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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators return to competition this week to face fourth straight ranked opponent



Following a bye week, Florida will return to the field this Saturday in its annual showdown against Georgia. The game will be televised live on CBS, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Georgia moved up to No. 22 in the AP rankings this week, which means the Gators will face their fourth consecutive ranked opponent this season. Florida has already faced No. 2 Alabama, No. 1 LSU and No. 24 Auburn. The Gators went 0-3 during that stretch.

Florida expects to have several key players return from injuries including DL Ronald Powell, RB Jeff Demps, K Caleb Sturgis, OL Dan Wenger, RB Mike Gillislee and WR Andre Debose. Senior QB John Brantley's status remains up in the air, but he could return this week.

The Gators were expected to meet tonight for a team dinner and some meetings to continue preparations for Georgia, coach Will Muschamp said.

"As we look at Georgia a little bit, they have a talented football team,'' Muschamp said. "Three seniors on the offensive line. Aaron Murray's a guy that can hurt you running and throwing. He's completing over 60 percent of his passes. Isaiah Crowell's a guy that's come in as a freshman and done a really nice job in their run game. Orson Charles is a very talented tight end, a guy that can stretch the field vertically, block at point. Malcolm Mitchell's a freshman receiver that's been really good for them and playing the X-position. And defensively, they've really improved from a year ago. They're playing well on the defensive side of the ball.''

The last time the Gators faced four straight ranked opponents during the regular season was in 1971. Here's how they fared:

Sept. 24 vs. No. 8 Alabama: Lost 38-0
Oct. 2. vs No. 12 Tennessee: Lost 20-13
Ot. 9 at No. 16 LSU: Lost 48-7
Oct. 16 vs. No. 19 Florida State: Won 17-15


[Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 5:33pm]


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