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Florida Gators motivated by disappointments of 2011

Tackle Chaz Green (75) says the Gators are eager to return to their home field and put last year’s loss to Florida State behind them. Florida tries to extend its SEC-best opening-day winning streak to 23 games Saturday.

Getty Images (2011)

Tackle Chaz Green (75) says the Gators are eager to return to their home field and put last year’s loss to Florida State behind them. Florida tries to extend its SEC-best opening-day winning streak to 23 games Saturday.

GAINESVILLE — The last time the Gators played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, they scored once in a 21-7 loss to Florida State in their regular-season finale.

That memory, along with the overall disappointment of a 7-6 2011 season, is what has fueled the Gators in the offseason as they ready for Saturday's season-opening kickoff at home against Bowling Green, RT Chaz Green said Wednesday.

"We're just trying to get back to where we were and we know we can be playing Florida football," Green said. "We didn't have the best showing the last time we were here, so we should think of this as a new year and try to redeem ourselves."

Green, a Tampa Catholic alum, has secured a starting spot but said there really are no starters because so many players can rotate positions.

"We feel we've got enough to hold our own in the SEC with three good tackles," he said. "But it's a good feeling (to be named starter)."

NO ISSUE: Florida's second opponent, Texas A&M, gets a few extra days to prepare for their Sept. 8 game. Its season opener against Louisiana Tech, scheduled for tonight, was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. UF coach Will Muschamp said he's not sure what the Aggies may gain from it. "You can look at it a thousand different ways, but I haven't really thought a whole lot about it," he said.

USF: Three more walk-ons earn scholarships

TAMPA — USF coach Skip Holtz said three walk-ons had earned scholarships: sophomore Marvin Kloss, who is expected to handle kickoffs for the second year in a row, and senior fullbacks Chris Breit and Spencer Cavalieri.

Kloss, from Naples Barron Collier, held off senior Maikon Bonani for the kickoff job and is Bonani's backup for field goals and extra points. Breit, a Plant graduate, was the primary fullback last season after starting his walk-on career as a linebacker. Cavalieri, an offensive lineman from Gaither who started his college career at Marist, is the top backup at fullback.

Holtz had already put another senior walk-on, S Ernie Tabuteau, on scholarship.

SHOULD BE OKAY: Sophomore Darrell Williams, expected to make his first career start at left tackle in Saturday's opener against Tennessee-Chattanooga, didn't practice after sustaining a minor ankle sprain Tuesday. Holtz said he expected Williams to play Saturday.

Quick hit: Holtz confirmed new starters at two key positions on defense: senior George Baker at cornerback and junior Tevins Mims at defensive end.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

FSU: Manuel not favorite

TALLAHASSEE — According to some Heisman Trophy voters, Florida State QB EJ Manuel has quite the challenge if he is to win the award.

In a recent poll of voters conducted by the website, Manuel ranked 12th among players most likely to win. Fifty-one voters representing 28 states were asked to provide an unranked list of 15 players they believed could win. Manuel appeared on 27 ballots. Eleven players appeared on more ballots.

The informal poll concluded that Michigan QB Denard Robinson, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball were the front-runners. Each received 50 votes.

Former 'Nole out: Former FSU CB and punt returner Greg Reid, who was dismissed after a violation of team rules this offseason and transferred to Valdosta State, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and is out for the season.

AD's deal extended: Athletic director Randy Spetman's contract was extended into 2014.

Orlando Sentinel

Miami: BC, you again?

CORAL GABLES — Never before has Miami closed and opened consecutive regular seasons with the same opponent. But that happens Saturday when the Hurricanes face Boston College. UM lost last season's finale 24-17.

"(Boston College) might see a new wrinkle here and there, or we might play to our strengths in one area more so than others, but I don't think there's going to be a drastic change," Miami coach Al Golden said. "If anything, I think we'll be less (complex) … just because we have the youth."

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Florida Gators motivated by disappointments of 2011 08/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:01pm]
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