

One of the names that showed up among people's lists was former Florida Heisman Trophy winner and former Gators head coach Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier coached the Gators from 1990-2001 and led Florida to its first national championship. Now the head coach at South Carolina, for some odd reason some thought Spurrier might entertain the idea of returning to Gainesville.

The 69-year-old coach said Tuesday he's not planning a return to Gainesville.

"I tell everybody my next move is going to be to Crescent Beach (Fla.)," Spurrier said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. "That's where my next move is going to be to."

For the record, on Monday Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said he won't make any decisons on Muschamp's future right now.

"At the beginning of the season we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out," Foley said. "We will continue to do so."

 

Full Story

It's early, but Billy Donovan likes what he's seeing so far

If football season is starting to get you down, take heart: basketball season is just around the corner.

The Gators kicked off practice this past Friday and coach Billy Donovan said it's early, but he likes what he's seen so far.

Florida has to replace four starters from last year's Final Four team.

Hear some of what Donovan had to say today about the first few practices:

Full Story

Will Muschamp is going nowhere - right now

For those Florida fans that were hoping Will Muschamp would be fired by now - or at least sometime this week - you're not going to get your wish.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Monday reiterated what he said all summer and heading into this season. Muschamp will be evaluated on the basis of his body of work. And since the season isn't over, neither is the evaluation process.

At least not yet.

Foley said in a statement Monday afternoon that he will continue to monitor and evaluate the program throughout this season.

"At the beginning of the season we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out," Foley said. "We will continue to do so."

For now, Foley said his focus is on the Gators as they prepare to play Georgia in Jacksonville on Nov. 1.

"Our sole focus right now is supporting our coaching staff and players as they prepare for Georgia," Foley said.

The Gators have lost 10 of their last 13 games and four of their last five SEC home games. Florida held Missouri, which was coming off a shutout home loss to Georgia - to 119 yards, but still lost 42-13. …

Full Story

The stat that's killing Will Muschamp

According to ESPN's Stats and Info department, Will Muschamp is the only Division I coach to lose a game in the last 10 years when his defense has given up fewer than 120 yards to the opponent.

AP photo

According to ESPN's Stats and Info department, Will Muschamp is the only Division I coach to lose a game in the last 10 years when his defense has given up fewer than 120 yards to the opponent.

Following the Gators' 42-13 loss to a struggling Missouri team Saturday night, talk about Florida coach Will Muschamp's job status has been non-stop among fans on talk radio and social media.

And the grocery store, church, you name it.

So many things went wrong in the Missouri game to help bolster the argument that perhaps Muschamp isn't the man for the job.

But one stat in particular seems to have fans on social media just losing it.

According to ESPN's Stats and Info department, Muschamp is the only Division I coach to lose a game in the last 10 years when his defense has given up fewer than 120 yards to the opponent.

The Gators have done it twice - Florida State in 2011 and Missouri 2014. All other Division I coaches are 94-0 in the same situation in the past decade.

Florida gave up 119 yards to the Tigers on Saturday. Missouri managed to counter the lack of offense by scoring touchdowns on a kickoff return, a punt return, a fumble return and an interception return.  The Gator defense gave up just 13 points on three scoring drives - two of which went fewer than 20 yards.

"Defensively, we played well enough to win," Muschamp said after the game.

Full Story

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen wants fans to respect the coaches they have, including Will Muschamp

Dan Mullen knows you're out there, Gator fans.

He knows some of you are jumping on the "Hire Dan Mullen" bandwagon.

He also remembers many of you wanted him fired during his tenure as Florida's offensive coordinator from 2005 - 2008.

Mullen, now the head coach at No. 1 ranked Mississippi State, spoke on a Mississippi radio show Head to Head and was asked about Florida fans wanting him to return to Gainesville as the head coach.

Here is some of what Mullen had to say:

“I coached at Florida, and I remember they wanted to fire Dan Mullen” he said. “I know there was a website here at Mississippi State to fire Dan Mullen last year. Now, there’s probably one to keep me here. Here’s my take on it: One, both my kids are born here. I love Mississippi State. I’ve loved being here. I love the community. I love the state. I have a great administration. They’ve given us what we need to build a successful program. I think we’ve built that program. We love being here. That’s No. 1." …

Full Story

Despite his struggles, Gators wary of Missouri's Maty Mauk

It's fair to say Missouri QB Maty Mauk has not had the kind of season he'd hoped for - so far.

Mauk had a breakout game against the Gators last season, but enters Saturday night's game vs. Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium fresh off a 34-0 loss to Georgia.

In that game, Mauk was 9-of-21 for 97 yards and had four interceptions and one fumble.

“It’s frustrating but there’s adversity and I know coach (Gary) Pinkel says the same stuff, its how you fight back," Mauk said. "Our guys are ready to go. Yeah people are upset but it’s going to be a different week for us and we’re going to come out fighting."

Which is exactly what the Gators expect. Florida is preparing more for the Mauk they saw last season than the one of late. Mauk threw for 295 yards against the Gators in 2013 - in his first start. …

Full Story

Billy Donovan defends Will Muschamp: "We're all in this together"

Will Muschamp celebrates a victory over Tennessee with his players.

AP photo

Will Muschamp celebrates a victory over Tennessee with his players.

Since he arrived in Gainesville 1996, Florida coach Billy Donovan has won two national titles and took the Gators to four of their five Final Four appearances.

During that same span the Florida football team has also won three national titles, but has had four different coaches during that span.

But when Donovan was asked on Wednesday what it was like to have more success in recent years than the football program, he took the opportunity to talk about teamwork among the Gators coaching family. And to staunchly defend Florida head football coach Will Muschamp. …

Full Story

Gators F Chris Walker suspended three games

Sophomore F Chris Walker has been suspended for the first three games of the season, Florida coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday.

Walker will miss the exhibition game against Barry on Nov. 6, the Nov. 14 game vs. William & Mary and the Nov. 17 game vs. Miami.

"Chris Walker is going to be suspended the first three games for violation of team rules," Donovan said. "He's not going to play."

Walker missed 21 games last season due to NCAA eligibility issues.

"It'll be tough, but I can get through it," Walker said.

The Gators will also be without junior G/F DeVon Walker who will miss the entire season with a torn ACL and freshman G Brandone Francis who is out due to academic issues.

"Brandone Francis right now is admitted into school," Donovan said. "The NCAA has given him the opportunity to be here, but he's got to prove himself academically. He is not available to play this year; he will not be allowed to play. There's things he has to do academically while he's here to get himself eligible to play. If he progresses in his first semester like we hope he will, he'll be allowed to come back to practice for the second semester." …

Full Story

Gators WR Latroy Pittman returns to practice could play vs. Missouri

Junior WR Latroy Pittmanis expected to return to the practice field this afternoon, four days after he was injured in Saturday's game against LSU.

"Latroy Pittman will practice today (but) he may be limited a little bit," Florida coach Will Muschamp said.

Pittman was released from the hospital early Sunday morning following a series of tests for precautionary measures. He was injured following a collision with an LSU defender in the waning seconds of Saturday night’s 30-27 loss to the Tigers. Pittman was motionless on the ground for several minutes, and was eventually removed from the field on a stretcher.

Muschamp said Monday he was waiting for doctors to clear Pittman before he returned to practice.

Also, DT Leon Orr is scheduled to practice today. Orr has missed the past two games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

"I feel like depending on how he looks today we should get him back (for the Missouri game)," Muschamp said.

Full Story

Gators' 2015 football schedule set

Florida will open the 2015 SEC season with a game at Kentucky on Sept. 19, according to the Gators' schedule released Tuesday night.

Because 2015 is a 13-week season, schools will have just one bye week instead of two. Unlike the past several seasons, there will be no SEC games in the first week of the season. All SEC schools will play non-conference opponents in the opening week.

Florida will play seven consecutive weeks before its bye week on Oct. 24 - which precedes the Gators' annnual game vs. Georgia. The Gators' interdivisional foe next season is Ole Miss.

Here is Florida's full 2015 football schedule:

Sept. 5: New Mexico State

Sept. 12: East Carolina

Sept. 19: at Kentucky

Sept. 26: Tennessee

Oct. 3: Mississippi

Oct. 10: at Missouri

Oct. 17: at LSU

Oct. 31: Georgia (Jacksonville)

Nov. 7: Vanderbilt

Nov. 14: at South Carolina

Nov. 21: Florida Atlantic

Nov. 28: Florida State

 

Full Story

Gators RB Matt Jones ready to return for Missouri game

Florida RB Matt Jones returned to the practice field on Monday after missing the second half of the game against LSU with an ankle injury.

Jones, an Armwood alum who has also battled knee injuries this season, said he feels healthy enough to be able to carry the ball 22 times in Saturday night's game against Missouri - if necessary.

Watch Jones talk more about his health here:

Full Story

Gator TE Tevin Westbrook on the dropped TD: "I didn't focus hard enough on the ball"

Florida TE Tevin Wesbrook has seen the play "over and over and over"

It was Westbrook who dropped what looked like a sure touchdown in the end zone of the Gators' game against LSU Saturday night. Florida had to settle for a field goal and the Gators eventually lost on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Westbrook met with the media on Tuesday, saying he wanted to address the issue and get it out of the way so he could focus on Missouri - the Gators' upcoming opponent.

"I saw the ball coming, Driskel put it in a great spot," Westbrook said. "Just didn’t focus hard enough on the ball, had too much emotions in it and if I would’ve went back I’d just focus more on the ball and not too much on the emotions of the game. 

"I wasn’t nervous," he added. "It was just a roller coaster the whole game and so when it happened, I just wasn’t locked in on the ball. More just focused on scoring the touchdown, not really securing the ball before I had it."

Westbrook said he has avoided social media at the suggestion of his coaches, and that he's had the full support of his teammates. …

Full Story