Thursday, December 14, 2017

Florida Gators motivated by disappointments of 2011

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


Tim Tebow wants to help throw you a tailgate wedding (sausages included)

Tim Tebow loves weddings.He apparently also loves football, tailgate parties and a good brat, which might explain why he’s lending his pitchman talents to a contest that ties all four together.In a promotional video, Tebow asks, "What happens when yo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

Two years ago, Chris Schwarz was mulling over his college choices. The former River Ridge High standout had offers from Valparaiso, Florida Tech and West Florida. West Florida?That one baffled Schwarz, mostly because he knew nothing about the school....
Updated: 6 hours ago
Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

Gators crash volleyball power party, play national semifinal Thursday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s difficult to call a volleyball program that has been to the Final Four eight times an underdog, especially the way Florida rallied to beat Southern California and punch its latest ticket. Yet of the four schools descending on ...
Published: 12/13/17
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Published: 12/10/17
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK — Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, completing a climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players in the history of college football. Mayfield won a lopsided vote to become the sixth Okla...
Published: 12/09/17
Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

TAMPA — His team was in Ann Arbor, practicing. He was signing footballs in Tampa.Yet another Jim Harbaugh fun fact."I can’t be in two places at once," Harbaugh said.Not that Harbaugh wouldn’t try it if he could. College football’s firestarter, its bi...
Published: 12/08/17

Gasparilla Bowl journal: Temple’s Collins speaks highly of former boss, new Gator Mullen

ST. PETE BEACH — If anyone has an accurate read on how new coach Dan Mullen will fare at Florida, it’s Temple’s Geoff Collins.Collins worked under Mullen as a Mississippi State assistant from 2011-14. He jumped from there to Gainesville, where he spe...
Published: 12/07/17
No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

GAINESVILLE — Aundre Jackson scored 23, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned No. 5 Florida 63-59 Wednesday, handing the Gators a third consecutive loss. Less than 48 hours after Florida coach Mike White said his team’s performance agai...
Published: 12/06/17
Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

No matter what happens on the field at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the star of the show will be the bloomin’ onion. Not the deliciously crispy, glistening, 1,900-plus-calorie appetizer served at Outback restaurants, but the person who parades t...
Published: 12/06/17
Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

TAMPA — Back home in Indiana, he was basketball royalty. He played in his first league at age 2. He lived — and loved — the hardwood life. He was accustomed to performing before more than 10,000 fans for his big games.Pat Bacon capped his storied pre...
Published: 12/06/17