Sunday, August 19, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators, rested after bye, get ready for LSU Tigers

GAINESVILLE — There are two very different sides to No. 10 Florida having had its only open date last week. On the one hand, injured Gators got healthy — most notably RB Trey Burton (back spasms), TE Jordan Reed (head) and DL Dominique Easley (knee) — who are all expected to return Saturday against LSU.

Then there's the flip side.

The Gators (4-0, 3-0 SEC) now play eight consecutive weeks with an October schedule that includes No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina. No. 3 Florida State awaits in November in Tallahassee.

Last season, the Gators faced a similar October schedule and lost to Alabama (38-10), LSU (41-11), Auburn (17-6) and Georgia (24-20). The Gators are 1-7 in October over the past two seasons.

Florida expects a much different outcome this year.

"I think we're as prepared as we can be going into this month," senior WR Frankie Hammond Jr. said Monday. "We definitely don't want that same outcome as last year."

"We didn't go in last year (vs. LSU) saying hopefully we don't lose by 20, or we'll try to keep it close," sophomore QB Jeff Driskel said. "This year we're definitely confident. It'll be a lot closer, that's for sure. It won't be like last year."

Coach Will Muschamp has insisted that his players never forget last October.

"I told the guys all along, in the offseason and while it was going on, don't ever forget the feeling you have right now," he said. "As a competitor, it ought to motivate you. If you are truly a competitive guy, it ought to really motivate you not to be in that situation again. I know I use it, and I think that the players I've tried to continually remind them about October, about the fourth quarter, about being outscored, about all of those things. And as a competitor and to be a competitive organization, those are things that I constantly bring up."

NOT FOOLED: The AP voters thought less of LSU after its lackluster 38-22 win over Towson, dropping the Tigers one spot in the AP poll, but the Gators expect a fiercely competitive game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Muschamp said after watching portions of the LSU-Towson game he doesn't believe for one second the Gators will see the team Towson faced.

"We won't see the same LSU football team, from an enthusiasm standpoint, from a passion level, from a pad level," Muschamp said. "I don't look at games and say, 'Look at this score that means this is going to happen.' I look at every Saturday is a different day. Everybody matches up differently with different people."

LSU allowed season highs in points (22), rushing yards (188) and total yards (291), but coach Les Miles said Monday some credit should be given to Towson. He also said he failed to get his team focused well enough coming off a two-point win over Auburn Sept. 22 and with Florida on the horizon. He expects something different Saturday.

"This is a team that understands how to play and certainly understands the culture in our building and in our school," Miles said. "And so I suspect that they'll play well against Florida."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
DeCalon Brooks ready to make a name for himself at Florida State

DeCalon Brooks ready to make a name for himself at Florida State

TALLAHASSEE — DeCalon Brooks doesn't only want to be known as Derrick Brooks' son.Yes, he plays the same position (linebacker) at the same school (Florida State) where his father won a national title in 1993 before becoming a Bucs legend a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida State football getting closer to naming starting quarterback, Willie Taggart says

Florida State football getting closer to naming starting quarterback, Willie Taggart says

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Willie Taggart isn't ready to announce who will start at quarterback when the Seminoles open against Virginia Tech in two weeks.But a decision is getting closer."How close? Closer than we were the first da...
Published: 08/19/18
Why you should care about FSU-Samford: This ‘DuckTales’ parody song

Why you should care about FSU-Samford: This ‘DuckTales’ parody song

When Samford Hall of Famer Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M, we all needed a reason to care about the Division I-AA Bulldogs' Week 2 trip to Tallahassee.The internet, as usual, has come through with a video that needs a little context.Sa...
Published: 08/17/18
Full disclosure: My preseason AP Top 25 ballot

Full disclosure: My preseason AP Top 25 ballot

We'll find out where Miami, Florida State and the rest of Florida's teams start the season Monday when the AP releases its preseason Top 25 rankings.Until then, here's a sneak peek, in the form of the AP ballot I submitted last week.Clemson starts at...
Published: 08/17/18
Reduced seating capacity coming to college football, including Alabama

Reduced seating capacity coming to college football, including Alabama

The Rays aren't the only team looking to downsize their stadium capacity.It's becoming a trend in college football, too.The latest one is mighty Alabama. As part of the Bryant-Denny Stadium renovations expected to be announced today, the Crimson Tide...
Published: 08/16/18
Brian Burns looking to thrive in Florida State’s new-look defense

Brian Burns looking to thrive in Florida State’s new-look defense

BRADENTON — First-year coach Willie Taggart's plan to transform Florida State into a program built on lethal simplicity transcends the offense.The defense will try to live by that same two-word philosophy, which could help Brian Burns rebo...
Published: 08/15/18
Meet the Maryland coach and former Gator assistant at the center of a calamity

Meet the Maryland coach and former Gator assistant at the center of a calamity

Is Maryland’s DJ Durkin overly intense or just passionate? It depends on whom you ask.At the end of 2015, DJ Durkin addressed the Maryland football team for the first time. Some players viewed him with skepticism, the natural reaction of hypercompeti...
Published: 08/15/18
After Maryland, FSU’s Walt Bell excited to be in ‘family atmosphere’

After Maryland, FSU’s Walt Bell excited to be in ‘family atmosphere’

BRADENTON — New FSU offensive coordinator Walt Bell approached reporters Tuesday morning at IMG Academy seemingly resigned to the fact two subjects would arise: the Seminoles' quarterback derby and the ugly allegations surrounding Maryland...
Published: 08/14/18
Maryland apologizes for the heatstroke death of football player Jordan McNair

Maryland apologizes for the heatstroke death of football player Jordan McNair

University of Maryland president Wallace Loh and the school’s athletic director, Damon Evans, met privately with the family of Jordan McNair and apologized Tuesday for the school’s role in the young football player’s June death.Loh spoke at a news co...
Published: 08/14/18
Florida State football quick hits: Road trip bonding and quarterback battle

Florida State football quick hits: Road trip bonding and quarterback battle

BRADENTON — Although the recruiting advantage of Florida State's trip to IMG Academy is debatable, some of the other perks of the road trip are hard to deny.Like the camaraderie that comes with the bus ride down.QB Bailey Hockman said some...
Published: 08/13/18