Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Colleges

Florida Gators slump to lows last seen in 1979

GAINESVILLE — Any hope of a bowl game is now gone. The 2013 Florida Gators will be remembered as the worst team since the one in 1979 that finished 0-10-1. The first with a sub-.500 record and six-game losing streak, including a 26-20 loss to Division I-AA Georgia Southern on Saturday, since that '79 team.

To say the Gators are reeling is an understatement. And even they are finding it tough to put into words just how bad things are.

"It's all disappointing," coach Will Muschamp said. "It's hard to really measure it. I'm very disappointed, and we've got to get it fixed. And we will."

"I'm as shocked as you," LB Darrin Kitchens said.

"Just losing, I hate it," RG and former St. Petersburg Catholic standout Jon Halapio said. "Just the whole way the season has gone, I'm very disappointed.

"I'm sorry."

Social media was filled with angry comments after Saturday's loss, but the players said they aren't concerned about losing their coach. Muschamp, 22-15 in his third season, received a public vote of confidence from athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen two weeks ago.

NO EXCUSES: Florida has lost 10 players to season-ending injuries, and it lost three linebackers Saturday. But against Georgia Southern, it was a feeble excuse. The Eagles, who have just 63 scholarships — 22 fewer than the Gators — have lost 19 players to season-ending injuries.

"I know they've had a tough year. They've had a lot of injuries," Eagles coach Jeff Monken said. "So have we. We've got a lot of guys playing out there that weren't our starters at the beginning of the year and wouldn't have been starters right now had other guys been healthy."

(CAN'T) STOP THE RUN: Although the Gators' run defense has struggled recently, it entered No. 3 in the SEC.

In 10 games, Florida had given up 1,151 yards. On Saturday, the Gators gave up 429 to Georgia Southern — fourth most in UF history. It was the fifth time among the past six games the Gators have had an opponent rush for 100 yards or more.

Georgia Southern had two 100-yard rushers: Kevin Ellison (15 carries for 118) and Jerick McKinnon (nine for 125).

The Gators gave up 100 yards or more to an opponent only once last season, Georgia's Todd Gurley.

INJURY UPDATE: Florida LB Mike Taylor sustained a sprained ligament in his knee and most likely will miss the season finale against Florida State. Freshman LB Alex Anzalone dislocated his shoulder, but his status has not been determined.

DL Jonathan Bullard practiced until Wednesday, but his injured knee began to swell Thursday and he did not play. CB Marcus Roberson (ankle) did not play.

Kitchens sustained a shoulder injury but returned.

"I had a stinger," he said. "I took a really bad blow to the head, so I had to get treatment. I needed to see the trainers right away."

ROBINSON OUT: Freshman WR Demarcus Robinson has been suspended for the remainder of the season for what Muschamp called only "not acting right."

Comments
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
Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

UCF hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as football coach.Heupel quickly hired former UF interim coach Randy Shannon as defensive coordinator.Heupel, 39, was a consensus All-American quarterback who led Oklahoma to the 2000 national titl...
Published: 12/05/17
At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

NEW YORK — After the class picture of the latest Hall of Fame inductees was taken, Peyton Manning made his way over to Steve Spurrier for another handshake and some chit-chat before heading off in opposite directions to do media interviews. The forme...
Published: 12/05/17
FSU upsets No. 5 Florida, its fourth straight win over Gators

FSU upsets No. 5 Florida, its fourth straight win over Gators

GAINESVILLE — Terance Mann scored 25, CJ Walker added 17 and Florida State upset No. 5 Florida 83-66 on Monday night to remain undefeated. The Seminoles (7-0) also extended their winning streak against the Gators (5-2) to four, their longest in the 6...
Published: 12/04/17