Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators have much-needed off week before facing Georgia Bulldogs

Running back Jeff Demps, looking for room against Alabama, missed Saturday’s loss at Auburn with a leg injury. This week’s open date gives the Gators a chance to heal and look for answers to problems that have led to a three-game losing streak.


Running back Jeff Demps, looking for room against Alabama, missed Saturday’s loss at Auburn with a leg injury. This week’s open date gives the Gators a chance to heal and look for answers to problems that have led to a three-game losing streak.

GAINESVILLE — The Florida football team is off this weekend, and the open date couldn't have come at a better time.

The Gators have lost three straight, and injuries are piling up. QB John Brantley (high ankle sprain), RB Jeff Demps (leg) and DT Ronald Powell (reported neck problem) all missed Saturday night's game at Auburn, and K Caleb Sturgis suffered a leg injury and didn't return in the second half. Coach Will Muschamp said there's a chance Brantley could return for the Oct. 29 game against No. 24 Georgia in Jacksonville.

"I'm hoping so," Muschamp said. "We'll see what happens. I don't know. His rehab's going very well."

Meanwhile, the open date gives Florida a chance to attempt to find solutions to some of its problems. The Gators have dropped from No. 5 to 10th in the SEC in punt returns, are No. 7 in total offense, ninth in third-down conversions and lead the league in penalties with 61.

"We could definitely use a bye week, get everybody back healthy, get everybody rested up," LB Jon Bostic said. "We've still got a long stretch ahead of us. We're not going to look back at what happened towards the beginning of the season. What happened, happened. We're going to get prepared for Georgia now."

And the break gives freshman QBs Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel extra time to prepare in case one of them remains the starter.

"We've got two weeks to prepare for Georgia," WR Frankie Hammond said. "So we've got kind of a jump start so we can break it down even more and really just analyze it and see what they are all about."

SURPRISINGLY UNSELFISH: Read any national basketball publication these days and the biggest question surrounding the men's basketball program seems to be, how will coach Billy Donovan satisfy his guard-heavy roster? Donovan said that in the first five days of practice, he has been pleasantly surprised.

"I think maybe one of the things that's happened is because there's been so much talk about it, they've gone the other way in trying to even prove how unselfish they are," Donovan said Monday. "I'm noticing in practice that's been encouraging to me is we've got guys right now that are passing up shots that they normally would take to make an extra pass.

"We chart every shot in practice, and right now there's only two players on our team that have taken fewer shots than (senior G) Erving Walker. So Cody Larson and Casey Prather, of the five practices we've had, they've taken fewer shots. The next guy after those guys is Erving. So everybody else on our team has taken more shots than Erving Walker. So I think he has really tried to grasp and understand who he's playing with on the floor. And he's really, his assist to turnover ratio in practice has been very good. I think he has an idea and understanding of the challenges in front of him, and I feel like he's really trying to do that.

"When those guys have played together in practice and we've had a chance to play with some different lineups in practice — I feel like the one thing we're doing well right now is they are moving and passing the ball and they are sharing the ball, and it's not getting stopped. … I think that they really feel like they've got to do that to make each other better. And that's been very, very pleasing to me so far is to see their unselfishness."

Walker said the team isn't concerned about outside expectations, just winning.

"That's just us trying to be the best team we can be and trying to get everybody easy shots and working together," he said. "We feel like we've got a lot of talent and we can help each other, and that's what we're trying to do."

Florida Gators have much-needed off week before facing Georgia Bulldogs 10/17/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 17, 2011 8:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal


    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  2. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  5. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399