Make us your home page
Instagram

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 reluctantly admit it: Tennessee Vols present a big game

GAINESVILLE — Things are about to get a lot more challenging for the Florida Gators from here on out, but it was tough to get most of them to acknowledge that Monday.

One by one they came in during the weekly media session and talked about how Saturday's SEC opener against Tennessee is no different than any other. Forget that they won the first two games by a combined 80-3, or that even coach Will Muschamp was bummed because the Gators hadn't faced much adversity. All opponents are the same, right?

Finally, the truth emerged.

"I'm really excited," all-purpose player Trey Burton said. "It's a big game for us. It's always fun when we play SEC games because they count."

Muschamp said he reinforces the nameless, faceless opponent concept so players will prepare the same every week. But to pretend that this week's opponent isn't different from the previous two seemed, well, just silly.

"It's a completely different ball game," said senior QB John Brantley, who grew up loving this rivalry. "SEC, I believe it's one of the toughest conferences. And no matter who you're playing, you've got to be on your A game, and you've got to be going in there with a lot of intensity."

INJURY UPDATE: Senior RB Jeff Demps (shoulder) and sophomore TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) are expected to play. Junior CB Jeremy Brown (knee) is questionable for the third consecutive week. "He's going to try to get out (on the field)," Muschamp said. "He's trying to get out there each week. The injury is much more severe than we first thought."

finley arrested: Backup LB Darnavius A. "Dee" Finley is scheduled to appear in an Alachua County courthouse today after he was arrested early Monday and charged with driving with a suspended license and resisting a police officer with violence — a third-degree felony.

According to a police report, the sophomore from Alabama drove his scooter around a barricade near the football stadium and was pulled over. Finley attempted to leave, the report said, and an officer grabbed his wrist, but Finley allegedly pushed the officer's hand away. He eventually obeyed a request to put his hands behind his back.

According to DMV records, Finley's license is suspended for failure to pay multiple fines and attend court appearances.

HONORED: OL Xavier Nixon was among the Gators who carried an American flag onto the field before Saturday's game against UAB in commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nixon's father is retired from the military, and his mother is still active in the Army. "It was a great sense of pride," Nixon said. "Both my parents have served this country. I just saw my mother's face in my head as I was running out there, and I felt real proud."

EXPECTING MORE: Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and Muschamp insist they haven't held back anything in the first two games, but Tennessee coach Derek Dooley isn't buying that.

"We don't have a lot to go on because in both games they just overwhelmed their opponents and it's like watching a preseason game," Dooley said. "I don't think they showed a lot. I know they are going to show a lot more against us.

"They are going to be fresh. They got their guy (DT Sharrif Floyd, suspended for the first two games) back. We are going to have to be prepared for a lot more than what we saw in the first two games."

Florida Gators reluctantly admit it: Tennessee Vols present a big game 09/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  2. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  4. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  5. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.