Saturday, November 25, 2017
Colleges

Many issues for Florida Gators in playing, or not playing, makeup game

RECOMMENDED READING


GAINESVILLE — Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Monday a multitude of factors are under consideration as officials from Florida and Idaho try to decide what to do about Saturday night's suspended game but he hopes to have a resolution by Wednesday.

The Gators and Vandals got just one play in before the game was suspended. The start was delayed nearly three hours due to heavy rain and lightning in the area.

"Obviously there are a lot of questions out there as it relates to Saturday night's game, what's going on moving forward," Foley said. "We don't have those answers yet. … A lot of people we've got to talk to. Obviously we need to reach out to the University of Idaho. My staff and I met (Monday) morning and talked about possible scenarios. Again, when we have the answers, we'll give them to you. There's just a lot of different moving parts there. We're not trying to be secretive; there's just a lot of different things we have to consider."

Major issues include whether the game will be canceled or rescheduled (both teams have an open date on Oct. 25); whether fans will get refunds if the game isn't played, and whether the Gators will be obligated to pay Idaho its $975,000 guarantee if no game is played. Per University Athletic Association contracts, opponents are not paid until Feb. 1, so it's not as if the Vandals were expecting a check as they left Saturday night.

"We're trying to figure out all those things right now," Foley said. "We're just not there yet."

On Monday's Sun Belt Conference teleconference, Idaho coach Paul Petrino said his team would want to keep its bye week in October and the game could be rescheduled in December.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said though the players and staff were extremely disappointed, he has no doubt that stopping the game was the right thing to do.

"To put things in perspective, between the hours of 5 o'clock that afternoon and 11, we had 1,100 strikes of lightning within a six- to eight-mile radius of our stadium," Muschamp said. "We had 21/2 inches of rain between 5 and 11 o'clock, and the last strike of lightning within six miles of the stadium was at 12:38 a.m.

"It was an issue, not just of the playing conditions of the field — it was awful — but we had lightning all over the place. It was going to be a very difficult to be able to get the game in."

LET US PLAY: Valdez Showers, whose kick return was the only play in Saturday night's game before it was suspended, said players were eager to play despite the weather. A native of Detroit, Showers said it was impossible to make cuts on the field but he has played in worse conditions. His example: "It was a playoff game in, like, late November, and it was probably like 6 degrees outside, and it was snowing," the junior receiver/returner said. "There was also ice out there too. It was pretty bad. You really didn't want to hit the ground because it was so cold that you didn't want to get back up."

DRESS CODE: Players were considerably more dressed up than in the past at Saturday's Gator Walk, something Muschamp said he has encouraged. "Well, I always say it's a business trip, and you don't wear warmups to a business meeting, do you?" he said. "So we're going to dress a little nicer, or try to at least."

JONES OR TAYLOR: Had the game been played, the Gators' first play was going to be a running play with Armwood's Matt Jones starting at running back over Kelvin Taylor. But Muschamp said that doesn't mean much in his book. "Those guys are both going to play," he said. "They've both done a nice job. At the end of the day, they're going to get a bunch of carries."

Contact Antonya English at [email protected] or (813) 226-3389. Follow @TBTimes_Gators.

Comments

No. 7 Florida finishes No. 17 Gonzaga in 2OT; No. 1 Duke up next for Gators

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jalen Hudson scored a career-high 35, including eight 3-pointers, and No. 7 Florida downed No. 17 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime Friday night at the PK80 Invitational. Senior point guard Chris Chiozza added a career-high 26 poin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami spent the better part of 13 months cultivating the nation’s longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to "The U" in all of its "Turnover Chain" glory. Sluggish through the first half against Pitt...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

GAINESVILLE — If misery loves company, at least the Gators and Seminoles have each other.That’s about the only positive in the least-appealing Florida-Florida State showdown in decades. Both enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium today 4-6 — only the second ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Chip Kelly unlikely to be Florida’s coach, report says

It doesn’t look as if Chip Kelly will be Florida’s football coach after all.The Gators’ search to replace Jim McElwain has moved on from the former Oregon coach, Yahoo Sports reported Friday. UCLA also has been pursuing Kelly. UF had a high-profile c...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

It’s a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they can’t win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Published: 11/21/17

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Published: 11/21/17

Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles...
Published: 11/21/17
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, we’ll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Published: 11/21/17