Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Frustrated Florida Gators out of SEC title race but vow to regroup after loss to rival Georgia Bulldogs

JACKSONVILLE — The disappointment was evident on the faces of Florida players and coaches as they exited EverBank Field Saturday night. The Gators' hopes of winning an SEC East title ended with a 24-20 loss to rival Georgia, and now they are faced with trying to regroup and salvage what has been a miserable season.

"It's very frustrating," OL Jonotthan Harrison said. "We're killing ourselves, basically. We can perform a lot better than we actually are, it's just executing and finishing."

Two of Florida's three fumbles led to Georgia touchdowns, and QB John Brantley was sacked six times as Florida lost its fourth straight SEC game for the first time since 1979.

"We've got to grow up, and keep making progress," DT Omar Hunter said. "Everybody just needs to grow up a little bit more each and every game, take a step to get better. We've got to learn how to finish games."

Florida coach Will Muschamp said he didn't envision the season like this, but vowed the Gators will work hard to improve.

"I don't really think about losing a whole lot," he said. "But obviously it's happened and we've got to regroup and re-evaluate where we are. We need to move forward. It's disappointing, but believe me there's no one more disappointed or impatient than I am. So we've got to evaluate ourselves, starting with me, then we'll work from there."

INJURY UPDATE: Last week offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said the Gators were as healthy as they've been since preseason, but it turns out, injuries continue to be an issue. K Caleb Sturgis, injured against Auburn, did not play because of his leg strain. Starting RT Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) injured his ankle midweek and did not play. He was wearing a boot on his right leg as the team arrived. And during the game, CB Cody Riggs injured his wrist and senior starting DE Lerentee McCray sustained a shoulder injury and was in street clothes in the second half. RB Mike Gillislee is still nursing an ankle injury from the Auburn game.

PHILLIPS' DEBUT: He is listed as a freshman walk-on from Gainesville Buchholz High, but on Saturday K Brad Phillips was among the few bright spots for the Gators. Phillips missed his first college field goal of 38 yards with 14:04 remaining in the first quarter, but later made field goals of 43 and 40 yards. He also handled kickoff duties.

"The first kick I was obviously disappointed because nobody wants to miss a 30-some yard field goal," Phillips said. "But the rest of the team was able to pick me up because of it, and from there I was able to perform how I wanted to."

CHANGE OF PACE: Weis called the game from press box — the first time this season he has not been on the sideline. Muschamp said Weis felt he could see the field and manage the game better from up top. Brantley said it took getting used to, but it wasn't a problem. "I had the headset on each time and we were communicating just fine," Brantley said. "It wasn't too difficult. Everything went fine."

Frustrated Florida Gators out of SEC title race but vow to regroup after loss to rival Georgia Bulldogs 10/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.