Saturday, February 24, 2018
Colleges

Analyzing the 2012 Florida Gators

COACH: Will Muschamp (7-6 overall, 7-6 UF)

2011 record: 7-6 (3-5 SEC)

Website: gatorzone.com

Quarterbacks

Fall camp has consisted of a battle between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel — who have played portions of a combined 13 games. Neither was outstanding playing in adverse conditions last season. Both will play in the opener, coach Will Muschamp said Friday.

Running backs

Muschamp has the players he wants in a power rushing attack. Florida has depth, but outside of senior Mike Gillislee and junior Trey Burton, there's little experience. Expectations are high for Hunter Joyer, Matt Jones and Chris Johnson. Mack Brown (15 carries) has potential despite injuries.

Receivers/tight ends

Senior Frankie Hammond and junior Andre Debose bring experience, but after that there's no one that has proven much at WR. Omarius Hines could emerge after juggling between RB and WR, and Solomon Patton and Quinton Dunbar have shown potential. TE Jordan Reed is a big target in a tight-end friendly offense, and Land O'Lakes freshman Kent Taylor can contribute early.

Offensive line

The unit was abused by SEC defenses last season. Muschamp is banking on new offensive line coach Tim Davis, and the help of strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman. Projected starters Xavier Nixon, James Wilson, Jonotthan Harrison, Jon Halapio, Chaz Green and Matt Patchan have a combined 125 games (78 starts) among them, but must improve as a group.

Defensive line

Dominique Easley, Omar Hunter, Sharrif Floyd and Lerentee McCray have a combined 48 starts. Easley has made the transition from nose tackle to end, and Damien Jacobs and Leon Orr will be looked upon to step up, particularly without DE/LB Ronald Powell (ACL).

Linebackers

The loss of Powell until at least midseason forces senior Lerentee McCray into that spot on the front, and Darrin Kitchens will fill McCray's position having spent much of his time on special teams. Senior Jon Bostic and junior Jelani Jenkins lead this unit and have a combined 42 starts. The Gators have high expectations for sophomore Michael Taylor and Neiron Ball, who missed last season after brain surgery.

Defensive backs

The talk of the preseason has been the intense competition among four players for the two CB positions, and depth and experience makes this unit potentially the most solid of all for Florida. Matt Elam, Josh Evans and De'Ante Saunders are experienced safeties. Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy at cornerback will be aided by Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs, who provide valuable depth. After only six interceptions last season, the Gators are focused on improving.

Special teams

The only unit most outsiders consider to be exceptional. K Caleb Sturgis is the only player who has received preseason first-team honors after tying for the SEC lead in PATs and fifth overall in scoring last season. P Kyle Christy returns after a solid freshman season, and the Gators' kickoff return unit led by Debose should be a legitimate weapon for the Gators.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

Who: Bowling Green

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: 3:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Texas A&M

Where: Kyle Field, College Station, Texas

When: 3:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Tennessee

Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

When: 6 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Kentucky

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: LSU

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Vandy

Where: Dudley Field, Nashville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: South Carolina

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Georgia

Where: Gator Bowl, Jacksonville (neutral)

When: 3:30 p.m

TV: Ch. 10

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Missouri

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: La.-Lafayette

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: Jacksonville State

Where: Florida Field, Gainesville

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Who: FSU

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee.

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 620-AM

Comments
Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville must vacate its 2013 men’s basketball title following an NCAA appeals panel’s decision to uphold sanctions against the men’s program in the sex scandal case. The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the c...
Published: 02/20/18
Center Molly Franson’s value to UT is easily quantifiable

Center Molly Franson’s value to UT is easily quantifiable

TAMPA — Coaches often point to "intangibles" — the subtle positive qualities that usually don’t show up in the boxscore — when praising their key players.But University of Tampa women’s basketball coach Tom Jessee has a different definition when desc...
Published: 02/13/18
FSU holds off rally in hard-fought win over Louisville

FSU holds off rally in hard-fought win over Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Terance Mann couldn’t mope over two missed free throws that could have sealed Florida State’s victory. There was still work to do on the other end to make sure Louisville didn’t take advantage. The junior guard quickly redeemed hims...
Updated one month ago
No. 23 Florida clobbered at home by Alabama

No. 23 Florida clobbered at home by Alabama

GAINESVILLE — Mike White hung his head.Florida’s coach scuffed his shoes against the hardwood, screamed into his hands and watched as his team let Saturday’s game slip away.With Alabama on a seven-point run 11 minutes into the second half, the Gators...
Updated one month ago

USF Bulls fall to Memphis

TAMPA — From its two-point home loss against UCF to its victory at Tulane, USF recently had provided its fan base encouragement in spurts. Similarly, its interior defense against Memphis on Wednesday night also came and went.With 6-foot-3 Tigers guar...
Updated one month ago
Florida’s shooting goes cold in road loss to Georgia

Florida’s shooting goes cold in road loss to Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — The repeated misses were bad for No. 23 Florida. The failure to rebound them made the offensive struggles even more painful. Yante Maten scored 20 and Georgia recovered after blowing a halftime lead to beat the Gators 72-60 on Tuesday n...
Updated one month ago

Florida State beats Miami in OT despite 17 Hurricanes 3-pointers

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Miami’s Jim Larranaga both have at least 33 years of college basketball coaching experience under their belts.Both might have experienced a first during their matchup Saturday.FSU and Miami needed a ...
Updated one month ago
Chris Chiozza scores 20 as No. 20 Florida routs Baylor

Chris Chiozza scores 20 as No. 20 Florida routs Baylor

GAINESVILLE — Florida point guard Chris Chiozza was feeling it, so he went with the flow.A pass-first point guard by nature, Chiozza decided to stay aggressive as a scorer and see what happened.The Gators were glad he did.Chiozza finished the 20th-ra...
Updated one month ago
Pro Bowl to honor UCF for undefeated season

Pro Bowl to honor UCF for undefeated season

ORLANDO — The NFL plans to recognize UCF’s 13-0 season during today’s Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.Players have been invited to walk out on the field for a celebration after the first quarter."When we thought about UCF and the amazing season the...
Updated one month ago
Michigan State athletic director retires in wake of scathing ESPN report

Michigan State athletic director retires in wake of scathing ESPN report

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement Friday, the day an explosive ESPN story detailing a number of allegations of sexual assault and violent attacks on women occurred with Spartan athletes.Hollis...
Updated one month ago