Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Colleges

South Carolina's Davis has beef with Florida Gators

More than two years ago, RB Mike Davis committed to Florida while in high school in Stone Mountain, Ga., a supposed piece to play alongside Armwood recruit Matt Jones.

But Davis reportedly became irked that Gators coach Will Muschamp's staff started heavily recruiting another back, Keith Marshall, who eventually chose Georgia. A miffed Davis decommitted and has unleashed his unhappiness on Twitter since.

Now Davis, a Gamecocks sophomore, is the SEC's leading rusher with 1,058 yards, while UF's Jones sits with an injury.

"I'm aware that I'm the SEC's leading rusher," said Davis, who is eager for Saturday after gaining 24 yards against Florida last season. "I take a lot of pride in that."

Despite the Gators' four-game losing streak, they remain second in the SEC against the run, yielding only 109.7 yards a game.

USF: Old rivals

TAMPA — Fifteen years after Justin Fuente got the best of him, USF coach Willie Taggart has a shot at atonement Saturday.

Fuente, now coach at Memphis, completed a then-school-record 31 passes, on 51 attempts, for 358 yards and two touchdowns in Murray State's 36-31 victory against Taggart's Western Kentucky squad in 1998.

Taggart, also a quarterback, totaled 205 yards of offense, 101 on the ground, and ran for two scores.

Since then, they have faced each other as assistants eight times (Taggart's teams have won five), but Saturday marks their first meeting as bona fide field generals since 1998. At 37 years and change, both are among the six youngest coaches in Division I.

Taggart suggested their ages barely rates as a story line these days, when more young coaches are being hired.

"Initially, when those things start to happen, it brings a lot of attention to it," Taggart said. "But I think it's happened so much more often now that it's not as big of a deal as it was before."

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

UCF: Ripe for rebound

ORLANDO — UCF's Blake Bortles threw for 210 yards in a win against Houston last week, but he had a red zone interception and a fumble. "You don't ever want to regress going through a season," he said. "You want to get better each and every game. So when you kind of regress a game it's kind of, 'What did I do wrong?' " This week, Bortles faces a Temple team that allows more than 300 yards passing per game.

Orlando Sentinel

FSU: Stop the run

TALLAHASSEE — FSU is preparing for Syracuse's one-sided offense, a running attack led by RB Jerome Smith.

Smith has 705 yards and 10 TDs, and senior Prince-Tyson Gulley has been a complimentary threat, rushing for 440 yards and four scores. Their success runs counter to a passing attack that ranks toward the bottom of all Division I-A teams.

"The way they run, they don't have to (pass)," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They know their identity, and they're very consistent. Very patient."

FSU is giving up 126.22 rushing yards per game but only an average of 83 in its past two games.

Orlando Sentinel

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