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)

Gators feeling good again after routing LSU

GAINESVILLE — Right back where they want to be.

That was the common theme late Saturday night after Florida's 51-21 victory over then-No. 4 LSU. A loss to unranked Ole Miss two weeks ago put a damper on the Gators' early season, but as they head into an open week, they have risen to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll, No. 7 in the USA Today coaches poll, and remain in the hunt to win the SEC East and advance to the conference title game.

"You're right where you want to be," offensive coordinator Dan Mullen said. "Our goal coming into this season was to get to Atlanta. We're coming into a bye week and then you have four straight weeks against SEC East opponents. We control our own destiny and that's exactly where you want to be. We win the next four … we get an opportunity to go to Atlanta. I think for us, we're feeling pretty good about our position."

Florida (5-1, 3-1) scored 20 first-half points, and the 51 total points were the most the Tigers had given up since a 58-3 loss to Florida in 1993. In addition, previously undefeated Vanderbilt lost to Mississippi State.

"Everyone has a loss in the East," coach Urban Meyer said. "We're glad to have a bye week coming at a good time. We're going to enjoy this tonight, then bring them back. We all know what happens when you're not ready."

SPIKES' REDEMPTION: After his subpar performance against Arkansas two weeks ago, LB Brandon Spikes organized a team meeting Monday and made a promise to his teammates.

"He said he wouldn't let it happen again," sophomore CB Joe Haden said. "He knew he didn't play as well as Spikes can play. He apologized to the whole defense. That's what leaders do. He came out and played his hardest.''

Spikes had two interceptions, returning one 52 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. Oh, and about that penalty he picked up after punting the ball at the end of the interception run?

"The passion of the game took over me," Spikes said.

HARVIN HEALTHY? Because he practiced sparingly last week, Meyer put WR Percy Harvin through an impromptu 20-minute workout Friday to see if he was physically ready.

"We went full speed in the Swamp," Meyer said.

Harvin reinjured his sprained right ankle in the second quarter Saturday, got retaped and returned. "He still wasn't 100 percent in that game, but he played very well,'' Meyer said.

Harvin said he needs the bye week to get healthy again.

"It's not only me, our whole team, we've been battling all year just for injuries and a lot of people had offseason surgery," he said. "So we're going to take this bye week and make it real useful and get ready to play two weeks from now."

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

>>FAST FACTS

What awaits UF's competition

Here is what's facing the teams ranked ahead of No. 5 Florida:

No. 1 Texas: Three straight top 10 teams await in Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

No. 2 Alabama: A favorable schedule remains, with a road game against LSU on Nov. 8 the toughest. Its other road game is against unraveling Tennessee, plus the SEC title game.

No. 3 Penn State: By far the toughest remaining game is at Ohio State on Oct. 25, and there is no Big Ten title game.

No. 4 Oklahoma: Saturday's home game against Kansas could be a preview of the Big 12 title game.

Gators feeling good again after routing LSU 10/12/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 12, 2008 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    The 10 strikeouts look flashy, but RHP Chris Archer was not his sharpest Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including three straight in the two-run second and a Gary Sanchez homer in the third, and lasted only six innings, throwing 102 pitches.

  2. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  3. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  4. 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, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  5. 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.