Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After Georgia loss, Gators left to play for pride

JACKSONVILLE — Now is when the Gators will find out what they are made of.

All week leading into Saturday's game against Georgia, players talked about holding onto the slim hope of winning the SEC East — albeit with a lot of help.

After a 23-20 loss, the SEC title is out. And the Gators are 4-4 with two ranked teams, South Carolina and Florida State, remaining on the schedule along with Vanderbilt this week and Division I-AA Georgia Southern.

And Florida still needs two wins to be bowl-eligible.

"We're going to just keep fighting each and every week," QB Tyler Murphy said. "We'll try to knock everybody off. We have Vanderbilt at home. They're a good team, so no one's going to feel sorry for us. We're going to come (this) week and be ready to play."

Will Muschamp, now 0-7 in the series after four losses as a Georgia player and three as Florida coach, said he's not worried about his team.

"They were very upset (after the loss) and hurt. But we'll rebound, and we'll be fine," he said. "We've improved. We got better from Missouri (two weeks ago)."

Asked what the Gators have left to play for, LB Neiron Ball said: "Pride."

HEAT OF THE RIVALRY: The flags were really flying at EverBank Field. Penalty flags, that is.

The Gators and Bulldogs were penalized a combined 13 times for 115 yards — not including the multiple offsetting penalties related to fighting after plays. Georgia coach Mark Richt said it was indicative of the emotional nature of this long-standing rivalry.

"These guys are competitors," he said. "It's a bitter rivalry. We were getting our guys revved up. I guarantee they were getting their guys revved up before the game. We wanted their blood pumping, and we wanted them to be able to compete fiercely and without any flags. But it got a little carried away. It's just a highly competitive game. You hope you keep from having those flags, but it didn't shock me."

Muschamp was frustrated by some of the calls.

"It's hard to see some of that," he said. "Whatever they call, they call. In the last 24 years, the University of Florida, we've led the SEC in penalties 20 out of 24 (years); either first or second. That was long before I got here. So it's interesting, but it is what it is."

NOT HOW IT LOOKED: Ball was called for unsportsmanlike conduct with 11:20 left in the game. He removed his helmet after he and LB Antonio Morrison held Georgia RB Todd Gurley on fourth and 1. But Ball insisted it was unintentional.

"It was on my nose in a very uncomfortable position, and the only thing I did was take it off," Ball said. "I didn't take it off intentionally. It was a tough call. Nobody wants to be called for a 15-yard penalty."

Instead of the Bulldogs 39, the Gators started at their 46. They punted with 8:17 left and didn't get the ball back.

"It was very frustrating, Ball said. "We did our all. We fought."

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

After Georgia loss, Gators left to play for pride 11/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 2, 2013 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue

    Softballpreps

    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former LSU/Countryside softball player AJ Andrews, now w/ Akron, is the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year history. (Courtesy of Rawlings)
  2. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  3. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)