Thursday, February 22, 2018
Colleges

Gators to narrow focus toward opener

GAINESVILLE — With two weeks remaining before Florida's opener at home against Toledo, Gators coach Will Muschamp and his staff will begin redefining practices with a focus toward the start of the season.

"I told the young players — the older players know — we can't continue to give some guys reps at positions where we're wasting our time," Muschamp said. "We've got to move forward with the guys we need to go into the season with."

Muschamp said the staff has game-planned for the first four games and will begin to cover those things at the open practices Monday and Tuesday. After that, jobs will be determined.

"That's my question for our coaches: 'All right, who do you count on?' " Muschamp said. "We need to start narrowing it down on who's going to play."

OFF day: The Gators held an open practice Saturday, and QB Jeff Driskel was not as sharp as he was earlier in the week. He missed open receivers and was late on some throws. But he did hit WR Quinton Dunbar for a 19-yard TD during 11-on-11 drills.

FSU: Tough new back

TALLAHASSEE — There are heavier running backs at Florida State than the 190-pound Ryan Green, but the true freshman from St. Petersburg Catholic High showed everyone he is just as physical.

Late in a scrimmage this past week, he proved it. As the first-string offense and defense finished with a series of punishing goal-line drills, junior James Wilder deferred to Green.

"(Green) was banging it, man," Wilder said. "He was getting up every play and helping the D-line up and clapping his O-line up. … "He's behind a few people, but he doesn't look at it (that way). He just keeps working hard."

Green is behind Wilder, Devonta Freeman and redshirt freshman Mario Pender on the depth chart, but he might get opportunities to relieve them.

Orlando Sentinel

UM: TE molds game

CORAL GABLES — Junior college transfer Beau Sandland is working toward more playing time in Miami's tight end rotation, but the journey hasn't been easy.

At Simi Valley High in California, Sandland was more of a receiver. Then at Pierce College, he was a tight end who focused more on the passing game. He caught 24 passes for 267 yards and three TDs last season.

But there's much more to football at this level. "This is Division I football," TE Clive Walford said. "He's going to have to learn how to block."

"You have to do everything by the book, your techniques and your right steps," Sandland said, "or else you'll get exposed. "

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

UCF: Tweaks needed

ORLANDO — UCF held a closed scrimmage and coach George O'Leary came away saying he was pleased with QB Blake Bortles but that he was let down by the cornerback play. "I thought offensively we made some plays today," O'Leary said. "I thought defensively we had some opportunities and didn't take advantage of it. I didn't like the tackling."

Orlando Sentinel

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