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 vow to regroup for Sugar Bowl matchup against Cincinnati

GAINESVILLE — One day after a 32-13 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game cost Florida a shot at a second consecutive national championship, the Gators accepted an invitation to play Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.

It is the eighth time the Gators will play in the Sugar Bowl and their 19th straight bowl appearance. But this time, the excitement likely is subdued.

For most of the season, the Gators were dogged by distractions, but they may now be facing their greatest challenge: overcoming a stunning loss to Alabama in a season whose success was predicated on winning it all.

"We'll get this team going," UF coach Urban Meyer said Sunday night. " … We have the winningest senior class in the history of the Southeastern Conference. Our legacy is going to be depending on how we finish the season. … The Gators will be highly motivated to play in this game."

Undefeated Cincinnati finished No. 3 in the BCS standings and would have played for the national title if No. 2 Texas hadn't converted a field goal with one second left to defeat Nebraska on Saturday. Coach Brian Kelly said he realizes the Bearcats are getting a disappointed Florida team but are excited about the challenge of playing Florida.

"I know he's disappointed, and his team is disappointed not being the champions, but they've had a great season and a great football team," Kelly said. "Over the last five years, I can't think of a program that you'd want to emulate in the way things are handled, both on and off the field. … We're excited about the matchup. For us, it's back-to-back BCS (bowls). We lost our game last year, so certainly our sights are set not only on a great football team and a great matchup, but we want to win the game."

The matchup will pit Meyer against his alma mater.

"I know Cincinnati obviously very well," Meyer said. "I've watched them practice. I watch them play every opportunity I can because I'm somewhat of a Bearcats fan being a graduate. We have great respect. When I went and watched them practice, I walked away saying that's an SEC-caliber football team, which tells you the respect I have for the players and the way they are coached."

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

FAST FACTS

Sugar Bowl tickets

The Gator Ticket Office is taking ticket orders. The Gator Booster Priority system will determine which fans qualify. Tickets are $125 each. Football booster season-ticket holders can order online at gatorzone.com/tickets, by visiting the Gator Ticket Office starting today or by mailing an order. The deadline for ordering is 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Florida Gators vow to regroup for Sugar Bowl matchup against Cincinnati 12/06/09 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2009 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard (20), the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  2. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Friday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  3. DeSean Jackson's 'Ferrari engine' brings him to first Bucs camp

    Bucs

    TAMPA — When the Bucs signed Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson in the offseason, QB Jameis Winston said his new target was "a Bentley with a Ferrari engine," a nod to Jackson's 5-foot-10 frame but elite speed.

     Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson sits for an interview while on camera with NFL Films.   HBO's NFL Films production of "Hard Knocks" documented a day in the life of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson with his family at their home in Tampa on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
  4. What you should know about new Rays slugger Lucas Duda

    Blogs

    The MLB trade deadline is a few days away, but the Rays aren't procrastinating. Earlier today, they swung a deal for the Mets' Lucas Duda, sending minor league right-hander Drew Smith

    Slugger Lucas Duda will add some (more) power to the Rays lineup.
  5. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets

    Blogs

    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.