Saturday, December 16, 2017
Colleges

Florida Gators turn up pressure on Ohio State

JACKSONVILLE — Will Muschamp has been Florida's coach for more than a year. And, for more than a year, he has been envisioning a dominant pass rush.

On Monday, finally, Muschamp and his players and every Gators fan saw a unit fulfill its potential, if only for one afternoon in a game between a couple of .500 teams.

Florida registered a season-high six sacks on Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller in a 24-17 win in the Gator Bowl. Miller, a dual-threat freshman who rushed for 695 yards in the regular season, was also bottled up by the Gators' seven- and sometimes eight-man fronts, gaining 20 yards on 15 carries.

Monday's effort was in stark contrast with what has been for the most part a disappointing effort this season. Entering the bowl, Florida ranked 71st in the nation with just 22 sacks in 12 games.

"He's a little bit jumpy," sophomore Sharrif Floyd said of Miller. "He sees a little flash of defense in his face; he wants to run out of there. … We did a good job of keeping him contained. You stop the run, you win the game."

Floyd, who rotated between end and tackle for the first time this season, was credited with 1 1/2 sacks. Matt Elam, Josh Evans, Jaye Howard and Ronald Powell also sacked Miller.

Howard said the linemen were able to jump snaps after identifying an idiosyncrasy from Buckeyes center Mike Brewster. Watching film of Ohio State's game against Penn State, Howard saw that Brewster bobbed his head right before snapping the ball.

The interior defensive linemen watched for that movement all afternoon Monday.

"You saw what we were able to do today," Howard said.

Muschamp compared Miller to former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor, whom Muschamp game-planned for as Texas' defensive coordinator before the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

He said the key was to keep Miller in the pocket, where he rarely looked comfortable Monday, bouncing around as he waited for a running lane to develop even on pass plays.

To prepare last month, Florida used reserve quarterback Tyler Murphy on its scout team. Murphy, considered the team's fastest passer, was asked to try to get outside the pocket against the Gators' first-team defense.

"Everybody had to stay in their lane," junior linebacker Jon Bostic said. "We wanted to get to the quarterback. We knew that we had to get to him before he could get going. I felt that we did a good job today."

Comments

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...
Published: 12/14/17
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....
Published: 12/14/17
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