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Florida Gators are No. 1 in penalties

FEELING OKAY: QB John Brantley, going for a TD vs. Georgia, says his bad right ankle is feeling no ill effects.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

FEELING OKAY: QB John Brantley, going for a TD vs. Georgia, says his bad right ankle is feeling no ill effects.

GAINESVILLE — Eight games into the season, penalties continue to be a major problem for the Florida football team.

Florida is the most penalized team in the nation, with 75 infractions for 567 yards, an average of 70.88 yards per game. In the loss to Georgia on Saturday, it had 14 penalties that ran the gamut from false starts to personal fouls. The Gators are also near the bottom in the nation in turnovers gained (112th with eight).

"We've got to get back to practice and get the little things right," LB Jon Bostic said. "We can't point fingers at anybody. We can't say it's this person's fault or this person's fault. It's the little things right now that's killing us. We've got to be more mentally sound. (The coaches) focus on it day after day after day. But it's everywhere; we had penalties everywhere. You can't really blame it on one side of the ball."

Coach Will Muschamp said players are disciplined for mistakes in practice but that hasn't eliminated the problems.

"We have different forms of punishment," he said. "In a lot of situations, we take the guy off the field. In some situations, on our football team right now we're a little bit thin, quite frankly. We're doing the best we can do."

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin believes Florida's problems might be an advantage for the Commodores on Saturday.

"The turnover battle is going to be very, very important," Franklin said. "We're ranked fifth in the SEC, they're ranked 12th, and we'd like to keep it that way, and that should be an advantage for us.

"The same thing with penalties. We're ranked 79th in the country, which is an area we've got to improve, and Florida's ranked 120th, so I'm hoping that's going to be an advantage for us on Saturday as well."

BRANTLEY'S RETURN: Senior QB John Brantley said he came out of the Georgia game without further injury to his severely sprained right ankle and expects to be able to handle more this weekend.

Brantley acknowledged that last week's game plan was almost 100 percent designed to run out of the shotgun because of the injury. He said twisting and turning movements under center bothered him during practice, which negated a lot of plays for Saturday.

"We were just trying to figure out ways we could try to stay away from that, if need be," he said. "But it should be fine this week."

Brantley said he felt fine after the game and didn't experience unusual swelling or anything else physically wrong with the ankle.

INJURY UPDATE: OL Chaz Green (ankle) is expected to return to practice Wednesday. CB Cody Riggs (wrist) is expected to play this week. RB Mike Gillislee (ankle) might practice this week, but his availability won't be known until later. DE Lerentee McCray (shoulder) is questionable to probable. K Caleb Sturgis is questionable. He could return to practice Wednesday.

"We feel like most or all of these guys will be available for the game unless something happens this week," Muschamp said.

WHERE'S WEIS? Muschamp said he's undecided on whether offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will remain upstairs in the booth for the remainder of the season. Until Saturday, Weis called the game from the sideline.

"We had some procedural issues, obviously, as far as communication is concerned, and that's something we're working through right now to see if we benefit by still doing that," Muschamp said. "We are still in discussions with that right now."

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

Florida Gators are No. 1 in penalties 10/31/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 31, 2011 10:09pm]
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